How To Land An Oilfield Job, The Interview.

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As the world continues to need more oil and the price per barrel rises, the need for oilfield workers continues to  increase. Oil rig jobs pay impressive salaries and companies that drill for natural gas and oil in the United States are still hiring, even when other parts of the economy are in a downturn.  Here are some tips on how to prepare for an oilfield job interview for work as a roughneck or roustabout on an offshore rig.  As a former oil rig worker you may find the following tips useful to you in your job search.

Most oil rig job interviews don’t take place on the job site anymore but instead are done in a company office. Be sure to show up on time for your interview and treat the front office staff politely.

Your Attitude Is Important When Interviewing For An Oil Rig Job

Oil drilling companies cannot afford to hire unreliable, lazy workers.  Your first step in preparing for an oilfield job interview is to look sharp, dressing in clean clothes and keeping yourself well groomed.  Most “old school” oilfield bosses don’t want to see piercings, long hair or too much “attitude”. Along those lines, respectful language such as  “yes sir” and “yes m’am” may be appropriate, depending on who your interviewer is.  Oilfield bosses expect a strong handshake if they offer their hand  to you and also expect your undivided attention as they talk.  If you have lots of tattoo’s, cover them up. Proper dress for a roughneck job interview might be ironed blue jeans,  a pair of steel toe safety boots and an ironed long sleeve shirt. Contrary to popular fashion trends, tuck in your shirt and wear a leather belt. Be humble, professional and above all, communicate that you are a worker, looking for work.   Try not to brag about how important your prior work experience was, or how much money you have made in the past. Let your interviewer feel that you are someone who does not mind getting dirty or being told what to do. Let them know that  you are willing to do any job that is asked of you on the rig.

Try To Learn About Oil Drilling Terminology Before Your Interview

If you have no prior experience working on an oil rig or in the oilfield, try to learn some of the terms used in the industry so that you will know what your interviewer is talking about if they use them. To look for oilfield jobs, search sites like, and in the local papers of towns such as Midland – Odessa, Houston, Casper, Oklahoma City, etc.  Look in areas of the country where oil booms are occurring, such as in the Eagle Ford shale of South Texas, the Niobrara shale of Northern Colorado and the Marcellus shale of Pennsylvania.  You’ll find a link to oilfield slang on, as well as job postings.

Try to stress the parts of your prior work experience that is related to machinery and physical labor, as well as provide a list of references who can attest to your hard work ethic. Military experience is a plus since it shows that you know how to be a part of a well disciplined group and to follow orders.  Also, it never hurts if you know someone who works for the drilling company that you can name as a reference.

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