Amanda Kop

Freelance Tech Recruiter, Talent Boutique

1. Do you remember a time when you were happiest as a child? Where were you, who were you with and what were you doing?

I was apparently happiest as a small child when I had the opportunity to be with my grandma. Wherever she would go, be it a gym class, community event or visiting other family, I would want to join her. Can’t say my parents were very pleased with this! Especially as we relocated as a family to Singapore when I was 5, and ever since I always had the will to go back to visit her. At age 11 my parents let me fly alone to the Netherlands to be with my grandma for a whole school summer. That was one of the best summers of my life, lots of cycling around the neighbourhood and meeting local kids who became friends. Whilst of course staying at my grandma’s house 🙂

2. What seemed like an inconsequential decision at the time, but in hindsight turned out to fundamentally reshape your life?

Deciding to go to university in the United Kingdom. Though my mother and I did a full trip to Australia to visit and carefully review different universities, only two week before the UCAS deadlines I decided that I didn’t want to follow this path (Australia) and decided to find, at the time, a random country elsewhere they spoke English, had decent enough universities with interesting studies in Psychology, and just went for it. I knew I had to make a radically different choice, but I had no clue what it would mean for the rest of my life. Instead of it being just 3 years of university there, I ended up starting my career in recruitment in London for 2.5 years thereafter and it led me to making lifelong friends and also enabled me to meet my partner that I am still with almost 12 years to date.

3. What habit or behaviour or belief have you recently acquired? Why is it now in your life?

Over the past years I have been delving into the different Universal Laws, specifically the Law of Attraction. It is something that has helped me tremendously at a time where I almost entered a burn out. Lost in understanding how to make sense of what I’m feeling, how I’m behaving and what I can do to improve my life, a mindset coach came at the perfect time for me to start understanding this law and how this law can be utilized to take back control of my life through thought. I still practice several methods in my life and truly notice a difference in how I handle adversity and ups and downs more stable compared to before.

4. Name a well-known person you admire and explain why you hold them high esteem?

Madonna – she has overcome so much negativity for pushing boundaries since she started to entertain in the 1980s. Each century she continued to be ground breaking and adapted so well to new trends and way of life. It was certainly testing for sure at times, and very controversial, but it seems like she has really LIVED life and made such an effort to make an impact on so many levels. Touching people musically but also through her other personal initiatives.

5. If you wrote a ‘user manual’ for how people should interact with you, what
would be the most important point in the manual?

That I can come across as being very extroverted in social situations and when talking about things I’m passionate about, but there are plenty of moments that I am in fact more calm, collected and in thinking (not speaking) mode. I have fast moments and also slow moments. Being in the slow moment does not mean I am unhappy. It just means I am processing things more deeply or loading up my energy again.

6. What personality trait has got you in the most trouble? What kind of trouble does it get you in?

If I passionately believe in something it can come across as me being stubborn and unwilling to see other perspectives. That isn’t the case, though I do need to learn to provide more time / space to other parties to share their viewpoints as well. It can get me in trouble when I hear that others didn’t feel comfortable to share their viewpoint in a project or collaboration, and by them not feeling like they can contribute, the project isn’t as great as it can be.

7. Have you always had the same political beliefs? If so, why do you think you
have held them so long? If not, what event caused you to change your view?

I honestly find it difficult to keep up with politics. And over the course of my teenage and adult years I have swayed a bit on both sides, though never to one extreme. In recent years I have overall become fairly cynical about politics as a whole, and am losing the trust of most popular parties to truly do well for the greater good of the country they are representing. So often campaigns have been misleading and promises weren’t followed.

8. When was the last time you felt like an outsider in a group? What/How did
you learn?

Personally, more recently I am starting to feel as such, as I chose the path of not becoming a mother in life, and I’m of age where many people do choose to become parents. It is testing my understanding of what value I will continue to bring into this life, what my future ambitions are, how I will continue feeling fulfilled, as well as what value I can still bring to friendships of new parents. I am learning that there is no right or wrong way in navigating this, but it’s important to allow yourself to stay true to what feels best for you. And to not make big decisions on this topic just to please others or meet societal expectations. And it won’t make me less of a person worthy of living on this planet.

9. What app or tech product have you most recently fallen in love with?

Descript. If you are ever looking to create or transcribe videos either for employer branding or even learning materials, this automated tool helps tremendously with quick editing and transcribing. It reduced my production time significantly which made it very easy to pilot an employer branding video.

10. What’s the last image on your camera roll? Care to explain?

A picture of our recently adopted adult toyger cats lying on our couch. They are the most soft, beautiful creatures who are finally settling in and finding their routine. It’s a joy to see them progress each day in their settling process. And guess who they like to lay next to most? Of course it’s not me but my partner 😉 #tooeager

11. If you were to survive the zombie apocalypse, what role would you play in the new society that would follow?

I would prefer to not be the one responsible for procreating more of society ^.^ and rather take the role of building up new society ways of working and principles. Perhaps create the first new-age guidebook on how to coexist with each other productively and happily 🙂

12. Aside from family & friends, if you could invite any 3 people - living or dead - to your final dinner party before the end of the world, who would they be and Why?

Love this question – at one point I actually used this quite a bit during interviews myself as a throw off question to “get to know someone personally” towards the end of a process 🙂

My answer would be: Chester Bennington (previous lead singer of Linkin Park) – to say thank you for being there in the times I really needed someone like him! And asking him why life was too difficult for him to continue (he committed suicide). Dalai Lama – to learn about his thoughts about life and death and navigating the crazy things going on in the world today in a peaceful way. Sigmund Freud – to lean into his very interesting mind and understand more deeply how he came to his psychological theories.

13. What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received? Who gave it and when?

If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, think about the work you have in front of you and ask yourself, does this really have to be completed today? Can it wait until tomorrow? If so, drop it and forget it for now. – This was given by my Manager (Ingeborg van Harten) when I started my in-house recruitment journey. I’ve had quite an intense journey of learning what is good enough and letting go of perfectionism, leading me to often reminding myself of this phrase whenever I pick up too much work (say yes too often) or get too involved in topics that are beyond what’s needed for me to do.

14. Tell me about that one project that was a total off-the-rails disaster? What
was your role in that shitshow?

It wasn’t a project but rather a recruitment process where we were looking for a Senior Security Architect and ended up in the process with a seemingly very strong Filipino candidate living in the Philippines. For some reason he wasn’t able to share his video during the virtual interviews we had, so at all times it ended up being audio, which we did question, but given his apparent skills and way he presented himself on audio, and the fact it was a very difficult role to fill, we ended up compromising on this part and went ahead in making an offer when all interviewers were pleased (enough) with the interactions they had with him. An offer was made, and a relocation process was initiated. Little did we know that to relocate someone from the Philippines you are pretty much signing up for being accountable for their life and death in the Netherlands and several other serious financial questions. When he finally arrived, he ghosted his team after two weeks, and when we finally were able to reach him, he said that he didn’t feel his colleagues were welcoming him, so he doesn’t want to continue working with our company. Since then we haven’t been able to trace him, yet we were responsible for ensuring his life in the Netherlands. It ended up becoming a very messy, complex situation. We learnt many lessons from this process and decided to tighten our hiring process requirements again (always video calls if not in person interviews) moving forward.

15. What’s the one bad quality you wouldn’t mind in a colleague? Why?

Someone who is impatient. I rather work with someone who has a super high sense of urgency, and train them to understand why some things can’t go at the same pace as they prefer, and have them slow down at times over time, then someone who doesn’t have any sense of urgency at all and needs to be forced to do things on time or even within a reasonable time.

16. What role do you find yourself playing when you join a newly formed team? Can you explain why this happens?

The challenger and facilitator. I like to bring ideas and people together and due to my natural curiosity I don’t shy away from challenging different viewpoints or decisions. I hope that as a group we make the best well thought decisions, and often I hope to also get the context and learn why some decisions are the best decision so I can adopt that in the future too.

17. What’s one industry challenge you don’t actually think will ever get solved?

Bias free hiring and every company having a fully inclusive work environment. It is shocking to see there is such a disconnect between how some companies are voicing their DEI policy as to how the reality is within their organization. I seriously question what company has truly achieved the top star level of being able to say our work place is 100% fully inclusive.

18. Who In our industry would make a great Prime Minister (or equivalent role in your country)?

Ingeborg van Harten. Super positive even when faced with adversities. Very high level of empathy, kindness, warmth. She is able to bring people from all personality types / backgrounds together in harmony. Visionary and great at delegation. Very comfortable communicating with all levels of professionals. Diplomatic qualities for sure!

19. If you could add a question for the next person to answer, what would it be?

If there is a moment in your life you could go back to and either relive / change it, what would it be?

20. Who would you recommend to do the next 20 Questions With … ?

Renita Kasper 🙂

Thank you to Amanda Kop for taking 20 Questions for The Brainfood Tribune. Make sure to follow Amanda on LinkedIn.

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