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What we look for in a candidate

Hege Aamotsmo

Hege Aamotsmo

Hege Aamotsmo, HR Director at Orkla Confectionery & Snacks, is on the lookout for candidates with good analytical and social skills who are genuinely interested in working in our industry.

“We take a very positive view of candidates who are involved in activities other than their studies, like participating in student organisations, holding various offices in student government or working in a job in addition to studying,” Hege Aamotsmo says.

“What kind of qualifications do you look for when you process applications? What does it take to be invited to an interview?”

“We are looking for candidates who combine strong analytical abilities with good social skills. We are interested in competent candidates who want to further develop their personal skills and expertise. They should be patient, but at the same time thrive in a fast-paced environment requiring the ability to take effective action. The majority of new graduates don’t have much work experience, so it’s important that potential candidates can demonstrate a good combination of strong academic results and involvement in extracurricular activities. We also consider it important that the individuals that we hire can identify with our values: brave – inspiring – trustworthy. If they can give us examples to show that they live by these values on an everyday basis, that would be a point in their favour.”

“Do grades and academic results carry a great deal of weight? And if so, do some subjects carry more weight than others?”

“Grades are an important element when you are looking for a job, and are largely what distinguishes you from the other applicants. The combination of subjects you have studied is a less decisive factor in a job-seeking situation. When you have a master’s degree, you are equipped with certain skills and have acquired knowledge that we consider to count more than the actual subject combination.”

“What do you do to portray yourselves as an attractive employer to students and new graduates?”

“We focus a great deal of attention on ensuring that students are able to quickly gain an impression of and insight into the position that we are advertising. It is crucial that we keep up with digital developments and this will therefore be a major priority area for us going forward.”

“Who makes a particularly favourable impression in an interview process? What are you looking for besides professional qualifications?”

“In an interview situation, it is very important that the candidate is able to demonstrate his or her positive attributes. Candidates who are communicative, confident and interested score well in an interview. Every interviewer knows that most candidates are nervous about being interviewed and it is our job to help them feel at ease and comfortable. It’s also important that candidates remember that we’re both on the same team: it’s in the interests of both parties that the interview goes well.”

“What are the most common mistakes made by jobseekers?”

“A typical ‘mistake’ we see many people make is that they don’t write an application letter that is specifically tailored to the position in question, but instead use a standard application letter and CV. It is also important that candidates double-check that their application is well structured and contains no spelling errors. For us who read a large number of CVs and application letters, it is essential that we are quickly able to find relevant information about the jobseeker and form an opinion about him or her. We can do that when the application is clear and concise.”

“What are the best tips that you can give young people who would like to start out their career at Orkla or in your industry?”

“ Work hard while you’re studying and make it clear in your application why you want to work in our industry. Come to the interview well prepared, not necessarily by memorising figures, values and visions, but instead by doing some reading about the industry to gain an impression of the way it is structured. Take some time to think about the qualities that you possess that make you think you will do well and succeed in our industry.”

“If someone wants to work in your industry, why should he or she seek to obtain a job with you in particular?”

“Orkla is a large and diversified group with a complete in-house value chain. This opens up countless development and career opportunities. We are a robust competency-driven organisation where you can learn, grow and be inspired.