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Chemical engineering is an exciting career choice and one in which qualified candidates are

in high demand. The role of a chemical engineer involves taking materials and designing
processes to change certain properties to give them another purpose. A wide range of
industries relies on chemical engineers to produce new materials so a role in the sector can
lead to many different opportunities.

Production using chemical engineering is right at the forefront of human development. In


this multibillion-pound industry candidates will work in fast paced environments solving
problems on a daily basis whether you are in a production environment or working behind
the scenes in R & D.

Which Sectors Are Popular For Chemical


Engineers?

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Chemical Engineers have skills and knowledge in many fields including chemistry,
biological sciences, physics and maths. The role of the chemical engineer is common in a
range of sectors which include oil and gas, energy, food and drink manufacture, toiletries,
plastics, consumable goods and many more.

Currently, the industry is seeing growth and there a number of chemical engineering
jobs available in the market. Once you have passed the job application stage it is time to
face the dreaded interview stage but all you have to do is prepare yourself well to succeed.
Chemical Engineer Job Interview Format
Chemical engineering interviews will typically ask both technical and competency based
questions, often fusing the two criteria into the same question.

You should expect a panel of two or more people with time to ask your questions at the end.
Furthermore, if the role you are applying for involves added responsibility such as
leadership and supervision then expect to be asked questions on competencies such as
people management and motivation.

How Should You Prepare For Your Engineering


Interview?
Before you get started interview preparation is vital. Prepare by analysing the Job
Description, Job Advert and Person Specification to gain an understanding of the aspects of
chemical engineering covered in the role.

Your next step should be to consider the types of behavioural question you could be asked
for each aspect of the role. In competency based interviews past performance is the
greatest tool for predicting future results so questions will be focussed along the lines of
“Tell us about a time you have…..”. For each aspect of chemical engineering you have
identified, it is worth preparing examples of when you have delivered relevant behaviours.

The best method for answering competency questions would be using the STAR model.
With the STAR model, you would state first the Situation to provide context, describe
the Task, which needed to be undertaken in order to progress, outline the Actions you took
and finish off by tangibly describing the Results.
Tip – Sometimes you can demonstrate your knowledge of a technical question by providing
a competency-based answer.

20 Technical Chemical Engineering Questions


and Keywords
1. What is entropy?
Your answer should include these keywords: Disorderliness, Equilibrium.

2. What is an isochoric process?


Your answer should include these keywords: Thermodynamics, Constant Volume,
Isovolumetric

3. List the advantages and disadvantages of a PFR.


Your answer should include these keywords: Operations, Costs, Conversion Rates,
Temperatures

4. What is global warming?


Your answer should include these keywords: Temperatures, Surface Temperatures,
Greenhouse Gases, Heat Radiation

5. What is carbon sequestration?


Your answer should include these keywords: Carbon Dioxide, Global Warming

6. How does a Spray Condenser work?


Your answer should include these keywords: Condensation, Water Vapour, Dew Point, Air

7. What is Viscosity?
Your answer should include these keywords: Fluid, Resistance, Stress

8. Describe pneumatic conveying?


Your answer should include these keywords: Movement, Solids, Gas, Carrying, Pressure
Flow

9. How does a catalytic converter work?


Your answer should include these keywords: Harmful Compounds, Hydrocarbons, Carbon
Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxides, Conversion, Carbon Dioxide, Water

10. How does paint dry?


Your answer should include these keywords: Solvents, Evaporation, Solidifying

11. What is Quicklime?


Your answer should include these keywords: Calcium Oxide, Moisture, Absorb,
Polyurethane

12. How should you extract hydrogen from water?


Your answer should include these keywords: Electrolysis, Palladium ‘Sponge’, Compounds

13. Describe additives and how they are used?


Your answer should include these keywords: Raw Materials, Added, Final Product,
Enhancer, Detergents

14. Based on two pressure measurements how can you


estimate gas flow?
Your answer should include these keywords: Weymouth Equation, Favourable And
Unfavourable Operating Conditions

15. What are the implications of the minimum flow


required by a pump?
Your answer should include these keywords: Shutoff, Work, Heat, Vaporisation, Damage

16. What problems are associated with large temperature


differences in boilers?
Your answer should include these keywords: Heat Exchange, Vaporisation, Thermal
Conduction, Film Boiling

17. Describe a Condensate lift.


Your answer should include these keywords: Pressure, Steam, Valve, PSI, Condensate
Pump

18. Describe the characteristics of a good quality water


cooling tower.
Your answer should include these keywords: PH 6-8, Chloride Content, Sulphate, Sodium
Bicarbonate, Maximum Temperature

19. What characteristics of bulk solids can affect their


ability to flow properly?
Your answer should include these keywords: Moisture, Sticky, Temperature, Compacting

20. What compounds are responsible for the foul smells


from wastewater plants?
Your answer should include these keywords: Hydrogen Sulphide, Methyl Mercaptan,
Dimethyl Sulphide, Dimethyl Disulphide

To find out more about the latest vacancies in the engineering sector feel free to visit
our Telegraph Engineering Jobs hub.

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