Thursday, 21 October 2010

Keep it interesting

Like you, I have sat at numerous conferences (occasionally even presenting when the organisers are really struggling) and have often been bored to tears by most of the presentations.   At INFOSEC this year, one particular presenter was well dressed, successful (bewilderingly), and quite possibly the first walking, talking, human sedative who just kept plugging his product in a monotone voice for what seemed like hours.  Ok, so I hadn’t paid to listen but it was still 45 minutes of my life that I wasn’t going to get back and if he had droned on for much longer there was a genuine possibility that my life was going to shortly end – well it was either going to be mine or his and from a utilitarian viewpoint I think I almost had justification!

I was reminded of this presentation today when a really outstanding Computer Forensics candidate was unsuccessful at interview due to being, well, just too boring.  As I have said in numerous articles, in my experience recruiting in this sector, the reason most Computer Forensics people fail to be successful at interview is because their personality goes out of the window and they become just like the Infosec presenter – a robot just answering technical questions in a tedious manner.  

I do appreciate that when an interview has a strong technical content it is hard to avoid this but being aware that it can be an issue has to be the first step to countering it along with ensuring you keep smiling ( but not in that weird way employed by most MP’s), and making lots of eye contact.

As some very wise person once said (probably after a few drinks): ‘knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.’

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