20 Union Pacific Interview Questions and Answers

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

When it comes to interviewing for a job at Union Pacific Railroad, there are a few things you can expect. First, you can expect the interview process to be thorough and to include questions that are specific to the company and the position you’re applying for. Second, you can expect the interviewers to be knowledgeable and to have high expectations.

To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of sample Union Pacific interview questions and answers. These questions will give you a good idea of what to expect during the interview process and will help you show that you’re the right candidate for the job.

Union Pacific Interview Process

The interview process at Union Pacific can be long and difficult, with many applicants never hearing back from the company after applying. The screening process is rigorous, and the company favors younger college graduates over candidates with more work experience.

The Machinist position involves a Zoom meeting, where candidates are asked about their work history and experience. Overall, the experience is positive, though the process is slow moving.

The Developer position is less intense, with basic questions being asked by different teams. However, the skill levels required for the job are all over the place.

The Crew position requires applicants to take and pass a test before being considered for an interview. The test is not difficult, but it is unknown how long the entire process will take.

The Utility Clerk position is conducted via Zoom, with one interviewer and two others taking notes. The process is lengthy, but overall it is a positive experience.

The Intern – Hourly position has excellent communication throughout the whole process. The interviewers are easy to get ahold of and very welcoming.

The Risk Manager position includes a panel interview with questions that are not difficult. The interviewers are pleasant and professional, and the company pays for travel expenses.

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1. What is your experience with operating equipment?

Union Pacific Railroad is a large company that operates many types of equipment. The interviewer may ask this question to learn about your experience operating different kinds of vehicles and how you would fit in with the rest of their team. If you have previous experience driving or working on trains, trucks or other vehicles, share details about what you did and why it was important.

Example: “I worked as an engineer for five years before I moved to my current position. My first job was at a small railroad where I drove freight trains across the country. After two years there, I got a job at Union Pacific Railroad, where I’ve been ever since. In both positions, I learned valuable skills that help me operate all kinds of vehicles.”

2. How would you handle a situation where a locomotive was not responding to commands?

This question is designed to test your problem-solving skills and ability to work as a team. It also shows the interviewer how you react under pressure.

Example: “If I was in this situation, I would first check all of the controls on my panel to ensure that they were functioning properly. If everything checked out, I would then ask my conductor if he had any issues with his controls. If both of our controls are working properly but the locomotive still won’t respond, I would call for backup from another engineer or conductor. We would then troubleshoot the issue together until we found the cause.”

3. Tell me about a time when you had to work as part of a team.

Working as part of a team is an important skill to have in any industry, and Union Pacific Railroad wants to make sure you can work well with others. When answering this question, it’s important to highlight your communication skills and ability to collaborate with others.

Example: “I’ve always been passionate about cars, so I decided to start my own YouTube channel where I would share tips and tricks on how to fix different car problems. My first video was very basic, but after that, I started getting more viewers and subscribers. Eventually, I had enough people watching my videos that I could start making money from them. Now, I’m able to work with other YouTubers who are interested in learning more about cars.”

4. Have you ever conducted any training for employees?

Union Pacific Railroad may ask this question to learn more about your experience as a trainer. If you have conducted training in the past, describe what type of training it was and how successful it was for employees. If you haven’t conducted training before, explain why you would be interested in doing so at Union Pacific Railroad.

Example: “I’ve never conducted formal training for my previous employers, but I am very interested in learning more about conducting training sessions. In my last position, I worked with a team that wanted to improve their communication skills. We decided to hold weekly meetings where we discussed different ways to communicate effectively with one another. The meetings were quite helpful for everyone involved.”

5. Do you have any experience working in the railroad industry?

This question is a great opportunity to show your knowledge of the industry and how you can apply it to this role. If you have experience working in the railroad industry, share what you did and why it was important. If you don’t have any experience, explain that you are eager to learn more about the industry and gain valuable experience.

Example: “I worked as an engineer for a local freight train company for five years before I applied here. In my position there, I learned how to operate trains safely and efficiently while also maintaining good communication with other drivers on the road.”

6. If hired, what do you think will be some of the biggest challenges you will face?

This question is a great way to determine how prepared you are for the role. It also shows that you have done your research on the company and its challenges. When answering this question, make sure to highlight some of the skills you have that will help you overcome these challenges.

Example: “I think one of the biggest challenges I would face as an operations manager at Union Pacific Railroad is ensuring all employees are working efficiently. With so many people working in different departments, it can be difficult to keep track of who’s doing what. To solve this problem, I plan to implement a system where each employee has regular check-ins with their supervisors. This should allow us to identify any issues or concerns before they become major problems.”

7. What type of leadership qualities do you think are important for an engineer position?

Union Pacific is looking for engineers who can lead a team and solve problems. Your answer should show that you have the skills to be an effective leader. You can talk about your past experience with leadership roles or discuss what qualities you think are important in a leader.

Example: “I believe communication, problem-solving and teamwork are all important qualities of a successful engineer. As an engineer, I would need to communicate effectively with my team members so we could work together on projects. I also think it’s important to be able to solve problems quickly and efficiently. Finally, I think teamwork is essential because I would be working with other engineers to complete tasks.”

8. Are you willing and able to relocate if asked to?

Union Pacific Railroad is a national company that operates in many states. If you are interviewing for an open position, it’s likely the company will ask if you’re willing to relocate. When answering this question, be honest about your willingness and ability to move.

Example: “I am more than willing to relocate for work. I have moved several times throughout my career, so relocating wouldn’t be difficult for me. In fact, I would welcome the opportunity to live in a new state or city.”

9. Can you tell us a little bit about your management style?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your leadership skills and how you would fit into their company. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe what makes you unique as a leader and how that could benefit Union Pacific Railroad.

Example: “I believe my management style is one of a kind because I am always looking for ways to improve our processes and make sure everyone on my team feels supported. For example, when I was working at my last job, we had a new employee who wasn’t quite sure how to do her job. Instead of just telling her how to do it, I took some time to show her how to do it myself so she could understand why we did things in a certain way. She ended up loving her job and stayed with us for five years.”

10. Were there ever times that you didn’t agree with how your manager handled things? How did you resolve it?

Union Pacific is looking for employees who can work well with others and resolve conflicts. This question helps them determine how you handle disagreements, as well as your ability to communicate effectively.

Example: “I once disagreed with my manager’s decision to promote a coworker over me because of their seniority. I expressed my concerns to my manager and asked if there was anything I could do to improve my performance so that I would be considered for the promotion in the future. My manager told me that she appreciated my honesty and assured me that I was doing an excellent job and would be considered for promotions in the future.”

11. Describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer or situation.

Union Pacific Railroad is a transportation company, so it’s likely that you’ll have to interact with customers. Employers ask this question to make sure you can handle customer service responsibilities and are able to diffuse tense situations. In your answer, try to show that you’re empathetic and willing to help customers in any way possible.

Example: “I once had a customer who was upset because her package arrived late. I listened to her concerns and apologized for the inconvenience. Then, I explained how our shipping process works and offered her a discount on her next order as an apology.”

12. Why do you want to work at Union Pacific?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your interest in working at Union Pacific. It’s important to show that you have done some research on the company and understand what it offers its employees.

Example: “I want to work at Union Pacific because of the opportunities I see here. The company has an excellent reputation, and I would love to be part of a team that works hard to provide safe transportation for goods across the country. I also like how Union Pacific values diversity and inclusion, which makes me feel welcome as a person of color.”

13. Do you have any knowledge of railroad operations?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to assess your knowledge of railroad operations and how it relates to Union Pacific Railroad. If you have experience working in a railroad environment, share that information with the interviewer. If you don’t have any direct experience, consider sharing what you know about railroads and how this knowledge could be applied to Union Pacific Railroad.

Example: “I’ve worked as an engineer on several freight trains over the last five years. I understand the importance of following safety protocols while operating a train. I also understand the importance of maintaining speed limits and adhering to other regulations set by the Federal Railroad Administration.”

14. What do you think makes a good conductor?

Union Pacific is looking for conductors who are able to work well with others and have strong communication skills. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific quality that you think makes a good conductor.

Example: “I believe the most important quality of a good conductor is their ability to communicate clearly with other employees. Conductors need to be able to explain what they’re doing and why so everyone else on the train knows what’s going on. I also think it’s important to be organized and efficient when working as a conductor. This helps ensure that we get where we’re going on time.”

15. Provide an example of a time when you used logic to solve a problem.

Union Pacific Railroad is looking for candidates who can use their problem-solving skills to help the company achieve its goals. When answering this question, it’s important to show that you’re able to think critically and apply your knowledge to solve problems.

Example: “When I was working as a train conductor, we had a situation where one of our trains was delayed because of an accident on the tracks. The delay caused us to miss our scheduled arrival time at the next station. We were required by law to notify the local authorities when we arrived late so they could send out a crew to inspect the train. However, there was no way to contact them since we didn’t have cell service in that area.

I decided to use my logic to find a solution. I knew that if we continued along the track at full speed, we would arrive at the next station within five minutes. So, I contacted the dispatcher and asked him to call the local authorities once we reached the next station. He agreed, and we were able to get the train inspected without any issues.”

16. How would you go about recruiting new engineers?

Union Pacific Railroad is always looking for talented engineers to join their team. The hiring manager may ask this question to learn more about your recruiting skills and how you would help the company find new talent. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to attract qualified candidates.

Example: “I have a few strategies that I use when recruiting new employees. First, I would create an online job board where people can apply for open positions. Next, I would reach out to local engineering schools to see if they know any students who are interested in working at Union Pacific Railroad. Finally, I would attend career fairs and networking events to meet potential applicants.”

17. What kind of responsibilities do you enjoy most?

This question can help the interviewer get a better sense of your interests and how they align with those of Union Pacific. Your answer should reflect your passion for the job, but you also want to be honest about what you enjoy doing.

Example: “I love working on large projects that require me to use my problem-solving skills. I find it rewarding when I am able to solve a complex issue or challenge in order to meet a deadline or goal. I also really enjoy being part of a team because I feel like we are all capable of achieving great things together.”

18. Do you have any experience using software programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, etc.?

Union Pacific Railroad uses Microsoft Office programs like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. If you have experience using these programs, explain how they helped you in your previous job or school work.

Example: “I’ve used Microsoft Word for several years now to write reports and essays. I also use it to create tables and graphs when needed. In my last position as a train conductor, I had to fill out many forms that required me to use Excel. I learned how to use formulas and functions to calculate the amount of fuel we needed to transport our cargo.”

19. What goals have you set for yourself?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you better and understand what motivates you. When answering this question, it can be helpful to talk about a goal that you have already achieved or one that you are working toward achieving in your career.

Example: “I am currently working on getting my CDL license so I can drive trains for Union Pacific Railroad. In the future, I would like to become a train conductor. I feel that being able to work with a team of drivers and conductors would give me an opportunity to learn more about how the railroad operates.”

20. Describe a situation where you were given a task but you weren’t sure how to complete it. How did you approach it?

This question is a great way to show your problem-solving skills and how you approach challenges. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe the steps you took to complete the task or what you learned from the experience.

Example: “When I first started working as an engineer, my supervisor asked me to inspect a train that was coming in for repairs. I had never done this before, so I called another engineer who had more experience inspecting trains. He walked me through the process of checking the train’s brakes, wheels and other important parts. After that, I felt confident enough to perform inspections on my own.”


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