Online interview

Acing an Online Interview

Think about all the things you did one year ago in person: grocery shopping, studying, working, and even going to yoga class! While some of them are back to normal, some are still done remotely. Our life has changed enormously! 

Online interviews are no exception. In fact, even before COVID took place, many organizations had decided to start having online meetings with their job applicants. Not only is it easier for both parties involved to just click on a link and join a meeting rather than driving there and open enough time in their agendas; but it is time-saving, and opens the doors to more candidates as it gives the opportunity to anyone, around the world, to apply for that job.  

Although the essence of an online interview is basically the same as one hosted in-person, there are some details that you need to look out for if you want to make a great impression. But do not worry, we are here to help you. In this blog post, we give you 8 tips that will help you ace this first meeting and get the job.  

8 Tips For An Online Interview 

1- Interview Rules Still Apply 

Just because you are home, does not mean you can be in your sweat pants and laying on the couch. If you want to make a great first, second, or third impression you have to dress accordingly. Don’t forget to even wear shoes, this will help your mind understand that you are in “work mode”.  

2- Do a Test-Run 

The first thing you need to figure out is what system will be used to connect you to the online interview (Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, or even a WhatsApp video call), make sure you have downloaded it to your computer, and that it is working correctly. Also, check that your microphone and speakers are set and running, and a few minutes before the meeting starts, make sure your internet connection is working fine (try having a backup option).  

3- Do Not Let Distractions In 

Try having this meeting from a place where you would not get interrupted by outside noise, the sound of a TV, or your cell phone. You need to be fully concentrated so you can answer all the questions you are getting in the best way possible.  

Let your family or roommates know what you will be doing so they don’t open the door and make noise. Some recruiters understand that your kids can be at home making noise, but it is best for you to try to be in a place that is as quiet as possible.  

4- Work on Your Background 

Remember this is a work interview, you do not want a messy house or an unmade bed to keep you from getting that job. Try placing your computer or mobile device somewhere you can sit and have a neutral background, it can be a white or colored wall, a desk, or even a bookshelf. Just do not let it be a source of distraction.  

5- Prepare Your Answers 

Just as you would do for an in-person interview, take some time to prepare answers for the commonly asked questions. Think of examples of how you have used some of the frequent traits, skills, or even technology concepts in the past.  

Try writing down some easy-to-read/remember notes that can help you while talking to the person that is hosting the interview. And while you are at it, try to think and write some questions you want to ask about the organization, the role, and the industry.  

6- Get The Perfect Lighting 

If possible, stick to a place that has a great source of natural light, and if you can sit in front of it, even better. This will help you show the most natural colors, and highlight your eyes and facial features. If you do not have access to a place like this, then try to avoid being in the dark by placing a source of light on each one of your sides.  

7- It Is Important That The Interviewer Can See You 

When joining a video call we tend to fix the computer in a way that you can see everyone on the screen (and we even spend more time looking at ourselves than others), but during an online interview, this cannot happen. You need to prioritize the camera, remember he/she is evaluating the way you talk, your expressions, and even your background. So try to position your computer, and the place where you will be sitting, in a way that you are comfortable and they can get a perfect display.  

8- Check the Time Zone 

While it may seem obvious, one of the most common misunderstandings when joining an online meeting is the time. Confirm the time with the person you are meeting and make sure to check, and double-check, the equivalent for your location. You want to avoid the need to reschedule for something that could have been prevented.  

As a bonus, we want to remind you to speak naturally, to see the other person in the eyes, to watch for the gestures, and to talk slowly in a way that they can understand you.  

We hope these tips can help you ace that interview. 

LinkedIn

How to Use LinkedIn For Professional Growth

Although LinkedIn has been in our lives for several years now, not everyone understands its true value or how to use it. Some of you might even have a profile with just your name on it or those who log in once or twice per year. But, the time has demonstrated that when used the right way, this social network can become a very important asset for your professional growth. It can help you keep in touch with old colleagues, it can help you find that job you have always dreamed of, it can help you make new connections and expand your network.  

In this post, we want to share with you some tips to create a powerful profile, understand why, how, and who you need to engage with and start growing your professional network.  

The Power of LinkedIn 

With over 740 million active users, LinkedIn leads the 2020 ranking for Digital Trust, way over Facebook, Twitter, and even YouTube, meaning that out of the nine major social platforms, it is the one most trusted by its users.   

The most recent statistics of this social network presents some interesting facts that are worth knowing:  

  • Its audience is built mostly by men between the ages of 25 to 49  
  • 49% of its users are people who earn over $75,000 annually.  
  • 51% of its users have at least a college degree 
  • 4 out 5 users are decision makers in their businesses 

In other words, these are the people with who you want to connect. Not only they are the ones who can offer you a better work opportunity, but they can recommend you for other job offers. Having an online presence and engaging with the right people can open the doors to a world filled with career opportunities.  

Using LinkedIn for Your Professional Growth 

To help you make the most out of this social network, we crafted 6 tips that will help you make your profile more robust so it starts appearing in front of the right people.  

1- Create a Powerful Profile 

Consider this as your first impression, you need to make the most out of it. The first thing you should do is upload a professional profile picture, our best advice here is to use one in which you are wearing the appropriate clothing and with a neutral or office-like background. Make sure it is in high resolution and with natural soft light. Be the only one in the picture, and let your face take at least 60% of the frame, you want people to know exactly who you are.  

Once you have the right picture, you need to work on your headline. Think of this as a 120-character elevator pitch. Some people like talking about what makes them different, others about the benefits they add to their customers, others about their role in a determined company. You choose whatever makes you comfortable, just try to avoid buzzwords, typos, and write something that catches the eye of the reader.  

Now you have to start completing all the information related to your education and work experience. Take advantage of the description area to talk about your experience, the projects you worked on, and the results you got. When possible try adding a link or an attachment. Don’t forget to mention the different publications you have done, and the certifications and titles you have earned all along the way, as well as any volunteering experience you might have.  

2- Connect With Others 

Once you have completed filling out all the fields of your profile, you need to start sending connection invites. A good starting point is your friends and family, but as this is a social network for business, we suggest you continue with your co-workers (present and past), your classmates, and people you know from your industry. 

A great idea is to send invites to those people who have shared posts you have found interesting. You can add a note saying how much you appreciated his comment and that you would like to connect so you can read more of his opinions.  

If someone you don’t know sends you an invite, make sure to check his profile before you reject it. He/she might be a connection that is worth accepting.  

Word of advice: when sending invitations to people you don’t know, try to add a short text of why you think you two should connect. You can mention what you do and how you can help each other. Personalize it.   

Once you get 500 contacts you have reached the golden number for LinkedIn. From now on your profile will show a +500 next to your name and only you will be able to see the exact number of connections that you have. 

3- Be Active  

Just like any other social network, it is not enough just to have a profile on it, you need to actively participate by sharing content and engaging with posts from others. Share links with information relevant to your industry, share a comment about some recent study, share an update about your organization. The sky is the limit, just make sure it is relevant to your network.  

Just a piece of advice, the ideal number of posts you should be doing on LinkedIn is 1 every business day. So try to arrange in your daily schedule spending time in this network, you can log in every morning, spend some time reading what your connections have posted and share an update.  

4- Ask For Recommendations 

Try asking for recommendations from different people you have worked with to give recruiters a better view of how you can execute different situations. You can ask your previous co-workers, managers, members of your team, clients, and senior leaders.  

When you send them the request from LinkedIn, try adding some context of what you are looking for from their recommendation. Be as explicit as you can. For example, you can tell them to point out different skills that you have,  how you handled a specific situation, or to talk about a specific project.  

5- Follow Companies 

One of the great benefits of LinkedIn is that you can follow a company and get notified about their updates on business opportunities, new features, announcements, and even job opportunities. Start by following those you think can be helpful for you, perhaps Indeed or Glassdoor are great options. Then, you can add those that share inspiring content such as TedTalks and Forbes. Later,  you can add those that are the most followed like Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft. Don’t limit yourself, if you want to apply for jobs in a determined industry then start following companies where you would like to apply.  

6- Join Groups 

One thing you should not miss from LinkedIn is the groups. Groups are the perfect place to connect with people, outside of your network, with similar interests. There are a lot of options out there, so make sure you have a list of topics you want to follow and look for groups related to them. There you will be able to share updates, ask questions, and read anything the other members post.  

With these 6 steps, you will have a better chance of growing your professional network and reaching those people that can help you achieve all of your work-related goals.  

Online Learning

6 Tips to Make Online Learning More Effective

We have said it in the past: online studying has far more benefits than you can think of. Not only does it allows you to enroll in classes from the comfort of your home or office, in any university or academy around the world, but it gives you the flexibility needed to keep your full-time job and balance your personal commitments.  

Yet, you do need to be prepared for the responsibility you are taking. Remember, just because it is online, it does not mean that it is going to be less demanding. You will have to attend class, and you will have to deliver your assignment on time. You will have to spend hours studying and practicing. You have to work to earn your degree or certification.  

At CyberWarrior, we have had a year full of online Bootcamps, and we have seen our students approach online learning in so many different ways that we decided to come up with a list of tips that will help you get the most value out of this experience. 

1- Create an Exclusive Space for Studying 

Just because you are taking this program from home, it does not mean that you can just lay on the couch while listening to the instructor. Having an exclusive space to study will help your brain understand what you should do: pay attention to classes.  

Make sure you have a desk with all the things you need (laptop, good Wi-Fi connection, notebook, and pen, etc.), a comfortable chair that rests your back, natural light, and most importantly, ask your roommates or family to respect it as a “quiet zone.”  

2- Schedule Online Learning Time and Breaks 

One of the best and worst things about an online class is that you have the freedom to do things at the time that best fits you. It will be no problem for those who master time management skills, but things can get messy for those who lack them.  

We suggest that you block time on your weekly calendar to attend classes, study and practice, complete your assignments, and, just as important, take a break. Try to stick to certain hours per week; making it a routine will help.  

Set reminders in your phone and calendar so that you don’t forget that you have something coming up that needs to be done.  

3- Actively Participate in Classes and Discussions 

Don’t let the fear of public speaking keep you from participating in classes. Make sure you ask all the questions you might have while the instructor is online, check with your classmates when doing an assignment, share a comment in the online forum, or post an interesting link. Not only will this help you retain more information, but consider it as the first step towards creating connections that will help you in your professional life.  

4- Set Achievable Goals for Online Learning

When taking online classes, you need to be responsible for completing your assignments on time. You won’t have anyone reminding you to do them. Our word of advice is to set some weekly goals of what you want to accomplish and set some long-term goals. For example, if you should earn a specific certification during this program, make sure you set a deadline for when you want to take the test and pass it.  

This will help you be more organized, understand what you are supposed to be working on, and avoid leaving all the work at the last minute.  

5- Maintain Healthy Habits 

We know you are working full time and studying, but that does not mean that you will forget about your family and friends, about your body and your health. You need to make sure that you spend time every day exercising, putting your mind to rest, and enjoying time away from your desk.  

Consider these moments as energy boosters. Just be mindful about the time you dedicate to work, studying, and relaxing.  

6- Work on Your Network 

At CyberWarrior Academy, we are true believers in the power of good networking. The people who study and work with you are the ones who truly understand what you are capable of doing, and they are the ones who will hire or recommend you for a job. They are the ones who will open the doors for you.  

So don’t let online classes keep you from getting to know the other students, even the instructors. Connect with them in private chats, help them when they need it, approach them when you have questions.  

Online learning is here to stay. You have to find what tips and tricks work best for you and choose a program that fits your needs.  

Ransomware Attack

Are Ransomware Attacks Becoming Uninsurable?

When you read about how many ransomware attacks have happened over the last months, you start to wonder: are cyber insurances making things even worse? The situation appears to be a never-ending cycle in which an organization hires a cyber insurance company. Cyber-criminals perform their attack, the insurance pays the ransom, the organizations renew their service with an increase in the fee, and so on. But what is really happening? What is exactly the role of cyber insurance? Is it really making things worse? 

What is a Ransomware Attack?  

Before we start answering those questions, we believe it is appropriate for us to share an explanation of ransomware attacks. These are types of malware that encrypt your information, databases, and/or applications in exchange for a ransom. It is an illegal procedure that can quickly stop your organization, causing extreme damage to your operations, reputation, and finances.  

Although the perpetrators always ask for a high amount of money so you can gain access back and give a certain amount of time to pay them, almost no one wants to pay them and work with their cybersecurity partners to look for ways to gain back access to their systems and files. There are times when there are no other options. We have seen organizations with no way of recovering the data lost or getting the systems back and running. Also, some have been threatened with making sensitive information public,  so they had to sit down and negotiate with the criminals.  

Just this year, we have seen how many large organizations have fallen victim, putting the people of our country at risk,  giving millions of dollars to the criminals.  

What Is The Role of Cyber Insurance?  

While the attacks are getting more targeted and more serious (just last year, there were over 65,000 attacks in the US), more organizations are looking to upskill their cybersecurity defenses. One way is to hire more talented and specialized personnel and add an extra layer of security by getting a cybersecurity insurance policy.  

Cyber insurance is no other than a contract that you, as an organization, can purchase to help reduce the risks associated with the online world. It usually covers your business’ liability for a data breach, including legal counseling and defense, a digital forensics team, incident response costs, costs to restore operations and recover lost assets, crisis communications, and even ransom amounts.  

In other words, in case your organization suffers a ransomware attack, with a cyber insurance, you will be able to pay the criminals and gain access back to your systems while also getting an amount for the costs associated with this situation.  

This has generated a discussion about the responsibility of cyber insurance. Is it an incentive for more ransomware attacks? Or is it a great way of protecting an organization?  

Cyber Insurance: What Should Happen Now? 

You need to understand that when cyber criminals gain access to your systems, they will know if you have an insurance policy and how much it will cover in terms of ransom. They are not going to ask anything below what you can pay them. That is why these policies are getting that much negative criticism.  

While some people believe that there should be no ransomware insurance at all, we believe that not everything is black or white. Recently, French authorities started questioning the role of cyber insurance in the sudden growth of these attacks, a comment that was followed by the decision of AXA, a global insurer, that they would not continue reimbursing companies for ransomware payments to criminals.  

But is this really the solution? By eliminating this coverage, you are putting at risk every organization, especially the smaller ones. Anyone can fall victim, but not everyone has the means to recover from it. 

We believe that every insurance policy should come with a list of security best practices that organizations need to implement (such as using Multi-Factor Authentication, security controls, identity and access management, employee training) to improve their security posture avoid the risks. Insurance companies should also share the lessons learned from other experiences as a way of helping their clients easily identify risks and better protect themselves.  

It is a matter of working as teams, where clients and insurance firms have the same goal: fighting cyber-crime.

5 Reasons Why You Should Learn Cybersecurity In Your 40s

5 Reasons Why You Should Learn Cybersecurity In Your 40s

More often than not, in our CyberSecurity Bootcamp admissions process, we get candidates unsure of making the step towards cybersecurity because of their age. While they understand all the reasons why this is such an attractive and rewarding field, they keep asking us, “will I get hired once I get trained and certified?”

During our conversations with them, we usually explain all the reasons why they should take this step. Not only will they see major upgrades in their lifestyle as they will start earning better salaries, but there is a higher level of satisfaction than in any other field just by knowing that with your work, you are protecting your organization, its clients, and stakeholders from falling victim to a cyber-attack.  

During the past few months, we have seen how more and more people are struggling with this age barrier, so we want to share with all of you out there the top 5 reasons why you should definitely take the step into cybersecurity. Just remember, you need to get the right training, lots of hands-on experience, and industry certifications so you can start working as a cybersecurity professional. 

5 Reason Why Cybersecurity Is For People In Their 40’s 

1- You Will Get a Job  

As we just said, the most common barrier for making a career switch to cybersecurity is to doubt if they will get hired or not. The truth is that this is a field with a growing talent gap, in fact, the open job count after the first year of the pandemic now stands at $4.1 million worldwide, while in the USA is right over 500,000, and to make things even more interesting the unemployment rate for this field is 0%, meaning there are more available job positions than candidates to fill them.  

In other words, if you commit to getting trained and certified for cybersecurity, you will get a job. Remember that you will need to adapt to this new field where your co-workers and even bosses will be younger than you. Just make sure that every time you meet a recruiter, you demonstrate your commitment, the soft skills you have learned during your past experiences, and the certifications you have earned.  

2- You Have Soft Skills That Many Young Professionals Have Not Developed Yet 

Your experience probably helped you develop different skills that are highly valued in cybersecurity professionals. Attention to detail, problem-solving skills, and the ability to communicate (both verbal and in writing) are part of the skills recruiters are looking for. But if you add your experience in customer service, legal, management, marketing, or whatever field you were in before, you have more to add to the team than someone just starting their professional life.  

It is very important that when you get to an interview and you start negotiating your salary, you keep your expectations down to earth. Recruiters understand that your experience is worth the investment, but they also know this is an entry-level role. So, you need to decide if you can accept an entry-level salary for a certain period or not. Just remember that for cybersecurity, that means something around $70,000 per year, and as you start gaining experience, knowledge, and certifications, it will keep growing.   

3- You Can learn the Technical Pieces Of Cybersecurity in Just 6 Months 

The learning curve for cybersecurity is not that long. In fact, in just six months, you can earn all the knowledge, hands-on experience, and certifications required to work as a cybersecurity analyst. Even recruiters and hiring managers realize that great candidates can be either those who have a degree in cybersecurity or related fields, as well as those who come from bootcamps and shorter education programs.  

What other career allows you to do a switch in months?  

4- This Is a Field That Does Not Require Advanced Degrees 

As we mentioned before, you do not need to invest years and money in degrees to earn the knowledge and experience needed to land your first job. What you do need to demonstrate is that you are a passionate student who will keep learning and earning certifications regularly. This is a field that is in constant evolution, and you need to be able to keep up with the pace.  

5- Employers Want To Hire Committed People  

Millennials and the pandemic have changed the way people see life. For younger generations, what really matters is having time to spend on themselves and their loved ones, while older generations highly value their work and are very committed to their organizations and responsibilities. We are not saying that one is better than the other, but passion and dedication are highly appreciated when it comes to recruiting someone for cybersecurity.  

Getting into cybersecurity will require you to dedicate an enormous amount of time to studying and practicing. Still, when you see the results of your investments, you will be more than happy that you decided to go down this path.  

Professionals in this area have a high level of satisfaction with what they are doing. They have seen an improvement in the quality of their lives and what they have to offer to their families while earning very competitive salaries. So, the only question left to ask is: Are you ready to become a cybersecurity professional?