Some candidates see job interviews as a one-sided interaction where their personal and professional achievements are put under the microscope. Fortunately, this isn’t the case. Interviews are a chance for an open and balanced conversation that allows both parties to delve into the potential of a successful working relationship.

According to a 2022/2023 KPMG report, Australian mining executives have ranked the hunt for talent as the third most significant risk facing the industry in the coming year which means that the interview stage is as important as ever. Employers need to be thorough in their questioning, but candidates looking for their next role also have to know how to ensure that this is the right employer for them.

In this article, we have explored some fundamental lines of questioning that will help you in your approach and give you the confidence you need to take the right role.


Seek Clarification About Aspects of the Job

Your first line of questioning should relate to the specifics of the job. They may be as simple as enquiring further into the role itself or the responsibilities that come with it. You may wish to understand things like team structure, company hierarchy, and where the position fits into this picture.

Questions around the role’s challenges and rewards, its contribution to the company’s growth strategy and value proposition can also be valuable. Not only will these help you to visualise yourself in the role, but they will send a clear message that you’re a candidate looking for a position full of purpose with a team of big-picture thinkers.


What are the Cornerstone Values?

It’s pretty easy for an organisation to throw around buzz terms like collaboration, open lines of communication, honesty, integrity, and accountability – to name a few. By asking your interviewer about the core business values, you’ll quickly determine whether they underpin its culture.

After the interview, you can cross-reference the response to this question with your other research. Again, it will become clear if these are values in action, giving you some clarity as to whether this is the business for you to grow with. An organisation that lives by its values looks after its people and is the kind of company you should seek to work for.


Career Advancement Opportunities

Growth opportunities are exciting and give a position added appeal. Whilst your thinking may be anchored to the immediate term, it doesn’t hurt to ask about career progression, upskilling opportunities or access to training resources. If nothing else, this line of inquiry indicates that you’re motivated and with an appetite for continuous improvement.

According to the RACE for 2030 Employment Opportunity Assessment, the Australian energy sector needs to develop career pathways to meet the needs of the future energy workforce. If applicable, open up a discussion on the topic to understand the extent of the organisation’s planning. A business already in the planning stages indicates a robust organisational structure and progressive thinking. 


Well-Being Policy

By nature, the construction and energy sectors are risk and responsibility heavy. No matter the position you hold, you will feel the weight of these demands. Without a well-being protocol in place, employees can be left feeling unsupported and vulnerable.

Where there is mounting job pressure, there’s a risk of burnout or human error. Seek to understand what the organisation’s well-being policy offers by way of personal and professional support. Will you have access to well-being leave or mentorship? 

Do your best to understand if this company has its people’s back when they need it.


Ask to Chat with Existing Employees

A candid chat with existing employees will help you get a feel for a company’s culture and the opportunities that come with being in its employ.

Open up a friendly and positive line of questioning. Keep things upbeat! Ask about how they havefelt supported during their time with the business. Can they recall any career highlights or standout experiences that give them a reason to believe this is a standout company to work for?

Chatting with existing employees can help to cement your good feelings about the position and the organisation as a whole. Conversely, it may confirm that this isn’t the opportunity for you. Either way, it is a valuable part of your process.



An interview is a perfect environment to open up a line of inquiry to help you learn more about a role and the company you’re interviewing with. A little research and preparation and a carefully curated list of questions will guide your decision-making towards a job that aligns with your career aspirations. Which, in turn, will lead to a more fulfilling work life and greater job satisfaction.

We’re a team of dedicated recruitment specialists who pride ourselves on delivering successful oil & gas, engineering and construction recruitment outcomes to our candidates and clients. Contact our team today to learn how we can support you in your next career move.