Union Pacific

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Union Pacific Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Aug 07, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  


Interview Experience  


Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
160 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty

No Offer

Negative Experience

Easy Interview

Train Crew Interview

Train Crew
Villa Grove, IL (US)

I applied online and 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 Question – Why do you want to work for UP?   View Answer

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Diesel Locomotive Electrician Interview

Diesel Locomotive Electrician
Melrose Park, IL (US)

I applied online and 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 Question – 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.

No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

OMT Interview

Omaha, NE (US)

I applied online and 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 Question – Be yourself and answer all questions to the best of your knowledge.   Answer Question

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Train Service Interview

Train Service

Interviewed at Union Pacific

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 Question – Who's responsible for safety?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – All union negotiations

No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

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

Engineering Manager (Electrical/Signal) - Operations Management Training Program
Omaha, NE (US)

I applied online and the process took 8 weeks - interviewed 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 Question – 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

Negative Experience

Easy Interview

Train Crew Interview

Train Crew
Chicago, IL (US)

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Union Pacific in June 2014.

Interview Details Application process went quite quickly. I applied online. I think the next day I took the reading comprehension test. About a week later, I got an email inviting me to attend an interview session that was scheduled about 2-3 weeks away.

I attended the interview session and had my interview. The HR person said that we would know by the end of the night if we were offered the job or not. I thought the interview went very well. Answered the questions correctly. It was a very nice, calm atmosphere that even included some light humor. I really don't understand why I didn't get the job quite honestly, but I do understand that everything happens for a reason.

I will say that they need some work on their online site. I was confused as to whether I got an offer or not because my status online didn't change, but my application did not go to "No longer considered" either.

Interview Question – How can you fulfill the duties of this position?   Answer Question

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Easy Interview

Train Crewman Interview

Train Crewman

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed 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 Question – 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

3 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Train Crew Interview

Train Crew
Saint Paul, MN (US)

I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed 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 Question – 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.

2 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Operations Management Trainee Interview

Operations Management Trainee
Roseville, CA (US)

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Union Pacific in April 2014.

Interview Details I applied online in early March and before the month was out I received a call that said I was invited to a hiring session. My online status also changed.

In early April, I attended a hiring session with about six other candidates ranging from ages 24 to around 50 years old. The session started with an introduction by one of the two HR reps. She also assigned candidates to various positions in case of an emergency (Call 911, administer CPR, etc.). Next, the HR rep gave a brief overview of Union Pacific's history and coverage area. She also covered some of the demands Union Pacific will place its employees. This was more of a scare tactic used to test the dedication candidates.

After the opening, the HR rep went over the tests that were to be issued. These tests were comprised of an un-timed personality test with about 200 questions, another test that measured decision making—also not timed—and another times test that basically gave select information and candidates were asked to draw out an answer based of the info provided. It seemed more like a quick management decision test. This part consisted of graphs and charts. This was obviously the most challenging but it's pass or fail, not to tough. There was one more test that was timed, two minutes at most. The majority of candidates don't finish this test so don't worry.

Throughout the testing process, other that with the timed portions, candidates were called for interviews with the HR reps. The interview consisted of basic management questions like "Tell me about a time when...and how did you handle it?" This was conducted one-on-one and it took place in a small office.

After the interview concluded, it took about a week to get the pass or fail test results back. However, I was not offered a second interview at his point. My status changed online and said, "Congratulations, you passed the Union Pacific Operations Management Test." About another week after that I received and email that said I was granted another interview. This email said the interview would be conducted by a panel and it listed members who would be attending. This list was comprised of various levels of directors and superintends.

The second round included 28 candidates who drove or flew in (payed for by UP) to interview for seven slots. After everyone signed in the HR rep took the list and assigned interview times slots.

Although the email made it seem as if candidates would be sitting in a room in front of 10 panel members, the members were actually split up into three groups and conducted separate panel interviews, which made the process go faster. This interview covered some of the same questions as the first interview. However, there was more of an informal "Tell me about yourself and why you would be a good fit."

Because it seemed like the competition was pretty tough, I used this as an opportunity to let my personality shine. Taking a business-casual approach really lightened the mood and the interview went very smooth. The interview lasted about 45 minutes but because the panel members were so likable it seemed to fly by. It didn't even seem like a job interview at times.

Upon completion of the interview all candidates were released. The HR rep said it would take about a week to hear back from UP.

The interview was on a Tuesday and I believe the next Thursday I received a call from the HR rep who said the company was extending a job offer, continent upon passing background and medical. I accepted the offer and had to fill out a few online pre-employment forms. After I finished another email was sent and my online status changed. I was required to make a health screening appointment.

I'm still waiting on a waiver for visions from my optometrist, but other than that the screen has been approved. As far as background goes, I've been contacted via email by an investigator because he wanted a copy of my DD214. It's a few week into the background process and there has been no new information requested but my status won't change until the vision waiver is completed. All-and-all it's been a long process but should be well worth it.

Interview Question – Why do you want to work here and why should UP hire you?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – There was no negotiation, simply and offer with salary.

No Offer

Negative Experience

Easy Interview

Operations Manager Interview

Operations Manager
Austin, TX (US)

I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Union Pacific in February 2014.

Interview Details The interviewer was not very organized and the interview itself did not have a format like most companies have. I was essentially a description of the job and asked me if I had any questions. The interview was quick but it was mainly me asking questions to keep the interview going. After the interview was done, the interviewer was very hard to get in touch with and did not do what he said he was going to do. We scheduled meeting days and the interviewer would not show up and would not answer emails or phone calls. Overall a disappointing experience.

Interview Question – Why do you want to work for Union Pacific? Will you be willing to relocate?   Answer Question

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