Norfolk Southern Interview Questions

Updated Mar 17, 2015
Updated Mar 17, 2015
117 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Sourcing Management Trainee Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Roanoke, VA
    Anonymous Employee in Roanoke, VA
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Norfolk Southern in March 2015.

    Interview Details

    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.
       
      View Answer
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2.  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    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
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  3.  

    Management Trainee Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Norfolk Southern.

    Interview Details

    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
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Conductor Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Kansas City, MO
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Kansas City, MO
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Norfolk Southern in February 2015.

    Interview Details

    It's a group type session. Be sure show up early (I did, 45 min early). They say business casual but I had my uniform (I work nights so as soon as I left work I went). They give "the speech" on how it's a totally different lifestyle and how if your married that either you have the support of your family or you will lose them. Took a break then the test, it was easy. Elementary math, reading comprehension mechanical type stuff. I was one of the lucky ones that scored an interview and all I have to say is just keep it real. Don't try and feed them some B.S. they know more than you think they do

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    None
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  6.  

    Management Trainee-Marketing Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    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
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Conductor Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at Norfolk Southern.

    Interview Details

    The easiest way for me to explain the process is to say that it is in phases and consisted of 4 phases. I would advice anyone to make sure they eat before they come because there isn't a lot of free time given. I was there from 8am-5pm. I had about 2-3 hours of free time but because I was not familiar with the process I was terrified to leave.

    Phase 1:

    The first phase started at 8 am. Everyone is expected to be early, so if you get an email or phone call you better show up at least 10-15 minutes early. They check everyone in and close the doors at 8am. Anyone who was late was asked to leave.

    They had us watch a video about the job. Then told us about the alcohol/drug policy. They do a hair follicle sample that checks back to 90 days. At this point we had almost 30 people there, but they warned everyone not to apply if you're going to fail the drug test then please leave (they don't test there, only if you get passed the interview phase). They released us for a break of about 15 minutes. It's now about 930.

    Phase 2:

    When we came back from break there were only about 25 people left. They had the train master talk and the person over our division (the piedmont division). They tried to do a scare tactic on us again with the drug testing. Telling us we would have no family time, no time for friends, and that our lives would basically belong to the railroad. They REALLY focused in safety. They wanted to give us time to call our families to make sure this was what we really wanted to do and make sure that they were fully on board. They said we don't hire people who want to work for a few months or a year. They want career minded people. They released us for a break to call our families.

    Phase 3:

    No one left after the break, but some people were in their phones. They had us sit down and they began passing out test. It was 88 questions and 1hr and 15mins long. It was mechanical, math, reading comprehension, agree/strongly disagree, and fact based questions (bill works schedule a. Susan works schedule b.... And the question would be who works schedule b and has Jon as a worker) I hope that makes sense. Once we completed the test they had us leave the room. They said they would post a list on the door with people who had been accepted for an interview. It was about an hour wait after the test.

    Phase 4:

    The list consisted of 7 names from the 25ish people who showed up. My name was on the list, but I was last. Most of the interviews were about 30 minutes. I was last on the list (good or bad I don't know haha). I would recommend anyone looking to score the job to focus on safety during the interview. They loved to hear me talk about safety and my family. At this point I do not know if I scored the job, but I just finished my interview yesterday. Hope this helps!!

    Also, the questions are normal interview questions. How would you better the company? Why are you wanting to leave your current job? What experience do you currently have? Have you ever seen someone act in an unsafe manner? How many times have you called in sick in the last year? Tardiness?

    Interview Questions
    • How would you deal with not getting to spend time with your family?   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    Union baby!!! No negotiations.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Conductor Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied in-person – interviewed at Norfolk Southern.

    Interview Details

    Completed their candidate profile. Then applied for a few conductor positions.

    Received a email inviting me to hire sessions. Locations with a date and time.

    Received a phone call confirming my attendance.

    Arrive early. The session begins at 8:00 sharp and they want the attendance taken before that.

    They give you a briefing. They let you know upfront the reason there are not people lined up from the hotel to the high way is because of the life sacrifices you make starting out. They also tell you if you fail the drug test you will be put in a database and blacklisted for a lot of jobs. Then they tell you the perks of it and give you a 15 min break to consider everything.

    3 people out of 20 didn't return after the break.

    You then take an aptitude and personality test. They grade it and ask you to leave the room while they make the final cut for interviews.

    Interview is straight forward. I don't think anyone that wore jeans, boots, and wore a hat made the cut. They cut it down to 8.

    I was lucky enough to be told everything sounded great at the conclusion of my interview.

    The next morning I got the conditional job offer.

    Now I am scheduling my physical and background test.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    None
    Accepted Offer
    Average Interview
  9.  

    Maintenance of Way Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at Norfolk Southern.

    Interview Details

    Applied for summer internship on company website. Didn't get an invite for an interview until about 4+ weeks later. Initial phone interview with HR Rep lasted about 30 mins. Asked how much I knew about the position, my academics, and leadership experience. Discussed the position in more detail, and then invited me for a face-to-face interview. For 2nd interview, met with an HR rep and an engineer in the company. Asked basic interview questions and went in-depth about the position. Only about 20 - 30 mins.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    Salary is set.
    Accepted Offer
    Easy Interview
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Maintenance of Way/Structures Co-op Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Atlanta, GA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Atlanta, GA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Norfolk Southern in November 2014.

    Interview Details

    Spoke to recruiter at the University career fair. Applied online. Asked to complete a reasoning test online. Scheduled a phone interview. Flown in to Atlanta on Thursday, Interview with HR and hiring manager for about 30 minutes on Friday Morning. Called with an offer a week later

    Interview Questions
    • Very laid back and great conversational style interview   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  11.  

    Management Trainee-Maintenance of Way Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Interview Details

    I had an interview directly following a career fair. Interviewed with two guys. Asked a lot about leadership experience. Were impressed with my knowledge of the company.
    Following interview was asked to move on to second stage, an online questionnaire.

    Interview Questions
    • How would you be an effective leader with workers who are 30 years older than you?   Answer Question
    • Why do you want to work for Norfolk Southern   Answer Question
    No Offer

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