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NPA Coatings Interview
Questions

30 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 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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NPA Coatings Interview Questions

  1. 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 NPA Coatings, Inc., and the chemicals industry in general."

  2. 2.

    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."

  3. 3.

    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."

  4. 4.

    Budget is important for NPA Coatings. 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. 5.

    Why is this job with NPA Coatings 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.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I am looking for growth"

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I have attended multiple interviews as of late, and when I walk into the offices of NPA Coatings, Inc., 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 NPA Coatings, Inc. the right one for me."

  6. 6.

    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."

  7. 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 NPA Coatings, 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. 8.

    At NPA Coatings 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 NPA Coatings, Inc. emphasizes the professional development of their employees."

  9. 9.

    Tell me about any safety related training you have received when it comes to the handling of chemicals and other toxic substances.

      Give the interviewer a concise overview of your formal and on the job training related to chemical safety and proper handling. You can be brief when answering this question but be sure to give the interviewer confidence in your abilities.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I am certified in chemical safety and currently hold a valid WHMIS certificate as well as a valid OSHA certificate. I am confident in the training I have received and understand the importance of caution and safety while working around chemicals and potentially toxic substances."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "As I am new to this industry, I have not taken any safety-related training related to chemicals. If you could suggest some specific training, I would be happy to get a head start while you make your hiring decision."

  10. 10.

    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 NPA Coatings, Inc. needs me to complete. This will enable me to work independently, and gain traction in my new role."

  11. 11.

    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."

  12. 12.

    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."

  13. 13.

    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."

  14. 14.

    At NPA Coatings 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 NPA Coatings, 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."

  15. 15.

    At NPA Coatings 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 NPA Coatings, Inc. while answering this question.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I have researched NPA Coatings, 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 NPA Coatings, 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."

  16. 16.

    Do you have experience when it comes to appropriate shipping and handling of chemicals and other potentially toxic products?

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  17. 17.

    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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  18. 18.

    At NPA Coatings 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?

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  19. 19.

    What do you know about the workplace culture here at NPA Coatings?

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  20. 20.

    When have you had to shift your priorities in response to sudden changes?

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  21. 21.

    At NPA Coatings we ask for active contribution from our employees. Tell me about a contribution you made to the last team you worked on.

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  22. 22.

    We value a harmonious culture within NPA Coatings. How do you handle conflict in the workplace?

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  23. 23.

    What work situations excite and motivate you?

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  24. 24.

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

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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?

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  26. 26.

    List the top 3 skills that you have acquired in your last role.

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  27. 27.

    What decisions did you routinely make in your last position?

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  28. 28.

    NPA Coatings has seasons of peak times where the workload is high. How do you handle a larger than average workload?

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  29. 29.

    What is your current salary?

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  30. 30.

    Tell me a little bit about yourself.

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