20 New Jersey Transit Interview Questions and Answers

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

New Jersey Transit is the largest public transportation provider in the state of New Jersey, operating a statewide network of bus, rail, and light rail services. With over 940 buses and 700 trains operating daily, NJ Transit carries an average of 825,000 passengers per day.

If you’re applying for a job at NJ Transit, you can expect to be asked a variety of questions about your qualifications, work history, and availability. In this guide, we’ve assembled a list of NJ Transit interview questions and answers to help you prepare for your interview.

New Jersey Transit Interview Process

The interview process at New Jersey Transit can vary depending on the position you are applying for. For some positions, like Bus Operator, the interview process may be very short and simple. For other positions, like Assistant Conductor, the interview process may be more lengthy and involve multiple assessment exams. Overall, the interview process is generally professional and efficient.

1. Why do you want to work at New Jersey Transit?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your interest in the position. They want someone who is passionate and excited about working for their company. When answering, make sure you highlight what attracted you to New Jersey Transit. Consider mentioning a few specific aspects of the job that appeal to you.

Example: “I applied for this role because I am very interested in transportation. I have always been fascinated by how public transit systems work. I think it would be exciting to work at such an important organization. I also really like the idea of helping people get where they need to go. I know that New Jersey Transit has many different departments, so I’m eager to learn more about them.”

2. What are your professional goals?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have a career plan and how your goals align with those of New Jersey Transit. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention any certifications or training you’ve completed recently. It can also be beneficial to include any professional accomplishments that you’re proud of.

Example: “I’m currently working toward my certification as a transportation engineer. I hope to complete this by the end of next year so that I can apply for more senior positions within the company. In the meantime, I am focused on improving my skills in CAD software and learning about new developments in the industry.”

3. Do you have experience working in a team environment?

New Jersey Transit is a large organization that requires its employees to work together as a team. The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your teamwork skills and how you’ve used them in the past. To answer, think of a time when you worked well with others on a project or task. Explain what made it successful and highlight any specific skills you used to help make it so.

Example: “In my current position, I regularly collaborate with other members of my department to complete projects and assignments. For example, we recently had to create a new marketing campaign for one of our clients. My team and I all contributed ideas and suggestions to develop an effective plan that met the client’s needs.”

4. Can you tell me about a time when you had to deal with an angry customer?

New Jersey Transit is looking for employees who can handle stressful situations. This question helps them determine how you react to challenging customers and whether or not you have the skills necessary to work in customer service. When answering this question, it’s important to show that you’re a problem solver and that you know how to diffuse tense situations.

Example: “I once had a customer who was upset because they missed their train. I listened to what they were saying and tried to understand where they were coming from. After finding out why they were so frustrated, I explained our policy on late trains and offered them a discount on their next trip. They seemed satisfied with my response and thanked me before leaving.”

5. The job is physically demanding, can you handle that?

New Jersey Transit is looking for drivers who can handle the physical demands of the job. They want to make sure you’re healthy enough to do the work and that you have a good attitude about it. In your answer, show them that you are physically fit and ready to take on the job.

Example: “I am in great shape and I enjoy working out regularly. I know this job will be physically demanding, but I’m prepared for that. I think it’s important to stay active and healthy, so I look forward to getting up every morning and going to work.”

6. Provide an example of a time when you went above and beyond for a customer.

This question is a great way to show your dedication and willingness to help others. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think of a specific situation where you helped someone who was in need or went above the call of duty for a customer.

Example: “When I worked at my previous job as a bus driver, there was an older woman who would ride my route every day. She always had a smile on her face and greeted me when she got on the bus. One day, she didn’t get on the bus. I called into dispatch and found out that she had fallen ill and was going to be out for a few days. I volunteered to drive her usual route so another driver could take care of her while she recovered.”

7. How would you describe your customer service style?

New Jersey Transit is a public transportation service, so it’s important that you have excellent customer service skills. Employers ask this question to make sure you understand the importance of providing good customer service and how you would do it. In your answer, explain what makes for great customer service and share an example of when you provided exceptional customer service in the past.

Example: “I believe that providing excellent customer service starts with having empathy for customers. I always try to put myself in their shoes and think about what they might be feeling or needing at that moment. When I was working as a barista, I had a regular customer who came in every morning before work. One day, she ordered her usual coffee but said something was different about it. She wasn’t happy with it and asked me to remake it. I apologized and remade it right away. She ended up loving it and even posted on social media about my coffee shop.”

8. Do you have any prior experience with operating vehicles?

New Jersey Transit is looking for drivers who have experience operating vehicles. If you do, share your previous experiences with the interviewer. If you don’t, explain that you are willing to learn how to operate a vehicle and get training if necessary.

Example: “I’ve driven my own car for many years now, so I am familiar with driving. However, I haven’t had any professional driving experience. I would be happy to take driver training classes or work as an apprentice under a more experienced driver.”

9. Are you comfortable driving in inclement weather conditions?

New Jersey Transit drivers may encounter a variety of weather conditions, including snow and ice. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience driving in these conditions and know how to handle them safely. In your answer, share about any training or certifications you have that allow you to drive safely in inclement weather.

Example: “I am very comfortable driving in inclement weather. I actually took a course on winter driving when I got my driver’s license. The class taught me the best ways to drive in snowy and icy conditions. I also purchased a set of tires with chains for my vehicle so I can change them out depending on the weather.”

10. Tell us about a time where you had a disagreement with a coworker, how did you handle it?

New Jersey Transit wants to know that you can work well with others and resolve conflicts. This question is an opportunity for you to show your communication skills, problem-solving abilities and conflict resolution skills.

Example: “I once had a disagreement with a coworker about the best way to complete a task. I spoke with my coworker privately and asked them what they thought was the best approach. They told me their idea and I explained why I thought mine would be better. We decided to try both approaches and see which one worked better. My method ended up being more efficient than theirs, but we were able to compromise and find a solution that benefited everyone.”

11. What kind of schedule are you looking for?

New Jersey Transit offers a variety of schedules, including early morning and late night shifts. Employers ask this question to make sure you are flexible enough to work any shift they assign you. Before your interview, review the job description to see what kind of schedule is required for the position. In your answer, explain that you would be willing to work any hours needed.

Example: “I am looking for a full-time position with regular daytime hours. I have always preferred working during the day because it’s easier for me to stay focused on my tasks. However, if New Jersey Transit needs me to work at night or in the early mornings, I will do whatever is necessary to get the job done.”

12. Do you have experience loading/unloading passengers from a bus?

This question is a way for the interviewer to assess your experience with customer service. They want to know if you have any prior experience interacting with customers and helping them board or exit their buses. If you do, share an example of how you helped someone in this situation.

Example: “I’ve had plenty of experience loading and unloading passengers from my previous job as a bus driver. I would always make sure that I was courteous and helpful when assisting passengers on and off the bus. For instance, one time I noticed a mother struggling to get her stroller onto the bus. I immediately went over to help her and made sure she got settled before I left.”

13. What is the most important thing to remember when operating a vehicle?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of the rules and regulations that govern NJ Transit drivers. It also gives you a chance to demonstrate your ability to follow directions and procedures. In your answer, explain what you would do in a situation where you were unsure about how to proceed.

Example: “The most important thing to remember when operating a vehicle for New Jersey Transit is to always be aware of your surroundings. You should check mirrors frequently and make sure you are obeying all traffic laws and speed limits. If I was unsure about something, I would ask my supervisor or another driver for clarification.”

14. Have you ever worked on a project that didn’t go well, what happened?

This question is a great way to see how you respond to failure. It’s important that you show your interviewer that you can learn from mistakes and use them as opportunities for growth.

Example: “I once worked on a project where I was in charge of creating an online database for our company’s inventory. Unfortunately, when we went live with the new system, it didn’t work properly. The entire team had to stay late one night to fix all the bugs. We were able to get everything fixed by morning, but it was definitely a learning experience. After that, I always make sure to test my projects thoroughly before going live.”

15. Describe your experience with handling money and operating a cash register.

New Jersey Transit drivers often handle cash and operate a cash register while on the job. The hiring manager may ask this question to learn more about your experience with handling money and operating a cash register. If you have previous experience, share an example of how you handled cash or operated a cash register. If you don’t have any prior experience, explain that you are willing to learn how to do so.

Example: “I’ve never worked as a driver before, but I did work at a restaurant for two years. There, I learned how to use a cash register and count large amounts of money. I also developed strong customer service skills and became familiar with NJ Transit’s policies.”

16. Do you have experience with taking inventory?

New Jersey Transit requires its employees to take inventory of the company’s assets. This includes vehicles, buses and other equipment. The interviewer wants to know if you have experience with this process and how well you can perform it. If you do not have experience taking inventory, explain that you are willing to learn.

Example: “I have taken inventory before at my previous job. I found it helpful to use a spreadsheet to keep track of all the items we were counting. It was also useful to create categories for each type of item so we could find them more easily. For example, we had one category for tires and another for engines.”

17. What is your availability?

Employers ask this question to make sure you are available for the job. They want someone who can work a full schedule and be on time. When answering, list your availability in terms of days, times and shifts. If you have any restrictions, include them as well.

Example: “I am available Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. I also have some flexibility with my schedule. For example, I could start at 5 a.m. if needed. However, I cannot work past 7 p.m. because I have child care responsibilities.”

18. Give an example of a time when you had to solve a problem that was not straightforward. How did you approach the problem?

New Jersey Transit wants to know that you can think critically and solve problems. This is an important skill for any job, but it’s especially useful in a position where you may have to troubleshoot issues on the train or at the station. When answering this question, try to give an example of a time when you used your critical thinking skills to find a solution to a problem.

Example: “When I was working as a server, there were times when customers would complain about their food or service. In these situations, I always tried to listen to both sides of the story before making my decision. If they had a valid complaint, I would offer them a discount on their meal or free dessert. However, if they were being unreasonable, I would politely explain our policies and ask them to leave.”

19. What do you think is the most important quality for someone who operates a train or bus?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of the industry and how you can apply it. You can use this question to discuss a time when you had to prioritize one thing over another, or how you would decide what’s most important in a given situation.

Example: “Safety is the most important quality for someone who operates a train or bus because it ensures that everyone on board stays safe. I once worked as a conductor for a commuter rail line, and we were instructed to keep our trains at speeds no higher than 30 miles per hour. One day, though, there was a power outage that caused delays across the entire system. We needed to get passengers home, but we also wanted to ensure their safety. So, I called my supervisor and asked if we could go faster. He said yes, so I told all the conductors to increase their speed by five miles per hour.”

20. How long have you been living in New Jersey?

This question is a way for the interviewer to learn more about you as an individual. They want to know if you are familiar with the area and how long you plan on staying there. If you have lived in New Jersey your whole life, talk about what brought you to this job opportunity. If you moved recently, discuss why you chose New Jersey.

Example: “I grew up in New Jersey and attended college here. I am currently living in Newark, but I hope to move back home after starting my career. I feel that working at NJ Transit would be a great way to get to know the state better.”


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