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Matthew Petroleum Notes


Asset Integrity Interviews: The General Situation

There is not much new about advice relating to job interview techniques; advice for employers and candidates is everywhere, with little variation between it all. By necessity however most of it is very generalised, designed to be applied to any job situation.

This introduction is more about the general approach to integrity job applications, the methods and madness of screening and interviewing with more emphasis as to how the methods fit in with a technical industry dominated by contract/freelance employees. For more details of this, see our Integrity Job Roles, what’s new? article covering freelancing and the gig economy in the asset integrity industry.

Let’s look at how some of the characteristics of the integrity industry influence the nature of job interviews:

  • It’s a predominantly technically-based industry, so there’s a solid platform of technical subjects on which to base screening and interview questions. Don’t underestimate the advantage of this; many businesses don’t have this type of reliable route by which to assess applicants’ suitability.
  • For those integrity jobs requiring admin and organisational ‘head-office-type’ skills, there’s nothing particularly special that differentiates this industry from others with a similar operation, so there’s no reason why there should be any big surprises waiting around the corner
  • Every job opportunity posted attracts hundreds, if not thousands, of unsuitable applicants from far-flung corners of the earth who just upload their CV and press ‘send’, without being in the least suitable for the position advertised. That’s much the same in all businesses now, so the Integrity industry is no different.

Where are you in 5 years time

Some facts about Integrity job interviews

Employers are awash with CVs and applicants for every position. The problem is that many are technically unsuitable, under or over-qualified and haven’t even considered what the job actually entails. This means some type of pre-interview screening is a necessity, not an option,

About 60% employers use Telephone and Skype interviews as preliminary screening tools. Both are probably a good idea but when you think about it, no-one knows exactly how effective they are, because you can’t compare the results with how someone would perform at face-to-face interview if the interview never took place.

In some industries, pre-recorded computer interviews are now starting to be used. They aren’t that common in the integrity industry yet but they are around, under platforms such as Sparkhire, Launchpad and Interviewstream.

The idea is that the employer commissions an automated on-screen interview package from one of the platforms. As a candidate you log in and answer a stream of pre-prepared questions. It works like a face-to-face interview, with a good-looking interviewer to look at (they always are) but with none of the feedback you would expect from a person-to- person experience. If all works well, all candidates get the same interviewer and questions, to keep it fair.

Remember it’s generally not live. Unlike a live connection interview, you only get one shot at the answers and have to meet specific time limits for your answers (look for the timer in the corner of the screen somewhere). Some allow you to upload a self-recorded YouTube-style clip of yourself talking about your strong points. Someone, somewhere has to look at all of these and give you marks out of ten, or more probably a hundred, to decide who to invite for interview.

The future?

There is no reason why this pre-recorded interview technology shouldn’t gain mainstream acceptance in the integrity industry. It can fit in well with asking technical questions and is much cheaper and time-efficient than one-on-one telephone skype interviews, at least for screening purposes. Expect it soon I think. Looking forward, the principle of applying interactive technology to the interviewing process is not going to stop. The rate of change is exponentially fast and before long you will be being interviewed by knowledgeable robots posing as real people. I bet you can hardly wait.

You can see how this will work at the end of this article…but, if you want to skip this and get onto the technical stuff of Integrity Interviews then check out our articles on the various types of technical interviews on our Technical Interview webpage



I'm your interviewerScreening Interview Yr 2020

A call to the automated screening interview. Please call promptly at 1030am and enter PIN 564643

‘Good morning valued candidate, we hope you have a good experience in your automated screening interview today. Just say clearly what you are looking for’

‘Hello, my name is Derek; I’ve booked an interview for the Senior Plant inspector job XYPLANT95623’

Thank you. What kind of plant ?,flowering plant , non-flowering plant (mosses and ferns) or dicotyledon (a plant that produces seeds that develop into two leaves).Just say your choice or tap a, b or c into your watchpad keyboard.

No, no I’ve booked an automated screening interview for the chemical process plant inspector job, the one in Hull

Thank you Malcolm .Please wait whilst we connect you to our world wide web internet-of-most-things…. (music for a while) ….click…Thank you for waiting. Do you mean the Hull in Quebec, Hull Massachusetts, Illinois, or the one near Wombat island, Australia?

No, it’s the one at the end of the M62, near Kingston-on-Hull

Did you say Kingston-on-Thames? there’s not many plants there. Did you mean Kew Gardens? That’s nearby and full of #1 for Kew Gardens hotel options and #2 if you want to repeat this message

……to be continued

Screening interview Yr 2030 (yes things will move fast)

A call to the automated screening interview.

Call promptly at 1030am…and enter PIN ȡԄᴥᴟȡȡ

‘Good morning valued candidate, we hope you have a good experience in your automated screening interview today. Just say clearly what you are looking for.’

‘Helloooo, I’ve booked an interview for the Chemical Plant inspector job XYPLANTԊᴪᴔᴠԊԒ¥ in Hull. The one in Yorkshire, that is’.

Thank you, applicant, number 7654 for this position, just wait one second while we review your online genetic profile and 20-year social media record (oh dear!)

Ok, just to say that my record is often confused with the….

Click…..we are reviewing your profile, reviewing, reviewing….

Hello 7654, are you the candidate who also applied for 28 other positions on the XYPLANT web in the past two weeks?

Er…no, that’s not me there must have been some ...…...

Click…We are sorry, our neuro-analysis concludes you are not suitable for this position. You have never been to Hull and have insufficient experience as a fish inspector to meet our client’s requirements. Please re-apply when you see another suitable vacancy. We hope you have enjoyed your experience today, please take a moment of your time to complete our 2-minute customer satisfaction survey.

Click…….brrrrrrrrrrrr…………Well, there we are.


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