Shell in a Nutshell

Fueling you up with everything you need to know!

Posted by Sonia Yashoda on August 24, 2019


The Shell Scholarship Programme opens a window of opportunity for you to pursue your undergraduate studies in top-tier universities in the UK, US, and Australia. It provides you with a unique entrance into the energy industry, especially if you are passionate about innovation and sustainability (which was what got me hooked in the first place!) For your university course, you can choose to read a wide range of engineering, science, and business disciplines.

Stage 1: Online Application

The application process is relatively straightforward. You should visit the Shell website and prepare all the necessary documents. I had to prepare a cover letter for my Shell application. This was something new for me at that point in time. With that being said, here are some things I learned along the way:

  1. The website does not clearly state to whom you should address the letter. I addressed it to the Shell Scholarship Board of Trustees and used the Menara Shell headquarters address.
  2. Your cover letters should contain your motivations towards the scholarship programme and why the scholarship programme is compatible with you.
  3. Don’t forget to include the skills, characteristics, and competencies that you have/have had throughout your time in high school.
  4. As long as you convey the points I’ve mentioned effectively, your cover letter should be good to go. There are a lot of great examples online so you can take a look at those. Just for reference, the letter I submitted was only a page long.

Stage 2: Online Assessment

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll be asked to complete two online assessments. You don’t have to get them done right away but you do have to complete them within 10 days of your application.

Shell assessments will be conducted on the Cubiks website. There are practice questions available on the website so I highly encourage you to try them out. It will give you an idea of the type of questions you’ll be asked, besides easing you into the test format.

  • Part A: Cognitive test covering numerical skills, verbal skills, and abstract reasoning

    1. Verbal Reasoning: 24 questions
    2. Numerical Reasoning: 16 questions
    3. Abstract Reasoning: 10 questions

*You’ll have 12 minutes to complete this (4 minutes per section)
*A calculator is allowed for the numerical reasoning questions

  • Part B: ‘Working styles’ assessment, to understand how you learn and interact with others

    1. The working styles assessment is not timed
    2. The assessment looks at your approach to work and your preferred ways of behaving
    3. across the ‘big five’ personality factors: drive, adaptability, supportiveness, assertiveness, and creativity
    4. There are no right or wrong answers, so simply pick the option that feels most natural to you
    5. You’ll receive some feedback on what your working style is once you’ve completed this part of the assessment

Stage 3: On-Demand Video Interview

If you have been shortlisted after the online assessment, congratulations!

You will be sent an invite to complete an on-demand video interview on HireVue. This short, self-recorded video interview will be the opportunity for you to tell the recruitment team about yourself and your qualifications. You will be asked a series of pre-recorded competency-based questions. For each question, you’ll have 1 minute to prepare and 3 minutes to record your answer.

Just like the previous stage, you can practice beforehand. You can take the practice test multiple times, until you get comfortable with the format, before starting the actual interview. Be reminded that the practice questions will be unrelated to the questions Shell will ask in the actual interview.

*Here’s a YouTube video that can help you prepare for this stage of the interview

Interview advice

  1. Reflect on why you’re applying and what your standout experiences are. Be ready to talk about these in an engaging way.
  2. Do some research on the STAR interview response method.
  3. Choose somewhere quiet with a good internet connection so you won’t be disturbed.
  4. Test your webcam and microphone.
  5. Make sure the area is well lit and you can be clearly seen.

Stage 4: Final Interview

At this stage, my advice would be to smile and put your best foot forward! You’ve made it this far, you should be proud of yourself.

You will be interviewed by the Scholarship Board of Trustees on scenario-based questions and your academic & leadership experiences. As with every single interview, you will first be asked to introduce yourself. Give it your best shot so that you leave a lasting impression on the interviewers. Try to answer the questions calmly. If you can’t think of a response immediately, DO NOT panic. You can ask for a minute to think about it. Answer when you’re ready.

At the end of the interview, the interviewers will give you a chance to ask questions. I HIGHLY encourage you to grab this opportunity. Go ahead and quench your curiosity on things that intrigue you about Shell, or maybe articles or projects you’ve seen on their website. This gives you added room to speak and show your interest in the company.

Concluding remarks

That’s all I have to share based on my Shell application process back in 2020!

Accepting the Shell scholarship was a pivotal moment in my life and I can’t even begin to express my gratitude. Shell has given me a load of new opportunities that wouldn’t have been available to me otherwise.

To everyone who will be applying, I wish you the best of luck. There will be times where you feel intimidated by your peers but don’t ever let those feelings get the best of you. Be steadfast and have trust in your capabilities. You might just be a future scholar!