Kamloops, BC: Another potential new Hire for CN conductor
My story is obviously familiar to most, yet may be an experience for any new hires. Although, currently, I'm still in the hiring process I do have a few questions at the end.
I applied on-line about mid-March for a conductor position for CN in Kamloops British Columbia. I had to create an on-line profile where i had to download my resume, as well keep track of all the positions I applied for with that company.
About a month later, I received an invitation for a 'screening seminar' scheduled this past Thursday last week.
While attending I noticed the room reserved at a hotel room were filled with about 50+ potential applicants. Mostly men, with a handful of women. Some were young; straight out of high-school to early-30s. Others were middle-aged, wearing their hard labour experience on their sleeve (or a chip on their shoulder). While half presented them with a good degree of professionalism, the other half wore dirty ratty clothes, stained with oils and paints. For the record, I wore a suit and tie, and brought a business satchel to hold my resume with.
The session started out with information about their perks and benefits, then moved to a questionaire about my "willingness" to handle the work environment (that I am able to do all).
Then moved on to the aptitude test. "How many connections/disconnection/forward movements..etc, to make a train with cars A B C and caboose in order?"....I passed, and watch 10 of the 50 people get escorted out of the room because they failed.
After a brief explanation as to why passing that test is important, they started to create schedules throughout the rest of the day for one-on-one personal interviews. Unfortunately they couldn't give 1-on-1's to all that was there, because they only had the one day to do all the interviews and get back to the road. They said they would give those who didn't get any face time a phone interview the next day....Luckly, I scored the 1-on-1 interview.
The personal interview went well; I believed I presented myself well, and used common sense and wisdom well enough to answer some of the scenarios that were asked of me to solve.
After the interview she went into her files and pulled out the sign up sheet for 3 medical exam at three different clinics that were pre-scheduled for the following Monday. Urine test for drugs (clean), eye and body exam (besides a minor surgery 3 years ago, I'm healthy and fit), and a hear test (all good there). Each doctor agreed I'm fit for duty, and those comments were confirmed when "CN's Health officer" called me today to go over the results. They said I am "employable" for CN's standards. However she was very vague as to the what the next step is, or when I'd be informed as to if I get the job or not.
So as I wait (im)patiently for the final word from CN.
-What should I be expecting at this point of the process? What's the next step?
-Does it sound like I might get the job?
-Does not having a friend or family within CN hinder my chances of landing a job?
-Does not having any work experience in this field at all, hinder my chances?
-If the Conductor training program in Edmonton starts on May 15th, how fast and soon should the final decision come?...if at all?
-Is CN (or any other railway company) known for getting a person far into the hiring process, passing each step with gold stars, only to NOT be hired in the end?
also, where in Edmonton do they perform the 7-8 week training program? Do they set you up with room and board? Hotel or Bunk-house? where is that? on their tab or mine? I have friends and family in Edmonton, can they visit and hang out with me?
anyways, thanks for reading this wall o' text. I am very very very excited that I got this far in the process. and any in-site on my questions above would be greatly appreciated.
What CN is probably doing is putting together a pool of qualified applicants from which they can draw as anticipated positions open up over the next 12 months or so. They probably do not have a 1 to 1 relationship between the number of qualified applicants and positions that will open up so you'll probably still need a little luck to get hired.
Unfortunately for the applicant CN knows these are relatively high demand jobs. So they have the luxury of coming back later and many applicants will be willing to drop whatever they are doing at the time to accept a position with a high pay opportunity.
Who did the interview? Was it Stephanie? If you don't hear within a few days I would try contacting her.
Long Live GE!!
In all honesty, I forgot the name of the HR interviewers. However, I do recall her and the "Medical Officer" both saying to keep tabs of my CN website profile, and my e-mail for further information.
Originally Posted by ENR3809
Maybe it's me being impatient and excited, or just the need to prepare myself for the training program in Edmonton on the 15th of May....or dreading that my application is just going to be added to the pile on reserve until next year...lol
Regardless, I'll wait until May 1st before contacting them.
Last edited by Freddy_G; 04-26-2012 at 05:37 PM.
Reason: add info
If you hang in there and get hired, then don't quit; you'll do quite well. Why? A couple of years ago a number of articles appeared in the media about the upcoming "crisis" CN and CP, and pretty much all the regional and smaller lines are going to experience.
The railroads are "baby boomer" heavy and thousands are expected to retire, it should be starting to happen now, the 48 in my name is my birth year and I'm an early baby boomer. So less seniority will get you more goodies earlier than in the past; all the very senior guys will have retired and you are in the early hiring of those replacing the boomers so you will have an army of hirings behind you as more and more retire.
Congrats, as the newbie expect to work all the worst shifts, but as I said, you'll be able to get better shifts with seniority which will occur early than in former years and decades. So think of every shift you'd rather not work and it'll be you working them... lol.
One day I was walking with my grandfather, decades ago, and I said - "Gramps, you have a pretty easy schedule, don't you (he worked every other day taking the Super Continental, then Via to Edson from Jasper and back, left at 0800 hr in the morning, returning roughly 2000 hr in the evening, next day off). His response - "Yes I do, but do you know how many ton of coal I had to shovel every day to get this easy job." (He worked the steamers).
Hey there. Enjoy your stay in Edmonton.
My advice would be to listen to what all the seasoned vets have to say, and don't come around with a know it all attitude. I've said it before and I'll say it again, it will get you eaten alive.
Lots of new faces around here in Edmonton these days. They start you guys off with 4-5 weeks of rules class. Then now they have a "boot camp" program which you will a do live equipment training at Bissel yard in West Edmonton. This entails learning to how safely couple up air hoses, tie on and release handbrakes, hand signals with an engineer, and entraining and detraining.
Good luck and have fun!
Very cool! Congrats and good luck. Be sure to come back update and this thread to let us know how it goes.
Like cnrailengineer said, listen to the old heads, the worst thing you can do is have a know-it-all attitude. And if you have a question be sure to ask.
Long Live GE!!