09 September 2014
Author: The ExecuSearch Group
When preparing for an interview, what are your go-to strategies? An interviewee’s checklist often includes the basics—professional outfit; all necessary documents; and a few stories/talking points about hard skills, experiences, and accomplishments. However, there are several overlooked character traits many forget to emphasize that could potentially make them top candidates for the job. We’ve previously written about how soft skills can be equally as important as, if not more important than, hard skills, but it also takes more than effective communication and leadership skills to make a well-rounded candidate. If you’re looking to make a top-notch impression, it’s time to take your professional presence one step further. Aside from knowing you’re capable of the technical and social aspects of the job, employers want to be confident that you’re passionate about what you’ll be doing. An engaged and happy employee is often a hardworking and productive employee, and therefore, candidates with a clear purpose in what they do are usually the most sought-after. On your next interview, try expressing these three often overlooked character traits to show the hiring manager that you’ll be fully invested in your possible future position: Curiosity. A major mistake some candidates make is focusing too much on proving their worth based on the job’s requirements. Many are often so focused on showing the employer that they’re capable of the job that they forget to gain a thorough understanding of what the job really is. But not only will asking questions about the position help you decide if it’s really for you, it will also show the employer that you’re serious about ensuring a good fit and that you’re open-minded, flexible, and adaptable. Enthusiasm. If you want the job, act as if you do! It’s understandable to be nervous for an interview, but don’t let that take away from showing how excited you are for the potential opportunity. Candidates who actively show their enthusiasm during an interview show hiring managers that they’ll be genuinely interested in and passionate about what they’re doing. Likewise, those who are excited about what they do tend to be more engaged and productive. Drive. Employers hiring for permanent roles typically value candidates with longevity. If you’re looking to make a great impression, make sure you show you’re invested in the future of the position by asking not only about current duties but about how and where the position has the potential to grow. Just be careful not to get too far ahead of yourself—by seeming too invested in the future of the position, you may seem as if you aren’t committed to the position you’re actually applying for. By effectively combining these three traits and showing them in an interview, you’ll be well on your way to showing genuine passion and excitement for the role.
09 September 2014
In December 2013, a data breach at large retailer Target led to more than 70 million customers’ personal information being stolen by hackers. This was the first in a chain of highly publicized cyber-attacks on large businesses, which spurred an increasing number of companies to invest in information and network security professionals. “Today, advances in computer technology have changed the way data is stored, retrieved, and controlled, and as a result there’s been a dramatic increase in demand for the IT Audit professional,” says Ajmal Amin, Director of The Execu|Search Group’s IT division. Companies are in search of the right IT professionals to effectively assess and monitor their business systems to avoid cyber breaches. Therefore, if you’re a business-savvy IT professional who understands the relationship between technology and operational processes and how they allow organizations to run smoothly, you are an ideal candidate to pursue a career as an IT Auditor. According to Ajmal, here are areas you need to focus on to pursue an IT Audit career. Proven technical and compliance experience As an IT Auditor, companies will rely on you to not only identify holes in business processes and procedures to ensure their systems are secure and operating correctly, but to also create solutions to manage constant industry changes. Some examples of IT roles that you can gain information and security experience include: Network Engineer Security Administrator Security Analyst In fact, IT professionals that have demonstrated the ability to keep networks secure and ensure confidential information is safe, and are knowledgeable about some of the most important industry changes and governmental regulations affecting companies will excel in the interview stages. As a result, it’s important to stay abreast of industry news and how it pertains to your role. Some examples to be familiar with include the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability, or Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology. Possessing the proper certifications As the information and network security market evolves, employers will be in search of well-rounded IT candidates that possess the right certifications and can apply that knowledge to produce measurable results. In fact, according to Ajmal, possessing the relevant certification(s) can help you get a leg up against your competition. “If you’ve gone through the proper training to attain certain certifications, companies will be better able to determine if you’re a good fit for the position because this distinguishes you as an IT professional.” Here are a number of certifications that you can pursue in order to enhance your technical and compliance skills: Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) Certificate in Accountancy Program (CAP) Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) Certified Authorization Professional (CAP) Certified Computer Professional (CCP) Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) Strong Communication Skills Along with experience and any of the certifications above, strong communication skills are another big area where IT Auditors must be able to demonstrate strength in. Throughout the application and interview process, employers may be interested in your ability to communicate with different departments at varying levels. Since you will need to be able to translate heavy technical jargon and processes into explanations that less tech-savvy professionals should be able to understand, this plays a major role in how effective you can be as an IT Audit professional.