Union Pacific

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Union Pacific Interview Questions

Updated Dec 11, 2014
Updated Dec 11, 2014
185 Interview Reviews

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Software Developer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 4 weeksinterviewed at Union Pacific in September 2014.

    Interview Details

    I first spoke to UP at my college's College of Computing specific career fair. They were the only out-of-state company I approached, and I did so only because I knew a handful of people that had interned there the previous summer who spoke very highly of their experiences.

    I spoke to two different UP representatives at the career fair, and both were helpful and knowledgeable. When I asked about their tech stack and the type of projects they worked on they were able to respond with actual answers (because they weren't just recruiters). They invited me to sign up for an in person interview in a couple weeks. After speaking with them, I had a very good feeling about them and about UP.

    The in-person interview was on campus and was scheduled to last about half an hour, though it did end up running a bit over. I interviewed with one of the representatives that I met at the career fair. He explained how the interview would go, talked a little bit about UP and the internship, and asked a handful of questions. It felt like an interview, but it also felt like a conversation. I had prepared for mostly conceptual OOP questions (based on Glassdoor comments and the experiences of the people I knew), but I wasn't really asked any technical questions at all. Only behavioral questions, though I did talk a good bit about some projects I had worked on and the tools and technologies that I had used (in response to some of his questions).

    At the end of the interview he explained exactly how things would proceed from that point: he would continue conducting interviews that day and the next. After that, he would forward his recommendations to HR, and stated that I should hear something in 2 to 3 weeks (whether I received and offer or not).

    It was about a week and half after that when I received an e-mail from HR asking me to fill out an online application for the position (or to notify them if I was no longer interested) and about four or five days (three business days) later that I received an offer via e-mail.

    Interview Questions
    • I was only asked behavioral questions:

      Do you smoke/use tobacco products?
      Describe what your ideal internship would be like.
      How have your classes helped prepare you for a position in software development?
      What is something you could improve about yourself/something you struggle with? (I don't remember the exact wording.)
       
      Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    I didn't attempt to negotiate. It was an internship, and the offer and perks were already pretty solid, and it was in line with the research I had conducted.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  2.  

    Train Crewman Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Rosemount, MN
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Rosemount, MN
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at Union Pacific in September 2014.

    Interview Details

    The interview process was basic but it was very safety oriented and your past work experiences are important. Especially experience working outdoors in all weather conditions and shift work. A Railroad Conductor Technology Certificate is very helpful to land that interview. The process to get hired is a long one.

    Interview Questions
    • Interview questions were basic interview questions such as "tell me of a time when you had a conflict with your employer and how did you respond." There was nothing unexpected.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    I didn't really negotiate. I was just happy to be excepted.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  3. 7 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+ monthsinterviewed 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
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  5.  

    Crew Dispatcher Interview

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

    I applied online. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed 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
  6.  

    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
  7. 3 people 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+ weeksinterviewed 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
  8. 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 weeksinterviewed 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
  9.  

    Engineering Manager (Electrical/Signal) - Operations Management Training Program Interview

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

    I applied online. The process took 8 weeksinterviewed at Union Pacific in July 2014.

    Interview Details

    The process begins by filling out an application online. They will undoubtedly ask you for your resumé, and more than likely a school transcript as well. They will review your information and if they find you to meet their "minimum qualifications", you will be asked to take an exam.
    The exam is sent to you in an email, an you have 96 hours from the time of receipt to take it. The exam is time limited to 2 hours, and is not terribly difficult. You'll have 2 questions involving problem solving thinking. Then 100 questions to determine your personality and what traits you possess, and then 59 questions involving how you would handle difficult situations in the work place. Once you complete the exam, you will immediately know whether or not you have met once again the "minimum specifications".
    If this all goes well, you will be asked to attend a hiring session. They are scattered across the country where UP has offices, almost all being west of Chicago (since UP lines don't run east of Chicago). This will be about 3 weeks in advance of the hiring session itself, since these positions are filled in waves.
    The hiring session consisted of 2 interviewers and 11 applicants. They ask that you be prepared for the session to last from 8-5, but ours ran slow and was still done by 1300. You'll first set up an emergency protocol just because UP is big on safety, so in case of an emergency, who calls 911, who does CPR, etc. This has no effect on the interview process.
    Next, you'll go over the different aspects of the job for OMTs, for mechanical, transportation, and electrical. A lot of information to take in. Once that is done, you get a short bathroom break and anyone that decided this position wasn't for them is free to leave, and people do leave. The job is long shifts and outdoors in all sorts of weather, with lots of traveling.
    Then the interviews take place. They are in order of when you arrived and signed in, so being early is better for you. Once your interview is done, you are free to leave. You'll be asked standard questions about your experience, some difficult situations you'll be placed in, how to handle people older than you under your management, etc. It will last about half an hour. If you pass this portion, they will inform you in about 3 weeks whether you made it to the second round of interviews. I have not heard back about my second round yet, as the first round was fairly recent.

    Interview Questions
    • Describe a time where you saw someone being unsafe or violating a safety rule in the workplace, and describe what you did.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  10.  

    Train Crewman Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Union Pacific.

    Interview Details

    Verry difficult to get hired if its something you really want be very presistant if you don't know someone who works for union pacific talk to someone out working
    All jobs are online at up.com ( only apply at a place where you live or want to live there is no well ill get on at one place and the go where I really want to go they DO NOT have system wide senoraty you are where you are hired like it or quite )

    Interview Questions
    • Not sure the prossess has changed since I was hired as to the type of people they hire   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    No negotiation union agreement
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  11. 6 people found this helpful  

    Train Crew Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Saint Paul, MN
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Saint Paul, MN
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a weekinterviewed at Union Pacific in June 2014.

    Interview Details

    Hiring Manager and HR person run 2-3 hour information session. Take notes they will ask you follow up questions. Be sure to dress professionally(slacks, button up long sleeved shirt and tie. Bring two forms of ID and pen and paper. Print the application from the website you submitted.

    You get a 10 minute break during the doom and gloom speech to call your family. Interviews are scheduled throughout the day. if you're luck you get to go first. interview lasts 10-15 minutes tops.

    4 week training pay is $400 a week. After that you're more like 42k. After you pass conductors training you make more like 52k a year. Overtime is expected. They do really lay it on that you can and probably will be forced to work a different location than you signed up for until you get seniority. I applied for St. Paul and they said we'll probably get duluth, eau claire or marshfield. basically when you're new they can give you the poop end of every stick. You're good after 5 years, seniority, set schedule, vested in pension. They will pay you a lot of money for the crap you have to put up with. If you don't have a degree be so grateful there are jobs like this out there for you.

    Interview Questions
    • Why do you want to work for UP? Have you worked shift work? Have you worked outside? Are you willing to relocate? Is your family on board with your decision to make this sacrifice?   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    No Negotiation. I haven't been Denied or Accepted yet. Should hear back today or tomorrow.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

See What Union Pacific Employees Are Saying

 Current Railroad Conductor in Saint Paul, MN

Pros: “Pay is very good especially after the first year, however, you can be forced back to training wages if company deems necessary for you to take another position, benefits are good. Money…” Full Review

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