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Preparation and flexibility are keys to good interviews

CFEs discuss interviewing, part 1 of 2

We asked some experienced CFEs to ponder their interviewing philosophies and techniques. Their responses are diverse and thought-provoking. Now let us know what you think.

Eight years ago, Regent Emeritus Bruce Dubinsky, CFE, CFF, CPA, relearned the value of tempering his laborious interview preparations with facile, improvised flexibility.

As a managing director in the disputes and investigations practice at a global valuation and corporate finance advisory firm, he was conducting a series of interviews with six people who worked with a political campaign that was raising money for the reelection of one of the international officers of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Dubinsky, a managing director of Duff and Phelps, LLC, was heading up an investigation on campaign finance fraud pursuant to a consent decree from the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York.

Dubinsky and his team — another investigator from the U.S. Department of Labor plus a court reporter — headed to the West Coast to take sworn statements from these “persons of interest” who all had their lawyers with them during the questioning.

“It was towards the end of the day and I was questioning the last of the six individuals,” Dubinsky says. “This man was the treasurer of the campaign for the particular international officer for whom they were raising money. I was just about to wrap up the interview and I asked for a minute or two to go over my notes to make sure I covered what I needed.”

Dubinsky says he asked one last question about a fundraiser near the local union offices.

“Before I could even finish asking my question, the response from the treasurer was ‘OH, I knew you were going to ask me about that fundraiser.’ To which I replied: ‘Oh, you knew I was going to ask you about that fundraiser, huh?’ ”


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