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Why Jobseekers Must Focus on Safety in the Interview

Posted: 7/03/2012 5:00:00 AM by AMMA Mining Oil and Gas Jobs
Filed under: Energy, Job-seekers, Mining, Oil-and-gas, Career-resources


Every day we speak to employers getting people started in oil careers, looking to fill mining jobs, or hiring people for energy jobs. Australian employers in the resource industry have a keen focus on one area often overlooked or discounted by jobseekers. If you’re looking for jobs in mining or researching how to break into an offshore job, you’d better spend some time preparing yourself to discuss the topic of safety.

Most career advice you read never addresses the broad emphasis about workplace safety. AMMA members continually tell us this is one area where candidates fail the interview. Here’s what some of them have said to us recently.

Pia Lewis, Senior Recruitment Manager for Downer EDI Mining Pty Ltd, never waivers from the importance of safety when employing people for mining jobs. She provides the following advice to jobseekers.
  • Don’t be flippant about safety.
  • Securing a role within the mining and resources sector is always underpinned by safety. Your focus on safety and examples of your safety behaviours stand you in good stead. You may not have exposure to the industry, but you will no doubt be able to draw on everyday safety moments, that we sometimes take for granted.
  • Safety is number one at a mine site. You will need to be switched on to safety every second of every minute of every hour you are at work. This is an aspect where there is no room for complacency.

Group Recruitment Manager from MMG, Rob Papworth, addresses the deep cultural attitude about safety and how candidates must embrace it at every turn.
  • The ability to communicate effectively is such an important aspect of any job now, especially in the mining industry from a safety aspect.
  • There’s also a wonderful sense of community when you sit down at a breakfast mess at a mine site that’s hard to describe unless you have been there – and breakfast is usually when the sun hasn’t risen yet. However underpinning all of this is a complete focus on safety, the environment, teamwork and the community.

If you want to break into a job in mining or oil and gas, Paul Dean, Partner and Principal Resume Writer at thinkSMARTresumes offers this advice on how safety can make you stand out from other candidates.
  • Think about your past experiences and how these might be transferable. For example, have you worked in the construction industry or another area of employment whereby things like health and safety were a key consideration?

Documented risky behaviour

Before you start applying for jobs, make sure your social networking profiles are scrubbed of anything that might be construed as risky behaviour. You’ll want to remove any references to excessive drinking or drug use. You’ll also want to make sure incriminating photos of you planking, skateboarding in heavy traffic, or riding on the bonnet of a car are deleted. Industry hiring managers do evaluate your past when it comes to safety.

Additional considerations

When we talk about safety in the resource industry, this also includes roles in construction and allied support services. You may not consider working as a cleaner requires a safety focus but it absolutely does. If you’re working on a FIFO roster, you’ll be required to understand and comply with all the health and safety requirements. It’s true for corporate employees working for oil companies or mining companies in city centres, as well. The focus on safety is so strong in most organisations every single employee and visitor is expected to have a safety focus.


Keep safety in the forefront of your mind and you’ll increase your chances of employment in Australian mines or on an oil rig. This means you shouldn’t do or say anything in an interview that would give a hiring manager reason to doubt your sincerity. Whether you’re washing pots or working in subsea construction, a safety focus isn’t a ‘nice to have’, it’s an absolute requirement.

Have you encountered questions about safety in an interview? What were they?

Find a job

If working in mining, energy or oil and gas appeals to you, search the AMMA miningoilandgasjobs.com website to find and apply for real jobs by real employers.

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Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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