You’ve compiled the CV, written the cover letter, got your references in order. Now, you have an interview for a job in the oil and gas industry.
Outside of the normal interview questions candidates might expect, what will an oil and gas interview look like? As a recruitment agency specialising in the drilling industry, we have put together a list of 10 Common Oil and Gas Interview Questions you should prepare for, and some tips for answering them!
Interviewers will have read your CV, so will know your experience beforehand. However, there may be things you couldn’t fit on it, or couldn’t go into details about certain experiences. Give an efficient overview, pitch yourself, keep things concise, but try not to miss out anything vital!
A big aspect of most oil and gas jobs is the ability to be adaptable. It is a fast-moving, often unpredictable environment, so you are expected to adjust to that. Providing interviewers with concrete examples of when you have adjusted quickly to a surprise can show them you are fit for the industry.
Questions like this are tackling two things at once - problem-solving and teamwork skills. Both skills are absolutely essential within oil and gas rig jobs. Problems can arise quickly and sporadically, and often will require teams to solve them. Providing concrete examples of times when you have done exactly this will definitely serve you well.
Following on from above, we know that rigs are hugely fast-paced, high-energy work environments. Even if you aren’t in a rig job, this speed translates into the industry as a whole - especially offshore drilling. Whether you’re interviewing for a position on or offshore, interviewers will want to know that you can handle quick thinking.
You can use things like part-time work in retail or hospitality for this - the jobs might be different on the surface but the demand and speed of them are remarkably similar!
Many onshore and offshore jobs within the industry require you to collaborate with many different disciplines. The oil and gas industry acts like a well-oiled machine. It is essential that rig job candidates are able to communicate issues to other specialists, effectively and clearly. Experience in working across boundaries is incredibly important.
Many positions in the sector require specific qualifications, especially in offshore jobs. These could be medical, safety, technical, skills-based, emergency response and so on. These let you work on rigs or in environments where you need to prove you are competent and safe to work with. You should include this information on your CV, but it’s worth noting that some interviewers may still ask you directly.
These are two of the most common interview questions asked across industries, and that includes interviews for offshore jobs. When it comes to discussing your strengths, consider what is likely to benefit the employer for the specific position you have applied for. Answers such as being a natural leader, problem solver or having the ability to perform well under pressure are great examples if they are relevant to the role. It is also important to back these claims up with examples of how you have previously demonstrated these traits.
As you discuss your weaknesses, there is a fine line between clearly disguising a positive as a negative, and revealing obvious red flags. It is important to answer this question authentically with a relatively small work related weakness, and sharing how you are working to overcome it.
When you are interviewing in a specific industry, you will be asked specific questions. This is to ensure you have done your research, and know the sector well. Unless you are applying for an expert position, you won’t need top class expert knowledge. However, this is a basic piece of information that you will need to work within the industry, so is worth researching (you should expect other knowledge-based questions like this).
For this exact question, there are four main types of oil: very light (this includes petrol, kerosene and jet fuels), light (diesel and many other types of fuel oils), medium (majority of crude oils- most common type of oil), and heavy (heavy marine fuels - heavy oils are the most toxic).
The long-term future of the oil and gas industry is debated. With the growing push for renewables and increased focus on climate change, there are many potential outcomes. However, the growing need for domestic energy supply and the drive for oil & gas workers to transition to renewable means long term career prospects. With this question, interviewers will be trying to gauge how engaged you are in current events and trajectories. They want to sense your interest in the industry and its future.
This is a common interview question across the board, but one that people often underplay. Having 2-3 questions prepared for an interviewer shows you are engaged and interested. It demonstrates you have been thinking deeply about the interview in advance. Interviewers also like if you can add in a question based on something they have said during the interview - this shows you have been listening intently throughout.
Interviews are often unpredictable and daunting. However, they don’t have to be. Hopefully our guide has helped, and remember Global Resources Network are here to help you with any questions you have. Good luck!