We interviewed a North Korean hacker. Here's what we learned.
There are lots of risks in hiring remote employees. One is that someone might be trying to infiltrate your organization, maybe even the North Koreans.
We're growing, and we're trying to grow the team to support that growth. One of the challenges that we have, probably like a lot of organisations, is that we want a mix of talent, cybersecurity experience, motivation and some very specific software development skills that just aren't that easy to find. And there is truth to some of the stereotypes or preconceptions about people with those skills not always being super organised, or having the most polished CVs. So we tend to focus on a lot of the hard skills - technical expertise, coding experience, etc - and we'll want to talk to a person. And we're remote-first, so we take a lot of applicants seriously and try to engage in a meaningful discussion to see if someone's a fit.
My camera is broken
This seems to be the classic commonality in a lot of remote candidate interviews. But apparently, only about 10% of digital cameras fail. So this should be a red flag.
So we started the interview with someone who supposedly is an Irish citizen that grew up in Japan. Sadly, we don't speak Japanese so we couldn't test that, but with supposed fluent English, we went forward. The candidate had trouble answering our questions, and repeatedly gave an answer of "personal reasons" when we were asking "how long" questions. OK, so, not fluent English.
Next, about 20 minutes into the interview, we had an "interruption" and lost connectivity. We started hearing repeated "Hello?" from the other end, and then, the line reconnected but with a much different voice at the other end. With no video, we can't say for certain, but it definitely sounded like a different person.