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PG&E's Pre-Employment Testing

As a major energy provider to the West Coast, PG&E offers careers in many fields. For individuals seeking employment in PG&E's technical, mechanical, and clerical fields, pre-employment testing will most likely be required. To assess its prospective employees' professional aptitude and different cognitive skills, PG&E invites them to take the Physical Test Battery, the Industrial Skills Test, or the Clerical / Meter Reader Test. Each of these tests consists of several parts measuring specific cognitive abilities required by professions for which the tests are designed.

The three tests also have overlapping parts. Thus, the Physical Test Battery is comprised of the Numerical Ability Test and Space Visualization Test; the Industrial Skills Test contains the Reading Comprehension Test, Working with Numbers, Charts, and Graphs Test, and the Mechanical Principles Test; and the Clerical/Meter Reader Test has five parts—the Computation Test, the Language Skills Test, the Problem-Solving Test, the Coding Skills Test, and the Visual Speed and Accuracy Test.

PG&E's pre-employment tests are not only complex but also difficult. To make matters worse, they have a very short time limit. Excelling on PG&E's pre-employment assessment without preparing in advance is nearly impossible. Practice with JobTestPrep's exclusive resources and turn your pre-employment assessment at PG&E into an unqualified success.   


PG&E Hiring Process

Pacific Gas & Electric Company has a manifold hiring process that consists of several stages: an online application, phone interview, pre-employment tests, and a face-to-face interview. 

Phone Interview: After you apply online by submitting your résumé and application form, you will have a phone interview with a PG&E’s recruiter. This interview will revolve around your work history and career goals. Another option PG&E offers to job applicants is to have an online video recording interview instead of a phone interview. The pre-recorded webcam session contains five or six questions. You will be given one minute to prepare for each question and three minutes to record it. Although this interview may be less personal than a phone interview, you may correct your answers and record as many times as you want. Most of the questions will assess your behavior in specific situations.

PG&E Pre-Employment Test: Once you have had your initial interview, you will be sent a link to one of the three tests offered by PG&E as a part of its pre-employment assessment. What test you will take depends on the position for which you apply. If you compete for the positions of Materials Engineer or Utility Worker, you will need to pass the Physical Test Battery. Those who are vying for the roles of Mapping Technician, Engineering Estimator, or Scheduler will be required to pass the Industrial Skills Test. Applicants seeking clerical jobs or a position as a Meter Reader will need to take the Clerical/Meter Reader Test

Excel Test: If you apply for a position as a Electric Settlement Associate Analyst or a Business Finance Analyst, you may be asked to take the Excel test as well. In this test, you will need to demonstrate your knowledge of the Excel program and perform such actions as formatting, editing, protecting cells, and creating charts and graphs. The Excel exam may take up to 40 minutes.

In some case, in addition to the the main test, you may be required to pass the FCC license test.

Face-to-Face Interview: If you score high on your pre-employment assessment, you will be invited for a face-to-face interview with the company’s representatives. As a rule, the personal interview at PG&E takes the form of a panel. You will have a conversation with a manager of Human Resources and the head of the department in which you may be working. Sometimes, the interview panel will be divided into two parts, giving you an opportunity to speak with six PG&E’s employers. Interviewers will describe the duties and responsibilities that you will have, if you get hired. Prepare also to answer behavioral and competency-based questions in the STAR format. PG&E’s interviewers may also ask you to describe your behavior and reaction in specified situational scenarios.

Other questions posed in the face-to-face interview are about safety rules, because safety at the workplace is of paramount importance to the company's employers. There will also be technical questions. You will be asked to give EVMS calculation data or analyze the code that you have prepared at home. Or you may be invited to make a PowerPoint slide presentation that you submit prior to the interview. The face-to-face interview may last from 90 minutes to four hours.

Those applicants who are vying for a position as a Field Electrician may be sent to a camp where they will need to demonstrate that they are intellectually and physically able to perform required tasks.

If you receive a job offer at PG&E, you will need to do a drug test within 72 business hours from the offer.


PG&E's Face-To-Face Interview

The second interview is a face-to-face interview taking place in one of the company's locations. Usually, the face-to-face interview takes the form of the panel conversation with several managers. To gather all the relevant information about candidates’ ability to perform required tasks, PG&E’s employers use the STAR technique, believing that this format has a higher degree of predictability of future performance at work than the traditional interview. The STAR interview format is a behavioral technique and has the following constituents:

  • Situation: You will be required to talk about a challenging situation which you experienced at your previous work place.
  • Task: The interviewer will want to know what you were trying to achieve in the challenging situation. In answering questions about the tasks, emphasize your motivations to perform.
  • Actions: The interviewer will want to know what exactly you did in the challenging situations and what were the alternative actions available to you. You will need to explain why you chose to act as you did.
  • Results: You will need to elaborate on what you achieved through your actions and tell the recruiter how you met your objectives. Prepare also to tell what you learned from your experience.

In addition to describing your behavior in the challenging situation, get ready to talk about safety at workplace. It is advisable to familiarize yourself with the company’s safety rules before you set a foot in the interview room and think over a safety story which you will tell PG&E’s recruiters. Other questions will be technical. Prepare for your interview at PG&E with JobTestPrep's interview practice materials and impress the company's recruiters with your knowledge and confidence. 


About PG&E

Pacific Gas & Electric Company is one of the largest gas & electric utilities companies in the US. PG&E, based in San Francisco, employs more than 20,000 workers and serves approximately 15 million customers in northern and central California. At PG&E, positions are offered in areas including trades, operations, customer service, administrative support, and power plants.

For most non-management positions, the PG&E employment selection process requires candidates to pass one (or more) pre-employment test. This allows PG&E to hire only qualified individuals.

Your score at the PG&E pre-employment test can greatly influence you career prospects at the company, and therefore the preliminary preparation should not be taken lightly. JobTestPrep offers an exclusive PrepPack™ that will help you not only prepare for the test material and time allotments, but also feel more relaxed and reassured on the testing day. Start practicing now and maximize your chances of getting hired by PG&E.