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Kansas City Southern Railway Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 30
In this role with Kansas City Southern Railway you will be responsible for the safe and efficient operation of trains and the movement of customer freight from one destination to another. How will you contribute to our reputation for safety and excellence?
***Note: We do not have professional answers for this career***
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1.
In this role with Kansas City Southern Railway you will be responsible for the safe and efficient operation of trains and the movement of customer freight from one destination to another. How will you contribute to our reputation for safety and excellence?
In the rail transport industry, nothing is more important than safety and pride in work. Take some time on Kansas City Southern Railway website to learn about their mission statement and values. Now, take a look at your values, work ethic, and top skills. How are they a match? Talk to the interviewer about how your skills and characteristics will contribute to the goals of Kansas City Southern Railway.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I read that Kansas City Southern Railway abides by key principles which include Employee Development, Operational Safety, Diversity & Inclusion, and Customer Excellence. I too am committed to opportunities for development and growth. I seek out an exciting career that is safe and rewarding for all. I plan to contribute by abiding by your policies, leading by example, and being an encouraging team member to my colleagues."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Serving customers safely is the theme that I have read on your website and a goal that I plan to help you achieve every day that I am on the job. Your trains pass through small towns, big cities, and everywhere in-between, which is why a firm commitment to safety is of utmost importance. I will invest time in learning your equipment and infrastructure, getting to know my colleagues, and learning about the customers that you serve. Through this dedication to knowledge, I can contribute to your history of safety and customer service excellence."
2.
This role with Kansas City Southern Railway requires union membership. How do you feel about being part of a unionized environment?
There are many bonuses' to being part of a unionized environment; however, there are some folks who do not wish to work in a unionized environment. It's essential that an employer checks for preference, so they can avoid any issues arising in the future. If this role with Kansas City Southern Railway requires you to be part of a union, be prepared to discuss your willingness to join the union. You can certainly ask questions about their collective agreement, or what the union has done to collaborate with Kansas City Southern Railway in the recent past.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have worked in a union environment for the past three years, and am willing to work in another union environment again. I appreciate the pay standards and workplace protections that come from being part of a union; two points that are very important when working in an industry like rail transport."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Union environments are new to me; however, I am eager and open to learning more. If you could share with me a little bit about how active the union is at Kansas City Southern Railway and what they have done to benefit the lives of employees and the company culture, I would greatly appreciate the additional information."
3.
Explain to me the role of a freight conductor. What do you feel are the top 3 skills a freight conductor at Kansas City Southern Railway should possess?
The hiring authority at Kansas City Southern Railway wants to know that you have a complete understanding of this role, your future responsibilities, and the expectations present should you be the successful candidate. Of course, you will only be asked this question if you are applying for a freight conductor role.

If you are interviewing for a different job title, you should still do some research on the fright conductor role considering it's always a great idea to have an understanding of other positions within your company.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"The primary purpose of a freight conductor is to oversee railroad movements, the safety of a train, and the movement of a train. Communicating with the rail traffic controllers, ensuring the train remains on schedule, supervising the train crew, and facilitating loading and unloading activities are significant parts of the job. Considering these tasks and duties, I believe that the three top skills a freight conductor should possess are time-management, problem-solving, and patience."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"From my understanding, a freight conductor will spend their day managing the movement and overall operation of a train. Responsibilities include making sure the train is on time, switches are smooth, and that loading or unloading activities happen safely and efficiently. If I were hiring a freight conductor, I would look for someone who stays cool under pressure, puts safety first, and can lead a team with authority."
4.
Explain to me the responsibilities of a train dispatcher. In your opinion, what is the most critical component of a dispatch position?
If you are applying for the role of train dispatcher with Kansas City Southern Railway, it's essential that you have a clear understanding of your responsibilities and the expectations of this position. You may think that this question does not apply to you if you're interviewing for a different role. However, it's vital that you have an understanding of this critical position, regardless of where you will be working in the organization.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Train dispatchers have a diverse role which includes making sure that trains are arriving safely and efficiently. I believe that safety is the main priority for a train dispatcher as they communicate with the train drivers and conductors on every movement of the train. For these reasons, I think that a train dispatcher should have a keen eye for detail, be highly organized, and able to see potential issues before they happen."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"From the research I have done, I understand the responsibilities of the train dispatcher to be around team communication, compliance of every train and load, and to be on top of scheduled trains, destinations, times of arrivals and departures. This level of responsibility means that a train conductor should be able to coordinate multiple moving parts, be resistant to stress, and be able to be critically minded."
5.
Walk me through your experience supervising crews, and facilitating schedules or loading and unloading duties.
The interviewer would like to gain an understanding of your leadership activities. You may have leadership roles on your resume. If you do, be sure to bring this experience to life for the interviewer by discussing how many people you have lead, what their job titles were, and the volume of work you needed to facilitate.

If you do not have experience with supervising crews or facilitating schedules, think of other times that you have jumped into a leadership role without being asked. Show that you are a natural leader and someone who can take control of a situation when it's appropriate, and when you see the need.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have four years' experience as a freight conductor, leading teams of up to sixteen people at one time; primarily train crew. I have a vast amount of experience communicating with dispatch, ensuring that all loads comply with federal regulations and that schedules are aligned."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Being new to my career, the leadership experience that I have is informal and mainly during times when my supervisor is unavailable, or I need to help a new employee learn something new. I think that I am a natural leader because I quickly see where there is a need and where a potential issue could arise. I am proactive and have a keen eye for detail."
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