“My favourite candidates are the ones who ask the most interesting questions”. As an experienced corporate recruiter, Heleen Stork does most of the asking during a job interview. But when a candidate asks the right questions to her, Heleen knows she’s caught a good one.
"For TNO I mostly recruit candidates for the Defence, Safety & Security unit. It’s really amazing to see how much is happening here and how enthusiastic everyone is about their work. TNO employees are committed and passionate people, proud and happy to be doing their job.
Most importantly, everyone has a positive attitude, an analytical mind, and is capable of critical thinking. The same goes for my recruitment colleagues as well as the research managers – and that’s what makes me happy. It’s a feeling I’ve had right from my first day at TNO: this is an organisation I want to be a part of".
Technology is tangible
"I've been working at TNO for a year now. Prior to my current job, I’ve worked at various companies and agencies. I’ve also had my own recruitment agency. The vacancies that I handled before were not only related to engineering and technology. Nonetheless, I discovered that this is where my heart lies.
Technology really makes an impact on society, which makes my role more tangible. I don’t have a technical background: I'm great at assembling Ikea cabinets, but that’s about it. On an abstract level I do understand the technology. I've spoken to and interviewed a lot of techies over the years, so I understand what it's about and I join in on a conversation."
Take the first step yourself
"What do I tell candidates about TNO? Well, that anything is possible. But you have to take the first step yourself. Your colleagues will encourage you and offer you support when needed. Most candidates will have already heard of TNO before they join our table. Through a trade fair, a workshop, an internship, you name it – we're quite active in our job market communication."
Glint in the eye
"In the first part of the selection process, I always pay attention to the motivational letter. Your resumé should of course match the job requirements of the vacancy, but what I really want to know is what the underlying reason for your application is. I always conduct the interviews together with an expert in the field, for example a research manager. We never focus on one particular aspect.
A good TNO employee, I think can be characterized by asking me the right questions during an interview. Not about salary, but about the actual work. Also, when I see that glint in there eyes as the research manager talks about all the great projects in the department, I know that this is the right one for the job."
25 other letters in the alphabet
"What I like to see is passion for the job, but there has to be a personal click as well. Do the social skills of the candidate fit TNO? And the candidate has to be able to work together with the team.
My advice is actually a sure-fire hit: be yourself and, above all, say where you want to improve yourself. And if you're interviewed, but it doesn't work out right away, don't give up. If plan A fails, there are still another 25 letters in the alphabet."