Bart Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
Part Time Train Operator Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 5 months - interviewed at Bart in April 2013.
Interview Details – Took 5 months. Submitted App. Called for test, bear in mind an average of 3000 people apply when opening is posted. Passed test, a month later the personality test, then a panel interview where they ask simple questions (Union and Management) month later the Agility test (as long as you can step over 3rd rail cover, you'll pass....some big/heavy people work there) whole process took 5 months.
Interview Question – Describe an emergency situation you have been in and what were your actions View Answer
Negotiation Details – No negotiations, you are hired at a set hourly wage
Principal Financial Analyst Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Bart.
Interview Details – Send in work product and panel interview
Interview Question – None were extremely difficult. Most were scenario questions and past experience questions. Answer Question
Human Resources Generalist Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 7 weeks - interviewed at Bart in November 2013.
Interview Details – Responded to job ad posted on their website. Very typical government interview process. Initial contact requested a writing sample. 2 days later I was contacted via email to schedule an in-person panel interview. It was set at a predefined date and time before they contacted me, it was more of a memo to inform me of when it will be. The interview process was scripted, they had roughly 50 or so questions typed on sheets of paper and they jotted down seemingly everything I said. It was not a conversational interview, rather a direct question and answer style. Afterwards I was told I would hear back in a few weeks. About 4 weeks later I was contacted via email that I did not receive the job.
Interview Question – None, it was all standard questions..."tell us about a time when..." "tell us how you would handle..." Answer Question
Systems Service Worker Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied in-person and the process took 8 months - interviewed at Bart in April 2013.
Interview Details – You will be given a written test, which is similar to a "cattle call"; lots of people will appear to take the test, VERY FEW will pass the test.
After you're selected, you'll probably have to wait 5-7 months before you actually get called in for a face-to-face interview.
Once you're at the interview, it is recommended that you answer questions honestly and be sure to demonstrate your actual skills. (They will ask you to perform "real" tasks which will pertain to your job, so be ready to "roleplay" if necessary.)
Interview Question – Questions about encountering multiple people who have been "incapacitated". In that scenario, answer as honestly as you can but also know that this question is more of a "test of character" to see if what you would do in that hypothetical situation is what management sees as the "right" thing to do. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Just a waiting period.
Entry Level Engineering Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied online and interviewed at Bart.
Interview Details – Only one interview. It was a panel interview. First they gave me 15 minutes to write a response to a confidential question. Then I was interviewed with four people at the same time, and each one took turns asking questions. Overall I enjoyed the interview process, but they didn't give me much notice (assigned me a Monday morning interview on friday evening), and didn't explain the process well. I didn't even realize that was going to be the only interview before an offer was made until I got the offer a few weeks later.
Interview Question – What is the asymptotic limit for an S-N curve for steel? Answer Question
Senior App Programmer Analyst Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Bart in May 2009.
Interview Details – BART's interview process is very unusual. Interviews are done by a panel, with a predetermined checklist of the "right" things to say. When you say one, you can see them checking off various boxes, so use as many buzzwords and keywords as you can. It has to be this way because it's a government agency and they want to prevent nepotism.
Interview Question – How did you cope with a difficult person at work. View Answer
Negotiation Details – Asked for a high amount. NOTE: When you come in to BART you are going to be making about the maximum you will EVER make there. The raises are very piddly, and range from zero to two percent. Keep this in mind. If you ask for a lower amount expecting a raise later, it isn't going to happen and can't happen due to union rules. Also, you will pay 6.5% toward your pension, another 1.5% Medicare, and 1-2% in union dues. This is considerably more than the FICA you're used to paying in the private sector, so take this into account too.
Principal Financial Analyst Interview (Neutral Experience)
Interviewed at Bart
Interview Details – Respond to job posting with resume and supplemental questions; panel interview with hiring manager, second-in-command, and a third person of another department whom the person hired will work with.
Interview Question – What is you greatest weakness? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – No negotiation, as salary offered based on specific pay band
Senior Vehicle Systems Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience)
Interviewed at Bart
Interview Details – Panel style, 3 interviewers, each form the department/group you would be joining. They had 10 questions which they would ask all of the candidates and take notes on during the interview. Once all of the interviews are completed the panel would get back together with their notes, compare everyone and rank them. Then as the positions become available they would go down the list and offer the position in order based on ranking. The list can stay active for 1 year.
All of the questions are very specific to the BART trains and system. I got the impression that they are looking for a specific person who they had already selected and were just going through the process of getting them hired. Each question had the classic legal out though, for example "Give examples of your experience and knowledge of the door systems on the BART trains, or your experience with any other door system." The part about any other similar experience is what gives them the out "oh well we asked about other comparable experience" even though they could care less about experience not directly related to BART trains. Other questions like "give examples of your experience on BART train traction systems" or "give your experience of BART train HVAC system operation and sizing" made me think that they only wanted in house people. I understand the want/need to promote up in house personnel, but its a shame that BART more or less wasted my time just so they could jump through the hoops they needed to promote up the person they wanted all along. A great example of how cumbersome and in-efficient government agencies can be.
Interview Question – Give your specific knowledge of various BART train subsystems, traction, power, doors, etc Answer Question
Track Worker Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 6 months - interviewed at Bart in January 2011.
Interview Details – It takes quite some time for the interview process. After applying, if your resume is selected, BART emails you with an offer to take a test. They notify you after the test if you passed or not. If you do pass they let you know they will contact you in the future to schedule a job interview. Each step seems to require a long time to process.
Interview Question – There were a number of "what would you do" questions. Most questions did not presume intimate knowledge of track working specifically. Answer Question