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Wilkinson Coutts & Matthews Integrity Training

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WILKINSON COUTTS / MATTHEWS INTEGRITY HUB: an up-to-the-minute information mix designed to help you with your lifework and career development in the asset integrity, inspection and NDE industries.

Matthew Petroleum Notes

Graduate interviews

Matthews Integrity Hub: HEAD OFFICE has a specific page Interview DESK full of articles covering the subject of job interviews in the asset integrity industry. These are as relevant to graduates as anyone else in the industry. Interviews for new graduate positions however have a few special difficulties, whichever side of the interview desk you are sitting on.

Graduate interviews

Graduate interviews are awkward

Job interviews are by their nature, uncomfortable affairs. As a bit of office theatre, they are difficult to beat, with multiple facets depending on whether you are looking at it from the viewpoint of graduate employer or applicant. Running the whole show is, of course, the generation gap between interviewer and interviewee. It provides both with significant challenges and generally makes for an interesting cocktail of optimism, misunderstanding and general unease.

On balance, engineering interviews are more difficult for the interviewer than the interviewee. Rather than being active searches for the strong points of applicants it more often turns into a procession of questions and verbal exercises to see who has the fewest weak points amongst these being interviewed. This is actually good news from the applicant’s point of view, as these perceived weak points are smaller in number than strong points ever can be and are, within a fairly small tolerance band, almost perfectly predictable. Here they are;

  • Limited technical knowledge? The headline purpose of an integrity-related job interview is generally to find out whether an applicant’s has real technical knowledge or whether all they can do is recite, brightly-coloured parrot–fashion, what they remember from their assembled college courses. About 70% of applicants fit into the second category, and are easy to spot.
  • Lack of interest in practical skills? The issue is your interest in the practical aspects of the job you are applying for.You can fall foul of this one by talking too much about computer skills and spreadsheets – because familiarity with these is not in short supply.
  • Browser dependency? Nothing is better than this at chiselling the interview generation gap into a form that won’t help you. In the ageing eyes of your interviewers the answers to engineering questions are not found in the depths of the epic destinations of your browser. They may of course be wrong, but they are running your interview.
  • Dependence and indecisiveness? Enlightened interviewers are permanently twitchy about applicants who seem to have plenty of technical knowledge, express and interest in inspection, but would rather someone else make all the decisions for them. Reasons for this range from not wishing to be seen to get something wrong, to saving face, to an overall attitude of indecision and procrastination upon which some people base their life. Neither provides very good value for money from an employer’s point of view. If, perish the thought, your interviewer suffers from just a bit of this themselves, he or she will strangely not welcome seeing it in you. That’s just how it works.

So there’s the formula, if you can formulate an interview technique to get round these perceived weak points first, you can then get on with the easier business of letting your strong points shine through.

Graduate interviews

Heavy duty interview guidance

To help you, we have provided further guidance on the answers to more specific integrity job interview questions on our Interview DESK page . Try the quizzes and take a look at the sample answers that employers are looking for. They all work but are not specifically for graduate positions. If you want to see some special heavy-duty ones for that application, stay on the Graduate World webpage and check out the Graduates; answer this if you can quiz


If you want to check your knowledge for a specific job role in the integrity industry then try our trial technical interview.  Its purpose is to test you on the technical aspects of the job you are thinking of applying for.  There's no time limit on it but expect it to last at least 20 minutes.  After the discussion we'll give you honest feedback on how you did.  Just let us know the type of position you are going for; we'll do the rest and respond with at time slot for you to call us.

There's no charge, but we will expect you to call us at the allocated time and be ready to answer technical questions.

Remember your trial interview is on a purely technical subjects.  We are not interested in you personality traits, do-gooding activities or any wonderful extra-curricular interests you may have.

Technical Interview


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Matthews Integrity Training