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Prepare Yourself for Shell

Shell, formally known as Royal Dutch Shell, is a global energy and petrochemical company. It offers many graduate opportunities, and competition can be tough. This page focuses on the Shell graduate scheme as this is the most exhaustive application process. There are many elements that flow into other applications as well, particularly for the Shell internships, so all applicants should find this page helpful.

The Shell Recruitment Process

The entire application process consists of five main steps, with the final step being a job offer. We will go through each of these steps and offer guidance to help you through.

Shell Selection Process Infographic


Shell Online Application Form

The Shell online application form is your first opportunity to stand out from the crowd. You are given the opportunity to upload your CV and provide your basic details. In addition, there is a long answer question which asks 'Why do you want to work for Shell?' This is an opportunity to make your application stand out. In order to answer the question properly, you must incorporate Shell's key values into your answer.

Shell Competencies

During the recruitment process, Shell is looking for three main things:

  • Capacity –Shell wants people with the intellectual, analytical, and creative ability to learn quickly, identify issues, and propose solutions.
  • Achievement – Shell recruits graduates who it feels will make future Shell leaders, so candidates need to demonstrate achievements or overcome obstacles in any areas of their life.
  • Relationships –Being able to work effectively as part of a team and form mutually beneficial, long-term working relationships is essential at Shell. Shell also values honesty, integrity, and respect for people.

These competencies are important to highlight both in your application and throughout the application process. If you have been shortlisted to proceed, you will be sent links to complete the Shell online assessment tests.


Shell Online Assessment

The Shell online assessment consists of two sections: competency-based and work behavior questions followed by a decision and problem solving task. These translate into three different tests—a personality test, a situational judgement test (SJT), and a numerical test. All three of these Shell online tests are provided by Cubiks. Shell strongly recommends using practice tests to help you prepare for the real thing. You have seven days to complete the tests from the time you receive them.


Part 1: Competency-Based Questionnaire

On the competency-based questionnaire you are presented with 72 different statements that relate to work tasks and how you work with other people. You have to rate each statement on a five-point basis, with 1 being 'Disagree' and 5 being 'Agree'. The 72 statements are divided into groups of four, and for each set, apart from rating the statement 1-5, you also need to choose two statements—one that you most agree with and a second that you least identify with. The entire competency-based questionnaire should take you between 20 and 30 minutes to complete.

It was once thought impossible to prepare for these type of tests, but this is very far from the truth. Learning what the company wants, its key values, and incorporating them into your thought processes is a skill that you can learn. Doing so will allow you to perform to a very high level. Find out how we can help you prepare with our Shell aptitude preparation pack.


Part 2: Decision-Making and Problem Solving Test

After successfully completing part one of the Shell aptitude tests, you are then sent the second part of the online assessment stage. This stage is meant to assess your ability to make decisions based on certain criteria.

This is, in fact, a situational judgement test, or SJT. SJTs provide a good measurement of your thought processes in work-related situations. You are presented with 18 different situations that could occur in the workplace and a number of different solutions that could be used to solve each problem. There are four different options for you to choose from, and you must rate each of the options on a five-grade scale, with 1 being 'counterproductive' and 5 being 'highly effective'. In addition to rating each of the statements, you must single out two of them, one being the option that you are most likely to do and the other being the option that you are least likely to do. Get to know these styles of question and how to answer them with our Shell aptitude preparation pack.

Following the decision-making section is the problem solving test. This is an examination of your numerical abilities or how well you can work with numerical information.


Shell Numerical Test

Using ratios, percentages, and other mathematical functions you need to calculate the correct answers and select the correct answer from five different options. There are 16 questions that are grouped together in sets of four questions for each set of numerical data. You have a window of 18 minutes to answer all the questions on this test. In order to complete the numerical tests as efficiently and successfully as possible, the best thing to do is prepare yourself fully. You can do so with our Shell numerical reasoning pack.


Shell Interview

If you successfully manage to complete the online assessment, the next part of the Shell selection process is the Shell telephone interview. However, this interview can also be done face-to-face. This is a long and detailed interview, often taking well over an hour to complete. It is comprised of four different sections, which are outlined below.

In the first part of the Shell telephone interview you are asked some general questions about your different career preferences, why you have chosen to apply for Shell, and what your abilities are to work in different areas of the world.

The second part of the interview focuses on Shell's main competencies. They include the competencies mentioned above as well as your technical skills.


Shell Interview Questions

The questions for this section of the Shell interview include:

  • Tell me about your biggest achievement.
  • Tell me about a time when you worked in a diverse team with many contrasting opinions. How did you work together to solve the issue?
  • When have you engaged in different cultures and opinions?

This is an opportunity to apply real life examples in your answers. You can do this through the use of the STAR method (situation, task, action, result), where you use a real life situation you have encountered to expand and explain what you did.

The third section of the Shell telephone interview is similar to a role play based on a case study. You are given three or four topics and you have to choose one of them to discuss with the interviewer. Past topics in this section of the interview have included:

  • A strategy for implementing diversity and inclusiveness
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
  • Recruiting and retaining high calibre staff
  • Helping local governments financially and in other ways.

You have to give a brief introduction on your chosen subject, showing that you understand the topic. You are then asked probing questions. From here, you will enter into a deep discussion about the different aspects of your chosen subject.

The last section of the Shell interview is where you are asked if you have any questions. This is somewhat underestimated, but in reality this can make or break your Shell application. Showing that you really want to know more about the organisation proves your motivation for the job. Moreover, this is the last chance to shine in the interview, so if you finish on a high note this is what the interviewer will remember most.

Preparing for the Shell telephone or face-to-face interview is difficult. There are quite a number of different questions and topics that you need to go through. D

Get a better understanding of what to expect from Shell's hiring process. As you can see, Shell's online tests are a crucial step, thus making psychometric test preparation a key element in your journey.


If you do well enough in the Shell Aptitude tests you will be invited to the assessment centre.

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