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Hackernoon logoHow To Prepare For A Cybersecurity Manager Job Interview by@mikeprivette

How To Prepare For A Cybersecurity Manager Job Interview

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@mikeprivetteMike Privette

I couldn't find any good resources on how to interview prep for a management role in cybersecurity, so I decided to make one.

There are so many good resources on acing the technical interviews for individual contributor positions in cybersecurity and other tech roles, but I couldn’t find anything about getting prepped to interview for a Cybersecurity Manager position.

Managerial Concepts

For the sake of this post, I’m considering a “manager position” to be one that has leadership accountability for a team of people and the HR responsibility to hire/coach/fire them.

Becoming a manager in any field typically requires a person to demonstrate a lot of skills that have nothing to do with the team of people they are leading.

But at the same time, with tech teams, you have to also demonstrate enough “street cred” to lead a team of more technical people. You have to be able to talk shop, understand enough of the "how", while also filtering and translating direction and strategy outwards and upwards.

Getting Ready for the Interview

For the interview, you'll be expected to speak about your principles and approaches one wide range of non-technical topics. You should come prepared to talk about the following:

  • Your management style
  • Your perceived weaknesses
  • How you motivate and lead teams

Be prepared to speak in summaries about:

  • How you drive and manage work
  • How you engage and convince stakeholders
  • How you manage expectations upwards

Be prepared to speak in more depth about:

  • What you are passionate about
  • What kinds of problems you like to solve
  • Where you feel you provide the most value
  • How you get support from the people you lead

Be prepared to come with examples of:

  • How you reduced risk through strategic planning
  • How you made security easier for your end users
  • How you enabled the business in a secure way

How far you can go in a management career will always be bounded by your ability to convince all the people involved that you know the best way to navigate to a successful outcome.

Other Resources that Can Help

Here are some of my favorite resources to get you prepared to think and act as both a leader (which anyone can do) and a manager in the cybersecurity field:

Most of this is stuff you can't fake, at least not for long. You have to have real experience navigating these things and proving yourself, but you'll never get the chance if you don't sell yourself when you have the shot.

Previously published at


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