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Marathon Petroleum Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Published November 5th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Companies     Power     Oil And Gas    
Question 1 of 30
The environment is fast-paced and challenging at Marathon Petroleum. How do you determine priorities when you have multiple projects due?
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How to Answer
When you feel torn between multiple projects or tasks, how do you decide which one needs your attention the most? Assure the interviewer that you can be diligent when it comes to assessing your priorities.
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Answer Examples
1.
The environment is fast-paced and challenging at Marathon Petroleum. How do you determine priorities when you have multiple projects due?
When you feel torn between multiple projects or tasks, how do you decide which one needs your attention the most? Assure the interviewer that you can be diligent when it comes to assessing your priorities.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"First and foremost, I will prioritize projects that most closely align with the company's strategic goals and have the highest potential to affect the company's bottom line. In addition, I often determine which projects require my attention by the number of hours we are behind and then the project size. I am comfortable delegating tasks when needed, but I am also aware that these times will require an additional commitment of hours from me. Never have I under delivered on a deadline."
Michelle's Answer #2
"Assuming that the projects have different stakeholders, I interview each to determine the value of increased productivity, morale or revenue, decreased costs, and the overall impact. As a general rule, I will prioritize the projects that have the most potential for impact and to move the needle toward the organization's goals."
Anonymous Answer
"Throughout the past year, I have been placed in a wide variety of industrial situations. While my current job is focused on a single trade, we are often tasked with multiple jobs at one time. It is critical to be able to quickly assess which of those tasks are the most pressing. Prioritize the list and attack it from the most immediate first and continue to work your way through the rest."
Mary's Answer
This is a great start. Interviewers may be looking to understand to what extent you are managing competing priorities, and how you prioritize what is most important to what is least important. Try adding detail on this.
"Throughout the past year, I have been placed in a wide variety of industrial situations. While my current job is focused on a single trade, we are often tasked with multiple jobs at one time. It is critical to be able to quickly assess which of those tasks are the most pressing. Prioritize the list and attack from the most important first to the least important. In the past, top priorities have included [i.e. time-sensitive deadlines, the individual/department/client the request is from, the most pressing impact on the business, compliance...etc.]."
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2.
What have you done to improve your oil and gas knowledge in the last year?
The interviewer wants to know that you are interested in your industry, and career growth, enough to take your professional development into your own hands. Even if your current employer does not offer perks like oil industry conferences or financial reimbursement for additional coursework, there is no reason why you cannot take the initiative.

You could:

- Read industry or career-related books
- Subscribe to relevant podcasts
- Enhance your education with an additional certificate
- Attend a conference related to your career or personal growth
- Teach yourself a new software program
- Read established journals and websites on a regular basis
- Find a mentor who is senior to you, in your particular industry or career path

Rachelle's Answer #1
"It is important to me that I continue to grow as a professional oil and gas administrator. This year I took an Advanced Excel course so that I could take my competency from intermediate to expert. The course has helped me immensely, and I am currently looking into a leadership workshop as well."
Michelle's Answer #2
"The oil and gas industry is always changing, and it's vital that I continue to gain knowledge to keep up with the latest and greatest! I refer on a daily basis to a variety of energy-related journals and publications such as Oilweek, Midstream Business, and Gas & Oil magazine. I am also currently beginning the process of gaining my project management certification so that I'm up-to-speed on best practices for successfully managing large projects on behalf of Marathon."
3.
Can you tell me any of the positive results of Marathon Petroleum's values-based approach to doing business?
The interviewer would like to see that you've done some research into Marathon Petroleum's corporate values and how they influence the business's success. You don't have to go into a lot of detail, but show that you've taken the time to do your due diligence.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I briefly looked through Marathon's Corporate Citizenship Report, and I was very impressed by what I saw. I respect the fact that Marathon actively assesses all the potential ways that its actions impact others both inside and outside the company's operational lines. From what I can tell, it seems that this approach has made Marathon highly successful - according to the data reported on the Marathon website, the company is generating significant economic value for shareholders, employees, governments and the communities in which the company operates."
Michelle's Answer #2
"I also support taking a values-based approach to doing business, and I believe that companies can do well by also doing good. I am heartened to see that this approach has led to great success for Marathon. I looked through your Corporate Citizenship Report and also read through some of your publicly reported company data, and it seems as though others are also supportive of the way Marathon does business. As the nation's largest refiner, it appears that Marathon is doing a lot of things right, and I'd like to be part of that."
4.
What can you tell me about the Marathon family of brands and products?
Make sure to do some advance research by scanning the Marathon Petroleum website. There, you can find information about all of the brands that fall under the Marathon parent umbrella.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"First, the company has Marathon-branded retail locations that are owned and operated by independent entrepreneurs. There is also Speedway LLC, a subsidiary of Marathon, which is the second largest company-owned and -operated gasoline and convenience store chain in the U.S. Marathon's portfolio also includes a comprehensive product line that supports commercial, industrial and retail operation nationwide. The company's wholesale and retail marketing operations market fuels, petrochemicals, asphalt and special products."
Michelle's Answer #2
"I'm very familiar with Marathon's brands and products. Marathon brand gasoline is available through more than 5,000 retail outlets across the nation, and Speedway LLC provides another roughly 2,700 options for customers. In addition, Marathon provides a comprehensive product line that supports a variety of commercial, industrial and retail operations nationwide."
5.
When given an important assignment, how do you approach handling it?
The interviewer would like to know how you first approach a critical assignment. Are you the individual who will take an assignment head-on, or do you need to research and plan early? Do you jump in and get it all done immediately or do you balance it with other assignments? Talk to the interviewer about how you approach essential tasks at work.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"When my supervisor gives me an important assignment or task I am sure to assess the depth of the project, then take a look at my schedule to see how I can appropriately balance it with my other work. I do not procrastinate because then it's easy to get behind."
Michelle's Answer #2
"I lay out all the deadlines, figure out the deliverables, priority order, and then do all the research needed to make informed decisions. I keep a written "to-do" list and transfer project deadlines into my calendar to stay on task."
6.
Marathon Petroleum has a serious commitment to safety. How will you help us to uphold this commitment?
Safety is a vital topic in the oil and gas industry, and the interviewer would like to know that you are committed to helping Marathon Petroleum in their mission. Discuss the ways that you uphold safety standards in the workplace. Extra points if you can memorize the safety mission of Marathon Petroleum.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"As described in your corporate values, Marathon Petroleum has the highest regard for the health, safety and security of its employees, contractors and neighboring communities. I will help you to uphold this commitment by delivering over and above expectations, completing my documentation fully and clearly, and by staying on top of industry trends and changes."
Michelle's Answer #2
"When Marathon Petroleum says that Health, Environment, Safety and Security at Marathon is built around the vision of no accidents, no injuries, and no harm to the environment. , it resonates with me. Values guide me and I understand the importance of a healthy environment and a safe workplace."
7.
As a manager, what is your greatest weakness?
Everyone has his/her weaknesses, and that is OK. Talk to the hiring manager about what you feel you could work on the most, and what you are doing about it. Avoid discussing a weakness that could be detrimental to you securing the position.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"As a manager, I feel that my greatest weakness is in separating employees as quickly as possible when they begin to show signs that they are not going to work out. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt and have been known to continue trying to nurture people when they really are overdue for termination. I have taken a couple of management training classes focusing on this area, and I'm also working with an industry mentor; I feel I'm improving in being able to objectively approach separating employees who aren't a good fit."
Michelle's Answer #2
"Some feedback that I have received in my current role is that I could improve my technical skills when it comes to Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint. I have all the basics covered, but when it comes to more complicated formulas or visualization of data, I don't have much experience. To remedy this, I have enrolled in a course for next month, and my goal is to come out of that experience as a more intermediate user."
8.
Tell me how you brought value to your most recent position.
This question offers another way for the interviewer to ask about your recent successes and bragging points. The interviewer wants to know which top skills you will highlight if you had to narrow down where you brought the most value.

Perhaps you influenced changes that saved the company money. Maybe you were the top performing manager in your department. Think of your strengths in action! If you are reliable, talk about how consistent your work has been and how you are in constant support of your coworkers. If you have a strong work ethic, share how you accomplished a project in the midst of harsh obstacles.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"In my last position, I brought value through delivering an increased customer base and a stronger contractor network. My ability to build strong relationships helped me secure and maintain a great deal of new business."
Michelle's Answer #2
"My organizational skills made an incredible impact on my current company. Upon my arrival, I quickly implemented new filing systems for both physical and digital files. I also introduced the use of Trello, a project management app that we now use office-wide."
9.
Tell me about your education and how it relates to the oil, gas, or energy sector.
The interviewer would like for you to take a few minutes to highlight your educational background. You can mention your GPA, your major or minor and also any accolades and awards that you received during your university career. If you were involved in student-led clubs or other extracurriculars, you could mention that as well.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My degree in Chemical Engineering has prepared me in a few ways. My degree came with a heavy focus on petroleum, which included safety issue reviews such as blowouts, fire, and other hazards. I also learned a great deal about hydrate formation and decomposition, H2S, toxic gases, and safe transportation and disposal of petroleum wastes. I graduated with a 3.6 GPA and was also president of the Student's Union, rounding out my time with some leadership experience."
Michelle's Answer #2
"I recently graduated with my Mechanical Engineering degree, where I focused my time on Mechanical and Industrial engineering applications. My GPA was a 3.8, and I made the Dean's List. My education has prepared me for a role with Exxon in many ways, including leadership, discipline and organizational skills."
Anonymous Answer
"I have five years working for a leading oil and gas company. My experience has gained me a strong work ethic, my ability to problem solve, attention to detail, core values in my employer, and how to practice these qualities daily. The time I have spent for my previous employer has instilled strong, safe work practices and how to recognize and avoid hazards that we as operators could encounter."
Rachelle's Answer
This is a nice overview of your experience. Do you have any on-the-job training that you could include in your response?
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10.
What can you tell me about Marathon Petroleum's core values?
This is where the interviewer wants to see that you've taken the time and initiative to do some advance research. Show that you have a general understanding of what the Marathon Petroleum culture is like and the values that are important to the company.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"From my research, I can tell you that Marathon values five key concepts: health and safety; environmental stewardship; integrity; corporate citizenship; and diversity and inclusion. All of these values are personally important to me as well when looking for an employer, and I believe I could be very successful at Marathon as a result."
Michelle's Answer #2
"I am very attracted to Marathon's core values of health and safety; environmental stewardship; integrity; corporate citizenship; and diversity and inclusion. I am actively looking for a values-centered culture to be part of, and I respect that Marathon believes how the company conducts its business is just as integral to its performance as other measures. This sounds like an environment in which I can do my best work."
Anonymous Answer
"It's a two-part answer. First, we must remember what Marathon's Code represents: Trust, Respect, Dignity, and Honesty. All of Marathon's Core Values are built on their code. The Core Values represent five categories. 1. Health and Safety 2. Environmental stewardship 3. Integrity 4. Corporate citizenship 5. Diversity and Inclusion"
Mary's Answer
Great response in indicating you have done your research! Consider adding a personalized perspective around the company's core values.
"Marathon Petroleum's Code of Ethics and Core Values are ones that I align closely with. Through the standards of Trust, Respect, Dignity, and Honesty, the Core Values are built to represent five categories: 1. Health and Safety. 2. Environmental Stewardship. 3. Integrity. 4. Corporate Citizenship. 5. Diversity and Inclusion. Working for an organization with strong core values is important to me because of the pride and responsibility I take in my work and employer."
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11.
Would you be willing to work over 40 hours a week?
Before answering scheduling questions, it's important to be clear on the interviewer's expectations. If you haven't had a chance to clarify their scheduling needs, now would be the perfect time to ask!

Consider asking, 'What are the scheduling expectations for this position?' If they expect you to work 12 hour days, it would be important for you to know that before you respond with, 'Absolutely! No problem!' You want to be sure that you can meet their expectations.

If it turns out their schedule expectations won't work for you, think about what you CAN offer and see if you can meet in the middle. It's much better to discuss these things in an interview than for you to commit to a schedule that won't work for you.

Keep in mind that, in most states, an employer cannot demand that an employee work more than 44 hours per week.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am available for full-time work which is preferably 8-5 Monday to Friday. I am happy to be a team player and work some overtime, as required. Will these hours meet your expectations?"
Michelle's Answer #2
"I am willing to work overtime as appropriate. How much and how often are the first questions that come to mind. I firmly believe that downtime, or personal time, is essential to recharging your batteries and staying focused, but I am certainly willing to be a team player."
12.
What can you tell me about the refining and marketing segment of Marathon Petroleum's business?
Make sure to do your research ahead of the interview and have at least a general understanding of the refining and marketing segment of Marathon Petroleum's business. This information is available on the company's website.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I've read a bit about the refining and marketing segment in preparation for this interview. From what I understand, Marathon first refines crude oil and other feedstocks in its 16-refinery system, purchases refined products and ethanol for resale, and distributes refined products through various means, including pipeline and marine transportation, terminals and storage services."
Michelle's Answer #2
"I find the refining and marketing segment of Marathon's business very interesting. I appreciate the fact that Marathon is the nation's largest refiner, with a crude oil refining capacity of more than 3 million barrels per calendar day in its 16-refinery system. In addition, I respect Marathon's focus on safe, efficient and reliable operations, which ensures that the company's refineries are well-positioned to address changes in the marketplace, capture commercial advantages within a strong logistics system, and seek to increase retail and brand sales volumes."
13.
Do you think it is possible to be a good team member, yet disagree with the leader?
The interviewer wants to know that you can be diplomatic in the workplace, even when you may not agree with your leader. Show the interviewer that it is possible for you to be a good team member, yet disagree with the leader from time to time. Explain that you believe everyone is entitled to their own professional opinion, yet capable of maintaining respect for each other at the same time. Show that even if you disagree with the final decision they make, you support the direction the team is heading.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"What makes a great team member is not that they agree with everything but the level of respect and positive thought that goes into the person's communication style. It's okay to disagree; however, you have to communicate your thoughts professionally and ultimately comply with the leader's decision on a particular issue."
Michelle's Answer #2
"I have had team members disagree with decisions that I have made as a manager, and it does not bother me unless they are disrespectful about the situation. I think it's great to face challenging thoughts in the workplace and I welcome varying trains of thought. In fact, I believe that sometimes disagreeing with the leader is the strongest sign of a good team member. If someone disagrees with me because they have the greater good of the team and/or the company in mind, then I want to hear that. And as a strong leader, I need to hear it."
14.
What is OPEC, and why does it matter?
OPEC is the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. It's an intergovernmental body with a mission to, 'coordinate and unify the petroleum policies of its member countries and ensure the stabilization of oil markets, in order to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers, and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry.'

Show the interviewer that you have an understanding of OPEC and how it affects the way Marathon Petroleum does business.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"From my understanding, OPEC is a governing body that coordinates and unifies the petroleum policies of approximately 15 countries. OPEC decisions play an important role in the global oil market and can have a direct effect on Marathon's ability to deliver on its mission."
Michelle's Answer #2
"I understand OPEC to be an intergovernmental body that helps regulate the global oil market and international regulations. Could you share with me how OPEC affects the way Marathon Petroleum does business?"
15.
What is the difference between a leader and a manager?
The interviewer would like to know that you understand what makes a leader genuinely stand out. Just because you are a manager, that does not mean you are a leader.

A real leader is someone who makes others want to jump on board with their mission and follow them. A manager is just someone who has people under them. To be an excellent leader, you should offer a balance between the two. You need to be able to have people buy into your vision but at the same time, show authority when necessary.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"A manager is someone who has a team of people who answer to them. That person simply has the responsibility of 'managing' the team's work. A leader, on the other hand, is someone of influence and, I believe, anyone can be a leader - no matter their job title or position."
Michelle's Answer #2
"To me, leadership is a mindset versus a title. A manager is more of a job title. Anyone can possess leadership skills, but a great manager will have leadership skills along with the ability to direct his or her team to success."
Anonymous Answer
"Sometimes you hear the phrase "He or she is a born leader." A leader is defined as a person who commands a group, organization or country. Through positive communication, a leader can inspire those around them to follow their directives. On the other hand, "manager" is merely a title. A manager might not be an effective leader because they cannot effectively communicate with their team."
Mary's Answer
Many organizations look for leaders instead of managers- great job discussing the difference. Consider incorporating what you have done to develop or improve your leadership skills.
"Sometimes you hear the phrase "He or she is a born leader." A leader is defined as a person who commands a group, organization or country. Through positive communication, a leader can inspire those around him to follow their directives. Whereas a manager is merely a title. A manager might not be an effective leader because they cannot effectively communicate with their team. To develop my leadership skills, I have [i.e. attending leadership training programs, solicited feedback on my communication style, worked with mentors on annual individual development plans, supervised a team of X individuals...etc.]."
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30 Marathon Petroleum Interview Questions
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Interview Questions
  1. The environment is fast-paced and challenging at Marathon Petroleum. How do you determine priorities when you have multiple projects due?
  2. What have you done to improve your oil and gas knowledge in the last year?
  3. Can you tell me any of the positive results of Marathon Petroleum's values-based approach to doing business?
  4. What can you tell me about the Marathon family of brands and products?
  5. When given an important assignment, how do you approach handling it?
  6. Marathon Petroleum has a serious commitment to safety. How will you help us to uphold this commitment?
  7. As a manager, what is your greatest weakness?
  8. Tell me how you brought value to your most recent position.
  9. Tell me about your education and how it relates to the oil, gas, or energy sector.
  10. What can you tell me about Marathon Petroleum's core values?
  11. Would you be willing to work over 40 hours a week?
  12. What can you tell me about the refining and marketing segment of Marathon Petroleum's business?
  13. Do you think it is possible to be a good team member, yet disagree with the leader?
  14. What is OPEC, and why does it matter?
  15. What is the difference between a leader and a manager?
  16. When have you been asked to perform a function or complete a task that you had little or no experience in doing?
  17. What type of work environment allows you to be the most productive?
  18. Why is this job with Marathon Petroleum right for you at this time in your career?
  19. When have you had to make a split second decision? How do you react under unexpected pressure?
  20. If you were hired today, what would you accomplish first?
  21. Which is the leading publication or resource that you use for up-to-date news on the oil and gas sector?
  22. What questions do you have for me?
  23. How are crude oil prices determined?
  24. Tell me about a time when you witnessed unsafe behavior in the field. What did you do?
  25. Marathon Petroleum operates in many countries. What is your experience working with a diverse group of people?
  26. Documentation is crucial in this role. Rate your documentation abilities from 1-10 while supporting your answer.
  27. What is the most significant achievement you have on the horizon?
  28. What can you tell me about the midstream segment of Marathon Petroleum's business?
  29. With which industry-related computer programs are you most familiar?
  30. You will often be working cross-departmentally. Tell me about a time you worked successfully with people outside of your department.
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