View Full Version : BNSF Testing??

March 26th, 2003, 05:46 AM
I have applied for a Conductor Trainee position and was told to show up for a entry level exam/test. What is this? What does the test consist of?


March 26th, 2003, 09:48 AM
i dont know, but it might be just to test your english and math skills... im only guessing tho.
good luck smile.gif

Matt Marderosian
July 22nd, 2003, 11:32 PM
it is one of those stupid personalty tests. tongue.gif

December 9th, 2006, 02:03 PM
Hello Everyone!

My name is Mark. I have applied for numerous conductor's positions in the past at BNSF and always got the thanks but no thanks response. Yesterday however, I received an email response from BNSF about my latest application. It said that it would require the entry level test/exam. The test is on the 18th (not much notice) and I would have to buy airfare and take two days off from work to attend. I know I have to go if I'm serious about the position. I was just wondering if there are many applicants competing for just one position and what are my chances at this level of the process? I would appreciate any additional information regarding this matter.


Adam Woods
December 9th, 2006, 05:53 PM
Many times you see 100-150 people for 10-15 spots, but they may open more classes for the group.

December 9th, 2006, 05:58 PM
It is a personality test. It is kind of like what a police officer or fireman would take. As far as how many people applied, there were probably hundreds of applications submitted. The HR will go through these ap's and just look at them and not going too depp yet. Only a portion will get the invite to take the test and depending on your score is how deep they will get into your background. They only go back 7 years on your background of employment. Of course NO felonies or stuff of that nature. They will also do a hair folical test for drugs. They go back as far as 1 year I believe. Help this helps you all.

December 9th, 2006, 07:56 PM
They will also do a hair folical test for drugs. They go back as far as 1 year I believe. Help this helps you all.

So if you have had a shady past, shave your head!:huh:

December 9th, 2006, 09:57 PM
LOL...I do shave my head! I guess that brings-up another question. Can they use hair from other parts of the body...lol? I won't have any problem passing the drug or back-ground check. I currently work in health care and it requires a clean past. Oh yeah, thanks for answering my questions quys!

December 9th, 2006, 11:55 PM
I saw a black man with a shaved head go through the testing and they took hair for this under-arm!!!! :omg: :omg:

December 10th, 2006, 12:45 AM
have a positive attitude. Don't lie or "shade" anything on your resume and application. Be prepared to substantiate any of your claims on your
C.V. and application, ie, if you say you went to college, be prepared to
show your transcripts. If you were in the military, be prepared to show
your D.D. 214(proof of military service). Above all, do not have a D.U.I
within 5 years or whatever the term of your current license is, it is better that you dont have a D.U.I at all! If you can't be available for
work 24/7/365 dont even THINK of applying or even give any indication
that you dont like that idea. The railroad H.R. wonks can quite literally
"smell" those thoughts on you.

Break a leg!!!


Adam Woods
December 10th, 2006, 02:10 AM
LOL...I do shave my head! I guess that brings-up another question. Can they use hair from other parts of the body...lol? I won't have any problem passing the drug or back-ground check. I currently work in health care and it requires a clean past. Oh yeah, thanks for answering my questions quys!

I keep my hair short, so the sample came off my chest. That kinda hurt.

December 10th, 2006, 04:02 PM
Went for the 2nd time in my life to my Orientation/Inverterview with BNSF in Minneapolis. I did fly in and did rent a car and hotel for a few nights. They left open the possibility that interviews might run into a second day, so I had to make sure I was available for that second day.

Fortunately, they were able to conduct the entire session including interviews in one day although some of them ran out into the early evening, but at least it gave me another day to run around and look at my old stomping grounds and do some Cmas shopping at MOA.

My first time through this process about 4 years ago it was conducted at the BNSF terminal next to Northtown yard. At that time there were about 40 guys from which were picked for 8 positions. At that time they took no drug test during the process but waited until the physicals and such. I did not get the job offer probably because I was a little bit wishy washy in the personal inventory and to a lesser degree on the safety inventory.

This time there were 56 guys to sort through for 7 positions at the Northland Inn in Brooklyn Park. Test and inventories were not much different but my lesson from the past was no being middle of the road and safety is paramount. They initally thought this training class would start Jan.8th, but they have now rolled that start date back to March 12th, they say due to a plateauing of freight right now.

As a result of the rollback of the class start date, they also said they were not going to take hair samples and were going to wait to do drug tests at the time of physicals from those who got job offers. Not exactly what I wanted to hear because I figure a drug test would have whithered out another 10 to 20 percent of the class as possible candidates.

Anyway, interview went well and will be hurrying up and waiting for the email accept or reject coming right around Cmas ironically enough.

The one item that never ceases to amaze me is the amount of people that probably never catch the common sense answers required in the two inventory sections to even be considered. My problem was not answering as a strongly but rather a somewhat the first time.

December 15th, 2006, 12:05 AM
Well, I decided to go to the orientation/interview scheduled for this Monday in Wy. I will fly-out Sunday and come-back Tuesday. At least I can gain a perspective on what they are looking for and to learn more about the job.
I've noticed a great deal of you are big-time into trains. I remember having a wnd-up Lionel set when I was a kid, but my train education ended there after I got the electric racing car set...lol!
Anyway, thanks for the replies! At least now I have an idea of what will go on.

OC Engineer JD
December 16th, 2006, 12:40 AM
First two sections of the test are practical and whole numbers math....timed. Next section is personality......timed. Forth and last section is your personnal work/life experience....not timed. Make it through that, you'll get to the interview. Good Luck! :)

OC Engineer JD
December 16th, 2006, 01:00 AM
Info comes from a friend that works for the BNSF in Ft. Worth TX.

December 20th, 2006, 02:55 AM
Thanks OC, the info was very helpful. I got back from Sheridan today...a nice warm 3 degrees in Sheridan when I got up today. Only 19 out of 72 applicants showed-up for the gig. They are looking for 15 conductors at this particular location...although some may go to Gillette. I won't find-out until later this week on how I did. If I do get accepted, training starts Feb. 15th.

December 20th, 2006, 03:57 AM
Good luck Mohave, and if you get Gillette I will see you in the hole.

December 22nd, 2006, 01:02 AM
Still no word about the position. But, their website has re-posted the position. Apparently, they didn't meet their quota.

OC Engineer JD
December 22nd, 2006, 05:10 AM
It usually takes a couple weeks before you will get a call. With the Holidays, it could take a little longer. Good Luck! :)

December 22nd, 2006, 11:39 AM
That's what I thought too, but they want to start the class on Feb. 15...so that doesn't leave a lot of time to get the DOT physical and drug testing (hair sample) done. But maybe they're end-up pushing back that date.

Don Rickle
December 28th, 2006, 05:10 AM
My Wife..."Is it wise to bad mouth the company you work for"...probably not...good luck man! Let's just say it's 1971 and it's the EL...such a great company given it's financial restraints! No corporate greed in sight. Crew reduction based on corporate survival and yet labor laws remain strong...then 1981. Thank You MR Reagan sir! My hero....damn rib!

January 7th, 2007, 03:18 AM
Hi Mohave Sun:
Well, find out anything? I am curious, what city/state was the conductors job for? and does anyone know what they look for during the physical? THX!!!

January 8th, 2007, 06:56 PM
Welcome to Trainboard, John!!!

Adam Woods
January 8th, 2007, 08:02 PM
I am curious, what city/state was the conductors job for?

I belive it was Sheridan, WY.
And welcome to TrainBoard.

January 8th, 2007, 10:27 PM
Ok, thanks all.

January 9th, 2007, 11:37 AM
Sounds like a Coal route job. If you need more info on this particular route, contact Al Krug (http://krugtales.50megs.com/homevector.htm), as he has run in this area for years. BTW, please read the whole page I linked, and be patient. Sometimes he doesn't respond to an email in a week or so. He is a railroader, after all!:)

January 20th, 2007, 01:36 PM
I finally got an email 2 weeks ago on Monday. It said I passed the entry test, but was not offered a position. Probably had more to do with the interview. I'm not much for interviewing. I hate trying to answer questions...like, Why do you want to work for us. I always feel that honest answers aren't going to get you in the door! Problem is I answer questions honestly.
I currently work as a Respiratory Therapist at my local hospital. I am basically doing the work of our Director, who makes around $25K more a year than the staff. This week alone I put in about 65 hours, as we had Corporate come in and change our order and charging system around (so I'm a very hard worker). My Director doesn't know half the stuff that I am doing because he doesn't know or understand it himself, yet his favorite cliché is..."I've been doing this a very long time!". I really don't mind much, because it's teaching me the things I need to know at his level. The point is, that I spent $600 or so, flying on short notice to an interview, where they desperately need conductors, pass their test and would have passed any drug screen that they could give and yet they can't even give me a chance. My feelings are...It's their lost!
By-the-way...Kruger and I emailed each other a few times, he's a good guy.

January 20th, 2007, 06:50 PM
I got the same reply a little over a week ago Mohave and spent almost $800 on travel, hotel, and rental car. It is always a crap shoot, but you would think with the credentials and experience level and common sense if they actually checked work backgrounds it would mean more............

OC Engineer JD
January 20th, 2007, 07:01 PM
Class 1's do not hire based on experience. Thats a known fact. :(

OC Engineer JD
January 20th, 2007, 07:02 PM
Thefoyboy said it best....'It's a crap shoot.'

January 21st, 2007, 05:20 AM
first off... im a new guy here, and its a true pleasure to be able to post questions and replies with so many of u experienced railroad guys. and i dont say that sarcastically. although i love rail stuff, im very ignorant when it comes to the topic, and its tough to find people to learn from.

i was just wondering... can any of you guys give any resume or interview tips when it comes to conductor jobs? im eagerly waiting for openings in houston to pop up.

thanks a ton,
travis golightly

January 21st, 2007, 03:32 PM

Welcome to TrainBoard!

Be sure to check the message archives. There have been other similar discussions. And those posts may add some information.


Boxcab E50

January 21st, 2007, 03:56 PM
i was just wondering... can any of you guys give any resume or interview tips when it comes to conductor jobs? im eagerly waiting for openings in houston to pop up.


Go to BNSF.com

Follow the menu path, it will tell you what is open and where.

also go to RRB.gov

look in the "Spotlight" box you will see a heading for railroad jobs


January 23rd, 2007, 07:08 AM
It's actually a series of tests, one is mechanical aptitude, one is general math, and the other is that personality test everyone loves. Just a note though, BNSF has been testing Conductor Trainees and MOW together...regardless of what position you have applied for you might end up with the other. In your case MOW (maintenance of way)

January 23rd, 2007, 07:10 AM
Travis, you may want to start looking outside of the houston area. There are alot of jobs out there...most of which you may / will need to relocate for.

January 24th, 2007, 04:15 PM

Welcome to TrainBoard!


Boxcab E50