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National Grid Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

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     Energy    
Question 1 of 30
When have you been asked to perform a function or complete a task in which you had little or no experience in doing?
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How to Answer
Have you ever had to take on a task or a role that you felt was over your experience level? Talk to the interviewer about a time when you have dealt with this type of situation. What was the outcome, and what did you learn?
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Answer Examples
1.
When have you been asked to perform a function or complete a task in which you had little or no experience in doing?
Have you ever had to take on a task or a role that you felt was over your experience level? Talk to the interviewer about a time when you have dealt with this type of situation. What was the outcome, and what did you learn?

Rachelle's Answer #1
"When my manager went on unexpected medical leave for three months last year I was asked to step into her position in the interim. I knew the basics but was certainly not trained on the specifics of the role. I was able to take it on successfully by leaning on my team, reading a lot of company manuals, and asking many questions. Once my manager returned she was very pleased with the progress that I made, and I was awarded a promotion."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am often asked to perform tasks outside of my wheelhouse. This includes customer dispute resolution and interviewing potential new employees. I am a diverse employee and am happy to take on additional functions."
2.
The energy sector has many competitors. Why do you want to work for National Grid?
Discuss with the interviewer the ways that National Grid Inc. stands out from their competitors. What caught your eye when applying here? Perhaps it was the information you came across on their website? Maybe you liked how their job posting was worded? Or - perhaps you have a strong referral from a friend or acquaintance. With enthusiasm, discuss why you want to work for National Grid Inc..

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I understand there are many options when seeking a career in the energy industry; however, I am most interested in working for National Grid Inc. because you value continued education and put a strong emphasis on being environmentally responsible."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have been passively seeking a new position for quite some time and haven't jumped on anything yet because I want to make sure it's the right fit. I feel that this job is right for me, at this point in my career, because it offers an opportunity for me to utilize my recent education in GIS while giving me an opportunity to advance in my management skills."
3.
Tell me about your experiences giving presentations in front of large groups.
Public speaking can be intimidating so assure the interviewer that you are capable of communicating well in front of large groups. Have you taken any courses or training in public speaking? Perhaps you have so much experience that it comes second nature. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of giving presentations.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"In my past two roles I have been responsible for regularly presenting to my team of 43 staff as well as to our entire warehouse team of over 200. I have taken a couple of Toastmasters sessions which helped a great deal. I am a confident public speaker."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Presenting to large groups is a big part of successfully rolling out great communications to teams organization-wide. I have experience preparing the deck to be presented to ensure it is simple and thorough. I utilize different communication techniques to make a presentation fun, interesting, and engaging."
4.
At National Grid we put a lot of emphasis on attention to detail which some people mistake for micromanagement. How do you feel about this?
Many companies will closely control the details of each project. This close control can often be mistaken as micromanagement which not everyone enjoys. Assure the interviewer that you are comfortable working in a role where the details are valued.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I naturally pay close attention to details so to be asked about the finer details of a project is of no concern to me. I am happy to comply with any project checklists."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I work very well on an independent basis; however, it is nice to be checked in on every now and then! I don't mind having my work double checked or proofed."
5.
What type of work environment do you dislike working in?
Are you pretty flexible in your ability to work in most environments? Have you experienced a position where the atmosphere wasn't conducive to your productivity? Be sure to know the type of environment that is offered in this position before the interview.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I can be productive in most work environments, so long as the mentality is positive and teamwork is encouraged. I cannot work in an environment that feels negative or toxic. This is not a concern for me with National Grid Inc. as I have read many great employee reviews on Glassdoor and your commitment to your workplace culture is evident."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I tend to find slow paced or red tape environments challenging to maintain my excitement levels. With that said, even if I can experience a small win along the way, it is enough to keep me going."
6.
Do you feel performance should be rewarded over experience?
Do you feel that you should be paid based on tenure, or results? Discuss this with the interviewer and back your answer with an example, if possible.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I feel that employees should be paid, and rewarded, based on their performance. A new employee would be greatly motivated through being rewarded for performance, and it encourages a healthy competition with tenured employees."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I feel both performance and experience should be equally rewarded and weighted."
7.
Do people see you as a trustworthy and honest individual?
It is easy to say that you are trustworthy and honest, but it's best if you can back it up with a review or words from a previous supervisor.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am told quite often that I am an honest and trustworthy individual and you will be able to hear that directly from my supervisor when you call for a reference. I hold honesty and trustworthiness as fundamental virtues."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My friends and family rely on me heavily because I am trustworthy and honest. They can count on me to be straightforward with them and depend on me to be there when it matters least or most."
8.
What are your salary expectations?
The best way to discuss your salary expectations is to use your current earnings as an example. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year plus a potential 20% annual bonus. Last year my earnings were $52,000, and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am currently making $100,000 per year with two bonus opportunities. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the role and provides an opportunity for growth."
9.
There are a lot of red tape and regulations in energy related projects. Are you accustomed to waiting on logistics and policy during your projects?
Assure the interviewer that you have the fortitude to outlast any policy restrictions that may hold your projects back. Discuss the ways that you are accustomed to changes in regulations and policy mid-project.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I understand that the energy industry is privy to many policy changes and I am accustomed to setbacks coming my way. I have also experienced setbacks from early-stage funding falling through. Over the years I have gained a lot of patience when it comes to the advancements of my projects and can step away from a project that may be falling behind, look at the situation critically, and reassess my approach when needed."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am no stranger to policy changes. I am well aware that setbacks happen during projects, regardless of the industry. Changes and setbacks can be disheartening at times but it all balances out when I am able to enjoy the success of a well done project."
10.
The energy sector often sees changes in regulation and policy. How do you keep up to date on changes in our industry?
Show the interviewer that you are genuinely interested in the energy sector by staying up to date on industry news and changes. Perhaps you regularly read a publication that was of great interest. Maybe you follow a certain energy blogger or news channel? Ensure that your answer is enthusiastic and, if you use National Grid Inc. as an information resource, be sure to mention that as well.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"To stay up to date on industry changes, I read the Breaking Energy publication on a daily basis. Also, I follow a blog on remediation law. I am very interested in the changes in the energy sector and find the regulatory news section on your website to be very resourceful as well."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have google alerts set up, using keywords related directly to my niche. These help me to stay on top of any industry or regulatory changes, and they save me the time of having to comb through countless publications to keep up. I also follow National Grid Inc. posts on sustainability and environmental concerns, on a regular basis."
11.
At National Grid we seek to hire individuals with related post-secondary education. Walk me through your formal education.
Your post-secondary details will likely be on your resume; however, the interviewer would like for you to go into further detail. Discuss your degree, the areas where you excelled, and any awards or recognition you received.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have a Master's degree in Energy Systems Management from the University of San Francisco. I graduated with honors which is something that I am proud of."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My Bachelor's degree is in Business Administration which is not directly related to what you do at National Grid Inc.. With that said, I did learn a lot about organizational development, behavior, and project management. These skills will certainly help me in this role."
12.
In which ways do you feel that National Grid stands out from industry competitors?
It is essential that you research National Grid Inc., and the competitive space, before your interview. Discuss with the interviewer how you feel that they stand out from other energy-focused organizations. Keep your answer positive and to the point.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have researched National Grid Inc. as well as Company ABC and XYZ as I believe those to be the strongest competitors in this industry. One thing that stands out to me is that National Grid Inc. seems to put a stronger and more positive emphasis on environmental concerns. Your involvement with community concerns and innovative technology is also inspiring."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"National Grid Inc. has been around a lot longer than many competitors, and your name is often mentioned in the news as well as other industry leading publications. I feel this sets you apart in your industry and sets you up as an industry expert and influencer."
13.
What are your thoughts on the stance environmentalists take against some of our practices in the energy industry?
The energy industry is rarely free of criticism. Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on a recent hot topic. You can show the interviewer that you keep up to date on industry news and that you have a well researched, and valuable, opinion.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"There are many hot topics when it comes to the energy industry. We are no stranger to controversy which is why I seek to work for a reputable organization such as National Grid Inc.. One recent topic has caught my attention, and that is the oil drilling activity in West Africa. I've been following many environmentalist blogs to get a well-rounded view of the controversy. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if I am confident in our ethics, then that's all I need."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I respect what environmentalists are attempting to achieve, and I agree with much of it. What I do not agree with is how some of the extremists are portraying our industry. Our industry is vital, and sometimes the extreme environmentalists do not appear to understand that or care to learn."
14.
At National Grid we put a strong focus on health and safety. What is your experience with health and safety in the energy industry?
Health and safety efforts are incredibly important when it comes to any industry. Show the interviewer that you also emphasize workplace safety. If you have any related training, this is a great time to discuss.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Last year I attended a health and safety course directed at upstream oil and gas. It was an eye-opening experience, and I understand even more so, how important workplace safety is. I appreciate hearing that National Grid Inc. puts such a strong emphasis here."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"As I am new to the industry, I have not taken many energy industry related health and safety courses. I do have CPR and First Aid training. If you could tell me the type of training that you are looking for in your next hire, I would be happy to get a head start on those courses."
15.
Do you have any experience in SAP?
Many energy companies will use robust software, including SAP. Because there are endless choices in SAP based programs, you will likely not have the exact experience in the SAP module that National Grid Inc. is looking for. Do not fret! All you need to do is display to the interviewer that you have a general understanding of how their technology works. Display that you are tech savvy and a fast learner. If National Grid Inc. has their programs listed in the job posting, be sure to research those programs a bit before your interview.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have approximately two years' experience in Fieldglass which is an internal SAP used at Company ABC. From your job posting I see that you use X, Y, and Z at National Grid Inc.. I am familiar with how these programs work. Technology is very interesting to me, and I am a quick study."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have not been lucky enough to have exposure to SAP as of yet; however, I have watched a few tutorials on the program and am confident in my ability to pick it up very quickly."
More Interview Q&As
Explore expert tips and resources to be more confident in your next interview.
Behavioral
Common
Phone
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All Interview Topics
All Career Q&As
Suggested Career
Interview Q&As
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30 National Grid Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. When have you been asked to perform a function or complete a task in which you had little or no experience in doing?
  2. The energy sector has many competitors. Why do you want to work for National Grid?
  3. Tell me about your experiences giving presentations in front of large groups.
  4. At National Grid we put a lot of emphasis on attention to detail which some people mistake for micromanagement. How do you feel about this?
  5. What type of work environment do you dislike working in?
  6. Do you feel performance should be rewarded over experience?
  7. Do people see you as a trustworthy and honest individual?
  8. What are your salary expectations?
  9. There are a lot of red tape and regulations in energy related projects. Are you accustomed to waiting on logistics and policy during your projects?
  10. The energy sector often sees changes in regulation and policy. How do you keep up to date on changes in our industry?
  11. At National Grid we seek to hire individuals with related post-secondary education. Walk me through your formal education.
  12. In which ways do you feel that National Grid stands out from industry competitors?
  13. What are your thoughts on the stance environmentalists take against some of our practices in the energy industry?
  14. At National Grid we put a strong focus on health and safety. What is your experience with health and safety in the energy industry?
  15. Do you have any experience in SAP?
  16. At National Grid we use a variety of robust internal software programs. Do you consider yourself tech savvy and a fast learner?
  17. Tell me about yourself.
  18. What accomplishment do you believe was the most difficult for you to achieve, in your most recent position?
  19. How do you handle a situation where your supervisor does not properly communicate information to you?
  20. Describe a time when you motivated yourself to complete an assignment or task that you did not feel like doing.
  21. How do you deal with uncomfortable situations?
  22. How many days were you absent from work last year?
  23. How can we motivate you on the job?
  24. Tell me about a time when you received criticism from your manager. How did you react to that criticism? How did you make improvements based on that criticism?
  25. Tell me when you have delegated tasks effectively.
  26. What do you see as the most difficult task in being a manager?
  27. When faced with a problem, are you more likely to jump into solving it, or are you the type to carefully assess the issue first?
  28. Looking at your resume, I see multiple gaps between employments, what were you doing during those gaps?
  29. What questions do you have for me?
  30. Why should we hire you to work at National Grid?
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