CERN Jobs Insight

Do CERN’s Organisational values speak to you?

You’ve finished your studies, or you’re seeking a new challenge in your professional life.  You’re looking for a job, looking up companies or Organisations which may offer the positions that match your experience and skillset, researching what they have to offer you as a prized candidate.

In doing so what is important to you as a candidate? The scope of the role? The location? The benefits? More and more today, candidates are looking for a company with values that match their own: a company with which they can identify, from its mission and purpose, through to the values it upholds and what it has to offer you as a person.

The key to any organisation or company’s success is the competence of its people, and to have people working at their...

How to answer "Why do you want to work for us?"

 "Why do you want to work for us ?" rates as probably the most ubiquitous question ever asked to candidates - asked at virtually every interview - and yet 90% of candidates answer poorly. To exacerbate the situation - the renowned great career websites offering advice on how to answer this question offer (in my opinion) relatively poor advice.

Lets take some examples from CERN to illustrate how not to answer. These are real answers (anonymised) that candidates have given in response to this question:

Q: "Why do you want to work for CERN?"

A: "I have always dreamed of working in Nuclear'. (Well - this shows poor research of what CERN does as, apart from ISOLDE, CERN is a high energy particle physics lab. The N for Nuclear is a bit of a misnomer in the title.)

A: "I want to work in an international...

Interviewing Genevieve Guinot, Head Diversity Office

This month, the Recruitment Unit wanted to publish a post related to something which is important to CERN: Diversity. Genevieve Guinot, Head Diversity Office, is answering some of the questions you may have about how CERN is a diverse organisation, and how is it like to work here.

Why would I be interested in working in a diverse organization?

If you are looking to learn from different perspectives and approaches, you would be interested in working in a diverse environment. If you are truly convinced that the cross-fertilisation of ideas boosts creativity and innovation, you would be interested in working in a diverse organization like CERN.

Working in a diverse environment is enriching and rewarding, and requires an openness to other cultures, to welcome approaches and viewpoints different to one’s own.

Diversity, or bringing together people from different countries and cultures to work on a common goal, has...


"Spotted an applicant reading Wikipedia while recording his video interview: not the best impression" MA

The good the bad and the hippo

 So here you are, in the interview room, facing a panel of 5 or more, and waiting for one of them to fire the first question. Who seemed to be the most skeptical when you entered the room while you were trying to make a first good impression? Who is smiling and is likely to be easily convinced by your arguments? Who will ask the most challenging questions about the not-so-well-explained lines in your CV?

 An interview is a unique situation and there is always a specific dynamic within panel members: they may or may not be used to work together, they may or may not have the same stakes or investment in the process, and they may or may not be familiar with the exercise. Sometimes, they may not even have exactly the same vision about...


"Wishing all the best to the new Recruitment Unit Section Leader" MA

Happy 2016 !





See you in February for the next post.

Sourcing or the art of fishing for rare fish

Diversity is a core value for CERN and is evident all around us: in the cultures working side by side, in the wide range of professions, backgrounds, languages spoken, and even at the restaurant where you can find all kinds of different food! The Recruitment Unit is fully engaged in promoting diversity, for example in raising panel members’ awareness on any unconscious biases they can experience during an interview, or when handling the challenge to source and find the best applicants in our 21 Member States for staff positions, and beyond for our programs.

Sourcing is all about finding and attracting the right talents, and to use an analogy we could compare it to fishing… Don’t worry,...


"Wondering how would perform a recruiter if he had to be in front of the scene." MA

Do you want to play a game?

Selecting the best talent is what drives us recruiters. And it’s not an easy task: we have to find where applicants are, we have to speak the same language, and we have to assess their skills using relevant methods and tools.

If Sourcing has changed a lot in the last 15 years (from the rise of internet to the increasing use of social media, and an increasing tendency to look for talents on the global market), assessment methods have not evolved as drastically, and a good CV written more than 500 years ago could probably still be interesting for 2.0 recruiters.

As a result, it’s not rare for employers to see more and more applicants who have already been through sophisticated recruitment processes, and are therefore familiar with assessments exercises such as...