JalaPNo
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I thought I'd summarise my telephone interview experience with BP for anyone who is in the same boat. Maybe you'll get some tips! Here's what happened"

She introduced herself. Told me a little bit about herself and asked me to do the same. She explained that she was also part of the graduate recruitment process and that she knew “exactly what I was going through.” She also mentioned that she would be making notes, so if she’s quiet I shouldn’t worry. She also said that she’ll ask me a few questions and that she expects an example as part of the answer.

[mod edit - discussion of specific interview questions is against TSR rules.]

She then informed me that she has asked me all the questions that she wanted to. She then gave me info on how it was going to work from here on – the recruitment process has slightly changed. There is now no assessment centre (AC) anymore – “If you are successful at this stage, you will progress to an online personality survey and then a technical interview. After this, if you’re successful, you will be made an offer.”

She thanked me for my time – which was a bit awkward as I was planning to thank her (I did so anyway) and asked me if I had any questions. The only questions I had was the recruitment process, which she had already explained, and when I could expect feedback on the interview. She assured me that “after we’ve interviewed everyone and made a decision on who’d progress” then they’d give feedback. She said this would be within a week from today -21 August 2013.

She was very professional and gave no indication whatsoever about whether she agreed/disagreed with any of my answers.
When I thanked her, I also repeated once again my great interest with BP and that it would be an amazing honour to work with them.
She then said “thank you for sharing that with me” - And then we greeted each other and the conversation was over.

I answered everything as summarised, yet factual as possible. I was completely honest with her throughout the interview. It was scheduled for 30 minutes but we ended up only speaking for 21 minutes.

I guess if I don’t succeed past this stage, it will be better for everyone as it must mean that I’m not suited for the position and that I would probably not have been happy working there anyway.

If the answer is no, of course I’m going to be disappointed – and very much so – but I’m sure there are great other opportunities as well.
I think the interview went really great, though. I was very nervous, but I’m sure she understands that. My nervousness didn’t really affect my ability to answer the questions and I became more relaxed as the interview progressed.

But hey! What will be will be. I just hope this quick summary of my interview will help others in similar situations to be prepared for the types of questions that might be asked and the overall tone of the interview itself.

Good luck to my fellow slightly-nervous and excited interviewees! All of the best!
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federernadal
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Thanks for that. How hard would you say it is to get an interview with BP/Shell/Exxon? I think I've seen the application form for BP and it seems like they massively care about extracurriculars?
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JalaPNo
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(Original post by federernadal)
Thanks for that. How hard would you say it is to get an interview with BP/Shell/Exxon? I think I've seen the application form for BP and it seems like they massively care about extracurriculars?
I think they view the extracurriculars only as an indication of how well balanced you are and if you get along with other people - working in a team. My application did have questions about extracurriculars during school and university, but I also included sports and hobbies I did outside of school/university to make the list more substantive.

I think your academics is the most important thing they look at initially - without the minimum of 65%, your application will probably be thrown out. Anything above that really helps your application. They make you write verbal and numerical assessments just to confirm that you're really as competent as your GPA suggests (I think that's only one reason they make you do those, though).

It was the first time I applied to BP and I must admit that I've never had to do such a stretched-out, complicated recruitment process. They make you jump through several hoops before you're finally made an offer. But I think this is the norm with any large organisation as they receive such a massive amount of applications that they simply can't give individual attention to every single one.

The other reason I can think of why they make it so gruelling, is to determine if you're really so committed to get the job that you'll actually subject yourself to all of their assessments. Believe me - if you're as serious as I am to get a job with BP, it'll work your nerves worse than final exams.

Now, it's the big wait. If they reject me at this stage, I'll know it's because they don't like me as a person - and that makes it personal and it doesn't matter how you look at it. This will hurt my confidence in myself to get a great job, but it certainly won't keep me down. Besides, there are way more of us who get rejected than those who actually get an offer. The lesson we should take out of it? Persevere. If they reject me... I'll simply move on and apply for a host of other positions.
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JalaPNo
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Just got word back from BP: I passed the telephone interview. Now all that remains is an online personality assessment, and if successful, a final technical interview. Wish me luck!
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Congrats
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rickfloss
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(Original post by JalaPNo)
Just got word back from BP: I passed the telephone interview. Now all that remains is an online personality assessment, and if successful, a final technical interview. Wish me luck!
what uni do you go to, i heard they only take oxbridge/imp/manchester/birmingham/ heriot watt an aberdeen students
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a10
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(Original post by rickfloss)
what uni do you go to, i heard they only take oxbridge/imp/manchester/birmingham/ heriot watt an aberdeen students
Lol that's silly. A few grads from my uni got graduate positions with BP as design engineers.
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eggfriedrice
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(Original post by JalaPNo)
Just got word back from BP: I passed the telephone interview. Now all that remains is an online personality assessment, and if successful, a final technical interview. Wish me luck!
May I ask which degree you took and at which university?
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Smack
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I'll add my experience (from what I can remember).

It lasted about half an hour, and was "competency based" (there's loads of information out there about this type of interview, Google it). She introduced herself and I think there was some quick questions about why I chose my degree and my uni, probably just to break the ice. If she didn't ask that she definitely asked why BP and why I applied for the role I applied for. Then it was onto the competency questions, and BP's were a bit more ... in-depth, and specific than the other competency interviews I've had, i.e. they weren't just generic questions like "tell me a time when you worked in a team", they were quite specific. My phone also cut out during the interview, and when she phoned back I had to ask her to phone my land-line instead. I though that would have ****ed me up, but it didn't as I heard later that evening that I got through to the next round.

Overall the BP phone interviewer was very polite and professional and sounded like she was taking a real interest in what I was saying.

I think what's also important is your telephone manner. Be polite, and ensure you thank the interviewer for his/her time, etc. Make sure you are in a quite place where you won't be disturbed and don't panic or be afraid to ask them to repeat the question.
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a10
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(Original post by Smack)
I'll add my experience (from what I can remember).

It lasted about half an hour, and was "competency based" (there's loads of information out there about this type of interview, Google it). She introduced herself and I think there was some quick questions about why I chose my degree and my uni, probably just to break the ice. If she didn't ask that she definitely asked why BP and why I applied for the role I applied for. Then it was onto the competency questions, and BP's were a bit more ... in-depth, and specific than the other competency interviews I've had, i.e. they weren't just generic questions like "tell me a time when you worked in a team", they were quite specific. My phone also cut out during the interview, and when she phoned back I had to ask her to phone my land-line instead. I though that would have ****ed me up, but it didn't as I heard later that evening that I got through to the next round.

Overall the BP phone interviewer was very polite and professional and sounded like she was taking a real interest in what I was saying.

I think what's also important is your telephone manner. Be polite, and ensure you thank the interviewer for his/her time, etc. Make sure you are in a quite place where you won't be disturbed and don't panic or be afraid to ask them to repeat the question.
Did you get the role in the end?
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Smack
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(Original post by a10)
Did you get the role in the end?
I didn't go to the assessment centre. If I did go I almost definitely wouldn't have gotten it anyway, because almost all the roles were full (I had to change discipline since the one I originally applied for filled up around the time of my telephone interview), which meant that the amount of candidates at the assessment centre greatly exceeded the amount of positions on offer. I spoke to some other people on my course who did do their assessment centre and they said it was hard as nails, and I'm not particularly good at assessment centres anyway.

So I chose not to go because it wasn't a role I really wanted, I had almost no chance of getting it anyway, and I would have had to travel a very long way to get to it meant I decided at the time that I wouldn't go.
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a10
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(Original post by Smack)
I didn't go to the assessment centre. If I did go I almost definitely wouldn't have gotten it anyway, because almost all the roles were full (I had to change discipline since the one I originally applied for filled up around the time of my telephone interview), which meant that the amount of candidates at the assessment centre greatly exceeded the amount of positions on offer. I spoke to some other people on my course who did do their assessment centre and they said it was hard as nails, and I'm not particularly good at assessment centres anyway.

So I chose not to go because it wasn't a role I really wanted, I had almost no chance of getting it anyway, and I would have had to travel a very long way to get to it meant I decided at the time that I wouldn't go.
did any of your summer placements which you managed to get not involve AC's ?

what are the competency questions like? Taking your previous example, when you say give an example of how you worked in a team, are you supposed to mention project work you do at university with other engineers?
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Smack
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(Original post by a10)
did any of your summer placements which you managed to get not involve AC's ?
No, I only did one AC for a summer placement (although got invited to a few more), but that wasn't with a company I ended up working for (didn't get it anyway).

what are the competency questions like? Taking your previous example, when you say give an example of how you worked in a team, are you supposed to mention project work you do at university with other engineers?
As I said, there's loads of info about them on the net and they'll do a far better job at explaining them than me because I've forgotten about most of the questions.

It's entirely up to you how you answer them.
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a10
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(Original post by Smack)

As I said, there's loads of info about them on the net and they'll do a far better job at explaining them than me because I've forgotten about most of the questions.

It's entirely up to you how you answer them.
alright! Thanks
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JalaPNo
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(Original post by eggfriedrice)
May I ask which degree you took and at which university?
I did a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science. The position I applied for is for Environmental Management and/or HSSE (Health, Safety, Security and Environment). It is for the graduate programme in Johannesburg, South Africa.
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JalaPNo
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Hi everyone,

Just a quick update:

I did the online personality assessment about two weeks ago. After enquiring if they had received my assessment, they replied that they have and that I should be patient as they are putting "all of the candidates" through the same process as me. Once everyone has gone through the process, they will notify the ones that they want to invite for the final technical interview.

I'm getting worried as I've not heard anything from them for a while now. I've also received some nasty rejection letters from other companies in the meantime. I accepted those rejections as I didn't really put my heart into those applications as I've already set my sights on BP. Thinking back, maybe that was a mistake.

I've sort of lost a little hope as I didn't realise there were so many candidates that applied. For the one company I got rejected at, over 5000 people applied. Luckily, I was part of about 130 that were shortlisted. After that, I didn't make the cut for the final 24 shortlisted candidates.

Anyway, I guess we should keep hoping for the best in our quests to find employment! We WILL eventually find our places and then prove those HR people wrong.

I'll give an update as soon as I hear from BP. Good news or bad news.

Cheers!
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spock007
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Interested to hear how this goes - good luck.
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spock007
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So...?

I notice their application form for grads is MUCH simpler than in previous years where you used to have to write whole sections about career aspiration, how would you react in a given situation etc. It's now basically "list your grades and we'll contact you"?
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JalaPNo
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(Original post by spock007)
So...?

I notice their application form for grads is MUCH simpler than in previous years where you used to have to write whole sections about career aspiration, how would you react in a given situation etc. It's now basically "list your grades and we'll contact you"?
Applications closed on 30 August here. And nooooooo I basically had to write an entire autobiography as motivation for my application. Their questions were VERY specific and I had to really think about what I was going to answer and how I was going to answer it. The whole thing was probably a 5 page essay? Which is long for an application. I'd hate being the person who had to read all the applicants' bio's.

UPDATE: I have only received an email from them telling me that I need not worry - they have not forgotten about me. They'll be done assessing all of their candidates by the end of this week. They also thanked me for my patience during the process. I'm hoping they're talking about candidates for ALL of the positions (in all of the different departments) because there's only one spot for the position I applied for...

Meanwhile, I have a 2 day study break in which I'm going to try and catch up with friends, exercise (I need to catch up!) oh, and - play some GTA V! I just want to try and forget about the whole job hunting affair while slaving away behind computers, books and driving up and down for fieldwork - for now.

So, still... touch wood that it will be good news from BP Southern Africa.

Here's hoping that everyone's week will be awesome :wavey: !
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spock007
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Wow, I never knew you were applying for a Southern African position! Are you in the UK and did you study here? If not, can you freely apply to any worldwide BP site? If so, I never knew that!
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