Interview tips – chemical engineering

If you have an upcoming interview for a chemical engineering job, here are some handy tips for you:

 

Questions:

As a Chemical Engineer, you may work in a number of different functions, focus areas and be required to draw on a number of skill sets. As such you may be asked a number of questions at your interview, here are a few questions that may be asked:

  • Give me an example of a chemical process engineering project you have been involved in?
  • Tell me about how you have gone about continuous improvement in line with manufacturing methodologies (e.g. 6 sigma / lean manufacturing)?
  • Provide me with a practical example of when you have had to perform modelling or simulation (e.g. FEA / CFD)?
  • Explain how you ensure projects meet quality and H&S standards across site?

Give examples of  skills and experience:

As you can see they will want to achieve practical examples of your skills & experience, however this can often be hard to portray in an interview.

In order to prepare for this during your interview preparation you should identify examples of situations from your experiences on your CV where you have demonstrated skills and competencies that you feel are relevant to the role – This can be often obtained by comparing to a job specification.

Answering questions:

During the interview, your responses need to be specific and detailed. Tell them about a particular situation that relates to the question, not a general one. Briefly tell them about the situation, what actions you took, and the positive result or outcome. One proven way to structure your answers is using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result or “STAR”) format (please see below).

The STAR Technique:

Situation or Task:

Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish. You must describe a specific event or situation, not a generalized description of what you have done in the past. Be sure to give enough detail for the interviewer to understand. This situation can be from a previous job, from a volunteer experience, or any relevant event.

Action you took:

Describe the action you took and be sure to keep the focus on you. Even if you are discussing a group project or effort, describe what you did — not the efforts of the team. Don’t tell what you might do, tell what you did.

Results you achieved

What happened? How did the event end? What did you accomplish? What did you learn?

 

Also read our tips on how to make a good impression at your chemical engineering job interview