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I’m Head of Research in the Intelligence & Investigations practice at Schillings Partners. We are a boutique crisis management firm specialising in reputation, privacy and security issues, primarily acting for high-profile individuals and global corporates.
Our Intelligence & Investigations practice provides a range of services to clients including investigations for litigation support, asset tracing, privacy exposures, due diligence, and reverse due diligence. I lead a team of five analysts, directing research and managing cases.
On a day-to-day basis, our team works alongside other in-house experts at the firm, including leading reputation and privacy lawyers, risk professionals, cyber security analysts and digital communications advisors - this makes it a really unique place to work.
Candidates that display a good understanding of the firm, our values and what we do immediately impress. Researching and referencing cases the firm has worked on and displaying a good commercial understanding of our market is key.
We do an initial CV sift, followed by a verbal reasoning/aptitude test. This leads to a shortlist for first interviews and a written test (specific to the role/language or region we are recruiting for). This is then followed by a final interview, for successful candidates. We prefer to conduct the interviews in person.
At Graduate Analyst level, we always look for inquisitive nature and someone who is inclined to dig deeper into a problem, taking the initiative. We frequently work in times of crisis for our clients so analysts need to be comfortable working at speed, often with incomplete information, flexibility of thought is key! For more experienced analysts, we expect to see evidence of strong research skills, knowledge of relevant resources/software and excellent written and oral communication.
You should be honest about your salary expectations throughout and ensure you have done market research to manage these expectations. You should bear in mind that a job is more than just the salary, so you shouldn't be scared to ask about the career development opportunities at the firm, and the sort of work you might be doing on a day-to-day basis, to allow you to weigh up the whole package.
One strong candidate demonstrated how they had done their research into current trends in our industry and had insightful links to their own experience. They asked an interesting question about an article I had recently written which is a great way to flatter the hiring manager!
It’s natural to be nervous but remember that the interviewers are just people too! Always take some notes in with you, as well as a copy of your CV and cover letter. It’s a good idea to have some questions up your sleeve about the relevant industry or field, preferably something timely or in the news – but keep the mundane pay/benefits/WFH questions for the HR team.
You likely won’t have much experience to talk about but you can demonstrate your interest in the field with research, keeping up to date with new trends and attending webinars/events. If you’ve been invited to interview, read up on the firm and people who you might work with: the company website is a good place to start, as are any articles they’ve published, and their social media channels.
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