Haria Djuli

Talent Acquisition Advisor
Last Updated: July 3, 2017
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Career Development
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“Confidence is Preparation. Everything Else is Beyond Your Control” ~ Richard Kline

I am sure most of us have asked for tips on how to be successful in a job assessment. In my years of experience in assessing candidates, I have observed the following traits of successful candidates:

  1. They find out what will be tested, how they will be tested and they practice, practice and practice. Companies in general, assess job applicants for their technical abilities, behavioral attributes and problem-solving skills. These assessments can be done virtually or on-site through tests or within the interview processes.
    • Technical ability assessments are typically straight forward. For graduates, they may be asked to discuss specifics of their final year project; and for experienced professionals, relevant work experience that are typically already specified in the job description. Also, companies may ask candidates to sit through numerical, verbal or logic test as part of technical skills assessment. Tips: For interviews, read the job description and prepare two or three examples of projects or technical work that you can discuss in detail. For online assessment, check the company website and see if they offer practice tests. Alternatively, search online for free assessments to give you a feel on how the tests may look like.
    • Behavioral attributes are typically gathered during the interview process by asking candidates “how” or “what” they do would do in meeting challenges in the workplace, be it leading others to deliver a result or managing conflict in a team environment. Similarly, companies today perform online tests to predict a candidate’s behavioral match with the organization culture. Tips: Visit the company’s website, understand the company’s visions and values which typically will be the basis of their organizational culture. Prepare two or three examples from your own experience that exhibits those values. Similarly, search for online tests and practise.
    • Problem solving is typically assessed via case studies or simulated exercises. These types of assessments may be done individually or in group. It can be done through an interview process or via a computer based system. Candidates typically find problem solving assessments difficult because there is no right or wrong answers. Companies like these types of assessments because they get an understanding on the thought processes of candidates when they are faced with unfamiliar situations. Tips: Read case studies relevant to the industry that you are applying to understand the present and future challenges of companies within that sector. Form ideas on how you would approach the challenges and how you would present your ideas. What’s important is to focus on presenting ideas that are realistic and present them in a structured manner. I also highly recommend candidates to see this video and understand case study interview techniques.
  2. They know their CV like the back of their hands. Most often than not, interviews are conducted to re-affirm if the candidate is who they say they are in their CV’s. Thus, successful candidates elaborate on projects that they have already indicated in their CV’s rather than coming up with other experiences during the interview. Tips: Use the STAR technique to elaborate your experiences i.e.
    • S - Situation: Set the context e.g. Project title, Budget, Timelines, Team
    • T- Task: What was your role, purpose of the project
    • – Action: What did you do, what obstacles you faced, how you overcome them
    • R – Result: What was the result, what did you learn, what you can do better
  3. They are not afraid to say that they don’t know. Confident candidates do not try to bluff their way through an interview. If they don’t know the answers or they lack experience in a specific area, they would say so. Most interviewers would appreciate such honesty and have a more positive view of the candidate. Tips: Find out who the interviewers are and check-out their online profiles, so you can gauge the interviewer’s technical background and prepare accordingly the level of detail that you would need for the interview. Assess your own weaknesses and prepare how you can address those weaknesses if it comes up during the assessment process.
  4. They mind the small details. Besides doing upfront preparations, candidates also ensure that they have enough rest prior to the interview day; knowing the logistics of when and where the interviews will be conducted; and making sure that they present themselves professionally and culturally appropriate during the interview itself, be it in the way that they dress themselves, to the manner on how they communicate during the interview process.

Many companies nowadays have a robust assessment process because hiring the wrong talent can be a costly exercise to the company. Although these assessments may seem complex, with some hard work and proper preparation, these assessments can be completed successfully. However, as with all other things in life, despite all the preparations, we may still not be successful. The successful and confident candidate would treat it as a learning experience to help them perform better in their next assessment opportunity.


Find out how NrgEdge can help your career journey in the energy industry, click here to find out. If you would like specific career advise or help in writing your resume, drop us a note here


Haria Djuli
Advisor, NrgEdge


Haria brings with him over 11 years of experience in corporate talent acquisition in the energy, oil & gas industry. He had spent over a decade of his career with the Shell group of companies in various locations including the Netherlands, Qatar and Malaysia since 2005. Haria’s direct experience in working across various markets in Europe, Middle East and Southeast Asia gives him a strong understanding and knowledge of the competitive nature of talent acquisition in oil & gas sector globally. His hands-on involvement in recruiting talents ranging from roles in senior management to technicians for both onshore and offshore operations has allowed him to appreciate the various complexities and intricacies involved in meeting organizational goals in talent management. As a firm believer that organisations need to develop their own talents to build a sustainable and successful business, Haria was also actively involved in campus recruitment programs both locally in Malaysia and overseas, where he also provided guidance to young graduates in universities about career advancement in the oil & gas industry.

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