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Wilkinson Coutts & Matthews Integrity Training

Who are we?

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


What if?

Let’s say you are being interviewed for a job in the integrity world. Your interviewer looks like one of those well-dressed, gleaming-toothed stock images you see on big company websites. You note the polished, uncluttered desk and the motivational posters showing on the wall behind.

At the end of the interview, your interviewer asks; ’Do you have any questions for me?’

Anxious not to look precocious, you respond with your best hopefully-convincing smile ‘No I think you’ve answered all my queries thank you’

Wow, have you just made one BIG MISTAKE.

Job Interviews

We tend to think that a job interview is like an audition. We think; ‘I hope they like me’. Problem is, you’ll never really know, even if you get the job. It might actually be a wonderful job, or it may be because they are desperate to fill a position and are pitifully short of half-decent applications. Maybe they want to give some new half-baked idea a try, using the cheapest candidate with a suitable CV, or it could be a deadbeat job, full of frustration and tedium. You just don’t know. We still try our hardest to get accepted however, striving to be the candidate we think the interviewer wants to see.

That's exactly the wrong mindset to bring to a job interview. The proof of this lies in the existence of the vacancy you have just applied for. It is there because the previous incumbent didn’t want it. Whatever the reason, the job didn’t turn out what they wanted it to be, so they left. Fast forward a bit, and now here you are, possibly about to make the same mistake.

Do you have any questions for me

Do yourself a favour

If you want to find out what a job vacancy is really about, you can't spend too much precious interview time trying to please the interviewer. Doing that will weaken your truth-telling muscles and could get you into a job you'd hate. What's the point of that? You’ll just end up leaving, like the last incumbent. A job interview is better thought of as an exercise to decide whether two parties are meant to work together. If they are, that is success, and if they aren't, that's success too.

Danger Signs

As a candidate, using a job interview to find what you are getting yourself into is not that difficult. You can use the negative experiences you had in your last job and ask questions to see whether it’s more of the same in the new one. You can learn a lot from your friends and colleagues in the industry too; job satisfactions and dissatisfactions fall into surprisingly few categories, most of which are absolutely commonplace and freely talked about. What we have discovered is that there are a few job interviews danger signs that you need to watch very carefully for;

  • Your interviewer is not the new boss that you will be working directly for (why not? you may ask)
  • The stated duties of the job seem hazy, or undecided, or somehow are up to you to decide
  • It’s a ‘work from home’ job (how exactly can this help you integrate into a company?)
  • The vacancy is in response to some ‘new opportunity’ that the employer is trying to embark upon (possibly)

There’s nothing guaranteed wrong with a job interview based on some or all of these signs, but it’s fair to say that all should carry a gentle job-dissatisfaction health warning. If you think about the implications of each of these in turn this should suggest lots of questions to you to ask your new prospective employer about themselves and the vacancy you are applying for.


Going back to the start of this article, if you wanted to see what your interviewer is really about then you could have responded to the question as follows (note this down for future use)

Interviewer (possibly your future boss, or possibly not); ’Do you have any questions for me?’

You ‘Goodness me, yes of course. Thank you so much for the interview today. In my previous jobs I have discovered that perfectionism is the enemy of happiness so in doing my job I actively embrace being perfectly imperfect. I’m happy to learn from my mistakes as we all should be … (short thoughtful pause for effect) … I just wonder if you could …err…um…. let me know how this will fit in with your personal management style and the culture of the company here?’

Then just shut up and look for the quality of the answer. It’s perhaps best not to raise your hopes too highly.

See how we did

Want to see how we got on in our trial exercise applying for advertised integrity jobs? Read our linked article Dealing with recruitment agencies

Don’t forget the way that the integrity industry is changing. Take a look at our article Integrity Job Roles:What’s new?to see the freelance/gig economy in the asset integrity industry from the employee’s point of view.


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


CONTACT US Tel: 07746 771592

Matthews Integrity Training