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Hawkins Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

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 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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How to Answer
The interviewer would like to know that you can professionally handle an emergency situation. Have you ever encountered a chemical spill or other emergency situation in the workplace? Talk to the interviewer about how you reacted. If you have not experienced this, discuss how you feel you would respond in this type of situation.
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Answer Examples
1.
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?
The interviewer would like to know that you can professionally handle an emergency situation. Have you ever encountered a chemical spill or other emergency situation in the workplace? Talk to the interviewer about how you reacted. If you have not experienced this, discuss how you feel you would respond in this type of situation.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have experienced a couple of different scenarios surrounding chemical spills. When situations like this occur, I am sure to rely on my training when it comes to chemical related emergencies. I feel well equipped to handle a situation like this in a professional manner."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am well trained for these scenarios and fully understand the risks that come with working for Hawkins Inc., and the chemicals industry in general."
2.
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."
3.
Tell me about a time when you took the initiative to improve work related procedures.
Have you ever taken the opportunity to present your employer with potential change? Talk to the hiring manager about a time when you took the initiative in the workplace.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I was able to present and implement one specific change in the office this past year. It was a recycling program that I felt was very important, even for our smaller office. We had significantly less waste after my initiative was implemented and I enjoyed seeing others take pride in helping our environment."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I always have my eye out for opportunities to improve procedures. I have taken courses in organizational behavior and effective management, so I often have ideas, big and small. Recently, I helped to implement a new customer management software. This implementation has greatly improved the time frame between customer touch points."
4.
What do you know about the workplace culture here at Hawkins?
It is critical that you spend time researching Hawkins Inc. and it's workplace culture before your interview. What did you find impressive about their culture? How do you see yourself fitting in?

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am impressed with the culture at Hawkins Inc.. There are many great reviews online, and I have spoken with one of your current employees whom I know. I like that you have strong performance incentives in place for your employees and offer a safe and comfortable workplace for all. Your zero tolerance employee discrimination program is inspiring as well."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have conducted a great deal of research on Hawkins Inc. and the workplace culture that you discuss on your website. From my understanding, you boast a workplace culture of tolerance, diversity, and transparency."
5.
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."
6.
How would your co-workers describe your attention to detail?
It is always best to support your reply with a real-life example. Talk to the interviewer about your level of attentiveness when it comes to details on the job.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My co-workers would describe my attention to detail as very strong. I can very easily point out spelling discrepancies in communication and will notice the small things. I think big-picture as well but have always had a knack for details."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Overall, my attention to detail is strong. My current supervisor asked me a few months ago to improve the detail in my documentation, so I have been avidly working to improve in that area."
7.
How do you define success?
What does success mean to you? Tell the interviewer how you see progress and be sure to tie your answer into the success that you plan to bring to Hawkins Inc., should you be offered the role.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I define success by my ability to reach the goals that are set out for me. On a personal level, the things I wish to achieve in my life. On a work level, the targets that are set out for me as well as the professional development that I seek."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I define success by what we achieve as a team. The project, as a whole, needs to deliver on expectations before I consider the job a success."
8.
At Hawkins we try to hire individuals dedicated to their own professional development. If you could take any related coursework, what would you choose?
The interviewer would like to know if you are willing to expand your industry knowledge through further professional development and coursework. Talk to the interviewer about any additional education you may have been considering and assure them you are interested in the professional development options they may be offering.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am very dedicated to my professional development and am happy to attend any coursework that you may recommend. If I could choose any related coursework, I would choose further education on leadership and team engagement."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"GLP and Quality Assurance are topics of interest to me. I appreciate that Hawkins Inc. emphasizes the professional development of their employees."
9.
Budget is important for Hawkins. 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."
10.
At Hawkins 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 Hawkins Inc. 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."
11.
If you were hired today, what would you accomplish first?
When you start a new position, it is essential to set a goal on how you will make a positive impact quickly after being hired. Tell the interviewer what your impact goal is, should you be the successful candidate.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"When we were speaking earlier, about sales targets in this position, you mentioned that most new sales professionals hit their KPI's after 120 days. If hired today, my goal would be to exceed my KPI's after the first 90 days. I plan to make a positive impact very quickly."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"If hired today, I would first work on obtaining all of the industry certifications and training that Hawkins Inc. needs me to complete. This will enable me to work independently, and gain traction in my new role."
12.
In your chemicals career have you ever experienced a chemical related emergency such as a spill or injured co-worker due to exposure?
Assure the interviewer that you are well equipped when it comes to handling an emergency situation in the workplace. Do you have any training when it comes to chemical safety, chemical spills, etc.?

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have a spotless safety record in my work history, so I have not experienced a chemical related emergency at this point in my career. I have great amounts of training in emergency situations, as well as WHMIS and OSHA certified."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I experienced a chemical spill in one of our warehouse facilities last year. A forklift operator accidentally pierced a container. In my current position, we have rigorous spill protocols. We followed those protocols and were able to avoid any injury and toxic exposure."
13.
When have you had to shift your priorities in response to sudden changes?
Have you been asked to change your priorities on a dime? How do you react to this kind of shift in priorities? Assure the interviewer that you can respond professionally when it comes to sudden changes.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"In my current role, our schedule is changed on a regular basis and always at short notice. I have been able to adapt very well to these frequent, sudden changes."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"In my current position, I have to respond to sudden change on a regular basis. This situation always occurs when my clients need changes to their projects, and it often happens right before the deadline. I am accustomed to situations like this and welcome the challenge!"
14.
What work situations excite and motivate you?
It is crucial, for your success, that the hiring manager knows how to keep you motivated and excited to come to work every day. Share with the interviewer what they could do to ensure that you are happy and productive at Hawkins Inc..

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am most motivated, on the job, when tasks are organized, and the vibe is positive. I value strong teamwork and good leadership."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Work situations that excite and motivate me to include fun internal contests, camaraderie among the staff, and the ability to participate as a creative thinker."
15.
At Hawkins 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?
It is vital to research the company before your interview. You should learn who the company's competitors are. Discuss your findings with the interviewer and be sure to speak highly of Hawkins Inc. while answering this question.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have researched Hawkins Inc. and see that you truly are an industry leader in the chemicals arena. From my research, I believe what sets you apart is your incredible customer service and dedication to safety. Also, it appears that your employee benefits package is one of the best in the industry."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"From my research, I understand that your biggest competitors are companies X, Y, and Z. Your branding is what sets Hawkins Inc. apart from its competitors. A good brand equals trust and with your strong branding comes a great deal of public trust in your product."
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30 Hawkins 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 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?
  2. Do you have experience when it comes to appropriate shipping and handling of chemicals and other potentially toxic products?
  3. Tell me about a time when you took the initiative to improve work related procedures.
  4. What do you know about the workplace culture here at Hawkins?
  5. In your opinion, what do you think has been the biggest change in the chemicals industry in the past 10 years?
  6. How would your co-workers describe your attention to detail?
  7. How do you define success?
  8. At Hawkins we try to hire individuals dedicated to their own professional development. If you could take any related coursework, what would you choose?
  9. Budget is important for Hawkins. What was the greatest cost-cutting measurement you accomplished at your previous employer?
  10. At Hawkins we put safety first when it comes to our employees and the handling of our products. How important is safety to you?
  11. If you were hired today, what would you accomplish first?
  12. In your chemicals career have you ever experienced a chemical related emergency such as a spill or injured co-worker due to exposure?
  13. When have you had to shift your priorities in response to sudden changes?
  14. What work situations excite and motivate you?
  15. At Hawkins 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?
  16. Tell me about any safety related training you have received when it comes to the handling of chemicals and other toxic substances.
  17. At Hawkins 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?
  18. What accomplishment do you believe was the most difficult for you to achieve?
  19. When have you faced an unexpecting difficulty?
  20. At Hawkins we ask for active contribution from our employees. Tell me about a contribution you made to the last team you worked on.
  21. Why is this job with Hawkins right for you at this time in your career?
  22. We value a harmonious culture within Hawkins. How do you handle conflict in the workplace?
  23. Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.
  24. When have you used an inventive method to stretch company resources beyond the normal level?
  25. We are asking for 8 years of industry experience and you have just 5. Why do you think you are qualified for this position?
  26. List the top 3 skills that you have acquired in your last role.
  27. What decisions did you routinely make in your last position?
  28. Hawkins has seasons of peak times where the workload is high. How do you handle a larger than average workload?
  29. What is your current salary?
  30. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
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