Canadian National Railway
Canadian National Railway Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
CN Signal Maintainer Apprentice Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online - interviewed at Canadian National Railway in February 2011.
Interview Details – Interviewed TWICE at two separate rail yards. Management and Human Resources are not on the same page. The first interview was vague and not much was explained about required travel and lifestyle of the job. SECOND interivew was extremely informative and covered every aspect of the job. I felt like a ginny pig for this companies Human Resource department after the offer for employment was given then a week later was taken off the table. I hope my misfortune by getting hired twice for the same job within a year helped the Human Resource Department become more in tune with the interview process being conducted in rail yards. I hope the CEO is informed of this but he most likely won't be due to how this offer of employment was brushed under the table. I do feel like they have grown from this experience but unfortunatley I was not welcome to become a part of the CN team. In the future I hope CN conducts the process in a more structured professional manner. It seemed like a fantastic company to work for despite the initial mis communication that happened. I am available for comment if the CEO is curious about this inccident. I asked to speak with upper management and was denied a comment. Eveyone involved was amazed the company hired the same person twice at separate locations. Due to their hiriing policy I was not allowed to work for the company. But for the record for the CEO and Human Resource department I was never employed or worked one day at this company. I became an asset at another company after CN called and took the offer off the table for employment. Human Resources is not exactly aware of what goes on in rail road hiring yards. I hope my review of two interviews at two different rail yards in MI has helped the Human Resource department in a postive way. Again I am available for commment with upper management but they refused to speak with me. Seems like a great company with just a few minor issues in some of their hiring practices. Work life balance is very important and should be explained in an interivew before a person is hired. If I would have taken the job joined the union then told the company I was not able to move from city to city etc. that would be a reason for dismissal. Instead I declined the original offer made changes to my schedual before I applied for the job again. CN is great to work for from my extensive research and interivews of former employees of the company. Good luck in your interivew process it's a great company!! ASK SPECIFIC QUESTIONS about having to move around and pay your own hotel bills and also be on call for 24 hours a day in a city far from your family...they will not tell you this on the interivew unless you ask. Ask them on the interivew and make the changes to your lifestyle before you accept the job. I would like to thank CN for the experience it was a very positive one for me and that's why I wrote this review. I would like to help future employees avoid the situation that I was involved in during the interivew process at CN RAIL.
- Are you a leader or a follower? View Answer
- Are you available for travel??? View Answer
- Why would you want to work for CN RAIL View Answer
- Have you condisered moving to the west side of the STATE. View Answer
Negotiation Details – I was offered a position in the Pontiac MI yard as a signal trainee. Human Resources called me from CHICAGO IL. I was told I was selected for the position and gave my notice at my employer to accept this greater opportunity. Several faxes were sent to CHICAGO for a few days while the human resource woman was working on my hiring date and phsical etc. After a week went by I was informed CN was not going to hire me due to a past decline of a offer in the past (which involved travel that at the time I was unable to provide for the company...very unprofessional interview the first time around) Due to these events I was never hired by CN RAIL.....actually I was hired twice I guess I would have been a great asset to the CN team. I asked to speak to upper management after the offer of employment was taken off the table and I was declined a comment. I hope the CEO and Human Resource department are aware of this event..it was very obvious to me that the second hiring was an embarassement to the human resource lady as she brushed her mistake under the table after offering me a position at the company. Good luck on your interview at this company, from my experience it would be in your best interest to ask SPECIFIC DETAILS about the TRAVEL if you have a family because they seem to hire you then expect you to show up with a packed bag for a week on the rd without explaining any of the job to you. I believe they learned from this and have made positive changes to the hiring process.
Mechanic Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Canadian National Railway in January 2010.
Interview Details – Simple, no technical question, HR representative was present during the interview with one foot on the table ...
Questions were simple, diirect and quite general. Interview was quite short, around 20 mins.
Interview Question – Tell me about 2 strokes and 4 strokes engine Answer Question
Very Easy Interview
Applications Developer Interview (Neutral Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Canadian National Railway.
Interview Details – One in-person interview with HR.
One in-person interview with hiring manager.
All questions were generic and common interview questions. Nothing out of ordinary.
No problem solving question at all.
Interview Question – None at all. Answer Question
Railroad Conductor Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 5 days - interviewed at Canadian National Railway.
Interview Details – 1. Apply for job, 2. Online testing, 3. Group presentation from management and HR, afterwards if you are successful with the skills testing you move onto a face to face interview, 4. Medical testing and drug testing, 5. Job offer.
Interview Question – What did you do when you found a co-worker doing something unsafe in the workplace? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – There is no negotiation. All trainees start at the same salary, once fully trained you move onto an hourly rate (if in the yard) and a per mile rate (if on the road)
Railroad Conductor Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4 days - interviewed at Canadian National Railway.
Interview Details – Hiring process involved a skill test, interview with HR / management and medical.
Interview Question – Point out a safety flaw in a previous employer that should have been fixed but wasn't and why did you keep working through it? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – No negotiation in entry pay, $900 a week for conductor training. Once you were done 9 weeks of class room training and 45 training shifts you were making the same as other conductors.
Market Analyst Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Canadian National Railway.
Interview Details – A phone interview with a HR representative is followed up with an in office interview. The in office interview is conducted by managers from several commodity groups who will be working with you directly and an HR representative.
Interview Question – Nothing too unexpected. You will not be aware of what commodity group managers will be interviewing you beforehand, so it is possible that you may be thrown off by industry specific questions.
As with any interview, make sure you have background knowledge of the company. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – The offer was provided and a window of opportunity was given to consider the offer.
Condutor Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied in-person and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Canadian National Railway in September 2008.
Interview Details – Short presentation followed by switching test with 15 questions such as: train abcde & siding cars wxyz need to be switched out resulting in train abcwxdeyz. How many moves? in what sequence?
Interview in afternoon. Questions such as : You're the conductor on a train when you lokk back & see sparks coming off a wheel. What do you do? Ever work with someone you just can't get along with? How do you handle it?
Drug test & medical - blood pressure, eyesight, hearing.
Interview Question – Insisted on answering/describing a negative work experience View Answer
Negotiation Details – Take it or leave it.