20 Amtrak Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position at Amtrak.

As anyone who’s ever applied for a job knows, the interview process can be nerve-wracking. You want to make a good impression, but you also want to be honest about your qualifications and experience.

For many companies, the interview process is even more daunting. They want to make sure they’re hiring the best possible candidate, so they ask specific questions that test your knowledge and skills.

Amtrak is no different. In fact, they have a reputation for being one of the most difficult companies to interview with.

If you’re hoping to land a job with Amtrak, you need to be prepared to answer their specific interview questions. In this article, we’ll give you a rundown of some of the most common Amtrak interview questions, so you can go into your interview with confidence.

Amtrak Interview Process

The interview process at Amtrak can vary depending on the position you are applying for. Generally, the process starts with a phone screening from a recruiter. If you are found to be qualified, you will be recommended for the next round, which is usually a panel interview. The panel will ask you standard and basic questions, as well as behavioral questions based on the STAR method. If you are applying for an engineering position, you may also be asked to complete a writing sample. The entire process can take anywhere from four weeks to two months.

1. What is your experience working with customers?

Amtrak is a passenger rail service that provides transportation to customers. The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your customer service skills and how you interact with people. Use examples from previous jobs or volunteer experiences where you helped customers solve problems, assisted them in finding information or provided excellent customer service.

Example: “I have experience working with customers at my current job as an IT support specialist. I help customers over the phone by troubleshooting their computer issues and providing solutions. I also work with customers in person when they bring their computers into our office for repairs. In both situations, I try to be friendly and helpful so that customers feel comfortable asking questions and getting the assistance they need.”

2. Why do you want to work for Amtrak?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your interest in working for Amtrak. When answering this question, it can be beneficial to mention specific aspects of the company that you are excited about and why they appeal to you.

Example: “I have always been interested in transportation, so I am thrilled to work for a company like Amtrak. I love how Amtrak has such an extensive route system, which allows people from all over the country to travel on their trains. I also think it’s amazing that Amtrak offers both long-distance and short-distance routes, as well as international routes.”

3. How would you handle a situation where a customer was unhappy with their train service?

Amtrak is a train service that provides transportation to customers. The interviewer may ask this question to assess your customer service skills and how you would handle an unhappy customer. In your answer, demonstrate empathy for the customer’s situation and highlight your problem-solving skills.

Example: “I would first apologize to the customer for their experience. Then I would try to understand what they were unhappy about and find out if there was anything we could do to make it right. If not, I would offer them a discount on their next Amtrak trip or provide them with information on other train services.”

4. Do you have any supervisory experience?

If you have experience managing others, the interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your leadership style. If you don’t have supervisory experience, you can talk about a time when you helped someone else with their work or provided guidance to a colleague.

Example: “I’ve never been in a management role before, but I did help my team lead at my last job by providing guidance and feedback on projects. When we were working on our website redesign project, I noticed that one of my teammates was having trouble finding information for a particular page. I offered to help her find what she needed so she could get back to work.”

5. We are looking for someone who can be flexible when it comes to scheduling, please tell us about your availability.

Amtrak is a 24/7 operation, and the company needs employees who can work nights, weekends and holidays. Amtrak wants to know that you are flexible enough to meet their scheduling demands. When answering this question, be honest about your availability and explain how you would handle working odd hours or days.

Example: “I am available for full-time employment Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm. However, I understand that Amtrak operates around the clock, so if you need someone who can work evenings, weekends or holidays, I am willing to make adjustments to my schedule.”

6. Describe a time when you had to make an important decision at work.

This question can help an interviewer learn more about your decision-making skills and how you handle pressure. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a time when you made a good choice that benefited your company or helped your coworkers.

Example: “When I was working as a server at a restaurant, my manager asked me to work the lunch shift on a day when we were short-staffed. I agreed because I knew I could do the job well, but I also wanted to help out my coworkers who needed the extra hours. During the lunch rush, one of our cooks called in sick, so I had to take over their station for a few minutes while another coworker covered my tables. I managed to get everything done without any problems, and my coworkers appreciated my help.”

7. What skills and knowledge do you think would be most important in this role?

This question is a great way to show the interviewer that you have done your research on the company and are prepared for this interview. When answering, it can be helpful to mention skills or knowledge that align with what the job listing asks for.

Example: “I think the most important skill in this role would be customer service. Amtrak has such an extensive network of routes and destinations, so I know there will be many customers who need help. Having experience working in customer service roles has helped me develop my communication and problem-solving skills, which I hope to use in this position.”

8. Can you give me examples of how you handled conflict situations?

When working with a team, it’s likely that you’ll encounter conflict. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the ability to resolve conflicts in a productive way. In your answer, try to show how you can use your problem-solving skills and interpersonal skills to help you work through any issues.

Example: “I once worked on a project where my manager was very hands off. I had questions about what we were doing, but he didn’t respond to me or anyone else. Eventually, I went to him and asked if he could give us more direction. He said he would, but then never followed up. After that, I scheduled weekly meetings with my team so everyone knew what they needed to do.”

9. Tell me about a time when you were responsible for the safety and security of others.

Amtrak is a transportation company that transports passengers across the country. The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience working in a safety-related role and how you handled it. Use examples from previous work or school experiences where you were responsible for keeping others safe.

Example: “In my last job, I was responsible for ensuring all of our employees had access to emergency exits when they needed them. If someone ever asked me where an exit was, I would always be able to direct them to one. In addition to knowing where each exit was located, I also knew what to do if there was ever a fire or other emergency situation.”

10. Are you willing to travel to different locations if needed?

This question is a way for the interviewer to learn more about your willingness to travel and work in different locations. If you are interviewing for an Amtrak position that requires traveling, it’s important to let the interviewer know that you’re willing to do so.

Example: “Yes, I am very open to traveling to different locations if needed. In my last job as a software developer, I was required to travel to different locations to meet with clients. I enjoyed this aspect of my job because it allowed me to see new places and make new connections.”

11. What are some key steps that should be taken before starting electrical work on a train?

Electrical work is a crucial part of any train’s operation. The interviewer may ask you this question to see if you have experience with electrical work on trains and how you would approach it. In your answer, try to highlight the steps that are most important when working on a train’s electrical system.

Example: “Before starting any electrical work on a train, I would first make sure all power was turned off. Then, I would check for any loose wires or damaged equipment before making repairs. Finally, I would test my work by turning the power back on.”

12. Have you worked on a team project before? If so, describe your role and what you learned from the experience.

Teamwork is an essential skill for any job, and employers may ask this question to see if you have experience working with others. If you don’t have much team experience, try to think of a time when you had to work with someone else on a project or task.

Example: “I’ve worked on several group projects in the past, including my college classes. In one class, we were tasked with creating a marketing campaign for a product. I was assigned to create the logo and design elements while another classmate created the website. We both learned how important it is to communicate effectively and share our ideas.”

13. As an intern, what would you like to learn while here?

This question is a great way to see what an intern’s goals are and how they plan on achieving them. It also shows the interviewer that you’re willing to learn new things, which can be important for any internship or entry-level position. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention something specific you’d like to learn about in your role at Amtrak.

Example: “I would love to learn more about the marketing side of business. I’ve always been interested in learning more about how businesses advertise themselves and their products. I think working here could be a great opportunity to do so.”

14. What do you look for in a mentor?

A mentor can be a valuable resource for career development. A hiring manager may ask this question to learn more about your relationship with mentors and how you’ve benefited from them in the past. When answering, consider what qualities your previous mentors had that helped you succeed.

Example: “I have always looked up to my college professor as a mentor because of her passion for teaching and dedication to helping students succeed. She was always available to answer questions or provide feedback on our work, and she encouraged me to pursue opportunities outside of school like internships and part-time jobs.”

15. Share an example of a time when you met or exceeded goals.

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you are a self-motivated individual who can meet deadlines and goals. When answering this question, it’s important to highlight your ability to work independently and manage time effectively.

Example: “In my last position as a software developer for a small company, I was tasked with creating a new app for our clientele. The deadline was tight, but I managed to create the app in record time by working overtime and delegating tasks to other developers on my team. Our client was thrilled with the final product.”

16. Can you tell me about a time when you had to work under pressure?

This question is a great way to learn more about how you handle stress and pressure. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe the situation in detail and explain what steps you took to overcome the challenge.

Example: “When I was working as an IT specialist for a small business, we had a server crash that caused our entire system to shut down. This happened during one of our busiest times of the year, so there were many customers who needed help with their orders. I immediately began working on finding solutions to fix the problem while also helping my team members find ways to assist customers until the issue could be resolved.”

17. Describe a recent project that challenged you.

This question can help the interviewer understand how you approach challenges and what your thought process is when solving problems. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a specific project that was challenging and how you overcame the challenge or used your problem-solving skills to complete the task successfully.

Example: “At my previous job, I had to create an app for iPhone and Android phones. The company wanted the app to have certain features, such as being able to purchase tickets online and track trains in real time. This was a big project because I had to work with several other developers to get all of the coding done correctly. We worked together to overcome any issues we encountered during development.”

18. Are you comfortable driving a train?

This question is a way for the interviewer to gauge your experience driving trains. If you have no prior experience, it’s important to highlight other relevant skills that can help you succeed in this role.

Example: “I’ve never driven a train before, but I am an excellent driver and have plenty of experience with large vehicles. In my last position as a delivery driver, I drove a semi-truck through city streets and highways. I’m confident that I could drive Amtrak trains safely.”

19. What tools did you use to solve problems as an electrician?

This question can help the interviewer understand your problem-solving skills and how you apply them to a variety of situations. Use examples from previous jobs that show you’re able to use critical thinking skills to solve problems, analyze data and make decisions.

Example: “At my last job as an electrician, I was tasked with repairing a faulty circuit breaker in one of the company’s warehouses. After testing the circuit breaker for power, I found it wasn’t working properly. I then used a multimeter to test the voltage on each wire inside the breaker box. When I discovered that two wires were missing power, I replaced them and tested the circuit breaker again. It worked perfectly.”

20. Do you feel that you are able to lift up to 50 pounds?

Amtrak is a transportation company that requires its employees to lift heavy objects. This question allows the interviewer to assess your physical capabilities and determine if you are able to perform the job duties effectively. In your answer, explain how you can safely lift up to 50 pounds.

Example: “I am physically fit and have no problem lifting up to 50 pounds. I worked as a baggage handler at my previous job, so I am used to handling luggage of all sizes. I also understand the importance of safety when it comes to lifting heavy objects. I always make sure to use proper techniques to avoid injuries.”


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