What hiring managers are looking for with Chris Poulter (OSINT Combine)

In our fourth interview, we spoke to OSINT Combine's founder & CEO, Chris Poulter, about what he is looking for when hiring OSINT practitioners for his company. Find out what Chris has to say!

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1. Where do you work now and what are your day-to-day tasks?

I am the founder & CEO of OSINT Combine, my day to day tasks involve running the business, supporting the team across training, software & services to provide OSINT capability to organisations.

2. How can candidates stand out right away?

Strong communicators with inquisitive mindsets to learn, and solve problems that are unfamiliar to them.

3. What does the recruitment process look like at your organization? How many steps are there?

Depends on the role, however, it will consist of a series of interviews for cultural fit & subject matter knowledge.

4. What kind of skill-sets are you looking for when hiring for an intelligence analyst within your company?

Depends on the level. If we are hiring a senior analyst, we prefer Government/Military experience so they have real-world context to the problems they will have to face, however, it is great to find non-government people as they bring a different lens and perspective to problem solving that is quite unique.

Skills wise, we want them to be able to be effective at all parts of the intelligence cycle, so excellent PAI collectors, good at data reduction and processing due to the excessive noise in PAI landscape, great analysts so they can find the “so what” in the data they collect to ultimate turn it into intelligence and not just re-formatted information, and finally they must be able to produce digestible product – so communication skills are key.

5. What kind of character traits do you find beneficial during interviews? Is there any behavior that can be an advantage for the candidate?

Good communicator that is able to ask intelligent questions and has a positive approach to work, morals and ethics

6. Do you have any advice regarding salary negotiations during the hiring process? And dos and don’ts?

Be realistic about what salary is commensurate with your experience, and be willing to work towards higher outcomes by demonstrating your skills and contribution to the mission.

7. Would you be able to share any outstandingly positive interview experiences you have gone through as the hiring manager or person responsible for recruiting? What blows you away during an interview?

Someone who can immediately understand the context that we are operating in, engaging in an interesting and topical discussion on contemporary use-cases where they can support their arguments with experience or unique ideas

8. Is there any other useful feedback for the OSINT community that you would like to share with us? For example, what are some of the most common mistakes made by interviewees, and how can they be prevented?

Avoid trying to “know it all”. Be humble in what you don’t know, because there is so much to learn daily, approach the interview with an inquisitive mindset and strong work ethic to solve unknown problems.

9. What would you recommend to recent graduates or newbies? How can they best prepare for their first interviews? Are there any resources you can recommend?

Get involved in community OSINT activities to learn the landscape, develop some basic skills and invest time in finding a mentor(s) to help you. Start your OSINT journey by trawling the #OSINT on twitter, do analysis on credible resources vs questionable ones to find which ones you want to invest your time into first, and find activities (such as CTFs) that you think would be of interest to practice skills in a safe environment.

[note: this interview has not been edited]