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Penetration Tester Interview Questions

Top Interview Questions for Penetration Tester

A Penetration Tester is someone who helps businesses and organizations identify and resolve security vulnerabilities and weaknesses affecting their digital assets and computer networks.

According to BLS, there is expected to be a 33% rate of growth over the next decade for professionals in this field.

Are you in a hurry to get started? Download the Penetration Tester Interview Questions and Responses Toolkit.


Penetration Tester Hard Skils

Hard Skills

Use these questions to identify a candidate’s technical knowledge and abilities

Penetration Tester Soft Skills

Soft Skills

Use these questions to assess a candidate’s personality traits and cognitive skills

What to look for while interviewing for a Penetration Tester?

Since the required skills for a Penetration Tester require expertise in coding languages like Python, Powershell, pen-testing tools. Therefore, look for a candidate who has knowledge of all these. 

Here are some of the in-demand skills for a Penetration Tester

Top Skills for Penetration Tester

Role-specific skills to look for: Knowledge of exploits and vulnerabilities, scripting/ coding(Python, Powershell, Golang, Bash), operating systems, networking, and network protocols, and common pen test and application security tools.

Soft skills to look for communication skills, curiosity, attention to detail, report writing, and problem-solving.

Pro Tip: Always screen before your interview. Use Online Assessment to screen applicants for a Penetration Tester position before blocking your time for an in-person interview.

Questions to ask while interviewing a Penetration Tester 

We have compiled a set of questions with the help of 70+ hiring managers at different organizations.

Top Role-based interview questions for Penetration Tester

Top Role-based interview questions for Penetration Tester

What are the different types of SQL injection and how to prevent it?

Purpose of this interview question:

This question can be asked to understand how much the candidate knows about web application vulnerabilities and attacks.

What to listen for:

  • Listen if the candidate can list out all the different types of SQL injection and prevention methods.

What tool would you use to perform a port scan?

Purpose of this interview question:

By asking this question, the interviewer can test if the candidate has experience and knowledge of the common penetrating tools.

What to listen for:

  • Top candidates would explain the reason for choosing a particular tool.

How would you remotely access a service that can only be accessed from within an internal network?

Purpose of this interview question:

This question can be asked to test a candidate’s critical thinking in a particular situation.

What to listen for:

  • Firstly, here a candidate would explain what is port forwarding and then explain the same through an example.

How to screen Penetration Tester for soft skills?

How to screen Penetration Tester for soft skills?

What are the interpersonal skills you have gained from your previous job as a Penetration Tester?

Purpose of this interview question:

This question is designed to learn about what types of interpersonal traits a candidate has that could enhance their job capabilities at their company.

What to listen for:

  • Top candidates would show evidence of self-awareness, by discussing their previous experiences.

What is the most complex issue you have faced in your jobs?

Purpose of this interview question:

By asking this question the interviewer can test the candidate’s technical analysis, problem-solving, and troubleshooting skills.

What to listen for:

  • Top candidates would explain what were the problems they faced and how did they overcome them.

How do you handle pressure if you are equipped with multiple tasks at a time?

Purpose of this interview question:

This question is designed to test the candidate’s management skills.

What to listen for:

  • Look for evidence of management qualities related to project planning and execution.

Start Optimizing your Penetration Tester Hiring today

Start Optimizing your Penetration Tester Hiring today

Find and hire talent with confidence. If your candidate doesn’t know the answer to the above questions and you’re hiring for a Penetration Tester position, then they’re probably not a great fit.