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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In 2021, the makeup of renewables has also changed drastically. Technologies such as solar and wind are no longer novel, as is the idea of blending vegetable oils into road fuels or switching to electric-based vehicles. Such ideas are now entrenched and are not considered enough to shift the world into a carbon neutral future. The new wave of renewables focus on converting by-products from other carbon-intensive industries into usable fuels. Research into such technologies has been pioneered in universities and start-ups over the past two decades, but the impetus of global climate goals is now seeing an incredible amount of money being poured into them as oil & gas giants seek to rebalance their portfolios away from pure hydrocarbons with a goal of balancing their total carbon emissions in aggregate to zero.

Traditionally, the European players have led this drive. Which is unsurprising, since the EU has been the most driven in this acceleration. But even the US giants are following suit. In the past year, Chevron has poured an incredible amount of cash and effort in pioneering renewables. Its motives might be less than altruistic, shareholders across America have been particularly vocal about driving this transformation but the net results will be positive for all.

Chevron’s recent efforts have focused on biomethane, through a partnership with global waste solutions company Brightmark. The joint venture Brightmark RNG Holdings operations focused on convert cow manure to renewable natural gas, which are then converted into fuel for long-haul trucks, the very kind that criss-cross the vast highways of the US delivering goods from coast to coast. Launched in October 2020, the joint venture was extended and expanded in August, now encompassing 38 biomethane plants in seven US states, with first production set to begin later in 2021. The targeting of livestock waste is particularly crucial: methane emissions from farms is the second-largest contributor to climate change emissions globally. The technology to capture methane from manure (as well as landfills and other waste sites) has existed for years, but has only recently been commercialised to convert methane emissions from decomposition to useful products.

This is an arena that another supermajor – BP – has also made a recent significant investment in. BP signed a 15-year agreement with CleanBay Renewables to purchase the latter’s renewable natural gas (RNG) to be mixed and sold into select US state markets. Beginning with California, which has one of the strictest fuel standards in the US and provides incentives under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard to reduce carbon intensity – CleanBay’s RNG is derived not from cows, but from poultry. Chicken manure, feathers and bedding are all converted into RNG using anaerobic digesters, providing a carbon intensity that is said to be 95% less than the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of pure fossil fuels and non-conversion of poultry waste matter. BP also has an agreement with Gevo Inc in Iowa to purchase RNG produced from cow manure, also for sale in California.

But road fuels aren’t the only avenue for large-scale embracing of renewables. It could take to the air, literally. After all, the global commercial airline fleet currently stands at over 25,000 aircraft and is expected to grow to over 35,000 by 2030. All those planes will burn a lot of fuel. With the airline industry embracing the idea of AAF (or Alternative Aviation Fuels), developments into renewable jet fuels have been striking, from traditional bio-sources such as palm or soybean oil to advanced organic matter conversion from agricultural waste and manure. Chevron, again, has signed a landmark deal to advance the commercialisation. Together with Delta Airlines and Google, Chevron will be producing a batch of sustainable aviation fuel at its El Segundo refinery in California. Delta will then use the fuel, with Google providing a cloud-based framework to analyse the data. That data will then allow for a transparent analysis into carbon emissions from the use of sustainable aviation fuel, as benchmark for others to follow. The analysis should be able to confirm whether or not the International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s estimates that renewable jet fuel can reduce lifecycle carbon intensity by up to 80%. And to strengthen the measure, Delta has pledged to replace 10% of its jet fuel with sustainable aviation fuel by 2030.

In a parallel, but no less pioneering lane, France’s TotalEnergies has announced that it is developing a 100% renewable fuel for use in motorsports, using bioethanol sourced from residues produced by the French wine industry (among others) at its Feyzin refinery in Lyon. This, it believes, will reduce the racing sports’ carbon emissions by an immediate 65%. The fuel, named Excellium Racing 100, is set to debut at the next season of the FIA World Endurance Championship, which includes the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans 2022 race.

But Chevron isn’t done yet. It is also falling back on the long-standing use of vegetable oils blended into US transport fuels by signing a wide-ranging agreement with commodity giant Bunge. Called a ‘farmer-to-fuelling station’ solution, Bunge’s soybean processing facilities in Louisiana and Illinois will be the source of meal and oil that will be converted by Chevron into diesel and jet fuel. With an investment of US$600 million, Chevron will assist Bunge in doubling the combined capacity of both plants by 2024, in line with anticipated increases in the US biofuels blending mandates.

Even ExxonMobil, one of the most reticent of the supermajors to embrace renewables wholesale, is getting in on the action. Its Imperial Oil subsidiary in Canada has announced plans to commercialise renewable diesel at a new facility near Edmonton using plant-based feedstock and hydrogen. The venture does only target the Canadian market – where political will to drive renewable adoption is far higher than in the US – but similar moves have already been adopted by other refiners for the US market, including major investments by Phillips 66 and Valero.

Ultimately, these recent moves are driven out of necessity. This is the way the industry is moving and anyone stubborn enough to ignore it will be left behind. Combined with other major investments driven by European supermajors over the past five years, this wider and wider adoption of renewable can only be better for the planet and, eventually, individual bottom lines. The renewables ball is rolling fast and is only gaining momentum.

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Market Outlook:

  • Crude price trading range: Brent – US$71-73/b, WTI – US$68-70/b
  • Global crude benchmarks have stayed steady, even as OPEC+ sticks to its plans to ease supply quotas against the uncertainty of rising Covid-19 cases worldwide
  • However, the success of vaccination drives has kindled hope that the effect of lockdowns – if any – will be mild, with pockets of demand resurgence in Europe; in China, where there has been a zero-tolerance drive to stamp out Covid outbreaks, fuel consumption is strengthening again, possibly tightening fuel balances in Q4
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