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Urgent: Second interview help pls

TLDR: What should I expect from and how should I prepare for my second entry-level cybersecurity analyst interview after the first (technical) one?

Basically, I had my first interview with the company I want to work for earlier this week. I'm in cybersecurity so it was a technical interview with two of the more senior guys on the cybersecurity defence team. I then got a call earlier today from the recruiter saying that the interview went really well and they really liked me and want another interview sometime next week which would most likely be an 'informal chat to discuss your career aspirations and what you would like to focus on within cybersecurity' but she also mentioned the SOC manager would be in this interview which makes me think there may be more technical/behavioural questions? However she also said the interview would be 'ideally in person so you can see the office and team' which my dad says means I've basically got the job but this is just a formality? So what I want to know is if the first interview was technical already, what should I expect from the second? From what she said it sounds pretty relaxed and like they just want to get to know me better but since the SOC manager is going to be there that makes me wonder if there will end up being more detailed/intense questions, and if so I don't want to get caught out and mess up by being too complacent. I really need this job and am very excited to work for the company in question in particular so if anyone has any advice as to what to expect and how to prepare that would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance.

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Original post by spill_the_tea
TLDR: What should I expect from and how should I prepare for my second entry-level cybersecurity analyst interview after the first (technical) one?

Basically, I had my first interview with the company I want to work for earlier this week. I'm in cybersecurity so it was a technical interview with two of the more senior guys on the cybersecurity defence team. I then got a call earlier today from the recruiter saying that the interview went really well and they really liked me and want another interview sometime next week which would most likely be an 'informal chat to discuss your career aspirations and what you would like to focus on within cybersecurity' but she also mentioned the SOC manager would be in this interview which makes me think there may be more technical/behavioural questions? However she also said the interview would be 'ideally in person so you can see the office and team' which my dad says means I've basically got the job but this is just a formality? So what I want to know is if the first interview was technical already, what should I expect from the second? From what she said it sounds pretty relaxed and like they just want to get to know me better but since the SOC manager is going to be there that makes me wonder if there will end up being more detailed/intense questions, and if so I don't want to get caught out and mess up by being too complacent. I really need this job and am very excited to work for the company in question in particular so if anyone has any advice as to what to expect and how to prepare that would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance.


First interviews are technical. Second interviews are about personal fit. Your Dad is wrong, you haven't got the job, but you are up to spec technically. Now they want to know if you will fit in to the existing team. So the interview won't be about your hobbies and fun stuff, it will include how you would go about workplace tasks. The questions will be more about teamwork, initiative etc rather than full on technical skills.
Original post by threeportdrift
First interviews are technical. Second interviews are about personal fit. Your Dad is wrong, you haven't got the job, but you are up to spec technically. Now they want to know if you will fit in to the existing team. So the interview won't be about your hobbies and fun stuff, it will include how you would go about workplace tasks. The questions will be more about teamwork, initiative etc rather than full on technical skills.

Ahh I see, thank you very much for your response.

If I already had some behavioural and teamwork questions in the technical interview and this is supposed to be my final interview, should I still expect more behavioural questions? I just find them a bit intimidating because with technical questions you just have to know your stuff but with behavioural you have to recall relevant scenarios quickly and sometimes I haven't had the relevant experience to answer those questions suitably. How can I best prepare for this interview, could you please point me towards resources that will assist me in my job-seeking endeavors?

Also is it not a good sign that the recruiter said the interviewers had nothing but praise for me following the first interview, and that they want to show me the office and team? Would it not be safe to assume that they want me to join their company too, or should I still be on my guard so to speak?
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 3
Original post by spill_the_tea
Ahh I see, thank you very much for your response.

If I already had some behavioural and teamwork questions in the technical interview and this is supposed to be my final interview, should I still expect more behavioural questions? I just find them a bit intimidating because with technical questions you just have to know your stuff but with behavioural you have to recall relevant scenarios quickly and sometimes I haven't had the relevant experience to answer those questions suitably. How can I best prepare for this interview, could you please point me towards resources that will assist me in my job-seeking endeavors?

Also is it not a good sign that the recruiter said the interviewers had nothing but praise for me following the first interview, and that they want to show me the office and team? Would it not be safe to assume that they want me to join their company too, or should I still be on my guard so to speak?

In answer to your last 2 questions, Yes, it sounds like they like you and might give you an offer. No, do not assume ANYTHING! remain professional and formal i.e respectful and polite and on your guard throughout the entire process and beyond! Good luck.
(edited 1 year ago)
As above, 2nd interviews are usually to see if they like you, will fit into the team and culture and whether they can stand seeing your face every morning

In short, it’s yours to lose as they are looking more for reasons to discard than to offer (they will likely have 3 or 4 people to 2nd interview all of whom can do the job so they are looking for ways to whittle it down to 1)

So, no outlandish behaviour, be polite but also be yourself

If it’s an in person interview then one question you can ask is “can I meet the team?” It shows yore really interested… plus you can see if there’s anyone you really wouldn’t want to work with. Whatever your thoughts, if you do meet the team then, after the team session, say to the interviewer “oh, they’re really nice, I like them” or similar whether you liked them or not.

The strategy above doesn’t offer them any reason to reject you but reinforces your claim to be the one to be hired.

Good luck
Original post by Makro
In answer to your last 2 questions, Yes, it sounds like they like you and might give you an offer. No, do not assume ANYTHING! remain professional and formal i.e respectful and polite and on your guard throughout the entire process and beyond! Good luck.

Thank you, that is quite reassuring - do you have any tips as to how I can adequately prepare for this interview?
Original post by Johnny Valentine
As above, 2nd interviews are usually to see if they like you, will fit into the team and culture and whether they can stand seeing your face every morning

In short, it’s yours to lose as they are looking more for reasons to discard than to offer (they will likely have 3 or 4 people to 2nd interview all of whom can do the job so they are looking for ways to whittle it down to 1)

So, no outlandish behaviour, be polite but also be yourself

If it’s an in person interview then one question you can ask is “can I meet the team?” It shows yore really interested… plus you can see if there’s anyone you really wouldn’t want to work with. Whatever your thoughts, if you do meet the team then, after the team session, say to the interviewer “oh, they’re really nice, I like them” or similar whether you liked them or not.

The strategy above doesn’t offer them any reason to reject you but reinforces your claim to be the one to be hired.

Good luck

Thank you for your response. Yes I do believe they quite like me already as the recruiter mentioned several rather lovely things the interviewers said about me afterwards, and that the team manager was sending smiley faces in his emails about me! So as for my suitability within the team and company culture I think I'm fine.

They did ask if I could do an in-person interview to see the team and office - which I took as a good sign - but were also willing to do another virtual interview as they understand I live very far from the head office and the role is remote anyway.

Is there anything in particular I should prepare for before this interview though, are there any specific questions they're likely to ask (especially behavioural!)? Any tips as to how I can adequately prepare would be much appreciated.
Reply 7
Just prepare as much as you can. Read a little bit more about the role and the company maybe check their annual accounts?
Listen carefully, ask appropriate questions, e.g

Ask more about the role
Ask them about the team you might be working with
Ask any question that comes to mind about the company and its vision and how your role might feed into that.
Original post by Makro
Just prepare as much as you can. Read a little bit more about the role and the company maybe check their annual accounts?
Listen carefully, ask appropriate questions, e.g

Ask more about the role
Ask them about the team you might be working with
Ask any question that comes to mind about the company and its vision and how your role might feed into that.

Okay that is quite helpful, I will take your advice on board. Thank you again for taking the time to respond to me, have a nice day :smile:
Original post by spill_the_tea
Thank you for your response. Yes I do believe they quite like me already as the recruiter mentioned several rather lovely things the interviewers said about me afterwards, and that the team manager was sending smiley faces in his emails about me! So as for my suitability within the team and company culture I think I'm fine.

They did ask if I could do an in-person interview to see the team and office - which I took as a good sign - but were also willing to do another virtual interview as they understand I live very far from the head office and the role is remote anyway.

Is there anything in particular I should prepare for before this interview though, are there any specific questions they're likely to ask (especially behavioural!)? Any tips as to how I can adequately prepare would be much appreciated.

In terms of questions they may ask you, I wouldn’t worry too much.

The technical interview goes been done and you say they’ve already asked behavioural ones

I would just wait and see what they say, be yourself and, if they do ask you a stinger say “no one’s ever asked me that before, can I have a moment to think”

They’ll be please that they’ve come up with an original question and will like you praising them for it

If you are serious about the job, I would consider attending in person and making sure they know that you’ve attended as you are keen
Original post by Johnny Valentine
In terms of questions they may ask you, I wouldn’t worry too much.

The technical interview goes been done and you say they’ve already asked behavioural ones

I would just wait and see what they say, be yourself and, if they do ask you a stinger say “no one’s ever asked me that before, can I have a moment to think”

They’ll be please that they’ve come up with an original question and will like you praising them for it

If you are serious about the job, I would consider attending in person and making sure they know that you’ve attended as you are keen

Yes there were maybe 2/3 behavioural questions, questions basically about teamwork, initiative, collaboration, etc. But the fact that there were only a few and the rest were technical, as well as the fact that the manager of the security team is going to be there this time is what has me a bit nervous, like there might be more. I'm just completely unsure as to what to expect, especially since advice online and from YouTube vids is somewhat conflicting with some insisting there will be lots of behavioural q's whilst others seem to suggest that there won't be.

Regardless, I think I'll take your advice because otherwise I'll probably just end up overthinking and working myself up for no reason 😅

As for your last point, I do see where you're coming from but unfortunately it just isn't feasible for me to attend in person at such short notice considering it would take me over 2hrs to travel one way and I cannot drive (which the recruiter knows about and is understanding of). I do think they know that I'm serious though as I've already demonstrated my passion as well as agreeing to work night shifts, so hopefully it isn't an issue lol.

Thank you again for taking the time out to respond to me, I really appreciate it! Have a lovely day :smile:
Original post by spill_the_tea
Yes there were maybe 2/3 behavioural questions, questions basically about teamwork, initiative, collaboration, etc. But the fact that there were only a few and the rest were technical, as well as the fact that the manager of the security team is going to be there this time is what has me a bit nervous, like there might be more. I'm just completely unsure as to what to expect, especially since advice online and from YouTube vids is somewhat conflicting with some insisting there will be lots of behavioural q's whilst others seem to suggest that there won't be.

Regardless, I think I'll take your advice because otherwise I'll probably just end up overthinking and working myself up for no reason 😅

As for your last point, I do see where you're coming from but unfortunately it just isn't feasible for me to attend in person at such short notice considering it would take me over 2hrs to travel one way and I cannot drive (which the recruiter knows about and is understanding of). I do think they know that I'm serious though as I've already demonstrated my passion as well as agreeing to work night shifts, so hopefully it isn't an issue lol.

Thank you again for taking the time out to respond to me, I really appreciate it! Have a lovely day :smile:

You too

If the head of security is there then it’s likely this will be the final interview

So, you know at they like you and are interested in working with you

Just be yourself, show that you are keen, eager to learn and want to help them to be more secure.

The most important thing for any organisation is defence of the realm. They believe it’s clients and customers but, in truth, it doesn’t matter how great your product or service it’s if the business doesn’t exist the next day and all the stakeholders lose their investment. Security that protects the business without affecting its ability to do business is so important.

Working on premises is not so important these days - about 18% of IT people now work remotely and it allows them to hire the best talent… which again should give you hope as they want you even though you don’t live close to the office.

So long as you know your stuff and want to help them deliver a world class security operation, why wouldn’t they hire you!

Good luck
Original post by Johnny Valentine
You too

If the head of security is there then it’s likely this will be the final interview

So, you know at they like you and are interested in working with you

Just be yourself, show that you are keen, eager to learn and want to help them to be more secure.

The most important thing for any organisation is defence of the realm. They believe it’s clients and customers but, in truth, it doesn’t matter how great your product or service it’s if the business doesn’t exist the next day and all the stakeholders lose their investment. Security that protects the business without affecting its ability to do business is so important.

Working on premises is not so important these days - about 18% of IT people now work remotely and it allows them to hire the best talent… which again should give you hope as they want you even though you don’t live close to the office.

So long as you know your stuff and want to help them deliver a world class security operation, why wouldn’t they hire you!

Good luck

That is a huge relief! I don't know how well I would have been able to manage with 3+ interviews haha.

Your advice has been amazing and so valuable, I cannot begin to express my gratitude. Thank you again for all the tips and for putting my mind at ease, I really appreciate it!
Original post by spill_the_tea
That is a huge relief! I don't know how well I would have been able to manage with 3+ interviews haha.

Your advice has been amazing and so valuable, I cannot begin to express my gratitude. Thank you again for all the tips and for putting my mind at ease, I really appreciate it!


Yuur interview starts the minute you arrive so look smart and be polite to everyone - especially those on reception.
Original post by Muttley79
Yuur interview starts the minute you arrive so look smart and be polite to everyone - especially those on reception.

I most likely won't be having an in-person interview due to the distance and remote nature of the role, but thank you :smile:
Original post by spill_the_tea
I most likely won't be having an in-person interview due to the distance and remote nature of the role, but thank you :smile:


I would make the effort to go in person if you can ...
Update: I got the job!
I received a call yesterday from the recruiter saying I was actually up against an internal candidate last minute but I was the stronger candidate and they want to offer me the job :smile: I start at the end of this month. Thanks to everyone for all their advice, I really appreciate it!
Original post by spill_the_tea
Update: I got the job!
I received a call yesterday from the recruiter saying I was actually up against an internal candidate last minute but I was the stronger candidate and they want to offer me the job :smile: I start at the end of this month. Thanks to everyone for all their advice, I really appreciate it!


Well done and congratulations

it always much harder to beat an internal candidate and so you must have seriously impressed them
Original post by Johnny Valentine
Well done and congratulations

it always much harder to beat an internal candidate and so you must have seriously impressed them

Thank you!

And yes I was very surprised to hear that if I'm being honest, especially as I was a bit unsure of myself after the second interview already, but not complaining!
Reply 19
Original post by spill_the_tea
Update: I got the job!
I received a call yesterday from the recruiter saying I was actually up against an internal candidate last minute but I was the stronger candidate and they want to offer me the job :smile: I start at the end of this month. Thanks to everyone for all their advice, I really appreciate it!

Well done :smile:

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