A virtual interview guide for hiring managers in Information and Cyber Security

In The Cyber Security Skills Gap And How To Attract Candidates report we have seen 61% of candidates prefer interviews that incorporate phone, video and in-person interviews. According to Forbes, 54% believe virtual interviews resulted in a speedier recruitment process with 41% saying it helped them identify the best candidates, due to accessibility and the option to schedule more interviews in a day. If you’re a hiring manager and want to start using virtual interviews to meet with potential candidates, here are a few tips that can help you be an effective virtual interviewer.

Prepare and test your technology

One of the best ways to help a virtual interview run smoothly is to make sure the technology you plan to use functions correctly. To do so, you can set up the area where you plan to conduct the interview and test each piece of equipment you want to use.

Give clear directions to job candidates

Some virtual interviews might require cyber security candidates to take extra steps to attend, such as creating an account for an application or signing into a virtual waiting room. To help candidates feel prepared and comfortable, provide detailed instructions about what they can do to get ready and take part in the interview.

Calendar invite

As the interviewer and the candidate in a virtual interview are typically in different places, it’s important to make sure everyone remembers the date and time they need to be available. When sending a calendar invitation, include the candidate’s name, email address, date, time, and a link to the meeting.

Prepare your questions beforehand

It’s often a common practice for hiring managers to build a list of questions that they can use during interviews. Ensure questions asked are relatable to the Information and Cyber Security role and ask regarding their past experiences within their previous roles (ensure you look at their CV beforehand to create personalised questions).

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Be transparent throughout

It is key to be transparent throughout the interview process to ensure that a candidate is aware of any information that might affect their decision to accept a job. For example, advertising a position as working from home but wanting to come to the office twice a week. Also mention the key benefits that come with the role, for example working from home, wellness programmes and flexible working hours. Sharing these types of details can build trust and provide candidates with more information about a company.

Highlight your company's culture

Company culture is often an important factor in accepting a job, as they would prefer a work environment that suits their personality. A virtual interview doesn’t allow to physically introduction a candidate to the company’s culture, it is important to talk about it in detail. For example, describing the atmosphere of the office, explaining the company’s values and sharing stories from impactful company events, like fundraisers or team-building events.

Use a rating system

Many hiring managers use virtual interviews because it can allow them to schedule more interviews in a day rather than hosting in-person meetings. Therefore, it can be helpful to establish a rating system for every candidate interviewed. This could include awarding points for specific types of answers or recording whether candidates mention points of expertise or skills. Having a standard rating system that can apply to all candidates can make evaluating them quick and easy, especially if you experience a higher volume of interviews.


Feedback for both candidates and companies is important.

    • Candidates – after each interview stage candidates need to receive detailed feedback with 73% of candidates strongly agreeing and 37% agreeing. This is an incredibly important statistic as the importance of employer branding and candidate experience are hugely important in today’s employment market.
    • Clients – encouraging candidates to provide feedback on the virtual interview process can help a hiring manager identify which of their methods is most effective. This will also make candidates feel comfortable during their interviews by showing them that you value their opinions and might improve the quality of future virtual interviews.


It is not common for businesses overall to invest in training for staff in cyber roles (only 24%). However, is it seen that 94% of candidates are happy to take additional training to learn new regulations or skills to enhance their career. If there is an option for training to be provided it is vital to explain this further, for example if it is CISSP or general in-house training.

Next steps

After conducting the virtual interview, it can be important to make sure the candidate is aware of the next steps in the hiring process, especially if they need to take any actions. For example, to submit additional materials or to wait till next week to find out if they are through to the next interview stage.

To prepare a new cyber security professional for success in their role and to retain long term, CISOs must collaborate with their HR leaders to carefully plan and diligently execute structured onboarding processes that cover everything from basic new employee paperwork to briefing them on processes and people critical to their long-term job role success. Here we have put together a checklist on How To Onboard A Remote Employee Successfully to guide you.