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Energy Interview Questions

30 interview questions and answers to help you prepare for an interview in the energy industry.

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Question 1 of 30

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?

How to Answer

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.

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30 Energy Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1. 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?

      How to Answer

      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.

      1st Answer Example

      "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."

      2nd Answer Example

      "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."

  • 2. The energy sector often sees changes in regulation and policy. How do you keep up to date on changes in our industry?

      How to Answer

      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 Company ABC as an information resource, be sure to mention that as well.

      1st Answer Example

      "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."

      2nd Answer Example

      "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 Company ABC posts on sustainability and environmental concerns, on a regular basis."

  • 3. At Company ABC we seek to hire individuals with related post-secondary education. Walk me through your formal education.

      How to Answer

      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.

      1st Answer Example

      "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."

      2nd Answer Example

      "My Bachelor's degree is in Business Administration which is not directly related to what you do at Company ABC. With that said, I did learn a lot about organizational development, behavior, and project management. These skills will certainly help me in this role."

  • 4. At Company ABC we put a lot of emphasis on attention to detail which some people mistake for micromanagement. How do you feel about this?

      How to Answer

      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.



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  • 5. In which ways do you feel that Company ABC stands out from industry competitors?

      How to Answer

      It is essential that you research Company ABC, 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.

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  • 6. What are your thoughts on the stance environmentalists take against some of our practices in the energy industry?

      How to Answer

      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.

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  • 7. At Company ABC we put a strong focus on health and safety. What is your experience with health and safety in the energy industry?

      How to Answer

      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.

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  • 8. The energy sector has many competitors. Why do you want to work for Company ABC?

      How to Answer

      Discuss with the interviewer the ways that Company ABC 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 Company ABC.

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  • 9. Do you have any experience in SAP?

      How to Answer

      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 Company ABC 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 Company ABC has their programs listed in the job posting, be sure to research those programs a bit before your interview.

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  • 10. At Company ABC we use a variety of robust internal software programs. Do you consider yourself tech savvy and a fast learner?

      How to Answer

      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 Company ABC 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 Company ABC has their programs listed in the job posting, be sure to research those programs a bit before your interview.

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  • 11. Tell me about yourself.

      How to Answer

      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.

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  • 12. What accomplishment do you believe was the most difficult for you to achieve, in your most recent position?

      How to Answer

      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.

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  • 13. When have you been asked to perform a function or complete a task in which you had little or no experience in doing?

      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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  • 14. How do you handle a situation where your supervisor does not properly communicate information to you?

      How to Answer

      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.

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  • 15. Tell me about your experiences giving presentations in front of large groups.

      How to Answer

      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.

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  • 16. Describe a time when you motivated yourself to complete an assignment or task that you did not feel like doing.

      How to Answer

      Show the interviewer that you will still get the job done even when you aren't excited about the task at hand. Think about a time when there was a work-related task that you did not want to do. Perhaps the dreaded file room needed to be purged of outdated files to make room for new files.

      Tell the interviewer what your task was, and explain why you were not excited about it. Be sure to tell the interviewer that even though you were not enthusiastic about the work, you made it happen promptly knowing that it would help the organization as a whole.

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  • 17. What type of work environment do you dislike working in?

      How to Answer

      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.

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  • 18. How do you deal with uncomfortable situations?

      How to Answer

      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.

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  • 19. How many days were you absent from work last year?

      How to Answer

      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.

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  • 20. Do people see you as a trustworthy and honest individual?

      How to Answer

      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.

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  • 21. How can we motivate you on the job?

      How to Answer

      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.

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  • 22. 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?

      How to Answer

      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.

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  • 23. Tell me when you have delegated tasks effectively.

      How to Answer

      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 and empower your employees.

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  • 24. What do you see as the most difficult task in being a manager?

      How to Answer

      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.

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  • 25. What are your salary expectations?

      How to Answer

      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.

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  • 26. Do you feel performance should be rewarded over experience?

      How to Answer

      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.

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  • 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?

      How to Answer

      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.

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  • 28. Looking at your resume, I see multiple gaps between employments, what were you doing during those gaps?

      How to Answer

      There are many reasons for having a gap in your resume, and it's best, to be honest about the reasons.

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  • 29. What questions do you have for me?

      How to Answer

      It's always a great idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Review the company website and other online resources to ensure the questions you are asking are not mundane, or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of items you could have found the answers to 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 here?
      - What is the company'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?

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  • 30. Why should we hire you to work at Company ABC?

      How to Answer

      If you can't think of ways that you are unique, ask a few friends or family members what they feel sets you apart from other people. Their observations may help you understand how you are perceived.

      Perhaps you already know what sets you apart! This answer could include any industry accolades, extraordinary achievements, additional industry related training, a second language, or how involved you are in the community. Don't be afraid to brag about yourself a bit. In an interview, you are your most influential advocate.

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