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Pre-Interviewing

At this point, I have covered how to create a job role, the different types of roles that exist in the industry, the job roles associated with SOC services, and how both soft skills and technical skills (and perhaps security clearance) should be considered for a job role. You can use all of these factors to develop job requests for the positions that you need to fill as you launch new SOC services or grow existing SOC services. Now it is time to look at how to fill job roles in your SOC with the right people by executing a successful interviewing process.

You will want to create a filtering system to avoid wasting time interviewing unqualified candidates for any job role you are looking to fill. According to a study by ISACA, 57% of respondents note the lack of qualification of half of the candidates they have hired. This feedback translates to half of the candidates seen by ISACA’s survey were found to not be able to perform the skills advertised on their resume during the interview process! Qualifying skills is a critical step of the interview process and must be done for any skill required to perform the job you are looking to fill. Candidates will list anything on their resume, from how long they worked in a position to the type of work that they performed; however, it is up to you to validate whether the provided information is true. Make sure to do this early using a prescreening process that includes one or more knockout questions to filter out unqualified candidates.

Candidates can provide proof of their skills through certifications and degrees, which might or might not be current, valid, or completed. Verifying industry-recognized certifications and degrees from accredited universities will be easy and can be done by visiting the provider’s website or using a validation service as long as you have the candidate’s full name, certification number, and date of graduation if applicable. For example, you can consult the National Student Clearinghouse (https://www.studentclearinghouse.org/) to verify a degree from an accredited school was obtained by a candidate. Verifying certifications and degrees can also be used as part of the knockout process.

Verifying work experience can be more challenging based on what is provided as a reference point. Things will change over time, including the status of people who worked with the candidate and the status of the organization the candidate worked at, sometimes causing a reference to no longer be available. Some candidates will also ask that you not contact their current employer until an offer is provided, prohibiting any validation of their current skillsets. If you can’t speak with the direct manager of a current candidate, ask the candidate if you can contact a coworker or other party that can validate the skills you are looking for in your potential candidate.

Avoid using language during any job postings or during a live interview that includes preference for a particular gender, race, age, religion, or other such status. For example, posting “we are looking for a young and energetic team member” would suggest age discrimination based on the use of “young” and “energetic.” You can highlight your organization’s view of providing an unbiased recruiting process externally by stating you are an “equal opportunity employer” or stating “nothing in the job posting or description should be construed as an offer or guarantee of employment” in your job posting and during a live interview. Keeping your hiring process unbiased will not only attract a diverse pool of candidates but also help avoid unwanted legal matters in regard to violating people’s rights.

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