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Lam Research Corporation Interview
Questions

31 Questions and Answers by
Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

Question 1 of 31

The product standards at Lam Research Corporation are highly regulated. Do you consider yourself meticulous and detail-oriented?

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Lam Research Corporation Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    The product standards at Lam Research Corporation are highly regulated. Do you consider yourself meticulous and detail-oriented?

      Product standards should be high! Be sure to address with the interviewer how important the small details are to you. The interviewer would like to see that you have a keen interest in the details. Give an example of a time when your attention to detail saved the company from an expensive error or a safety issue.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "After researching Lam Research Corporation I could see that your organization has a keen eye for the details. I, too, am a detail-oriented person. Two months ago, during our quarterly audit, I noticed a couple of discrepancies that ended up saving my company $45,000. My supervisor was very thankful for my keen eye and ended up making me the inventory lead for future audits."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Yes, at this point in my career, I do consider myself detail-oriented. My attention to detail is a point that I have been working on a lot this past year. I am meticulous but, in the past, have pushed my documentation back a little bit. It's something I am conscious of and continually working on."

  2. 2.

    Do you have any formal education or training in the semiconductor field? How does that training relate to what we do at Lam Research Corporation?

      The interviewer would like to know how your post-secondary education and training relates to a career with Lam Research Corporation. Assure the interviewer that you have a keen interest in the semiconductor industry by mentioning any formal, or informal, training you have completed. You can also include any self-training as well! Give an answer that will show off your drive to learn more about this industry.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Although I do not have formal post-secondary training in the semiconductor industry, I do bring ten years' experience in the field, with hands-on training. Is there any particular formal training that you would like me to take before starting with Lam Research Corporation?"

  3. 3.

    What skills did you learn in your last position that will help you in this new role with Lam Research Corporation?

      Before answering this question, you need to know which fundamental skills are required in this role. Review the job description, compare it to your most recent job, and give examples that demonstrate your competency in these skills.

      For instance, if Lam Research Corporation is looking for someone with experience in a particular technology, talk about how you learned the ins and outs of this technology in your past job. If the company is looking for someone with excellent customer service skills, give an example of how you learned to meet the needs of customers in your last role by listening and positively communicating with them.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Here are some transferable skills that may apply to you:

      - Effective leadership
      - Presentations and public speaking
      - Specific software or technology
      - Research and data analysis"

  4. 4.

    If Lam Research Corporation offered you the position, when would you be available to start?

      Make sure before an interview; you have a start date in mind for the new employer. Come prepared to answer this question affirmatively, whether you need to give two weeks to your previous position or can start right away.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "As a professional courtesy, I would like to give my current employer two weeks' notice. I could start anytime after that."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I am currently unemployed; however, I have a long weekend trip planned from the 12th to the 15th. I would be thrilled to start the Tuesday after that."

  5. 5.

    At Lam Research Corporation we like to hire those who are natural leaders. When have you taken on a leadership task in the workplace without being asked?

      Most companies want to know that they are hiring someone who can grow with their company, show initiative, and be an excellent example to others. Talk to the interviewer about a time, big or small, when you took the initiative to go above your regular duties and set an example of leadership for your co-workers.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "Last month when our supervisor was out unexpectedly we had a couple of temporary employees not show up for their assignment. We were short-handed, and volumes were high. I decided to step up for the team, like a leader would do, and offered to work a double shift so that last-minute overtime was not expected of my team members. I enjoy setting an example of teamwork while maintaining a positive mindset."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I will often take new hires under my wing, unasked. I believe that it helps with retention when new employees feel like others are interested in their success."

  6. 6.

    We try to hire people who want to stay with Lam Research Corporation 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 Lam Research Corporation. 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 Lam Research Corporation. 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 Lam Research Corporation."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "This position aligns nicely with my career goal of continued growth in the semiconductor industry. The role is in my comfort zone, but a new enough approach that will intrigue me, and the company size is adequate to support growth. I would love to, in the longer term, find myself working in a leadership position at Lam Research Corporation."

  7. 7.

    Tell me about a project you worked on where a conventional approach was not suitable.

      How have you implemented creativity in the workplace when a conventional approach was not suitable? Display for the hiring manager how you can think outside of the box when necessary.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "In 2009 our economy suffered, and a lot of businesses were struggling to keep their doors open. At that time, a conventional approach was to take out additional ads on the radio or TV. Social media was starting to become a major advertising outlet - and it was free. I launched a social media campaign that was very successful. We were able to generate new and repeat business while coming in under our advertising budget."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I recently worked on a project that was ahead of its time and federal guidelines. If you want to achieve something you never have before, you have to do something you have never done. We took an unconventional approach to federal research and licensing technology through the Office of Technology Transfer in a way never done before. It was a necessary step to achieve the bigger picture."

  8. 8.

    We value strong tenure at Lam Research Corporation. Why were you fired or let go from your last job?

      Being terminated does not have to be an embarrassing or shameful thing. Be open and honest with the interviewer regarding your dismissal. Be sure to let the interviewer know that you can provide positive references despite a previous termination.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I was terminated from my last position due to my inability to relocate to the new plant that my company was opening. It was unfortunate, but I am confident that I will find the right fit again shortly. Despite my termination, I can provide you with strong work references."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I lost my position due to the company being acquired by a larger competitor. It was disappointing because I was hoping to stay with that company for a long time. With that said, everything happens for a reason, and I am excited for a fresh start with Lam Research Corporation."

  9. 9.

    Lam Research Corporation uses some well-known software programs. Which automation software solutions you are accustomed to using?

      There are many automation software solution options. Some are for the masses, and other organizations may have proprietary software.

      When asked about your exposure to these types of programs it is important to remember that most of them function the same because the desired outcome is always similar. If you know one, you should be able to understand another more easily.

      Avoid focusing on what you don't know and focus on what you do. Assure the interviewer that you can learn their system quickly.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "You mention in your job posting that you are looking for someone with experience in Software ABC. I have worked with Software XYZ which is very similar. The functions are essentially the same, and since I am an expert level user in XYZ, I am confident that I will be a fast learner when it comes to ABC and your other internal programs."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I am most accustomed to using Applied Materials automation software. Primarily, it's function is to coordinate process and people so that we can optimize our resources. I am a fast learner and am confident that I will learn your internal solutions very quickly."

  10. 10.

    At Lam Research Corporation we want to hire those with at least a basic understanding of semiconductors. Why are some semiconductors made of silicon?

      The interviewer is testing your basic industry knowledge. The better you understand a topic, the more clearly you should be able to answer a question like this. Keep your answer concise. 'I don't know' is never an acceptable answer. You should be transparent with the interviewer that you are unsure of the solution but offer any piece of knowledge that you may have.

      If you know the answer: "From my understanding, some semiconductors are made of silicon because the semiconductor can then be used at much higher temperatures; for electronics, for example."

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "From my understanding, some semiconductors are made of silicon because the semiconductor can then be used at much higher temperatures; for electronics, for example."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "If you do not know the answer: "I am not confident on why some semiconductors are made of silicon; however, I do believe that silicon is good for higher heat so perhaps that is why? I would love to learn more if you would give me the opportunity."

  11. 11.

    What are your strengths?

      Which personal advantages make you excellent at your job? Strengths can be skills or qualities that help you overcome difficult circumstances or accomplish challenging tasks.

      In a work context, your strengths will help you to complete your to-do list, understand client needs, and help you to apply what you have learned in your training. Talk to the interviewer about a couple of your strengths and why those will help you to be successful in this role.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I think my strengths are in my perceptiveness and ability to be observant of the needs of others. These strengths are part of what makes me an excellent performer in a client facing role."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Here is a list of strengths that you may have:

      - Strong enthusiasm in the workplace
      - Trustworthiness and honesty
      - Adaptability and versatility
      - Patience
      - Determination and diligence
      - Leadership and teamwork"

  12. 12.

    Do you think honesty is always the best policy?

      Is honesty always the best policy? Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on honesty in the workplace.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "Sometimes full disclosure can damage someone's self-esteem, and reality isn't always best expressed in full and can be self-indulgent based on the person's intention. In those instances, honesty isn't always the best policy."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Honesty is always the best policy. Often, it is just a matter of how you communicate and deliver your message so managing this with each situation is critical to building honest and trustworthy relationships."

  13. 13.

    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

      "I am currently making $100,000 per year with two bonus opportunities. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the role and provides an opportunity for growth."

  14. 14.

    How have you had to adapt your work style to fit the team's objectives?

      The interviewer wants to hear that you are open to change and are adaptable. Think about the times when you have had to learn a new computer system, change your email organization approach, change how you update your calendar, re-worked your daily routine, or times when you have had to change your approach to meeting a goal. These are all great examples for this question!

      Start off by telling the interviewer your usual work style in this area, and share how you changed this work style to meet the team's objectives. Be sure to mention that you didn't mind the change, and you were happy to accommodate this change to help the team reach its goal.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "Typically, I like to begin my day by listening to voicemail, checking emails, and making a to-do list for the day. The goal of this particular team was to increase staff communication, so we decided to start each morning with a team huddle instead. This meant that I was unable to kick-off my day with my usual morning routine. I was happy to meet for the team huddles because I understood that they were helping us meet our goal of improving communication."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "My current team is more junior, and they require constant communication - more than I am naturally inclined to provide. For this reason, I have had to adapt my communication style to include more touch-points in the day. I have learned a lot from having a greener team, and appreciate the opportunity to expand my working style."

  15. 15.

    Explain Statistical Process Control (SPC) to me.

      The interviewer is testing your basic industry knowledge. The better you understand a topic, the more clearly you should be able to answer a question like this. Keep your answer concise. 'I don't know' is never an appropriate answer. You should be transparent with the interviewer that you are unsure of the solution but offer any piece of knowledge that you may have.

      If you know the answer: "From my understanding, SPC is an industry-wide standard for measuring and controlling the quality during the manufacturing process."

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "From my understanding, SPC is an industry-wide standard for measuring and controlling the quality during the manufacturing process."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "If you do not know the answer: "I am not confident on the exact purpose of SPC; however I believe it may be a way of controlling industry standards? I would love to learn more if you would give me the opportunity."

  16. 16.

    We want to ensure that Lam Research Corporation has the best inventory over our competitors. Have you ever made a suggestion on a product line or item?

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  17. 17.

    We strive to be the best in our industry. What do you think Lam Research Corporation could improve on?

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  18. 18.

    What is the biggest difference between Intrinsic and Extrinsic semiconductors?

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  19. 19.

    Time management is the key to productivity at Lam Research Corporation. How do you manage your time?

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  20. 20.

    Tell me about a time that you were asked to collaborate on a project with a colleague whom you did not necessarily see eye-to-eye with. How did you ensure that you got along well and met your deadline?

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  21. 21.

    Sometimes we come across unique problems at Lam Research Corporation. What makes you a great problem solver?

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  22. 22.

    What is your definition of hard work?

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  23. 23.

    We want to hire motivated leaders at Lam Research Corporation. What do you find to be the most difficult aspect of leading your current team?

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  24. 24.

    It is important to us that Lam Research Corporation maintains a healthy and collaborative work environment. What kind of people do you enjoy working with?

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  25. 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 with Lam Research Corporation?

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  26. 26.

    What do you think you will like about this role with Lam Research Corporation?

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  27. 27.

    Give me an example of a time when you had to be extra diligent in order to meet a deadline.

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  28. 28.

    When have you used an inventive method to stretch company resources beyond the normal level?

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  29. 29.

    What type of work environment do you dislike working in?

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  30. 30.

    Tell me about an error or mistake you made because of a breakdown in communication from you or one of your team members.

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  31. 31.

    What are your weaknesses?

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