Thread: BNSF Employment
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Old 02-13-2006, 09:18 AM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 161

Well, Be open and honest would be a big thing, I think you have your application and resume down.

I was hired by Amtrak, and the process of hiring took six weeks, three interviews, and three weeks of training in Los Angeles. First interview was actually a testing session... I was one of six people in my class, which was one of four (it was also the smallest). Two people walked out upon hearing the definition of an extraboard, a third walked out once it was further explained that she could get called at ANY TIME to start work two hours later. I never saw the other two after the test. My second interview was a week later with just the Human Resources employee assigned to hire for my position, and what we mainly did was go over my application and qualifications, then he gave me my test scores and set up the next interview five days later, with the district manager. I waited a week and a half, calling about every three days to see if they needed anything from me (I was expecting the drug test to come before they offered the job). Two weeks before I was to start training I was literally climbing in to my truck at my old job when Paul called and offered me the job (I sat in the truck talking over the details with him and ended up locking my keys in the car). I literally walked in to my then-current job (while on the phone with AAA), off the clock, and verbally told my boss I was delivering my two week notice. During the phone call in which he offered me the job we set up drug testing and travel. They shipped me to Los Angeles, paid for a hotel, and reimbursed food while I was training. Shows they care about the people they hire, and are willing to do a lot for us, and expect a lot from us in return.

Los Angeles had a bigger field to choose from, apparently they had one MORE interview then I did, and they hired six people. One person never showed up to training, another was fired for trardiness at training, and two others were fired during their posting (period after training while you're still on probation), so you can literally take a field off 200 people and, with enough interviews, narrow it down to four, though gradually.

The main thing is to be assertive and honest. They need people who aren't afraid of the interview, or of doing something different. You need to have a good history, and an ability to learn and remember what you learned, while under pressure. It's nice to hear my agent tell the district manager over the phone "Oh, he can do that, he's good at remembering to do things we've told him to do" (regarding making sure all the train data was entered in at the end of the night).

The assertiveness was all about making myself known... making sure I stood out. I emailed AND Snail mailed my resume, Paul ended up calling me twice and realizing as I answered his second call that we'd already talked, I called them every few days to make sure things were still rolling... the first *interview* (not testing session) I called constantly because the dates kept changing... he wasn't calling me, until I was at work and he decided right THEN he had all the times and dates set up. At my old job I answered his phone calls on my cell phone, something I wouldn't do for my own mother. I wasn't discreet about it at my old jobat all (I should have been) and my boss found out quickly (then she cheered me on lol). I also went to the station in my spare time and introduced myself, and was given a guided tour by the agent.

Lastly, be honest, just tell it like it is, don't sugarcoat it. I even confessed during the interview that I was late because I didn't have a reliable car, which was a requirement, and had travelled by trolley... but did *slightly* sugarcoat it with saying that I was planning on buying one once I had the decent cashflow, and had options such as borrowing my Dad's truck, and leaving him to commute in his Nissan Sports car. Most of My interview questions were standard, easy questions, asking about reliability and prior job performance. Asked about drug se, schools, where I was going with my life, etc. I admited to receiving two written warnings at my old job for tardiness... Also explained that I'd had that job over a year and you get a warning every third tardy, and confessed to calling in late on two occasions, but never had called off sick. The main question I was unprepared for was "why do you want this job?" It required some extra thought on my part, but I think my answer is good... I've always liked trains, since I was a kid, and figured that a career with Amtrak would be a way to entertain my enthusiasm, while securing a decent future and C-A-R-E-E-R (key word!) for myself. One last thing though, is I also admitted to wanting OBS, and that station services was just a foot-in for me while I was at college.

Sorry I'm rambling. I know Amtrak and BNSF are different, but I hope some of my experience can help you with BNSF's hiring process. I wish you luck, and keep us updated.

Last edited by jaanfo; 02-13-2006 at 09:30 AM.
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