Norfolk Southern Interview Questions

Updated Jul 1, 2015
71 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Management Trainee Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at Norfolk Southern.

    Interview

    Most of the questions were based on the railroad industry which i had little to no knowledge of as a recent graduate. For an entry position, one's is not too familiar in depth with the company. I wish there asked more questions about my experience than specific detail they do as a company.

    Interview Questions

    • What are the things that a customer would want to know before doing business with norfolk southern?   Answer Question
  2.  

    Railroad Conductor Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Cleveland, OH
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Norfolk Southern (Cleveland, OH) in April 2015.

    Interview

    First, you apply online and they got back to me in 2 days, which normally isn't that quick. I was instructed to attend an interview session on 4/24/2015 and be there at 8AM sharp. It was at a hotel. One person was late and was told to go home. Only 16 out of the 50 they were supposed to have shown up. It was a "drill sergeant" mentality they had during the process which I was able to handle. Three representatives from the railroad came in. One was a yardmaster, another a conductor, and the third was a conductor-no HR people present. We had to sign in upon arrival where we had to give them our application we had to print out prior to coming to the interview and give them our drivers licenses as well. We in turn got a blue sheet of paper with a 7 digit code for the assessment test and a survey we had to fill out about the interview. The survey was just one question asking us how we heard of the job interview thing and that's it-it lacked any depth. We were to turn off our phones and not use them at all during the session.
    The first phase was a PowerPoint that was going over safety, how drugs and alcohol will not be tolerated, the pay & benefits, the conductor job description, and they had a video included with the PowerPoint which was taken from their website and their YouTube site that talked to Conductor Brian. They also went over in the PowerPoint what would be the next step if offered the position and how we would be sent for 3 weeks to McDonough, GA if we get hired for training. If hired, you'd be the one paying for your way down there, which will be reimbursed and they will put you into a 2 person hotel room down there.. They give you a $20 prepaid american express card which is reloaded everyday to pay for food during this time. Whatever you don't use, you keep upon completion. After that, they send you to wherever rail yard you applied there where you will be training 4-6 months. You will begin your 60 or 90 day probation though once you get out of McDonough. They told us how for about 25 years Norfolk Southern won he Harriman Award and that the other railroads were so pissed that they won it for so long that they stopped the award 5-10 years ago because the other companies were jealous that they kept on winning. What they didn't tell the applicants, and this was something I knew about but didn't blurt out was the fact that Norfolk Southern has also been sued numerous times for fudging accident records to keep the award and was forced to pay settlements to employees for lost wage, medical expenses, etc., and this is how they were able to keep it. This led to some near strikes in te industry over fudging of reports. This was part of the reason why it was discontinued.
    During this first half of the training session, the dude clicking through the PowerPoint's kept on reiterating the safety and mainly the drugs and alcohol portion. Everyone in there was just looking at them like "OK, we got you". We knew what that industry entails and knew what to do and what not to do on railroads. The group of us that they had were fairly smart-most of us either college students, soon to be graduates, or prior military so we knew better that trains are dangerous and we kind of knew better that drugs and alcohol won't be tolerated. After the PowerPoint, the other two guys introduced themselves and said very little. We went on our 1st 15 minute break after the PowerPoint and then came back for the assessment test. While on break, we were instructed to come back on time which all of us did. There were 3 that left.
    We were handed a test booklet, a Scantron page, two pencils, and a piece of scratch paper which was from the piece of paper we put our 7 digit code on it. Yeah, I hate to burst anyone's bubble, it was not an online assessment test. It was a reading, mechanical comprehension, math, and personality assessment test. We were told that if we had to use the restroom at any point of the test, we needed to leave our phones behind so that we won't be calling friends for the answers. We had about an hour and fifteen minutes to complete it and once we were done, it had to be stacked in a certain order on the table. If not our test would not be accepted. This just drew a bunch of rolling eyes and one or two chuckles from the group. We were told to file out of the room after the assessment test and wait outside for the list as to who will make it to the interview session. One guy left thinking he flunked the assessment test, but he actually passed it and made the list of candidates who passed. Sadly he left not knowing that and they withdrew his application.
    I took the assessment test and passed with flying colors on that one because they sure enough interviewed me first on the list. I had my interview and I'll admit I wasn't prepared. I didn't get the job, but I am still in running for other jobs.

    Interview Questions

    • Why do you want to work for the railroad? Do you have any additional questions?   Answer Question
  3.  

    Railcar Repair Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Pittsburgh, PA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at Norfolk Southern (Pittsburgh, PA) in April 2015.

    Interview

    Was absolutely shocked! Received a call confirming I was coming to interview at 7:30pm sat. For an interview Friday. Went to interview Friday and was there for more than 8 hours! Started with 25 people then narrowed to half of that once we took an hour long test. Then in for the interviews one on one

    Interview Questions

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  5.  

    Conductor Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Norfolk Southern (Chicago, IL) in April 2015.

    Interview

    If you get an email for an interview, make sure you show up 15+ minutes early because directly at 8am they close the doors and ask anyone who shows up after to leave. Also make sure you eat breakfast before or bring a snack because, this goes from aout 8am-5pm. At first they explain the job to you and also show a video. One of the points they make sure to make absolutely clear to you is that this job is a complete lifestyle change. Also if you're married they tell you that your spouse has to be behind you and supporting you 100% because this job has ruined marriages.

    After they explain the job to you in detail they explain the Alcohol/Drug Policy and tell you that their drug test consists on a urine sample AND hair follicle sample which reaches back 90 days. They tell you that if you know for sure you'll fail the hair test than its in your best interest to just leave during the first break of the day.

    After the first break of the day which only lasts a short amount of time they have you take a fairly easy test which basically consists of reading, and mechanics. They give you about an hour to an hour and a half to complete than send you on break again till a pre determined time.

    After that time they post a list outside of the room with names of people who passed onto interviews. If your name isn't on the list than you just go home and can either re-apply or job search somewhere else.

    Interview Questions

  6. Helpful (5)  

    Sourcing Management Trainee Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Roanoke, VA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Norfolk Southern (Roanoke, VA) in March 2015.

    Interview

    1st interview was with a HR representative at my university. This interview was basically to ensure that you are not crazy. Pretty easy. The 2nd round was 4 one-on-one interviews with directors and a VP all who you ultimately would be working for. This interview was in Roanoke. There was also an essay to write which was a surprise since there was no warning about this prior to the interviews. The question is below. Seems self explanatory, but know EVERYTHING on your resume down to the details. Be ready to talk about your current classes.

    Interview Questions

    • Walk us through how you would figure out how to find the price we should pay for wheels that go on our trains.   Answer Question
    • If we wanted to in-house the teams that move our train crews to hotels and back when they reach their hours limits, what things would we need to look at to realize the cost of this proposition?   Answer Question
    • Tell me your background with negotiation, either professionally or personally.   Answer Question
    • What are you looking for out of Norfolk Southern?   Answer Question
    • Essay Question:

      Background: We already have 1000 units of Electronic Video Systems installed on our trains. We want to obtain 500 more units. We put out a request for proposal from the company that we already have the systems from as well as their competitors. We received the quotes back and eventually decide to choose the current company anyways.

      Problem: We have portions of our tracks that other railroad companies use as well. They utilize the competitor's electronic video systems which our users are not familiar with. To alleviate this problem, we want to obtain 1 system from each competitor so that we can look into the system to understand how it works and how to use it so that we can train our users. We reach out to the competitors and all but one respond with a quote. ABC company has 2 reservations about the request. 1.) We used the previous bid process to beat down their competitors prices and 2.) they are afraid that we would discover proprietary information about their system during our tests which could be leaked.

      Write a brief email to ABC company using the above reasoning to encourage them to reconsider their decision concerning this request.
       
      1 Answer
  7.  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral – interviewed at Norfolk Southern.

    Interview

    Interview was very formal, there were 6 other candidates in room for a brief presentation/speech about the position. Then they told you the schedule of individual interviews (30 min each). The individual interview was with 4 other NS employees. They go over your resume/work experience and ask basic interview questions. Overall a fairly easy process.

    Interview Questions

    • Give an example of a time you demonstrated excellent customer service.   Answer Question
  8.  

    Management Trainee Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Norfolk Southern (Atlanta, GA).

    Interview

    Interview process was straightforward. One of my interviewers was very nice and easy to talk to while to other one was distant and cold, almost like the interview was an imposition to him. Overall, I did not get a good feeling from the company and would not have taken a position there if offered.

    Interview Questions

  9.  

    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university – interviewed at Norfolk Southern in February 2015.

    Interview

    I applied online prior to a career fair at my school, and then approached them at the career fair to let them know I was very interested. I went to the info session the day before the actual career fair, and was the only person who attended. I thought, "this is great!" I told the recruiter EXACTLY what position I wanted, why, and how I would be a great fit. I also have a family member who has been working in said department for like 20 years. Next day dropped off my resume at the career fair, was immediately scheduled an interview for the following day. There I was interviewed by pretty much the same people, one of which knew my family member and seemed pleased that I had reached out to him to get more knowledge about the position. Was told I'd be contacted a few weeks later. Meanwhile my family member calls me and tells me the recruiter called to verify our relationship and that I did excellent during the interview. After about a month and a half of waiting, I get a short email, with grammatical errors telling me that others were more qualified.

    Interview Questions

  10.  

    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5 weeksinterviewed at Norfolk Southern in December 2014.

    Interview

    Interview was pretty early, I believe around 8am. The actual interview process was simple. I had a phone interview which asked basic interview questions and then I had a final interview 4 weeks later in Atlanta where I basically explained my resume.

    Interview Questions

  11. Helpful (1)  

    Mechanical Management Trainee Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Norfolk Southern (Atlanta, GA) in November 2014.

    Interview

    Got connected with the recruiter at a career fair. They had me take an assessment online. Then they called me about a month later with a phone interview. Next day, I get email to attend a webinar and to schedule my flight. Went to Atlanta, missed the dinner because of class earlier that day. Still got to sleep in the hotel that night though. Following day, had two part interview at the office. First one was with a HR person and a head engineer. That went okay. Second one was a HR person and a regional manager. All behavioral.

    Interview Questions

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