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Royal Dutch Shell Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Aug 20, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

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Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
221 candidate interviews
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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Maintenance Planer Interview

Maintenance Planer
Perth, Western Australia

I applied through another source and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Royal Dutch Shell in June 2014.

Interview Details Initial contact made through LinkedIn and time between contact and phone interview was quite fast. Although there were a few changes between recruitment representatives throughout the process, I was continually updated with the progress of my application and all representatives were friendly and helpful.

Interview was with a Shell HR team member and Line Manager and was a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. The questions were quite standard and focused on general maintenance processes and business practices. Just be confident about your experience and know the position description and role really well. Spend quite a bit of time preparing some answers to potential questions and also DEFINITELY have at least one question ready to ask them as it shows you are interested in the company and have been taking in what they are explaining to you.

Complete process took about 2 months.

Interview Question – Having to explain the exact thought process that occurred when I was faced with a difficult project or task in my previous experience. Breaking it down and justifying the decisions made was difficult as they wanted really detailed answers.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I was new to the O&G industry so I was reluctant to negotiate

5 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Commercial Graduate Interview

Commercial Graduate

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Royal Dutch Shell.

Interview Details It was a long process lasting about 3 months from start to finish. This is how it went (to my understanding, this is now the standardised process globally, however it may differ slightly between countries):

Step 1: Online Application- from memory, it was pretty standard- a few questions about you, load you CV and cover letter etc.
Step 2: Online assessment 1: Competency Based Questionnaire to be completed online within 2-3 days.
Step 3: Online assessment 2: Decision Making Task: that was about how would you deal with regular working environment and conditions, ie what would you base your decision on, how will you prioritize you time between tasks etc.. It was based on the Shell business, so it would pay off to know a few basic things about Shell and the industry, even though it is not required.
Step 4: Phone Interview- about an hour of behavioural and motivation questions. expect question like "why shell", "why o&g" etc and questions about the core competencies of Shell (CAR). from memory some questions were about working in teams, leadership, managing people and dealing with difficult situations.
Step 5: Shell Recruitment Day (SRD)- this is the final step. It is a very long day consisting of the following activities:
1. Electronic E-tray exercise (reading materials, responding to emails and writing an overall summary email),
2. Self reflection interview (about your performance at the E-tray, what would you change etc),
3. Group activity (case study in a group),
4. Solo case study (40 minutes to read material, presenting your recommendations (5 min)and a 20 min Q&A session),
5. Final interview.

That's it, you're done!

Overall I found the entire process very enjoyable, even the online assessment was intriguing and the SRD was both challenging and interesting. The HR (and interviewers at the SRD) personal were professional and very helpful during the entire process.

Interview Question – The SRD personal case study was very challenging. Remember that usually there is no one right answer and as long as you can justify your recommendation (based on data and facts) you are doing a good job.   View Answers (2)

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Applications Support Analyst Interview

Applications Support Analyst
Perth, Western Australia

I interviewed at Royal Dutch Shell in January 2010.

Interview Details Applied on portal and was contacted.
I was out of the country when I applied but the interviewers were willing to conduct a video interview.

I had to fill up a technical quiz as well as answer questions about my knowledge of the industry.

Interview Question – I was asked about to write a complex SQL statement   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – The recruiter asked for my current pay and expectations.
Then they formulated an offer based on my ask.

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Graduate Engineer Interview

Graduate Engineer
Perth, Western Australia

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Royal Dutch Shell in August 2010.

Interview Details -Applied online, and got back with a reply to do a phone interview.
-Gave me a topic to analyse, Took about 20 min
-Got invited for a 1:1 interview at company
-Asked behavioural questions abt teamwork
-ANother topic to analyse
-It was difficult and i did not get through.

Interview Question – Give an example of your most happy accomplishment./achivement   View Answer

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Intern Interview

The Hague (Netherlands)

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Royal Dutch Shell in February 2014.

Interview Details A total of three round before giving out the internship offer. The first one is CV selection, one week later came the online tests (first cognitive test, and then numerical test if you passed the first one). Then another week later I got invitation of a face-to-face interview in the Headquarter in the Hague. From submission to interview it took 1 month. Got offer after one month.

Interview Question – Could you describe a situation where you need to listen to others?   Answer Question

1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Intern Interview

Rotterdam (Netherlands)

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Royal Dutch Shell in June 2014.

Interview Details First step of the interview process:
Online personality test + math test + skills test

personality test: Keep in mind the CAR-criteria of Shell, and the competencies that go along with it. Other than that, do try to be as honest as possible. So, do not give a score of '5' to all the competencies that are considered good, since it will come over as unbelievable, and you will without a doubt fail the test.

Math test: questions are not too hard, (basically just reading graphs and calculating with percentages) but the time-limit makes it quite a challenge. Make sure you have a good calculator which you fully understand in order to save time. I myself did not really prepare for the test, since I already have a background where I had to use quite a lot of math, but I guess you can find enough material online to prepare, if you want to.

Skills test: In this test you're presented with some generic business problems of Shell, in the fields of engineering, sales, marketing. For each problem you are presented with five solutions to these problems, and you have to rate how effective these will be in solving the problems. Finally you also have to rate which of these solutions will be the most effective or most ineffective. Basically you should really just use your common sense here, and keep in mind the CAR-criteria.

Second step of the interview process: Phone-interview.

Was called by an engineer of Shell. Very friendly person, but did ask tough questions. Took about an hour and 10 minutes. Interview had three steps:

1. Competencies according to the STAR method.

This is, in my opinion, the tough part of the interview. You'll get about 8 questions regarding competencies, and the idea is you have to provide them with an example where you show that you have this competency. Examples: "Name a situation where you were influenced by the ideas of other people"."Name a situation where you had to overcome an obstacle in order to achieve your goal".
As preparation I had written down about 15 situations out of my life (academic, personal, work.. ) where certain qualities would come to light, such as leadership, overcoming obstacles, etc. (check CAR-criteria). Keep in mind, however well you prepare, they will always catch you off-guard once or twice with a tough question. Anyway, just be yourself, be honest, and just try to stay focused and calm during the interview, and you should be fine (Think about it: They appreciate people who can stay calm and focused even when being confronted with a tough question, so stick to that).

2. Why do you want to join Shell/energy industry.

Quite easy part of the interview, just show that you're eager and interested. Try to name a situation where you were 'inspired' and thus wanted to join Shell/the energy industry. I myself just used a conversation I had with a former employee of shell.

3. Questions?

Important to prepare at least 3 questions for the interview. Obviously, don't ask about working hours, salary, etc, (common sense really).

Finally, some quick tips that always help during these interviews:

The interviewer will explain the interview process in beginning. Summarize what the interviewer said, and ask if you understood correctly. This is an easy way to show that you're able to listen well and want to be thorough, and makes for a good start of the interview.

If you're in doubt about a question, just ask for some time to think about it, it won't be a problem. It helps you to stay relaxed, and often enough you will be able to find a good answer.

I can't stress it enough: Stay calm and focus, even if you do not directly know the answer to a competency question. If you don't have a good answer, so be it, somehow talk your way out of it, as long as you stay calm. If you become stressed by a 'hard' question, the interviewer will just assume you will also become stressed whenever an unexpected hard situation occurs during your work at Shell, and it will be seen as a negative quality.

Prepare some questions you have for the interviewer: They are always happy to answer your questions if possible, and it also shows you're really interested and assertive. Good standard question: "What has been the most challenging for you to learn while working at the company?"

About a week after the phone interview I got a call from HR confirming that I passed, and that I would be taken on for an assessed internship.

Oh yes and finally, they of course also check your CV and cover letter. I unfortunately do not really know in what stage of the interview process they check it. Anyway, about CV: Keep in mind HR looks about a 100 CV's a week, so make sure it is very clear and concise, and only include relevant stuff. Cover letter: Try to be original, use past personal experiences which helped you make the decision to apply for shell. If you make it personal, it will automatically be pretty original, which is key here.

Interview Question – Please tell me about a time you had to make a timely decision   View Answer

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Commercial Graduate Interview

Commercial Graduate

I applied through a recruiter - interviewed at Royal Dutch Shell in July 2014.

Interview Details Telephone interview - simple divided into three sections, Capacity, Achievements and Relationships. No questions about my motivation for choices i've made in the past. Just three times 15min that i needed to fill with examples to show CAR

Interview Question – Many questions are only slightly different, have for each part at least 5 or 6 different examples.   Answer Question

No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview


The Hague (Netherlands)

I applied through another source - interviewed at Royal Dutch Shell in June 2014.

Interview Details The hiring process for recent graduates is very simple and clear. After submission of your CV and application online, there is a numerical and personality assessment, following which you can be called for an interview. after a successful interview you are invited for the Shell recruitment day.
The assessments in my opinion were rather long but clear to understand. The response time after the assessment is also very quick (within a couple of days). The next round- the interview, is also streamlined very nicely although it is a bit repetitive. It lasts for about an hour and includes questions on your past achievements and relationships with your co workers. The final round is

Interview Question – I found the questions to be revolving around the same theme. Although they were not difficult, I had to put in some real effort to not give the same answers for an hour.   Answer Question

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Graduate Interview


I applied online and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Royal Dutch Shell.

Interview Details Last week I passed the first 2 stages, I had the phone interview yesterday and I am waiting for the response. The interview is exactly how described by the other posts. Same dynamics, same questions. Try to be sinthetic. They do not care about the type of experience you are telling them. They just want to see if you are clear in explaining your experience. I suggest to prepare some notes in advance ( the questions are ALWAYS the same). Not too much detailed, just bullet points in order to be more flexible

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Shell Graduate Programmer Interview

Shell Graduate Programmer
Cape Town (South Africa)

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Royal Dutch Shell in July 2014.

Interview Details The interview started off with the usual online application.After submitting CV and cover letter i then got invited to do the online tests which are about ranking certain situations in the workplace from the best response to the worst response.After 2 months from my initial application i got a notification about a phone interview. I was phoned by a woman from Shell HQ in The Hague,behavioural interview with some questions about the company at the end.The telephone lasted for over an hour.Most of the Shell interview processes are readily available online but i was still caught off guard by some of her HR questions.Know your story inside out and be prepared to state your achievements as if you did them alone. Sadly i got a rejection email 2 days after my interview. Goodluck to everyone :)

Interview Question – Name a time when you had to convince people to choose your idea.   Answer Question

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