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Dow Chemical Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 21st, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Companies     Products     Chemicals    
Question 1 of 30
In your opinion, what do you think has been the biggest change in the chemicals industry in the past 10 years?
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How to Answer
Talk to the interviewer about the most significant changes you have seen in the chemicals industry. Keep your answer positive by focusing on the changes that have been good for the industry.
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Answer Examples
1.
In your opinion, what do you think has been the biggest change in the chemicals industry in the past 10 years?
Talk to the interviewer about the most significant changes you have seen in the chemicals industry. Keep your answer positive by focusing on the changes that have been good for the industry.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I feel that the biggest change in the chemicals industry has been the amendment to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These amendments have greatly assisted with the consistency of communication and expectations in the chemicals industry."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"The chemicals industry is always faced with new challenges as policy changes come all the time. The biggest challenge that stands out to me is increasing capital costs that cause knee-jerk reactions such as cost-cutting measurements that end up being poor decisions further down the road."
2.
When have you used an inventive method to stretch company resources beyond the normal level?
Every company likes to hire those who are respectful of company resources and finances. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you have been able to stretch company resources.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have recently implemented a schedule that allows for ride-sharing rewards which have cut down on our company's fuel expense by $9000 per month. I am quite proud of this initiative because it is not only financially responsible but also environmentally friendly."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"This is a practice I often utilize to maximize company resources and optimize value to the clients. I recycle a lot of company materials to make the most of our resources. I also do this with people regarding cross training and sharing understanding across departments."
3.
When have you faced an unexpecting difficulty?
How you face unexpected difficulty can say a lot about your character. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you have encountered an unexpected challenge. How did you handle the situation?

Rachelle's Answer #1
"The biggest unexpected difficulty that I have faced was my unexpected lay off during the last recession. I had to adapt to a new economy and search deeply for other skills and opportunities. I was able to earn enough to avoid financial strain and am quite proud of my ability to be versatile when required."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I faced unexpected difficulty last year when Company X swiftly acquired our company. With nobody aware of the change, it was emotional chaos in our offices for some time. I chose to remain calm, avoid jumping to assumptions and continued doing my job as usual. This approach helped me to get through the situation."
4.
Budget is important for Dow and its success. What was the greatest cost-cutting measurement you accomplished at your previous employer?
If you are in a management type of role, you will often be asked to keep your eyes open for cost-saving opportunities. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of understanding the importance of this practice and give a strong example of a time when you have done so.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have been able to present cost-cutting suggestions many times to my previous employer. The one that I feel had the biggest impact was when I suggested additional warehouse staff. We had three various shifts and still an average of 100 hours of overtime per week. I presented to my employer that we hire one more warehouse employee for each shift, keeping the hours to just 120 regular vs. 100 hours of overtime pay (@1.5x) This recommendation saved the company $31,000 per year. They implemented this change across 15 warehouses the following year, amounting to nearly half a million dollars in savings per year."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My biggest cost saving measure comes regarding productivity on my team. I was able to craft email copy that I saved as a template and could send out a dozen emails at a time, all personalized, to targeted audiences to set appointments. I was able to do this multiple times per day, while also making calls, and doubled my productivity. I shared this tactic with the team and saw it implemented across the board. While I was not in a managerial role, I was able to roughly double productivity, thereby preventing the need for new hires and surpassing our financial targets for KPIs and financial metrics."
5.
We value a harmonious culture within Dow. How do you handle conflict in the workplace?
The tension between coworkers can be draining, mainly if you work in a high-stress work environment. When asked a question about dealing with conflict or overcoming a challenge, think of an example first. Having a concrete situation to draw from will help you to think through the steps you take to deal with conflict.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My coworker and I had a misunderstanding about the schedule. We both got frustrated, so I took a step back and asked if we could talk about it when we are both calm, so the tension didn't escalate. The next day I pulled him aside and asked if we could talk. We both shared our sides of the story and realized it was just a miscommunication."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I do not enjoy conflict in the workplace; however, it does happen from time to time. When conflict does arise, I am sure to nip it in the bud right away. When moments of miscommunication fester or swept under the rug, they become bigger than they need to be."
6.
Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.
On a scale of 1-10, how skilled are you in communication? Why did you choose that particular rating for yourself?

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I rate my communication skills as a 9/10 as I will, on occasion, have times when I am not as clear as I would like to be. My supervisor and co-workers will attest to my clear and concise communication skills. Because I am an open leader, my team will let me know if I need to clarify anything."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I will rate myself an 8.5 because I consider myself a strong communicator. It is the foundation of all success in business. I am always striving to be a better communicator, so I leave the rest of the scale as an aspirational measure."
7.
Do you have experience when it comes to appropriate shipping and handling of chemicals and other potentially toxic products?
Proper shipping and handling of chemicals are of utmost importance to the success of most chemical companies. Talk to the interviewer about your experience in transportation of chemicals.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have experience in shipping and handling of chemicals by road transportation and air. I have been formally trained in Hazardous Material Transportation Act (HMTA) and have a spotless record when it comes to transportation safety."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Because I am new to the chemicals industry, I do not have specific experience when it comes to the appropriate shipping and handling of chemicals. I am here to learn, and will do so, enthusiastically."
Anonymous Answer
"Well, as far as having experience in pipefitting, I can say it is making sure the pipe is fitted correctly with chemicals going through the pipe, and flanges are tightened and bolted correctly to avoid any leaks or chemical spills."
Rachelle's Answer
You have great suggestions related to chemical safety and avoiding spills. Nice work!
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8.
Why is this job with Dow right for you at this time in your career?
Discuss with the interviewer why you are looking to make a change, and how this particular role fits well with the changes that you are seeking. Be sure to give a more in-depth answer than the typical 'I am looking for growth' answer that so many interviewers hear. Be thoughtful and draw upon the research you have done on the company. You will find on the Dow website that they boast a creative, dynamic and friendly work environment that values diverse perspectives, is mutually respectful and benefits from the vision and mentoring of leaders who rank among the best in the industry.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have been passively seeking a new position for quite some time and haven't jumped on anything yet because I want to make sure it's the right fit. I feel that this job is right for me, at this point in my career, because it offers an opportunity for me to utilize my new education while giving me an opportunity to advance in my management skills and be mentored by industry experts."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have attended multiple interviews as of late, and when I walk into the offices of Dow, it already feels like home. I believe that my advancement goals will be respected here and that I can flourish in this position. Your willingness to mentor and encourage professional development is another factor that makes this role with Dow the right one for me."
Anonymous Answer
"This job is right for me at this time because I accomplished so much knowledge and different skilled development in my trade and other trades in the refinery field. I have developed a good sense of direction of how I want to empower others and myself as well to learn and tackle challenging situations and issues in this field of business."
Rachelle's Answer
It seems you are very eager to learn and grow while helping others to do the same. An empowering next step!
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9.
At Dow we try to hire people who want to stay with us long term. What are your long-term career plans and how do we fit into your plans?
Discuss with the interviewer your longer-term career plans and how they fit into the career path being offered by Dow. Assure the interviewer that you are looking for a longer term fit.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am looking for a long-term career path which is one of the reasons I applied to work with Dow. I like that you have opportunities for advancement within your team and that you offer professional development coursework. If hired, I would seek to work my way into a leadership role with Dow."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I plan to have a long-term career in the chemicals industry. My education is geared to this as I recently graduated from Chemical Engineering. I would be happy to enjoy a long-term career with Dow."
Anonymous Answer
"I'm hoping to move up into supervision with the company."
Rachelle's Answer
Having your eye on a supervisory role is great! If you can, try to be more specific re: department, etc., and what you will do to achieve this goal.
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10.
We are asking for 8 years of industry experience and you have just 5. Why do you think you are qualified for this position?
To many employers, the number of years' experience is flexible - so long as you have the results to show for the years that you do have. Talk to the interviewer about your major career successes. This question is the time to sell yourself. Make no apologies for your lack of years!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Although I have five years' experience vs. eight years' experience I can do this job well. In my previous role, I was outperforming colleagues who had 12 years of experience. To me, it's all about drive and ability to be a quick study. I have all of these qualities and more."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Along with my five years working in this industry, I have worked near it my entire career, and I hope that my graduate degree gives me a little boost in experience over the required undergraduate degree."
11.
What accomplishment do you believe was the most difficult for you to achieve?
Being able to face a challenge or stressful situation, and still gain some accomplishment, in the end, is very satisfying. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you were able to come out on top despite being faced with an obstacle.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"In my career, so far, I feel that the most difficult accomplishment for me to achieve were the three back-to-back promotions in my current company. Because promotions are granted based on results, I had to put in a lot of overtime hours, and hustle, to get there."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My proudest accomplishment to date was completing my Degree in Chemical Engineering while also being a single parent to two young boys. The level of dedication that I had to give to both my family and my education was very tough. I couldn't be prouder of myself for never giving up."
12.
Dow Chemical has seasons of peak times where the workload is high. How do you handle a larger than average workload?
The interviewer wants to know that you can handle the workload required of you in this position and that you will not become overwhelmed if/when workloads unexpectedly increase. When workloads increase, stress levels do too. How do you react?

Rachelle's Answer #1
"When I have a large workload on my plate, I do not stress over the tasks that are in front of me. Rather, I make a simple plan of which tasks are a high priority and which tasks are a lower priority. The higher priority tasks, I complete first. Through this system, I can focus on my tasks individually, rather than stress out by the multitude of tasks ahead of me."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Here are some suggestions on how to handle a large workload:

- List your tasks and prioritize them
- Think of which tasks add to the company's bottom line, and start there (Closest to the money!)
- Exhale. Relax for a minute and collect yourself
- Organize your tasks by which ones you can complete independently and which ones you need help with
- Take sufficient breaks, so you do not exhaust yourself
- Communicate your struggles with your leadership or team"
13.
At Dow we put safety first when it comes to our employees and the handling of our products. How important is safety to you?
Assure the interviewer that you are as concerned about safety as they are. In which ways do you put safety first? Talk about the importance of safety in the workplace.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"One of the reasons why Dow stands out to me as a potential employer, is your dedication to workplace safety. I feel that safety should be the number one consideration in this industry. It determines employee engagement, company profitability, and ensures a strong industry reputation."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Safety is the most important factor in the workplace, in my opinion. When working with chemicals, especially! I have attended a variety of safety training including Decontamination, Responding to Chemical Emergencies, and CPR / First Aid."
Anonymous Answer
"Safety is a priority to me in the industrial field and especially handling products as well."
Rachelle's Answer
It's great that safety is so important to you! If you have any safety training/certifications, this would be a good time to mention it as well.
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14.
What decisions did you routinely make in your last position?
The interviewer would like to know more about the types of decisions you are accustomed to making in the workplace. The way you answer this questions will give them a good idea of your level of experience, seniority, and ability to handle the decision-making requirements in this possible position.

If the job you are interviewing for requires you to be decisive and quick on your feet, you will need to be able to provide examples of how you have done these things in the past. If you worked in tech support, you faced problems that you needed to find solutions for on a regular basis. If you worked as a sales rep, you might have to know how to negotiate and make decisions on prices and benefits you can give your customers.

You may have faced decisions that became so routine you didn't think twice! Refer to these types of decisions and be sure to highlight how these types of decisions have prepared you for a role like this one.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"In my previous position I was quite often required to make decisions on staff scheduling as well as hiring and terminating. I feel that role prepared me quite well for a position like this one. I have well-honed decision-making skills and my intuition, when it comes to hiring, has been elevated."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I regularly made decisions regarding pricing and discounts for customers. I had a standard set of criteria that I created, and I tried to let that guide me for consistency."
15.
What is your current salary?
A potential employer will often base their offer on your current salary. You should be transparent about your most recent earnings and be prepared to back up any salary requests.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am currently earning a base salary of $78,000 plus a car allowance of $900/month and health benefits. I am looking for a competitive salary in my next position."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"In my most recent position, I was earning below the average for my area of expertise. I am targeting a base salary of $92-$98K in my next position."
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30 Dow Chemical Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. In your opinion, what do you think has been the biggest change in the chemicals industry in the past 10 years?
  2. When have you used an inventive method to stretch company resources beyond the normal level?
  3. When have you faced an unexpecting difficulty?
  4. Budget is important for Dow and its success. What was the greatest cost-cutting measurement you accomplished at your previous employer?
  5. We value a harmonious culture within Dow. How do you handle conflict in the workplace?
  6. Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.
  7. Do you have experience when it comes to appropriate shipping and handling of chemicals and other potentially toxic products?
  8. Why is this job with Dow right for you at this time in your career?
  9. At Dow we try to hire people who want to stay with us long term. What are your long-term career plans and how do we fit into your plans?
  10. We are asking for 8 years of industry experience and you have just 5. Why do you think you are qualified for this position?
  11. What accomplishment do you believe was the most difficult for you to achieve?
  12. Dow Chemical has seasons of peak times where the workload is high. How do you handle a larger than average workload?
  13. At Dow we put safety first when it comes to our employees and the handling of our products. How important is safety to you?
  14. What decisions did you routinely make in your last position?
  15. What is your current salary?
  16. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
  17. List the top 3 skills that you have acquired in your last role.
  18. How would your co-workers describe your attention to detail?
  19. Tell me about a time when you took the initiative to improve work related procedures.
  20. How do you define success?
  21. What work situations excite and motivate you?
  22. At Dow we ask for active contribution from our employees. Tell me about a contribution you made to the last team you worked on.
  23. When have you had to shift your priorities in response to sudden changes?
  24. If you were hired today, what would you accomplish first?
  25. What do you know about the workplace culture here at Dow Chemical Co.?
  26. At Dow Chemical we try to hire individuals dedicated to their own professional development. If you could take any related coursework, what would you choose?
  27. Tell me about any safety related training you have received when it comes to the handling of chemicals and other toxic substances.
  28. At Dow, we take every step possible to be a leader in our industry. In your opinion, who are our competitors and what sets us apart from them?
  29. In your chemicals career have you ever experienced a chemical related emergency such as a spill or injured co-worker due to exposure?
  30. In the chemical industry there is always potential for dangerous spills and exposure to toxic chemicals. Are you willing to work in an industry that poses this type of risk?
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