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Information Security Manager Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Information Security Manager interview, here are 45 interview questions and answer examples.

Information Security Manager was written by and published on April 20th, 2022. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 45

When was the last occasion you asked for direct feedback from your manager?

Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

The interviewer will ask this question to separate you from most applicants. This is because many professionals don't ever seek feedback from their supervisors. Interviewers prefer candidates who constantly seek feedback so they can immediately correct any deficiencies they may have or incorrect actions they are taking. The best professionals know that the only way to get better news is to engage their colleagues for feedback and suggestions.

Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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45 Information Security Manager Interview Questions & Answers

  • Behavioral

    1. When was the last occasion you asked for direct feedback from your manager?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer will ask this question to separate you from most applicants. This is because many professionals don't ever seek feedback from their supervisors. Interviewers prefer candidates who constantly seek feedback so they can immediately correct any deficiencies they may have or incorrect actions they are taking. The best professionals know that the only way to get better news is to engage their colleagues for feedback and suggestions.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Requesting feedback from the people you work with demonstrates your desire to improve. Most employees avoid receiving feedback, fearing that it will be negative. By actively seeking it, you demonstrate courage, a willingness to be open to criticism, and the initiative to improve. Describe a time you felt you didn't complete a task properly and sought feedback to correct your process so you'd do better next time.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I have found that one of the best ways to improve myself is to continually seek feedback from the people I work with. Both my colleagues and my management team have perspectives that I don't and can spot weaknesses that I need to work on to improve. Therefore, I am constantly asking them about my performance. I also ask them for any suggestions they have and resources I can use to improve my skills and expertise. I do this continuously, and it has been very valuable."

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

  • Behavioral

    2. Can you recall a time your manager was unavailable when a situation arose that demanded an immediate resolution? How did you react?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      While this appears to be a question about leadership, it addresses your willingness to take the initiative. The interviewer is interested in this because it helps them determine your future growth potential. Organizations like to hire individuals who continually improve themselves and develop new skills, allowing them to advance within the company.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When responding to this question, emphasize your willingness to take the initiative rather than complain about the manager's absence. Explain why you felt the need to take action and describe how you did so to resolve the immediate situation and then reviewed the issue and your actions with your manager. Be prepared to answer a follow-up question about what you would do differently next time.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "Recently, my manager was away on vacation, and I was asked to fill in for them. A conflict arose between our team and another department that demanded an immediate resolution. The manager from the other department insisted we do what they wanted since our manager was not available. Knowing this was not the best solution, I presented an alternative and recommended that we discuss this with the senior leadership team to get their input. The other manager agreed. Working with senior leaders, we developed a compromise that resolved the conflict. When my manager returned from vacation, I briefed them on the incident, and they agreed I had acted appropriately."

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

  • Behavioral

    3. Tell me about a difficult decision you had to make in one of your previous roles.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer is looking for examples of your decision-making process and how you approach difficult challenges or situations. They want to learn more about how decisive you are and whether you are willing to make difficult choices. The interviewer hopes to see that you are willing to put the organization's interests ahead of your personal feelings.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When answering this question, choose a situation in which you made a decision involving a personal sacrifice or two equally undesirable outcomes. Explain the choice you made, your rationale, and the outcome. Then briefly discuss what, if anything, you would have done differently based on the outcome.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "During a recent downturn in business, I was required to reduce my staff. Every member of the team was well qualified and valuable to the organization, so choosing who to let go was difficult. After a great deal of consideration, I decided to dismiss one of the more experienced workers, knowing that they could easily find another job within the industry with my recommendation. This allowed me to develop one of the junior staffers, increasing their skills and making them more valuable to the organization. I would make the same decision if presented with this situation again."

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

  • Behavioral

    4. Can you give me an example of a time you led by example and describe what you did and how your team reacted?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers ask this question to prompt you to talk about your leadership style, hoping you will describe how you lead from the front by example rather than from the back by exercising your authority. They recognize that teams perform better when they believe in their leadership and are willing to follow their example. By asking this question, the interviewer can discern whether you will be an effective leader.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Since this is a behavioral question, format your answer in the STAR framework by first describing a Situation and the Task you were required to complete. Then, describe how you Acted by demonstrating the behavior you needed the team to exhibit. Finally, discuss the outcome of the project or task and what your team learned from the example you set. Make sure you communicate how you led by example and how this motivated the team to accomplish the assigned task.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    5. Describe a situation where you needed to persuade someone about an idea or process.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer will ask you this question because they are interested in learning about your communication and leadership skills and how you apply them to accomplish the tasks required in this role. Persuading other people about your ideas and suggestions is a valuable skill. Interviewers recognize that this will make you more effective in the job and reduce conflict between you and other team members.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      You can answer this question using the STAR format, describing how you seek to understand other people's points of view, acknowledging them, then offering them an alternative and the rationale behind it. You can then describe how you addressed any questions and concerns they had and developed a win-win scenario with a positive outcome.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    6. Please tell me about a time when something major didn't go according to plan at work.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The ability to respond to situations that don't go according to plan is a key characteristic that interviewers look for. They will ask you a question like this to determine how you react to unforeseen circumstances. This provides them an indication of your flexibility, responsiveness, and creativity.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Since this is a behavioral question, you should utilize the 'STAR' response methodology. Make sure to stay positive, don't blame anyone else for the problem, and don't take full credit for the solution. Demonstrate how you worked with others to resolve the situation. As with any behavioral question, discuss the results you attained and possibly the lessons learned, especially if the outcome wasn't optimum.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    7. Can you give me an example of a time you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with? How did you handle the situation?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This is a behavioral question to which the interviewer expects a 'STAR' formatted answer: Situation, Task, Action, Result. Interviewers ask behavioral questions to determine how you react to challenging situations in the workplace. Your description of how you handled this in a previous job will indicate what you will do if hired by the organization. Behavioral questions typically involve challenges, relationships, conflict, or communication errors.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When responding to a behavioral question, frame your answer using the 'STAR' format. Describe the Situation, discuss the Task you needed to complete, describe the Action(s) you took, and finish with the Results you achieved. The most important of these are the results since the employer expects you to work through the challenge to attain these.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    8. What's a misconception your coworkers have about you, and why do you believe they feel this way?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This may be a trick question to get you to identify a weakness you have or are perceived to have. Interviewers will ask this to uncover a weakness or to determine how self-aware you are. They also want to know if you'll answer this question positively or say something negative about yourself or your coworkers.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Since the interviewer is asking you to reveal either a real weakness or behavior that appears to be a weakness, it may be hard to answer this question. Your answer should either point out a minor flaw that you are working to correct or discuss a strength your coworkers and managers are unaware of. In any case, remain positive when answering this question.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    9. Tell me about an aspect of your profession that makes you the most satisfied, energized, and productive at work.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This question is meant to uncover your passion and what you enjoy doing. Interviewers know that people do their best work when they are passionate about what they do. They will ask questions like this to discover if you are truly passionate about this job or just doing it for the money.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      This is a great question to ask yourself before beginning your job search. It will help you target specific jobs that you enjoy doing and will therefore be good at. This will then enable you to answer this when asked by an interviewer by simply describing a task you enjoyed working on related to the job you are applying for.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    10. Can you recall a time you were assigned a task that wasn't a part of your job description. How did you handle this, and what was the outcome?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Some employees are reluctant to do anything that is not part of their job description. However, in today's fast-paced business environment, people are often asked to do extra work that may not have been part of their original assignment when they were hired. Interviewers seek to understand how you react when asked to do something not part of your normal job and determine how flexible you are.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      The best way to answer this is to start by stating that you are always open to pitching in wherever you can to help the company get the job done. You should also emphasize that you are open to learning new skills that will help both you and the company. Then describe an incident to illustrate this.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    11. Please describe a situation where you needed to adapt a process, procedure, or technology differently from how you usually did things.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers are curious to learn how flexible and adaptable you are and if you are willing to learn and expand your knowledge. They know that the job you are being hired for will evolve, and you'll be required to learn new methodologies, processes, and procedures to continue to do the work effectively. They want to ensure that you are capable of this.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When responding to the question, provide the interviewer with a brief description of a situation where you encountered a new challenge and how you addressed it by learning a new process or procedure or acquiring new skills. Describe how the way you reacted to this situation benefitted the company.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    12. Can you describe a time you were asked to do something you had never done before? How did you react?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers will ask this question to determine how you react to new situations and your attitude toward learning new skills and procedures. Employers prefer employees who are willing to learn new skills and thereby contribute more to the organization's business objectives. Curiosity and continuous learning are traits interviewers look for.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Provide an example of a situation in which you were asked to perform a new task. Explain how you readily accepted the job and gathered resources to complete the task. Then describe the results of your efforts and what you learned from the experience. Your answer should follow the 'STAR' response pattern: Situation, Task, Action, Results.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    13. What is a professional achievement that you are proud of?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      If your resume or CV is well written, it will detail some of your significant achievements and the contributions you've made to your previous employers. The interviewer asks this question to determine which of these you're most proud of and why. They hope to learn about your efforts to achieve the objective and how they contributed to your organization's success or business objectives.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When responding to this question, try to have an achievement in mind that will demonstrate how you can help the interviewer's organization achieve one of its business objectives or goals. Employers hire individuals to help them make money, save money, or save time. Demonstrating how you can do this with all your answers during an interview will help convince the interviewer that you are the right person for this job.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    14. What motivated you to make a move from your current role?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers will ask this, knowing it is a potential 'trick' question that may prompt you to speak poorly of your current job, organization, or supervisor. They know that if you do this in your current situation, you will likely do it if you elect to leave their organization. Interviewers seek to hire candidates who are positive and move toward new opportunities rather than away from bad ones.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When answering questions like this, be positive and explain that you are moving towards something new, not away from something old. Discuss your desire to be challenged and the rewards you will get by helping a new organization achieve its objectives. Also, talk about the opportunity to improve yourself by acquiring new skills and experiences in a new position.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    15. What's the most interesting thing about you that I didn't see on your resume?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers like to ask this question to learn more about your personality and determine whether you will fit into their corporate environment. By inviting you to the interview, they've already indicated that you have the skills and qualifications necessary to perform this job. The purpose of the interview is to confirm this and see how well you will fit into their culture.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      You can answer this question by giving the interviewer information about yourself that is not controversial and will support your qualifications for the position. Examples may be musical talent, an interesting hobby, or an unusual experience you had. Your research about the organization and its culture will help you prepare for this question.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    16. Why did you choose to interview with our organization rather than with others in our industry?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      You should anticipate being asked this question in every interview. Employers want to know why you chose their specific company to interview with. They prefer to hire employers who are passionate about their work and the organization. This question is also meant to determine how much research you have done about the company.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      If you expect this question during every interview, you can be prepared to answer it based on your research of the company before the interview. Mention something about the company's recent achievements, business prospects, or work culture. You may also want to refer to the company's challenges and how you can help them address these based on your skills and experience.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    17. Can you tell me what your home network consists of?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer may ask you several different discovery questions to learn more about your background beyond what they read in your resume when beginning an interview. These questions provide them with information they can use throughout the interview. These questions also begin the conversation, creating a dialogue between you and the interviewer. Another goal of these questions is to relax you, so the interviewer gets a clearer picture of how you respond when not feeling stressed because of the interview.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Since discovery questions are general, there is no way to prepare for these. The best way to respond is frankly and honestly. Keep in mind that the information you provide the interviewer may be used for additional questions throughout the interview. This allows you to guide the interviewer toward areas that you're comfortable talking about.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Operational

    18. What steps do you take to protect your home wireless router from unauthorized use?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      While it may seem odd that the interviewer is asking you about your home network, they are doing this for a reason. The assumption is that you will take even greater care to protect your home systems than you do for the company. While the technology you use at home may not be as robust, the practices and procedures will reflect your philosophy about information security.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When responding to this question, talk in generalities and keep the details to a minimum. The interviewer is not interested in the specific technologies, products, or vendors you use but rather your general practices and the steps you take to secure your family's information. Your practices will translate into how you will protect the organization's information. The stronger your personal information protection is, the more likely you are to be able to project the organization's IT infrastructure using more robust and advanced technologies.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Operational

    19. How can you reset a password-protected BIOS configuration?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This is an example of an operational question. The interviewer is asking how you go about accomplishing a specific task. Their primary purpose is to ensure that you understand this procedure and how to execute it. Their secondary purpose is to determine if you are familiar with the procedures currently used by the organization's information security team. They also may be considering adding this process to their current information security practices and want to determine if you can assist them in accomplishing this.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Operational questions, like technical questions, are best answered directly and succinctly. Using this guideline, you ensure that you are providing the interviewer with the information they seek and not confusing them with additional details or embellishments. Shorter answers also ensure that you will not misinform the interviewer or state information that either isn't relevant or may be incorrect.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Operational

    20. What tools can you use to log in to Active Directory from a Linux system?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      In addition to standard and customized processes and practices, information security professionals use many tools to execute the task required by this job. Interviewers will ask you about these tools to determine your familiarity and proficiency with them. They also want to understand whether you use the same tools their information security organization employs.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Before attending an interview, research the organization, the job, and, if possible, the people you will be meeting with. The more you can learn about these three elements of the interview, the better you will perform. Knowing about the organization and the processes, procedures, and tools they use will help you answer this question. You will be able to anticipate the questions you will be asked and format your answers with the information the interviewer is familiar with.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Operational

    21. What are some of the ways to authenticate a user?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      User authentication is a key element of information security. This ensures that only authorized users access the network, information, and devices. The interviewer will likely ask you about strong user authentication several times during the interview. They hope to learn that you feel passionate about this and take measures to create it on the networks you manage.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      As an experienced information security manager, you should be very familiar with user authentication and have several methodologies you use to implement it. Since this is an operational question, keep your answer brief and to the point. Providing the interviewer with 2 to 3 methodologies you use for user authentication will be sufficient.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Operational

    22. How do you determine if a remote server is running IIS or Apache?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The fact that you are attending the interview indicates the interviewers consider you qualified for this job. The purpose of the interview is to validate your qualifications and explore your background and experience in more depth. Questions like this will help the interviewer determine if you can effectively perform this job without any additional training or orientation.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      In today's IT environment, accessing systems remotely is a common practice. Workforces are often dispersed across the globe and are more frequently working remotely. Being able to access and manage remote systems is a critical talent information security managers need to have. It is a good practice to refresh your memory about remote system management before the interview.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Operational

    23. Would you consider it an issue if you detected that a user had logged in as root to perform basic functions? If so, what actions would you take to prevent this?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Root access is usually restricted to key information security and system management personnel. This is because root access enables the user to make changes to the system, which are potentially disruptive and harmful. If regular users are allowed root access, they may inadvertently make changes that disrupt the system's operation and may take a great deal of effort to reverse. Employers want to make sure that you can detect and prevent unauthorized root access to their systems.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is asking for your opinion about whether this is a problem or not. Even though this format provides you with options when responding to the question, the interviewer probably has a specific answer in mind. When faced with a question like this, the best strategy is to choose the more conservative answer. This tells the interviewer that you are primarily concerned about the organization's information security. You can note that there may be exceptions to this primary responsibility as dictated by the company's information security policies and protocols.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Operational

    24. How can you configure a network to allow only a single node to access the network from a particular port?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Since your job will be to project the organization's most valued asset, its data, interviewers will ask you many questions about how you do this. Once they select and hire a candidate, they entrust them to keep the organization's proprietary information and users secure. You will be asked many questions like this during the interview until the interviewer is convinced you can do this job effectively.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Knowing how to configure a network so that only a single node can access it from a specific port is a fundamental skill information security managers need to possess. If a user's system is hacked, it can be piggybacked on to gain access to the network, and bad things will happen. Your answer should demonstrate your understanding of this important issue and the methodologies you use to prevent it from happening. Describe a process you can use that, based on your research, is already being used by the organization.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Operational

    25. How would you go about breaking into a database-based website?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This question aims to determine if you are familiar enough with hacking practices to prevent them. The interviewer wants to make sure that you know how hackers try to break into a network and compromise an organization's information. This understanding will allow you to effectively use the tools and processes designed to prevent this. Knowing the solution is not enough. Employers expect you to thoroughly understand the problem so you can deploy the appropriate countermeasures when necessary.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      As an information security manager, you should be familiar with hackers' methodologies and techniques to break into organizations' IT systems. However, since this field is continually evolving, you should update your knowledge of the more recent discoveries about hackers' techniques. The more current your knowledge, the more likely you will impress the interviewer and receive the job offer.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Operational

    26. What is your experience with hacktivist groups such as Anonymous?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Hacktivism is another controversial topic interviewers may ask you about when interviewing for an information security manager's role. Hacktivist organizations typically lack strong leadership and can be unorganized and malicious. While some organizations are created to assist software developers and network administrators in securing their products, others are malicious and seek to identify the vulnerabilities of popular software products. The interviewer wants to know your position on this and whether you will work to prevent hacktivism or embrace it as a way to improve the organization's information security practices.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      If possible, determine the organization's position on hacktivism before attending an interview for an information security manager's position. Knowing how the organization feels about this will enable you to answer this question to their satisfaction. This will also prepare you to oppose or embrace hacktivism once you have the job. Be prepared to justify your answer if the interviewer asks you a follow-up question.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Operational

    27. What actions are needed to lock down a mobile device?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      With the proliferation of mobile devices, including cell phones and tablets, organizations are concerned about devices either being lost or stolen. This would give unauthorized individuals access to the device and the company's data. Interviewers want to be sure you know how to lock down these devices to prevent data loss or network intrusions. They may also ask you about wiping devices so that no data remains on them if they are abandoned or upgraded by the users.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      As with any process or procedure related to the job of an information security manager, you should be able to describe how you ensure that mobile devices are secure and the data they contain is not compromised. Your answer may include several different techniques used to accomplish this. You should also be prepared for a follow-up question from the interviewer in case they do not understand your methodologies or want to ask you about other ways you can lock down the devices.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Operational

    28. How can you install an OS on a remote headless system?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Being able to manage remote systems has become an important aspect of an information security manager's job. Not only are organizations dispersing themselves around the globe, but many users are working remotely. You'll be asked many questions about administering remote systems and ensuring their security.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      As an experienced information security manager, you are likely to have experience managing remote systems. However, it's probably a good idea to review the most current practices in this area so you can discuss them during the interview. It is not advisable to only rely on your experience and knowledge to protect a company's information. Being familiar with the more recent developments and innovations in this field will help distinguish you from other candidates for this job.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Operational

    29. How would you address an active problem on the network that is out of your area of responsibility?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Not all of the organization's network security issues are the responsibility of the information security manager. Some of the issues may be the responsibility of departmental managers or other IT professionals to resolve. An interviewer will ask you about this to validate your understanding of it and to see if you are willing to go beyond the primary job description to resolve an information security issue. Organizations prefer individuals who know the limits of their authority but are also willing to take steps outside of these to help the organization protect its proprietary information.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Before answering this question, give it some thought. Your answer should reflect your knowledge of the limits of your authority in this role and your willingness to go beyond those limits to resolve an issue. It is okay to take the initiative to accomplish an objective that may not be your primary responsibility if you are aware that you are doing this and what repercussions there may be.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Operational

    30. As a manager, do you have the authorization to allow a senior executive to use their home laptop in the office?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer may ask you this to determine your philosophy related to balancing the needs of the company's personnel to accomplish specific tasks against the overall security of the organization's IT infrastructure. They're interested in learning whether your approach to this aligns with the information security policies already in place within the organization.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      One way to prepare for an interview is to contact past and current information security professionals within the organization to ask about their policies, practices, and procedures. The more you know about these topics, the easier it will be for you to respond to the interviewer's questions with answers aligned to their current practices. Doing this will result in the interviewer already envisioning you in this role.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Operational

    31. Are you comfortable working with open-source software?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Open-source software is a controversial subject. Some organizations will not allow any use of open-source software due to its vulnerability to malicious hackers and programmers. Other companies embrace it because of its cost benefits and the community's efforts to continually upgrade the applications. Interviewers will ask you about this to understand your position on this subject and determine if it aligns with theirs.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When preparing for an interview, find out whether the company embraces the concept of open-source software. Knowing this will help you craft your answer to this question. You don't necessarily have to agree with the company's policy. If you disagree, you should be able to defend your position based on your experience and knowledge of the vulnerabilities and benefits of open-source software. Keep in mind that the interviewer may be asking you this question because they are considering adopting new policies related to this topic.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Technical

    32. Which do you consider worse, a false negative or a false positive firewall detection?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This is a tricky question because either of these could be related to a serious issue. The interviewer may have an opinion about this, but they are interested in yours. Your answer is of less interest than your ability to rationalize it and explain why you believe it to be true.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      This question does not have a right or wrong answer. The key to answering properly is to give a response and be able to defend it if challenged by the interviewer. Interviewers may disagree with your answer but will respect you for being able to justify it.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Technical

    33. How does a vulnerability differ from an exploit?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Different organizations use different terminology to describe common elements of an information security manager's job. Interviewers will ask you about terminology to determine your understanding and use of it. This is a question that may not have a right or wrong answer. However, your answer will allow the interviewer to determine whether the terminology you use is common to their organization or if you will need to be reoriented to ensure you are communicating accurately and effectively across the organization.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When answering a question about terminology, answer honestly based on your current use of the terms. As long as you're confident that your understanding of the terminology is accurate, your answer will be considered correct. If the organization uses the terminology differently, the interviewer will explain this and probably ask for your agreement. They will then use this information to determine what onboarding activities are required once you are hired.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Technical

    34. Can you describe the two main types of data protection?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers expect you to know that two main types of data need to be protected. They will ask you a question like this to prompt you to discuss data-at-rest and data-in-transit and the methodologies you use to protect them. They want to ensure that you are capable of protecting data stored on servers, as well as information being transmitted across the company's internal and external networks.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Being able to discuss how to protect both data-at-rest and data-in-transit is a key requirement for an information security manager. Since the methodologies used for each of these categories differ, and all organizations have both types of data, you need to demonstrate your ability to do this. Discussing the specific processes you use to protect data on the network and the data on the organization's systems will be a key element of any interview you attend.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Technical

    35. Can you compare information protection and information assurance?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      It is common during an interview to be asked to compare different terms, technologies, processes, and procedures used in this role. Interviewers ask these types of questions to confirm your knowledge of these and the differences that exist between them. They expect you to be familiar with all the concepts relevant to this job and to be able to discuss them in simple, easy-to-understand language.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When asked to compare two terms or concepts, start by defining each of the terms. Then discuss their differences and similarities. Use simple, easy-to-understand language that individuals without a technical background can easily comprehend. This will demonstrate your ability to communicate across the organization and work with individuals from outside your department.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Technical

    36. Please describe a three-way handshake and discuss how it is used to create a denial of service (DOS) attack.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer is asking you a technical question that can only be answered by experienced and knowledgeable network and information security specialists. Interviewers ask this type of question to confirm your qualifications for this role and explore your knowledge of the techniques and processes used to secure the organization's network and critical information. You can anticipate being asked many similar questions during the interview.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When responding to a challenging technical question, you may be tempted to expound on the topic more than you need to. You should only provide as much information as needed to demonstrate your knowledge of the subject and your ability to use it once hired. Any additional information may confuse the interviewer or make them lose interest if they are ready to ask the next question. Additionally, the more you speak, the more likely you will make a mistake.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Technical

    37. Can you discuss the differences between a HIDS and a NIDS?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      One of the techniques interviewers use during an interview is to ask you to compare two different concepts. Typically, the topics they ask about are similar but not identical. They expect you to be aware of the nuances between them and be able to discuss them. They are also likely to ask you a follow-up question if the topic is important to the organization.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When asked about the differences between two concepts, make sure you understand what the interviewer is asking. In this case, they use acronyms that you may not be familiar with. It is perfectly acceptable to ask the interviewer a clarifying question before answering their question. It is much better to clarify the question than to assume you understand it and give the interviewer the wrong answer. You can also make a clarifying statement at the beginning of your answer to achieve the same result.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Technical

    38. What is the purpose of XSS, and when do you use it?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      By asking the question in this manner, the interviewer assumes that you know the meaning of the acronym XSS and what it does. The information security manager profession, like many technical roles, uses a great number of acronyms. These help professionals communicate more effectively. Interviewers expect you to be familiar with these acronyms, their meaning, and their purpose.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When preparing for an interview, review the library of the acronyms used in this profession. While you are not expected to know all of them, especially the more obscure ones, you should be familiar with the most common ones. If you are interviewing remotely, you may want to have a list of these handy to refer to when responding to questions like this one.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Technical

    39. What does CIA stand for, and how is it used in the context of information security?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Many acronyms have different meanings depending on their context. CIA is an example of one of these. In general use, CIA means the Central Intelligence Agency. However, in the context of information security, it describes how to project an organization's IT assets. The interviewer will ask this question to ensure that you know this difference and to see if you employ a CIA in your information security practices

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When asked about an acronym, you should first define the acronym and briefly describe what it means. Then discuss how you use the concept in your work. It may also be helpful to provide an example of its use from your previous roles.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Technical

    40. What are some of the differences between a black hat and a white hat testing?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Even though this question is more related to software development, testing is also used to determine the security of a network. Interviewers will ask you about the differences between black and white hat testing to confirm your knowledge of these processes and possibly learn which one of these you find more effective. By asking the question, the interviewer indicates that they currently use these processes to verify the security of their systems or are considering adopting this practice.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      One of the key issues information security managers face is preventing hackers from accessing the organization's information technologies. Knowing the difference between black hat and white hat testing is fundamental in this role. As an experienced information security manager, you should be able to easily answer this question. You should also be prepared for a follow-up question from the interviewer asking your preference between these. Make sure you can validate your choice using sound reasoning or experience in your previous jobs.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Technical

    41. What is the purpose of a POST code, and where can you locate it for a specific system?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      During an interview, you will speak with several individuals from across the organization. This usually starts with a conversation with the HR professional who screens candidates before passing them along to the hiring manager and other interviewers within the organization. Most of the questions will be technical or operational once you make it to the second or third round. Knowing this enables you to prepare for each interview by focusing on the types of questions they are likely to ask you. Technical questions like this one are typically asked by the hiring manager or other individuals in the information security organization.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When preparing for an interview, review different questions you are likely to be asked. HR professionals tend to ask discovery and behavioral questions to verify your background and determine how good a fit you will be for their organization. Hiring managers and your future peers in the information security organization will ask technical and operational questions to determine your knowledge, experience, and how you go about doing this job.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Technical

    42. Do you believe SSL provides adequate data encryption?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers like to ask your opinion about the effectiveness of different network security practices. This gives them an idea of which of these practices you prefer and whether these are the same as the ones used by their organization. They also expect you to be able to justify your opinion using well-reasoned logic and experience with the technology.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When answering a question in which the interviewer asks your opinion, be prepared to justify or validate your answer. The interviewer is likely to ask you a follow-up question about why you believe what you stated is true. They are probably more interested in your ability to defend your answer than they are in your opinion.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Technical

    43. Can you discuss the differences between symmetric and asymmetric encryption?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      As the interview progresses, the technical questions will become more challenging. Interviewers typically start with basic technical questions to confirm your capabilities and the information you provided in your resume. Once they are confident in your abilities, they will ask more challenging questions to test the depth of your knowledge and experience. However, interviewers can ask either easy or difficult technical questions at any point during the interview, so you need to be prepared for both types.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When responding to any technical question, keep your answer brief and to the point regardless of its difficulty. The more you elaborate on an answer, the more likely you are to make a mistake or provide inaccurate information. Keeping your answers brief enables the interviewer to either move on to the next question or ask you a follow-up question.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Technical

    44. What are the security-related benefits of using SSH on a Windows PC?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      During an interview, the interviewer will ask you many technical questions related to information security. These help the interviewer determine the depth of your knowledge, your experience projecting an organization's IT assets and data, and the specific technologies you are familiar with. They also want to confirm that you have experience working with their organization's technologies, processes, and procedures.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When preparing for an interview, it is highly recommended that you spend time reviewing the technologies, processes, and procedures used by information security managers. Even though you have a great deal of experience in this area, reviewing these will refresh your familiarity with them. This will enable you to respond to the interviewer's questions quickly and accurately.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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  • Technical

    45. How would you use traceroute to locate a network communication issue?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This is a hybrid technical and operational question. The interviewer asks about a technology used in this profession and how you use it to do your job. By asking the question, they indicate that they use this process in their current information security operations. The interviewer wants to confirm that you are familiar with the process and know how to use it.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When responding to a technical, operational, or hybrid question, keep your answer short and to the point. Resist the temptation to elaborate on the answer or provide additional details to demonstrate your proficiency with this technology. The interviewer will ask you a follow-up question if they need additional information or want to explore the topic in more detail.

      Written by William Swansen on April 20th, 2022

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