What hiring managers are looking for with Bruno Mortier

In this third interview, we spoke to Bruno Mortier about what he is looking for in candidates who want to work in the world of financial crime and corporate intelligence.

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

I am responsible for Corporate Intelligence Services in the Forensics Risk and Compliance department of the BDO Wirtschaftspruefungsgesellschaft AG in Hamburg, Germany. My day-to-day tasks as an investigator and analyst include Fraud, Financial Crime and BrandIP investigations, Due Diligence, Pre- and post-Employment Screening, Competitive Intelligence, Asset tracing, Anti Money Laundering and OSINT training.

2. How can candidates stand out right away?

Every OSINT effort culminates in an intelligence product – usually a report. This report should be able to provide the recipient with information on which to base a decision. A CV i.e. resume is the first deliverable, where the candidate can show his or her report writing skill and ability to deliver a flawless finished product.

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

BDO has over 95.000 employees in 164 countries. Recruitment is handled by the respective HR departments, however the relevant operational unit i.e., technical department can and should assist HR operations. Visit the BDO website in your respective country (https://www.bdo.de/) for more information

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

OSINT is lifelong learning, when hiring, we are looking for candidates that have an inquisitive mindset.

The specific skill set we are looking for in candidates is the ability to find and mine open sources using advanced search techniques and tools to obtain reliable, validated, and valuable information and data. Intelligence is not collected; it is produced through analysis. Analytical techniques for exploration, and decision making are crucial.

Language skills are definitely advantageous. Though translation algorithms have become quite powerful, they are by no means perfect and can produce some questionable (and, at times, quite humorous) results. Being able to search in the target language and apply a distinctive understanding of how the language works, how people use it to communicate online, and the nuances that exist, is definitely an asset.

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

An OSINT analyst needs to be flexible and adapt, relying on good research practices and analytical thinking. Tools come and go, the right mindset for OSINT work stays. Moreover, an OSINT analysts need to be aware of bias, ego, or attitude. Every belief is a blind spot – confirmation bias, or the tendency to look for evidence that supports your point of view, can produce negative outcomes. So, we look for candidates that have the ability to question themselves. An equally important skill is the ability to communicate effectively.

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

If you start salary negotiations with “I want” or “I need” you have no room to manoeuvre and negotiate. There are ample resources out there where current and former employees anonymously review companies and give insights about jobs, salaries, and companies. Our suggestion to candidates is to be prepared, it shows when you are not.

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

What blows me away in an interview is when a candidate tells me what they are genuinely passionate about and what they are interested in. To see the passion in their behaviour when they speak about investigations and research, and what they have found. We are looking for candidates who enjoy the pleasure of finding things out. We expect candidates to come to an interview prepared with a list of questions and to take notes during an interview.

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?

Not fully reading or understanding the job advert is the most common mistake. A CV needs to be tailored to the job advert. If the advert asks for fluency in a specific language, this means that this skill is essential. Candidates should do an OSINT on their prospective employer. Try be relaxed and yourself, your character should filter through in the interview.

9. What type of interview processes or questions are outdated in your opinion? How can the hiring process be improved?

As interviewers, we help the candidate relax during the interview. Bias, ego or attitude in an analyst and in an interviewer produces negative outcomes. Asking questions expecting the candidate to respond from memory is redundant if that information can be found via an OSINT search. More interesting is if the candidate demonstrates the ability to explore and learn.

10. 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?

A “Common Interview Questions” google search will produce a plethora of results. I would suggest searching for the behavioural interview questions from Amazon and to check out the resources from Daniel Miessler. Even though the interview questions from Daniel Miessler pertain to cybersecurity, it is a great resource that can be adapted to other fields. I would suggest any candidate to stay true.

[note: this interview has not been edited]

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