Most of my advice is for employers, but if you’re considering a career in drilling but aren’t sure how to get the job, this article is for you.

A quick internet search of “preparing for an interview” will unearth a tremendous amount of information, but keep in mind that interviewing for a skilled trade position is much different than interviewing for an office job. While those resources may be helpful, we’ll focus on tips specifically for interviewing for driller, assistant driller or field technician roles.

Put it on Paper

Remember that resumes serve a purpose. It’s generally understood, in our industry at least, that most candidates won’t have a clean resume prepared when searching for a job, and that’s okay. But having a document prepared as a quick reference of work history and previous responsibilities will be useful during your interview.

Tell Them What You Do

Highlight any transferable skills you have acquired in your career. Have you worked on heavy machinery (even if they weren’t drills)? Did you obtain your CDL? Look at the job description ahead of time and identify areas where you have applicable knowledge and experience.

Talk About Problems Solved

Focus specifically on your problem-solving abilities. Offer the interviewer specific examples of problems you’ve faced in a previous job and walk them through how you tackled them. You may also consider highlighting lessons you learned during those challenging situations to demonstrate your ability to adapt and overcome.

Show Flexibility

Another crucial attribute of a driller or environmental field technician is flexibility. Mention any experience you have adapting to shifting priorities, dealing with last minute project changes or handling out-of-the-ordinary situations. Keep in mind that a career involving field work may sometimes involve last-minute travel, restructuring of teams or frequent project changes.

Be a Team Player

Identify your experiences in working with a team. As a driller, you will constantly be part of a small team, requiring you to communicate effectively and, in some cases, be a strong decision maker. 

Do Homework in Advance

Remember to prepare a few thoughtful questions for the interviewer. If you aren’t familiar with the company, spend 5-10 minutes reading their website to prepare. Before the interview ends, ask if any aspects of your background or experience need further clarification and express your interest in the next steps of the hiring process.

You don’t need previous experience to land a job in drilling, but you do need a good interview strategy. With these six tips, you’ll be on your way to acing it.