If you pick 10 Nigerian students (in secondary school or tertiary institution) at random and ask them where they wish to work when they complete their studies, it is very likely that 7 out of them will tell you they want to work in Shell. Shell is the poster boy of good job in Nigeria and, like I wrote in an earlier article , 5 GREAT COMPANIES TO START CAREER IN NIGERIA, getting a job in Shell is seen as “money ritual” by many Nigerians.

This position was later validated by a survey carried out Jobberman, where the company emerged Number 1 on the list of Top 100 Companies Nigerians want to work in.

Unfortunately, many Nigerians are clueless about what to do to achieve this dream of theirs.

I have undergone Shell Recruitment process (2008) and turned down the final selection stage invite after scaling earlier stages, due to some reasons I narrated here so this account is first hand. I have also had friends who have gotten jobs in the company, just as I have prepared a couple of people for their recruitment and they passed.

Here are what to do to get job in Shell:



  • STUDY GOOD COURSE: Although Shell hardly specifies course of study, because it is a technical company, graduates of technical courses stand highest chance. These courses include Chemical Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Geology, Geophysics, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and other related engineering courses. The fact that an extensive oil and gas company like Shell is constantly running the economics, the feasibilities, the projections, the commercials, of their business decisions, means they also have a robust Business Development & Economics unit peopled with considerable number of people. This means they request for Economics graduates very well (Hint: the best student in my class and the set after mine, got Shell jobs – we all studied Economics). Of course, since every organization needs accounting and finance departments, accounting and finance are other good courses to study to stand a decent chance. By no means does it mean these are the only courses that are in demand by Shell, it is only a clue to the most relevant courses for their business.


  • ANY DECENT SCHOOL IS OK: A very good thing about Shell is that they don’t discriminate institutions. I know people from many public universities in Nigeria that got job their job. The only thing is they are brilliant. I have a friend that studied at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi (which you will agree is not a Tier-1 university in Nigeria, compared to say UNILAG, UI, UNN etc) that scaled Shell recruitment process. While I am personally a fan of First Generation universities in Nigeria, it is good thing that Shell places everyone on same pedestal in recruitment process, irrespective of the university attended, provided the university is recognized at least. Those coming from foreign schools will also be competing with you, but rest assured it is hardly an edge. It is your performance that separates you.



  • MAKE GOOD GRADE: Shell requests for a minimum of Second Class Upper. Try to graduate with 2.1 or First Class to stand a chance in the first place.


  • ENGAGE IN EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITY: Shell recruitment processes place high emphasis on practical examples, demonstration of how you fit into some skills using your past experiences. Many candidates make up these scenarios, but the recruiters are no fools, they easily see through made up stories. Your best bet to having true examples from the tip of your fingers is participating in extra-curricular activities while in school. You will be asked to demonstrate a situation in the past where you have led a team, where you have influenced a group, where you have demonstrated integrity in the face of challenge, where you have worked as a team to achieve a goal, and other things like that. For example I was a member, and later President, of a students group called Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), in my undergraduate years. I worked with other team members to engage in a number of projects which were presented in competitions across the country. I also participated in what is called Global Enterprise Experience (GEE), a business project challenge where participating students from across the world are grouped into teams, working virtually, to come up with business plans. It was easy for me to draw from my experiences in these activities when I was interviewed by Shell for the first stage. In fact, right from completing online application form, you will be required to write instances where you demonstrated these qualities.


  • READ ABOUT GLOBAL OIL & GAS INDUSTRY: Visit sites that talk about oil and gas industry, watch oil and gas (Energy) news on CNN and other news channels. Monitor developments in the industry. Be conversant with terminologies in the industry – oil prices, OPEC, oil production etc. Knowing what’s going on in the industry enriches your discussions and points while being interviewed.



  • WATCH OUT FOR SHELL RECRUITMENT APPLICATION:  Shell have a standard process for entry level recruitment, so it is not a company you can just walk into and drop your CV – except they are participating in a job fair (a window one of my friends used to get the job in their US office). You also have to be wary of scammers. They publicly advertise their job openings. Their graduate programme, called Shell Recruitment Day (SRD), are usually done annually, but in the last few years it has not been annual again. I think they have resumed it. One just closed few days ago. But what is sure is they will definitely advertise their positions and one will be held within 3 years after your graduation. So put your ears on the ground to monitor when their SRD is open.


  • FILLING THEIR APPLICATION FORM: Filling their application form is a job on its own. It is a tasking process that requires high level of meticulousness. I remember spending 3 days just to complete the form in 2008, although it was because I was doing from a Cybercafe and I ran out of time or needed more information to support my application. Take your time to remember the details of your past experiences or examples you want to use to support your answers to some questions. They also know it is a tedious process so you are allowed to save your application and continue another time before the end of the deadline. I understand the first step is some behavioural test form now. That’s a new process and I know they screen out people even from that preliminary simple test of your personality. In any case, after scaling the behavioural short questionnaire stage and completing the main form online, try to print a copy of your application and keep  so that you can remember all what you wrote.


  • ONCE INVITED START PREPARING: Frankly, I don’t know what criteria they use in screening because tens of thousands of people that meet their 2.1 and right course requirements apply, but usually less than 100 are invited, and at the end of the day maybe 10-20 people will get the job in a year. That is how competitive it can be. However, I know people that meticulously complete their online with good details and examples, stand higher chance of being shortlisted. Because of the volume of applications I have a feeling that a software does the shortlisting for them using some keywords. Once you are invited for their interview or SRD, you have scaled the first stage and probability has increased to maybe 0.01. The next thing is to sit down and draw your strategy. Go to their websites, print useful stuff. Google SRD experiences worldwide.   JarusHub Interview Preparation Service can help you in completing the form and preparing you interview if you make the first shortlist.


Generally, the company summarised their new testing process on their website as follows:


  • Stage 1 – Online Assessments

    After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll be asked to complete three online assessments. Altogether this will take about 40 minutes and will need to be completed within 10 days of receiving them.

    Timed cognitive test

    This will be a timed test that is divided into three sections, covering verbal skills, numerical skills, and abstract reasoning respectively. You would have 4 minutes to complete each section.

    Working style assessment

    This segment will assess your approach to working and your preferred behaviour across key personality factors. It will not be timed, and generally only takes 10-12 minutes to complete. We celebrate and value diversity at Shell, so we encourage you to be yourself when responding. You will then receive a ‘working styles’ report based on how you answered the questions.

    On-Demand Video interview

    This short, self-recorded video interview is an opportunity for you to tell us about yourself and your qualifications. You’ll also see some of our current graduates who will ask you a series of pre-recorded competency-based questions. You may record the interview at any internet-enabled location at a time most convenient to you. For each question, you’ll have 30 seconds to prepare and 3 minutes to record your answer.

  • Stage 2 – Final Assessment

    This is the last assessment stage. It consists of a face to face session with two professionals at Shell. During this session you will be asked to discuss your thoughts on a case study, which you will have a chance to review 48 hours prior to the session. You will need to read and prepare for this, but don’t worry, more information will be provided closer to the time. On the day of your assessment, you will be assigned a topic relating to your case study and then given 20 minutes (30 for non-native English speakers) to prepare a 5-minute presentation. This presentation will be followed by questions and additional scenarios from the assessors for up to 30 minutes. After this, will be an interview – this is where you have the chance to get to know us, and for us to get to know you better. To make the interview process more convenient and comfortable, we are leveraging the latest digital technology to bring the experience to you – wherever you may be.


Passing the Shell Recruitment Day (SRD) is a separate topic that I will write about at another time. Subscribe to JarusHub to get notification of new articles when posted:



It should also be noted that this is for permanent positions. Contract jobs have a different process. Contract staff are usually outsourced to Shell from personnel service providers.


For more on careers in Nigeria, grab a copy of my book: THE ROAD TO VICTORIA ISLAND



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