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Scotrail Railways 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 Scotrail Railways 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?
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How to Answer
In the rail transport industry, nothing is more important than safety and pride in work. Take some time on Scotrail Railways 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 Scotrail Railways.
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Top 30 Scotrail Railways Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
In this role with Scotrail Railways 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 Scotrail Railways 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 Scotrail Railways.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I read that Scotrail Railways 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 Scotrail Railways 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 Scotrail Railways 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 Scotrail Railways 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 Scotrail Railways 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 Scotrail Railways should possess?
The hiring authority at Scotrail Railways 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 Scotrail Railways, 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."
6.
How familiar are you with the FRA (Federal Railroad Administration) and the part they play with Scotrail Railways daily operations?
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) was conceptualized by the Department of Transportation Act of 1966. Essentially, the FRA's primary mission is to enable the safe, reliable, and efficient movement of people and goods by rail.

If you are hired by Scotrail Railways you will need to be familiar with the FRA and how to comply with their regulations, as they relate to your specific job title. Briefly describe what you know the FRA to be, and how they will impact your daily work operations.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"The FRA is one of around 10 US-based agencies responsible for the regulation of freight and transportation by rail. I believe that as a (insert your job description) the FRA will have a significant impact on the safety practices of my job in areas such as hazardous materials, operating practices, and train control."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"The Federal Railroad Administration is actively involved in limiting safety risks in the rail transport industry; impacting, I believe, every aspect of my job as a (insert your job description). The FRA's focus includes hazard identification, and risk analysis, which greatly reduces rail accidents and the consequences of hazardous events should they occur."
7.
Do you have experience collaborating with dispatchers, yardmasters, engineers and other train crew?
Cross-functional communication is one of the keys to a successful day at Scotrail Railways. The interviewer wants to know more about your experience collaborating with other departments and job functions such as dispatch, yard crew, locomotive engineers, and general train crew.

If you are new to the industry, or your career, with limited cross-functional experience, you can try focusing your response on any volunteer work, or experience from your post-secondary education.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have worked in rail transport for the past eight years, collaborating with a variety of job functions every day. On a regular day, I speak with dispatch, the train crew, and our engineers multiple times per day. I am a strong communicator, both verbally and written. One of my strengths is in my documentation and reporting skills."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"The bulk of my collaborative work comes from a couple of large group projects while obtaining my certificate in locomotive engineering. I also completed my internship at ABC Railroad, which allowed me to learn how engineers collaborate with other departments such as dispatch and crew. I look forward to furthering my exposure to cross-functional collaboration when I join Scotrail Railways."
8.
At Scotrail Railways we do everything as a team. Have you ever had difficulty working in a team environment?
Scotrail Railways and its employees rely on great teamwork and exceptional communication to make every day efficient and safe. Explain to the interviewer that you can work well within a team environment. If you have had challenges in the past, you can discuss these challenges; however, it's essential that you then mention the positive outcome.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have no difficulty in team-based environments. That is where I thrive, as a highly collaborative crew member. I can work well on my own as well, but I do prefer the variety and excitement that comes with teamwork."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have never encountered difficulty working in a team environment. I have been lucky enough to work with an amazing crew for the past year, and look forward to even greater collaborative experiences here at Scotrail Railways."
9.
Do you have experience working on an on-call basis? Are you willing and able to comply with an on-call schedule?
Rail transport crews often need to work on-call, being available to work safely with just a couple of hours' notice at times. The interviewer needs to see that you can comply with the schedule, meeting the needs of Scotrail Railways and filling the expectations of this role.

If you currently work on an on-call basis, let the interviewer know this. The best way to show your readiness is by explaining that you are already doing it! If you do not have experience being on-call, assure the interviewer that you understand the requirements of this schedule and that you can deliver what is expected of you.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I currently work on-call, 14 days on and 14 days off. When on call, I often need to arrive at work in 2 hours or less. I completely understand the challenges that come with a schedule like this; however, it's what I am accustomed to in my career."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My work schedule, thus far, has been primarily evenings and weekends. I understand that this role with Scotrail Railways requires me to be on call quite often. I am willing to be a team player and work whichever hours are required of me."
10.
Describe your overall experience working around and operating heavy equipment.
When you answer this question, avoid merely listing off the equipment that you have used. Make your answer more conversational by also discussing any training you have received, troubleshooting you have done, and any areas of expertise you may have.

If you have no experience working around or operating heavy equipment, that is okay! Scotrail Railways is willing to train the right person. Be sure to express your eagerness to learn. You could offer to take some coursework or training before your hire date, which will strengthen your knowledge before you start your new job.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have a great deal of experience with equipment for railway work. Some of the heavy equipment I have operated or repaired include (list the equipment you have experience in). For the past three years, I have been the go-to crew member for troubleshooting many of our heavy equipment failures. I am comfortable with anything that has an engine, and if I don't know what to do, I will research until I have the answers."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Heavy equipment is new to me; however, I am tech savvy, and confident in my ability to learn to troubleshoot the most common pieces of equipment used at Scotrail Railways."
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