The interviewer would like to know more about your problem-solving skills, and your personality. Discuss how you tackle problems when they arise, and keep your answer work-related if you can. Whether you are the type to jump right into solving a problem or you are more methodical in your approach, highlight to the interviewer that you are capable of handling issues professionally while using sound judgment.
"When faced with a problem, I am more likely to jump right into solving it. I believe that you cannot leave a problem to fester or become bigger than it already is. You have to take ownership of the issue, and involve yourself in the resolution right away. With that said, I am responsible for my decision making and certainly don't jump in blind. If I am unsure of what action to take, I will ask my leader for advice."
"I'm a 'roll up my sleeves' kind of person. I see a problem, envision a solution, and begin to tackle it, figuring it out as I go and asking for help along the way."
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.
"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."
"I feel both performance and experience should be equally rewarded and weighted."
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.
"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."
"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."
Being in a management role is always a significant challenge. Share with the interviewer what you feel is the most challenging part of being a manager, and why. Also, discuss what you are currently doing to make this task less complicated in the future.
"As a manager, the most difficult task for me is to delegate the work evenly. You will always have team members who are absolute rockstars, then some who are a bit less enthusiastic or are lower producers. I have to remind myself to distribute the work and responsibilities evenly despite my natural inclination to give more work to the high performers. I am currently working with my underperforming team members to prepare them for a larger workload."
"I would say the most difficult part of managing people is being both their friend and earning their respect while being new on the team. To balance all of these roles, you have to make sure to be approachable and genuinely interested in them as humans, but also make sure they know that it's a place of business and that meeting or exceeding expectations is the name of the game, above all else."
Delegating tasks to employees is always a requirement when you are in a management type of role. Talk to the interviewer about your ability to delegate to, and empower your employees.
"I find that to delegate tasks effectively you first need to understand each employee's strengths. I will always delegate to someone's strength so that they will organically know how to complete the task. This method eliminates a lot of resistance and promotes effective and productive work."
"In my current position, prioritization of our workload is critical to our success. I tap into the resources of my team by finding out their strengths and career aspirations, then assigning them work that will compliment them."
When you are thinking about examples of criticism, it's best to show that you want to grow as an employee and that you can handle constructive criticism because it helps you learn and improve the quality of your work.
"I was instructed to create some presentations for our events. After my manager reviewed my work, some of the slides required an additional copy, and he had different design concepts in mind. He had a background in graphic design, and since I do not, I listened to his ideas and incorporated them. I thought they looked very professional and in the following presentations, I tried to include those design concepts."
"I was very eager to climb the ranks in my most recent position. My manager, and the VP of Sales, really appreciated this hunger and grit. However, I did receive the feedback that I needed to slow down. As frustrating as it was, I listened. I dedicated my time to learning as much as I could in my current position and paced myself much better post-feedback."
Every employer should know how each staff member is best motivated. Talk to the interviewer about the variety of ways in which you are best motivated on the job.
"I am best motivated through words of praise and recognition for a job well done. I do like to know that my efforts are being noticed. In my current position, we have a leaderboard, and I do like that concept because it creates a healthy bit of personal competition for me as well."
"I am motivated by knowing something about the end customer and being able to relate to them as a person. A personal touch is always helpful for me. I also find motivation through opportunities. The fact that you have a great professional development program is fascinating to me."
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.
"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."
"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."
A part of being a diligent employee is to ensure that you are always on time and present when expected. It's great to even be 10 minutes early rather than just showing up right on the dot. Talk to the interviewer about your attendance.
"I had zero unexcused absences last year. In total, I took 12 vacation days out of my 15 allotted days. I was sick just 2, and a note from my Doctor accompanied those. Once I was late due to a terrible snow storm, and I always try to be 10 minutes early for my shift."
"I cannot recall the exact number, but I think it was around three days total. All absences were excused and with notice."
Often, our work environment holds the possibility for awkward or tense situations. It can be challenging to know how to respond when you have a coworker who is moody, or when your coworker lacks social skills and continually asks inappropriate questions. The interviewer wants to know that you can keep your cool in situations like these.
"I have had my share of awkward situations and having raised two kids, I am no stranger to them! In the workplace, if an uncomfortable situation arises I tend to face the issue head-on, but tactfully. Sweeping things under the rug rarely helps. I have no problem being open with my team or colleagues if I am not feeling comfortable in a particular situation."
"I have learned over the years that if something makes me uncomfortable, I better dive right in. Change and growth happen outside of your comfort zone. I embrace this!"
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.
"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 Woodside Petroleum as I have read many great employee reviews on Glassdoor and your commitment to your workplace culture is evident."
"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."
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.
"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."
"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 can enjoy the success of a well-done project."
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.
"In my last 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."
"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."
You cannot force others to communicate with you in a way that you would always prefer. Talk to the interviewer about a time that you have handled a supervisor who does not interact with you in a way that you like.
"Whenever I have had a supervisor who does not properly communicate with me, I try to learn their style of communication and emulate it. Sometimes you have to relate to others in their style to be understood."
"I have worked for a previous supervisor who was incredibly brief in his communication. Many times, I would have to put the pieces together for myself. I managed through it, and it taught me independent thought."
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?
"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."
"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."
Being able to face a challenging or stressful situation, and still gain some accomplishment, in the end, is very satisfying. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you were able to come out on top despite being faced with an obstacle.
"In my career, so far, I feel that the most difficult accomplishment for me to achieve were the three back-to-back promotions in my current company. Because promotions are granted based on results, I had to put in a lot of overtime hours, and hustle, to get there."
"My most challenging accomplishment was to boost employee morale, lower turnover and increase productivity. After the year they had, it was not easy to take over, gain their trust, and put a smile back on their faces."
When an interviewer asks an open-ended question like this, it can be difficult to know where to begin...and end! This question haunts many individuals who may accidentally go a little too in-depth into their personal lives. It happens. Keep your reply light, and work relevant. Share how you became interested in this career path and what you enjoy about it. This question is an excellent opportunity to describe yourself by discussing the strengths and qualities that you bring.
"I am a competitive individual who is driven and likes to win. In addition to my successful sales career, I also spend time playing competitive sports. I give back by volunteering at the local animal shelter and working for a variety of annual fundraisers in our community."
"I am a passionate, excited team player who loves to learn on the fly, take the lead when possible, and I have a proven track record of success. I'm loyal and have shown that through my decade-long career at one employer. I have risen through their ranks, and am ready to take on the next challenge. Outside of work, I love to travel and do DIY projects in my home."
Many energy companies will use robust software programs that you may not have even heard of. Because of this, you may not have the exact experience that Woodside Petroleum 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 Woodside Petroleum has their programs listed in the job posting, be sure to research those programs a bit before your interview.
"I am an advanced level user in all of the programs used in my current company. From your job posting, I see that you use X, Y, and Z at Woodside Petroleum. I am familiar with how these programs work. I pick up on new technology quickly, and I am willing to get a head start through some helpful online tutorials so that I am a touch more up to speed on my first day with Woodside Petroleum Ltd.."
"I had taken some courses in computer programming and also worked part-time evenings as an IT support person when I was attending University. I consider myself to be technically inclined. Could you share with me the primary programs you use at Woodside Petroleum?"
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 Woodside Petroleum 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 Woodside Petroleum has their programs listed in the job posting, be sure to research those programs a bit before your interview.
"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 Woodside Petroleum. I am familiar with how these programs work. Technology is very interesting to me, and I am a quick study."
"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."
Discuss with the interviewer the ways that Woodside Petroleum 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 Woodside Petroleum.
"I understand there are many options when seeking a career in the energy industry; however, I am most interested in working for Woodside Petroleum because you value continued education and put a strong emphasis on being environmentally responsible. Also, your core values include integrity. I read on your website that you consider yourself an environment built on honesty and fairness. What you say is what you do, and you always dare to do the right thing."
"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."
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.
"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 Woodside Petroleum puts such a strong emphasis here."
"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."
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.
"There are many hot topics when it comes to the energy industry. We are no stranger to a controversy which is why I seek to work for a reputable organization such as Woodside Petroleum. 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."
"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."
It is essential that you research Woodside Petroleum, 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.
"One thing that stands out to me is that Woodside Petroleum seems to put a stronger and more positive emphasis on environmental concerns. Your involvement with community concerns and innovative tech is inspiring. Also, you have some incredible employee inclusion programs such as your Spectrum program for LGBTI+ team members. That's incredible."
"Woodside Petroleum 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."
Many companies will strictly 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.
"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."
"I work very well on an independent basis; however, it is nice to be checked in on now and then! I don't mind having my work double checked or proofed."
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.
"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."
"My Bachelor's degree is in Business Administration which is not directly related to what you do at Woodside Petroleum. With that said, I did learn a lot about organizational development, behavior, and project management. These skills will certainly help me in this role."
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 Woodside Petroleum as an information resource, be sure to mention that as well.
"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."
"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 Woodside Petroleum posts on sustainability and environmental concerns, on a regular basis."