Top 15 Penetration Testing Interview Questions and Answers

Top 15 Penetration Testing Interview Questions and Answers

If you are preparing for Penetration Testing (Pen Tester) interview, then you are at right place. This post will help you to understand the most common Penetration Testing Interview Questions.

Using this article, We have put all efforts to share most frequently asked questions (FAQ) related to web security interview questions.

In this era of widespread internet usage, security has become the prime importance for all organizations. With the advent and increase in the use of mobile and Web-based online applications, the systems are more vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Question 1: What is penetration testing?

Answer: Penetration – refers to entering or making your way through something. It’s also a deep insight.

“Penetration testing is a type of security testing used to test the vulnerabilities of an application. It is conducted to find the security flaws which might be present in the system.”

Question 2: Why pen-testing required?

Answer: A penetration test can help organizations to determine whether a system is vulnerable to attack if the defenses were sufficient, and which defenses (if any) the test defeated.
One reason why some of these websites get so easily hacked is that Penetration Testing wasn’t done to assess the level of vulnerability and Potential Security Threats To Your computer system, network, application or services.

Question 3: Who performs pen testing?

Answer: Performed by a specialized testing team called Pen tester with high skilled having in-depth knowledge of web security and security tools.

This is a complete guide to learn Penetration Testing Interview Questions.

Question 4: What is a security vulnerability?

Answer: The vulnerability is a term which every information security expert want to eradicate from the IT system. If someone exploited those vulnerabilities, it may result in an intentional or unintentional compromise of a system.


Question 5: What is security Exploit?

Answer: An exploit is the next step in a hacker’s playbook after finding a vulnerability.

Question 6: What is the diff between vulnerabilities assessment and pen testing?

Answer: Vulnerability assessment intends to identify vulnerabilities in a network whereas A penetration test (PT) is a proof-of-concept approach to actually explore and exploit vulnerabilities.

Sometimes, these two terms, i.e, Penetration Testing vs Vulnerability Assessment are used interchangeably by many people because of the misunderstanding of the basic fundamentals. In many cases, these two terms are incorrectly used interchangeably by users also.

This is a complete guide to learn Penetration Testing Interview Questions.

Vulnerability assessment: A comprehensive list of vulnerabilities, which may include false positives.

Penetration testing: A special type of security testing that uses the list of vulnerabilities to exploit the given system to ensure if the listed vulnerabilities are genuine to harm the system.

Question 7: What are the benefits of penetration testing?

Answer: Penetration tests reveal potential threats and help to ensure that your operations don’t suffer from unexpected downtime or a loss of accessibility.
A penetration testing (or Pen Testing) can help organizations to determine whether a system is vulnerable to attack if the defenses were sufficient, and which defenses (if any) the test defeated. Organizations try to understand the actual Benefits of Penetration Testing for Secure Business!

Top 5 Benefits of Penetration Testing

1. Discover and arrange Security Threats
2. Avoid Service disturbances and Security breaches are expensive
3. Preserve corporate image and customer loyalty
4. Helps to Evaluate Security Investment
5. Protection from Financial Damage
6. Ensure business continuity

Question 8: What is the output of PT?

Answer: The output of penetration testing is:

#1. Discover vulnerabilities that could be used by attackers.

#2. Exploit vulnerabilities to assess what attackers can achieve.

#3. Recommendations and Mitigations to fix and avoid future vulnerabilities.

Penetration Testing Interview Questions is a complete guide to help pen testers.

Question 9: Difference between authentication vs authorization?

Answer: Authorization means checking permission.
Authentication means checking credentials.

Question 10: What are the most commonly used tools for pen testing?

Answer: In this guide of Penetration Testing Interview Questions, We will cover Most Powerful Penetration and Security Testing Tools List for Professionals!

Organizations hire pen testers to hack their website, cloud-based applications and network system 🙂
The following set of tools help pen testers and security professionals to assess open vulnerabilities in the application, the system thereby identifying security weaknesses a network, server or web application.

Top 10 Best Penetration testing tools and techniques:

#1. Nmap – Nmap, also known as network mapper, is a free and open-source tool for scanning your systems or networks for vulnerabilities.

#2. Metasploit – Metasploit is actually provided a pen-testing framework.
It is a collection of common Pen-testing tools. This is used by cybersecurity experts to including discovering vulnerabilities, managing security evaluations, and formulating defense methodologies.

#3. Aircrack-ng
This description really explains the heart of the tool itself.
Aircrack-ng is a complete suite of tools to assess WiFi network security.

#4. SQLmap
As the name says, SQLmap is an “automatic SQL Injection and database takeover tool.”

#5. Wireshark
Wireshark is a widely used network protocol analyzer tool. it lets you monitor what is happening on your network at a deep level.

#6. ZAP
ZAP is an open-source most commonly used security testing tool.
Its contributed by thousands of skilled volunteers.

#7. Kali
Kali is a Debian based Linux distribution.
Kali is specially designed for penetration testing and digital forensics

#8. BeEF (Browser Exploitation Framework)
The Browser Exploitation Framework.BeEF is an extraordinary and powerful tool for exploiting web browsers.
BeEF is specific to launching attacks against web browsers

#9. Hping
Hping is a command-line oriented TCP/IP packet assembler/analyzer tool used for pen-testing.
This tool comes under the category of testing Network Security vulnerabilities.

#10. IBM Security AppScan
It was previously known as Rational AppScan. is a family of web security testing and monitoring tools from the Rational Software division of IBM.
AppScan is intended to test Web applications for security vulnerabilities during the development process when it is least expensive to fix such problems.

Question 11: What are the phases/steps of penetration testing?

Answer: Penetration testing is a combination of strategies that consider various issues of the systems and tests, analyzes, and offers answers. It is primarily based on a dependent manner that plays penetration testing step-by way of step.

1. Planning & Preparation – Planning and preparation start with defining the goals and objectives of penetration testing.

2. Reconnaissance – Reconnaissance consists of an evaluation of the initial records.

3. Discovery – On this step, a penetration tester will most probably use the automated tools to scan target assets for discovering vulnerabilities.

4. Intentional Intrusion attempts – his is the most crucial step that must be done with due care. This step entails the volume to which the potential vulnerabilities that were identified in the discovery step which owns the real risks.

5. Final analysis – This step mostly considers all of the steps carried out (discussed above) till that time and an evaluation of the vulnerabilities present in the form of potential risks.

6. Report preparation
Report preparation must start with overall testing procedures, followed by an analysis of vulnerabilities and risks. The high risks and critical vulnerabilities must have priorities and then followed by the lower order.

Question 12: What are Pentester and his roles?

Answer: A Penetration Tester (a.k.a. Ethical Hacker) probes for and exploits security vulnerabilities in web-based applications, networks, and systems. Network pen-tester generally deals with two valuable words, Vulnerability assessment, and Penetration testing.

What are the roles and responsibilities of Pen Tester :

Perform formal penetration tests on web-based applications, networks, and computer systems
Conduct physical security assessments of servers, systems, and network devises Design and create new penetration tools and tests Probe for vulnerabilities in web applications, fat/thin client applications, and standard applications Pinpoint methods that attackers could use to exploit weaknesses and logic flaws Employ social engineering to uncover security holes (e.g. poor user security practices or password policies) Incorporate business considerations (e.g. loss of earnings due to downtime, cost of engagement, etc.) into security strategies Research, document and discuss security findings with management and IT teams.

Question 13: What is the SQL injection attack?

Answer: SQL Injection is one of the common attacking techniques used by hackers to get critical data. It is an attack in which an attacker inserts an un-trusted data in the application that results in revealing sensitive information of the database.

Also, refer to this article!

Question 14: What are the fundamental parameters of security testing?

Answer: There are the following seven attributes of Security Testing:

  • Authorization
  • Authentication    
  • Confidentiality
  • Availability
  • Integrity
  • Non-repudiation
  • Resilience

Question 15: What is the certification to become a pentester? How to become CPT (Certified Penetration Tester)?


1. EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
The International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council) certifies individuals in various e-business and information security skills. The CEH certification establishes and governs the minimum standards for professional ethical hackers.

2. EC-Council Licensed Penetration Tester (LPT) Master

3. Global Information Assurance Certification Penetration Tester (GPEN)


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