Union Pacific Interview Questions

Updated Sep 14, 2014
Updated Sep 14, 2014
166 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Crew Dispatcher Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Omaha, NE
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Omaha, NE
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3 months - interviewed at Union Pacific in August 2014.

    Interview Details

    I applied online in the middle of July for a Crew Dispatcher position. Within about a week I was invited to take a proficiency test at a testing center in my hometown which I passed. I then received an invitation to their hiring session about twelve days later. I was told to bring two forms of ID and my printed application from the my online UP account. I arrived a few minutes early. The HR guy immediately went over the safety plan for that room and building and then proceeded to go into detail about working at UP. As other commentators have said, the HR speech is very doom and gloom about always being on call, never having a weekend or holiday off until you get to a certain point of seniority, etc. He did follow it up with the benefits of working at UP such as the pay, health benefits, railroad retirement fund, etc. He then gave us a 10 minute break to call our spouses so they new exactly what we were trying to get into. I felt like it was kind of a scare tactic to weed out the people who weren't serious enough about the requirements of the job. It worked; out of the 22 recruits, 5 left after the break, withdrawing their applications. We then heard a presentation about the job itself from some of the managers that repeated a lot of the same info as the HR guy. The job can be stressful, you will always be on call, won't have much of a life outside of work for awhile, etc.

    We then took a break to start interviews. The interview itself was only about 20 minutes. Upon leaving, the HR person said that they would call within 7-10 business days if I was being offered the job and if I wasn't offered the job, it would reflect on my online application that I was not chosen. It has been 11 business days since the interview and I have not received a call, nor has my online application changed, saying it is still in review. I don't know what to think. Do I call the HR Department and try to find out or just wait it out?? I was definitely sure I would have heard something by now...

    Interview Questions
    • Very standard interview questions: When was a time you had to deal with a difficult customer and how did you handle it? How would you handle a situation where you don't agree with your supervisors decision?   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Train Crew Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Salt Lake City, UT
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Salt Lake City, UT
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3 months - interviewed at Union Pacific in August 2014.

    Interview Details

    I first applied online in May 2014 for a Train Crew position. I was filling out a lot of applications in the meantime, and nearly forgot about them. In the middle of August 2014, I was selected to do a reading assessment, passed that, then was selected to attend a Hiring Session close to where I lived. I had a friend of mine listed as a referral who worked for UP, and thought that might help me land a job.

    The week between I was selected for the Hiring Session and the actual date, I took to researching and learning as much about the company as possible. I looked up information about what I would actually be doing, called my friend for information about the position, researched their interview questions, as well as general knowledge about the customers and competitors of Union Pacific so I could put the company in a proper perspective. I learned that they always do the same interview questions, so I practiced with my wife. I got myself a nice button-up with slacks and a tie, notebook and identification in hand.

    The Hiring Session took place at 0900 at the Ford Building in SLC. I arrived 20 Minutes early to make sure I made it, but saw that I was one of the last ones in the room. The moment you arrive, they start to notice what you do. I was prepared for this contingency and started to converse lightly with the other candidates. I even brought an extra pen for one of the candidates who didn't bring one. They started with a Safety Brief and an introduction.They then spoke a bit about the job and we watched a 20 minute video presentation about working at Union Pacific.

    After the video, the HR specialist spoke at length about how much this job requires of you. She spoke to the effect that for the first 5 years, and likely the entirety of your career, you will have no life.Then, she went back to talking about the strain it would put on families to work this position, and had us take a break for 5 minutes to tell our wives what it would mean. I texted my wife, we already knew what it would require due to my prior research and talking to my friend. It was the type of gloom and doom speech I was anticipating, and made sure to react as if this were not a big deal for me. She went on to talk about Union Pacific expectations and goals. I was making sure to take notes of what she said, knowing that during the interview, she would ask questions about it. The Hiring Session is said to go from 9-5 in the email, but her speech, videos, and extra paper handouts lasted only until 11:45. From then, it was the interview session, each interview taking approx 30 minutes.

    Waiting for the interview was fairly boring, so I went and got some lunch and came back and waited another hour or so until it was my turn. The Interview threw no curve balls, I had anticipated each question. The only difficult part of the interview was when they asked me how I react to a difference of opinion. Every other interview question had brought nods and smiles and had gone as planned. They asked me ,"When you are doing your job and you don't agree with the course of action, how do you respond?" I responded by saying I was a generally agreeable person who doesn't get worked up over a difference of opinion, and I usually do as I am told. They then probed me for more information and asked me to describe a time I had a conflict with a coworker. I thought a bit, and told them about a time when an old supervisor told me to do something against regulation, and I handled it by quoting regulation and going over his head to the GM. Yeah..... not great......This was not received as I had planned. Where other answers had brought smiles, this one brought nothing. Just a look of contempt. They saw me as a tattle tale. Never mind the whole business they talk about at the beginning where "Regulations save lives?" We chatted a minute and then the interview was done. I made sure to push my chair back in, shook hands, and that's it.

    After leaving, I realized I could have answered that one with a little more tact. They said they would get back to you within the next business day with a job offer if you were selected, and I received my rejection after 2 days.

    Interview Questions
    • Describe to me a time where you had a disagreement with a coworker.   View Answer
    No Offer
    Average Interview
  3.  

    Train Crew Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Union Pacific in September 2014.

    Interview Details

    Applied online a day or two later was sent an email telling me to log back on to the site for a test which had reading and some other easy stuff on it a few days after the test I was sent an invitation though the company site with multiple days to select from for a hiring session. The day of the hiring session has arrived start time is 730am be there like 20 mins early I seen them turn people away being 5 seconds late. First part of the day is videos about the company and job position then they tell you the unpleasant part of the job ie working holidays until you get over 15 years in no vacation time until 120 days of full work not training living out of a hotel every other day no set schedule you will be on call. a lot of people left during the break I stayed along with 20 other people interview was easy make sure you mention how safe of a worker you are when they ask why should we hire you.

    Interview Questions
    • Tell us a time when you had a disagreement with a supervisor   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    No negotiation
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
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  5.  

    Operations Management Trainee Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3 months - interviewed at Union Pacific in December 2013.

    Interview Details

    First, applicants take an aptitude test and are given an initial interview. I was interviewed in Los Angeles. The test is timed and the interview is brief and efficient.

    The second interview was conducted in Roseville, CA. I live in San Diego, and Union Pacific paid for my ticket to fly to Roseville as well as my hotel fare. The interview consisted of a panel of 5 interviewers. The group was very professional and asked direct questions that seemed relevant to the position. I really like this company, felt the interview went well and like the people who interviewed me, but I was eliminated from consideration at this interview stage. I'm not sure why, but it was a good experience and Union Pacific strikes me as a very professional company.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Associate Project Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Union Pacific.

    Interview Details

    Interview process was pretty straightforward. I was contacted by hiring manager for an interview and had a single panel interview of 5 people (all of whom I would be my potential co-workers). I think the hiring manager was more or less looking for someone with the aptitude to learn and be trained fairly quickly over someone with many years of experience.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    I received an offer and accepted. I was more focused on getting a job at the time and didn't really consider negotiating.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Operations Management Trainee Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online - interviewed at Union Pacific.

    Interview Details

    Applied for the position in July and was subsequently scheduled to take the OMT test online. You receive a pass/fail once you complete and submit the test, I passed by the way. A week or two later you receive a first round interview. They go over the job, pitfalls, and how hard its supposed to be as a scare tactic. I passed the first round interview and was scheduled for a second round 3 weeks later. There are two interviewers in the room but here is where it gets interesting, the interview started off fairly well until they inquired about my Bachelors and Graduate Degree. My Bachelor Degree is Pre-Law and my Grad School Degree is in Business Law. I was asked, how is your degrees relevant for the position? Hmm, we would be managers with employees, all aspects of business is governed by laws, from the labor laws to federal regulations blah blah blah. From that point on, I was antogonized for the my degrees and subsequent military service. I was continuously told I couldn't do the job and perhaps I should be doing some sort of labor law job. They were relaying how long the job is, you will be working 12-15 hour days sometimes for weeks at a time and how they have an attrition issue with their managers. I said no problem, I have deployed to a war zone in the most inhospitable places working for that same length of time and longer and managed people at multiple levels. However, I'am also I'm thinking to myself, you know the problem is overworked managers who can't plan or schedule events in their lives. How about double stacking the managers so they can have set schedules with days off instead of working them to the brink of burning out. You are a multi-billion dollar company and you know what the problem is but refuse to fix it. I digress, totally unprofessional interview, I expected more professionalism and I didn't receive that.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Train Crew Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Villa Grove, IL
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Villa Grove, IL
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Union Pacific in July 2014.

    Interview Details

    Applied online. A few days later I was emailed to take a reading comprehension test. About 2 days later, I received a call to attend an interview session that would take place in 3 weeks.
    There were 60 candidates for 12 positions,
    We were told if we didn't get hired during this round, to apply again. Here is what I don't understand.
    I have 12 years experience as a conductor and locomotive engineer with CSX.
    Never in my career have I had any disciplinary or safety violations, but I was not offered a job. The interview went really well ( in my opinion ).
    Typical questions of: Have you worked outside?
    Have you been on call?
    Have you worked around large machinery?
    Who is responsible for your safety?
    Have you ever had a safety violation at work?
    They asked me why I wanted to work for UP and not CSX, and I told them it was the money. CSX and NS are the lowest paid Class one railroads in the U.S. A conductor on the UP with 5 years seniority, will make more than an engineer on CSX with 30 years seniority.
    So, I thought maybe everyone in the interview had prior railroad experience. I just applied for another train crew position in Salem, IL (same seniority hub as previous application, ie; same HR person hiring) and my application went straight to no longer being considered.

    The only reason I can think of for not being hired was because I'm over 50 years old. I know it's illegal to discriminate due to age, but how would you prove it? I would be curious how many new hires are over 50 years old. Oh well, their loss. They'll have 50% of the new hires quit after they find out what the job is like or the first time they get furloughed.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Diesel Locomotive Electrician Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Melrose Park, IL
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Melrose Park, IL
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Union Pacific in May 2014.

    Interview Details

    Fill out application online, you don't need a resume since you are filling out the form online. Make sure you are very close on the dates and don't like about anything because the railroad police are going to verify everything. They try to scare you off and I almost wish I walked out, the reality of second shift with tuesdays and wednesdays as my "weekend" is hard to swallow. The whole process is difficult and stressful, then when you see your new coworkers you realize they would have hired literally anyone who would put up with these weird shifts and days off.

    Interview Questions
    • They ask vague questions and let you answer them as you see fit, you will not get any feedback or emotion out of the hiring managers they will let you ramble on. Some questions were: Describe a typical day at your current job. Why should we hire you? why do you want this job? What would you do if you saw an employee violating a safety rule?   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    It's union job so a big labor union already negotiated a mediocre wage.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    OMT Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Omaha, NE
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Omaha, NE
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Union Pacific in July 2014.

    Interview Details

    5 situational questions describing what if this happened how did you handle or how would you handle the situation.
    Questions involved safety, leadership, discipline, quality, performance. If this happened and how you would handle it in each different situation.

    Interview Questions
    • Be yourself and answer all questions to the best of your knowledge.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  11.  

    Train Service Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Go to UP.jobs to apply take a series of online tests. Then go to hiring session. During hiring session wear something nice! Khakis and a button up. Make sure that when you get up at anytime you push in your chair. BIG DEAL for UP. Interview was short and concise. Offered job 3 days after. Did physical abilities test and medical exam. If all goes well you're hired. The training course is difficult after hire. Make sure you do all homework every night and you will be ok!

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    All union negotiations
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience

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