Listen and Respond Accordingly

You made it to the interview. Your resume has done it's job, and now you have an interview with the hiring manager.

You now are further researching the company, and  you are looking up profiles of the people who will be interviewing you. This is all great, so with everything we have on this site, one topic I want to expand on that is very crucial for you getting the job is to listen and to respond accordingly

During the interview you may be asked several questions, one of the type of questions the interviewer may asked are probing type question. These types of questions are answered easily (with practice) when you as the interviewee listens for the question -while thinking what the interviewer is really asking- and then respond with an answer that is related to the job in a very specific manner. 

Interviewer:  Are you familiar with vulnerability scanning? 

Interviewee: *Yes I am. 

*If this is your answer it may cost you a "point" or two.

More than likely the interviewer has read through your resume, and perhaps you have something on it, about you doing vulnerability scans using Qualys to do these scans for example. However, the company you are interviewing at actually uses Nessus and because of your research you know that they use this particular tool for vulnerability scanning, or maybe you don't know what tool they are using.

The point here is that the interviewer is actually trying to ask about what your thoughts are about vulnerability scanners in general since we use a different tool. So let's try this again:

Interviewer:  Are you familiar with vulnerability scanning? 

Interviewee: *Yes I am. On my resume I list that I use Qualys for vulnerability scanning, and I am an expert on it. However, I am really an expert on the process of vulnerability scanning, rankings, etc. With that said I am confident that I can use any type of vulnerability scanning tool, since I am an expert with the process of vulnerability scanning not necessarily "married" to a tool. 

This is a great answer because the interviewer has listened to the probing question, and has responded to the question, but has expanded the answer to show that he or she is willing, able and ready to learn another tool, because they are an expert (if you really are) at the process of vulnerability scanning.

The interviewee is really trying to find out if the interviewer is capable of using their tool. The interviewer has answered directly and qualified themselves as an expert because they are capable of using any tool, because they are an expert at the process not necessarily of the tool.

Listening and responding accordingly may take some practice, but just keep this in mind, when asked a question:

1. "Based on the question what is the interviewer really asking, and how can I answer what they are really asking?"
2. "How can I relate my skills to what this company needs?"

It's a skill but I want you to be ready to answer these types of questions. Always review the job description and the company information. While doing so keep the two points above in your mind and this will help you answer these probing type questions.

Leave a comment below let me know your thoughts.