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Noble Energy Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brown

Question 1 of 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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Noble Energy Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    You will often be working cross-departmentally. Tell me about a time you worked successfully with people outside of your department.

      Collaboration and teamwork are significant topics in the oil and gas industry. There will be many opportunities for you to work alongside different people in varying roles, functions, and departments. The interviewer would like to know that you can work closely with others even when their job functions may not be exactly like yours. Your ability to work with cross-functional teams will be a significant asset to Noble Energy.

      Maybe you headed a project which required you to collaborate with the members of the engineering and HR teams. You may have had the opportunity to organize a volunteer activity or team building exercise, company-wide. Share any challenges that came up and what you learned from the experience.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I have worked in a cross-functional setting for many years. Primarily with the Engineering department and the HR department, arranging various contractors and agreements. Clear communication and clarity in expectations are of huge importance to me, and you can rest assured that I would work cohesively with any department."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I bring experience in cross-functional teamwork in my current chemical engineering position. I believe that when expectations are communicated clearly from the beginning, a cross-functional team project can be very successful. I go into these types of projects with an understanding that everyone has their strengths and limitations based on their expertise and job function."

  2. 2.

    Documentation is crucial in this role. Rate your documentation abilities from 1-10 while supporting your answer.

      Documentation, in the oil and gas industry, is crucial. When dealing with intense environmental situations, red tape and regulations, and the safety of employees and labor contractors, one must always ensure the I's are dotted, and the T's are crossed. Tell the interviewer that you understand the importance of clear and precise documentation. Give an example of what makes you great with documenting.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I would rate my documentation skills as a 9/10. I am not perfect; however, I fully understand the potential repercussions related to unclear or messy paperwork and documentation. My current manager often compliments me on my reliable documentation, and I am sure she would be happy to comment when you call for an employment reference."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I feel solid in my documentation skills, ensuring that my work remains organized and precise. Since what I do is closely related to safety initiatives, I am especially careful and pay close attention to detail. For that reason, I would rate my documentation skills as a 9.5/10."

  3. 3.

    What type of work environment allows you to be the most productive?

      The interviewer would like to know how to ensure a healthy level of productivity from you. Are you able to be productive in any environment or are there particular types of situations that you find distracting? Discuss your preferences with the interviewer. Be sure to research the kind of environment that offered at Noble Energy before the interview.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I understand that your work environment is very collaborative. I come from a similar environment and have found that I can be very productive when there is the 'buzz' of a team around me. I can also be productive in quieter environments although that isn't my preference."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I work well in a high pressure, demanding environment that requires me to work smart and make my mark. I am competitive and love a significant challenge. How would you best describe the work environment at Noble Energy?"

  4. 4.

    Tell me about a time when you witnessed unsafe behavior in the field. What did you do?

      A few years ago, The RAD Group did a significant study related to workplace safety. They found that only 2 in 5 employees felt comfortable reporting unsafe behavior. The observation study also showed that the average employee performs three unsafe acts per week.

      The interviewer would like to know that he/she can trust you to report unsafe work or unsavory behavior in the workplace. The oil and gas industry has incredibly stringent safety regulations and Noble Energy must make sure that they are hiring someone who honors their commitment to safety.

      Talk to the interviewer about the steps you would take if you witnessed unsafe behavior in the field. If you have personally seen some dangerous behavior, discuss the specifics.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my previous role I often saw co-workers engaging in dangerous work without taking proper breaks and rests. This overexertion is common in the field because people focus on getting the job done as soon as possible. If I witnessed this unsafe behavior, I would ask my coworker to take a rest and would offer to jump in, or call someone new to the floor to take over."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I recently saw a co-worker not wearing their proper PPE. Safety gear is non-negotiable, in my opinion, so I approached them immediately about their choice not to protect themselves properly. According to my company's regulations, I had to write a report on the incident. I trust it will not happen again. I understand these safety rules are in place for everyone's protection so I will do what I can to uphold the regulations."

  5. 5.

    Noble Energy operates in many countries. Are you eligible to travel and work around the world?

      Noble Energy may operate in a multitude of regions and the interviewer would like to know that you can accommodate their potential needs as you grow within their organization. Be honest with your answer, but as open as possible. If you have limitations, be sure to discuss them. If you are free and able to travel, you can keep your response straightforward.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I am eligible to travel and have no limitations when it comes to working around the world. My passport is valid, and I have a NEXUS border pass."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Could you share with me more about the travel component in this role? I am eligible to travel and willing to, as needed."

  6. 6.

    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.

      Ryan'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."

      Ryan'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."

  7. 7.

    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.

      Ryan'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?"

      Ryan'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."

  8. 8.

    Noble Energy 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 Noble Energy in their mission. Discuss the ways that you uphold safety standards in the workplace. Extra points if you can memorize the safety mission of Noble Energy.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I read online that Noble Energy has a range of programs related to safety, and that your mission is, 'Safety above everything.' 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."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "When Noble Energy says that the safety mission is to put safety above everything, it resonates with me. Values guide me and understand the importance of a healthy environment and a safe workplace."

  9. 9.

    What is API gravity, and how is it calculated?

      API gravity is American Institute Petroleum gravity. In short, it is a measure used to determine the weight of petroleum liquids compared to water. Here, the interviewer is not looking for you to give a math or physics lesson. They want to know that you are aware of basic terms and what they mean. Keep your response brief, and easy to follow.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I understand there is a specific formula used to find the gravity of petroleum liquids from the specific gravity, also known as SG. The formula is: API gravity = 141.5/SG - 131.5. I also know that is the API gravity is 10+, it is classified as a light oil which will float on water. An API gravity under ten will sink and then becomes categorized as heavy oil."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "What I understand about API gravity is that it's a measurement that calculates the gravity of petroleum liquids compared to water. This calculation is how oil becomes classified from light, medium and heavy for example."

  10. 10.

    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.

      Ryan'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."

      Ryan'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 Deans List. My education has prepared me for a role with Noble Energy in many ways including leadership, discipline and organizational skills."

  11. 11.

    Oil has different categories. Name a few.

      The interviewer is testing your overall knowledge when it comes to oil terminology. Here is an easy guide to different oil categories:

      1. Very light oils which include gasoline and jet fuels
      2. Light oils which include diesel, some fuel oils, and light crudes
      3. Medium oils, which include most crude oils
      4. Heavy oils such as heavy crude oils and some fuel oil

      Show the interviewer that you have an understanding of oil variances.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I understand that there are many categories and types of oils. Many people believe that oil is all the same; however, it comes in ranges from heavy to very light oil. These types vary when it comes to viscosity and toxicity."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I have studied all types of oil including very light, light, medium, and heavy. I have the broadest knowledge base with light oils and medium oils, including most crude oils."

  12. 12.

    With which industry-related computer programs are you most familiar?

      The oil and gas industry has many options when it comes to computer programs, applications, and other software solutions. Speak briefly to the ones with which you're most comfortable. Also be sure to express that you can learn new applications and systems quickly.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I have experience with several different computer software suites within the oil and gas industry - I've worked with NetSuite, Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management, JD Edwards and Microsoft Dynamics most recently. I'm also comfortable with SAP Business. I also can easily learn new systems. Could you share with me which programs you use at Noble Energy? I would be happy to gain a head start by taking online coursework and tutorials."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I am newer to my career so I would say that I am entry-level in most oil and gas related programs. I am tech savvy, however, and can learn these systems quickly. I am advanced in MS Office Suite and have used CRM's in the past."

  13. 13.

    What questions do you have for me?

      It's always a great idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Review the Noble Energy website and other online resources to ensure the queries you have are not mundane, or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of items you could have found the answers for from merely watching a video on their company site!

      Here are some sample questions:

      - When would you like to have this position filled?
      - How long has this role been vacant?
      - Is this a replacement search or a newly created role?
      - What is your favorite part about working at Noble Energy?
      - What is Noble Energy's primary goal for this position in the next 12 months?
      - Is there anything from my background and experience that I can clarify for you?
      - What do you see as the most significant change in this industry over the past three years?
      - Is there any reason why you would not hire me?

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Thank you for asking - I do have a few questions. What is top of mind when it comes to filling this role? Also, what types of career growth opportunities would follow this position? And lastly, do you have internal candidates who are also interviewing for this position?"

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "A few questions come to mind, so thank you for asking. What's the next major project Noble Energy is looking to tackle? I know you're seeking to expand this particular department, so I wonder what is next."

  14. 14.

    Why is this job with Noble Energy right for you at this time in your career?

      Discuss with the interviewer why you are looking to make a change, and how this particular role fits well with the changes that you are seeking. Be sure to give a more in-depth answer than the typical 'I am looking for growth'response that so many interviewers hear. Be thoughtful and draw upon the research you have done on Noble Energy.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "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 new education in GIS while giving me an opportunity to advance in my management skills."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I currently manage a small team of 12 field operators and engineers. Although I love the work, I am ready to stretch myself professionally into an organization with more production capacity, and teams of 25 or more. This year I dedicated myself to taking two leadership workshops, which I feel greatly prepared me to take on the challenge of the work volume present in Noble Energy."

  15. 15.

    This role requires extensive knowledge of pipeline systems and oil well machinery. How well do you understand this complicated equipment?

      To fully understand pipeline systems and oil well machinery, you will need to have many years' experience in the industry. Briefly discuss with the interviewer how comfortable you are on these topics. Be sure to list any courses that you have taken on these topics.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I have studied pipeline systems for some time now, and have worked in the oil industry for approximately eight years. There are always new things to learn, as the industry is ever-evolving; however, I would rate my knowledge at an intermediate to advanced level. If there is any coursework that you recommend I take before starting with Noble Energy, I would be happy to comply."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I am newer to the oil and gas industry; however, I have taken some coursework including fundamentals of offshore and onshore pipeline systems and am confidently in my knowledge base. I am currently working toward my Pipeline Operations Certificate which includes studies focused on corrosion theory, measurement fundamentals, and inspection techniques."

  16. 16.

    Do you think it is possible to be a good team member, yet disagree with the leader?

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  17. 17.

    Using the STAR method, tell me about the most significant problem you faced and solved.

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  18. 18.

    What is OPEC, and why does it matter?

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  19. 19.

    How are crude oil prices determined?

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  20. 20.

    Which is the leading publication or resource that you use for up-to-date news on the oil and gas sector?

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  21. 21.

    What is the most significant achievement you have on the horizon?

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  22. 22.

    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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  23. 23.

    When have you had to make a split second decision? How do you react under unexpected pressure?

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  24. 24.

    How would you describe your written communication skills?

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  25. 25.

    When given an important assignment, how do you approach handling it?

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  26. 26.

    What have you done to improve your oil and gas knowledge in the last year?

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  27. 27.

    When have you shown great integrity at work?

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  28. 28.

    What is the difference between a leader and a manager?

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  29. 29.

    What is your personal mission statement?

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  30. 30.

    Is compensation the most important factor for you when taking a new job?

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