Very Easy Interview
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2+ months - interviewed at Arkema in September 2012.
Interview Details – Contacted by Placement agency, very professional. Short HR interview, an underling substituted at the last minute for the Director. Hiring manager phone interview was about 1 hr, detailed mix of technical and soft skills assessment. Interview trip met again with a last minute substitute HR representatice (generally interviewed corporate/office positions, not technical) who could not answer technical ladder, reward/incentive systems or how projects/programs are evaluated versus individual objectives.
Technical seminar well-attended, individual meetings were only with directors and above. Lunch was with 4 peer or direct reports scientists. One junior scientist was wife of a long-time friend. All formal 1 on 1 interviews asked the same 3 questions - have you ever had to fire someone, what was your greatest technical achievement and what was your most memorable "non-success." 6 interviewers, all the same questions. Was supposed to finish off the trip with a short visit with the HR director, since he had missed me entirely, but he went home early.
The company refused to reimburse me for traveling expenses for the trip (5 hrs driving). My friend told me they laughed about my candidacy as "the bald, old guy with the funny moustache." Appears you can't work for a French comany if you have a moustache. Look at my LinkedIn profile and save us all some time .
Process took 9 weeks.
I applied through a recruiter and the process took a day - interviewed at Arkema in February 2010.
Interview Details – I applied online directly to the recruiter. After a couple of phone conversations we mutually agreed that this would be a good fit, but that Arkema was fairly well along in the interview process. However, since I lived in town, they decided to squeeze me in for an interview on the day they were talking with other candidates.
I had to go through safety training upon arrival (expected) and was then escorted to a reception area. The corporate HR manager came out and asked me to wait they had already started the process with another candidate. After about 15 minutes he came back out and the process started. He began by introducing me to the company and asking me about my background. This went very well. He was friendly and easy to talk with.
After talking with the HR Director, I met with the Regional Director of Operations (the person to whom I would report). She was all business and made sure she came across as tough. Red flags started going up immediately in my mind. It was not a particularly friendly interview but more of a grilling.
When that interview was over I met with the current Plant Manager who was transferring to another location. He had to take care of some plant business while I was standing in his office. He talked with me about the company and asked a few questions. He was touted as a process expert and was taking one for the team to go to the other location. I couldn't really assess his technical competence during our conversation. But he was cordial.
The whole interview took about 3 hours. I left feeling only so-so about the interview and uncertain what I would do if I was offered the position. Overall I did not feel that the questions they asked were planned or directed. They seemed to have a very casual approach and asked whatever came to mind. It was unclear whether they had done more than glance at my resume. Not my best interview.
Interview Question – Tell me about your experience-start at the beginning. View Answer
I applied in-person and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Arkema in June 2009.
Interview Details – Interviews with many people from different countries.
Main point was to discuss technical knowleadgment and expectations to join the function
Interview Question – Where do you want to be in 10years? View Answer
Negotiation Details – Negotiate as best as you can. Read salary avarages in the country and pursuit it.
I applied online and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Arkema in February 2011.
Interview Details – started from phone call interview with general questions then followed by notice the second day for the 1:1 interview scheduled in the following week.
Interview Question – what is your strength? Answer Question
I applied online and the process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Arkema in October 2010.
Interview Details – Long and tedious, but the management didn't seem to know what they were looking for.
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