My First Interview in 500 Fortune Company

During the interview, the user asked me a question that was attempted to test my honesty. I said I don’t know, so I got the job.

Aditya Arie Wijaya


August 29, 2022

Image by Unsplash

In the early 2013, around March, I was getting an interview on the 500 Fortune company, where my interviewer asked me a difficult question and I said I don’t know, but somehow I got the Job.

My career started even before that. In 2011-2012, during my last year of studies and close to graduation day I spent around a year to do side projects with my lecturers, from geological mapping, seismic interpretation, joint-study field evaluation, basin modeling, to petrophysical analysis.

Not until 2013-2014, where I got my first industrial role in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, moving away from freelance project in Yogyakarta. Here I mostly worked on petrophysical analysis, evaluating more than 100 wells in clastics and carbonate reefal reservoir, helping the team to update their static model. We planned to do EOR (waterflooding) at the time, so simulation is very critical before economical decision was made.

Fast forward to March 2014, through some luck and intentional effort, I managed to secure an interview with my current employer for an entry level position as petrophysicist/ geoscientist. The interview was a bit “drama” at first, cause the interviewer was changed at the last minute. Nerveousness was at its peak.

However, somehow I got to meet the interviewer, answer few tehnical questions and non-technical questions. Right before we end the interview, she asked me the final technical questions. The question is about intutitive meaning of when density and neutron log is overlayed each other. She said she just need a straightforward answer, two words not more.

I knew at that time that I have no idea what was supposed to be the answer to the question, but I was too afraid that I would mess my chance to get the gig. I was not esactly remembered how long I take the time to answer, but eventually I come to a conclusion – I should be honest.

I said:

“I Do Not Know”.

It took her 5 seconds, and as she smiled she said:

“Well, I Do Not Expect you to be able to Answer the question given the limited experience you have with well logs”

She explained to me that the question is to test me. She knew that I would probably did not know the answer to the question, her target was to know whether I will spit out my honest truth (that I dont know), or try to be smart by spitting some BS. I was glad I choose the first.

To me this was one of the biggest moment in my career, where you should always try to be honest with yourself in an interview. At the end of the day, you would not want to be in the same team with a person who you cannot trust.

Credibility, given how “small” the world of energy industry, should not be treated lightly. Furthermore, connection, was built upon trusts. You will be surprised, how many times I have seen “a guy/girl” got the gig just by “knowing someone”.


BibTeX citation:
@online{arie wijaya2022,
  author = {Arie Wijaya, Aditya},
  title = {My {First} {Interview} in 500 {Fortune} {Company}},
  date = {2022-08-29},
  url = {},
  langid = {en}
For attribution, please cite this work as:
Arie Wijaya, Aditya. 2022. “My First Interview in 500 Fortune Company.” August 29, 2022.