• NS Pre-Employment Conductor Test

  • General discussion about working in the railroad industry. Industry employers are welcome to post openings here.
General discussion about working in the railroad industry. Industry employers are welcome to post openings here.

Moderator: thebigc

  by dlandk
What is on the pre-employment test for conductor at Norfolk Southern? Different people have told me different things.
  by THX 1138
Attended the Knoxville, TN NS Conductor hiring session today.

58 people showed. If anybody left I did not notice. 13 were selected for interviews with lots of empty interview spots on the sheet.

I must be out of touch. The way people show up for interviews today is appalling. I was one of 2 people who wore a tie, the other guy was young and wore a suit. About 2 others wore sports jackets. The rest ranged from button-downs to just sloppy. The management was in jackets and button-downs, no ties.

The process appeared to eliminate any appearance bias. Tests were turned in, placed in a stack, without much chance of the reviewers knowing who was who.

Will keep trying. This sounds like a career I would love.
  by Dewoc19
no you arent out of touch, most people are just that clueless.... and believe me, appearance has something to do with who got selected and who didnt
  by gp80mac
Suit and tie are overkill for a freight conductor job, IMO. Isn't the rule of thumb to dress one level higher than what you would wear for the job? Since conductors can be confused for street people in most places, a nice collared shirt and pants usually suffice.

That's what I wore, and it worked for me.
  by hook327
I dont think NS cares from what ive seen
  by COEN77
Times have changed. When I got applied in 1977 it was running down dressed in my work clothes which had to be a sight (mabey even a smell, lol) seeing I was working on a hog farm at the time. In 1977 America wasn't much different then it is today we had been in a recession since 1973. Applications were done through the Ohio state employment agencies not by the railroads. A few days later the day of the testing an interview it was still work dress casual minus the dirt & gritty. lol. The interviewer called me in asked only one question a copy of my military discharge papers the DD-214. It appears one thing hasn't changed after being hired and taking the physical it took 4 months to get the call to start working. Waiting on that slot to open up.
  by d0c69
So back to the original question what is on the pre-employment test?
  by dmandavid
From what I remembered they have reading and math. The math was conversions and some measuring. Basically the hard stuff from basic math. They also throw in some agree disagree questions. There's like 82 to 88 questions total. From my point of view the math ant easy anyone who passes it must be a genius or something. Also I believe they look at your score and your application to determine if you will get interviewed.
Last edited by dmandavid on Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by Dewoc19
its not really a pass or fail test.... i mean sure you either get the job or you dont but its not graded or anything, and the math was friggen simple

questions like "if a train carrying x amount of passengers leaves at this time that serves coffee on this routes and doughnuts on these routes, what route would you need to take in order to get both coffee and doughnuts" are not hard to figure out, anybody that had a hard time with their test is probably gonna have a hell of a hard time working in a yard!!!
  by dmandavid
It was the mechanical part I was having a hard time with. I was never good at math but I was able after I took the test wrote down the problems I knew I failed on to study. That question you mentioned was one of the easy ones I knew I got right
  by Barreling
The NS conductor test contained the following categories:
1) Reading: basically, reading comprehension. It's one thing to simply read words, but another to be able to infer what they mean altogether. There were three reading samples in my booklet with three or four questions per sample.
2) Mechanical: basically, mathematics (shop arithmetic, pre-algebra, & algebra) & mechanical reasoning. Math examples in my booklet included: multiplying & dividing decimals, adding & subtracting fractions (e.g., halves, quarters, eighths, & sixteenths found on a basic ruler), & two-step equations (no inequalities). Mechanical reasoning examples in my booklet included levers, pivots, & gears.
3) Facts: basically, verbal & deductive reasoning. A sample contains five to seven facts (in bulleted sentence format) and three to five questions per sample. My booklet contained three of these.
4) Personality/Behavioral Assessment: self-explanatory. Topics covered in my booklet: safety, interrelationships, & multitasking. This category was by far the biggest with safety the biggest topic.