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Assessment and Purpose
Situational Judgment Test (SJT): This test is designed to assess a candidate’s ability to effectively deal with realistic, on-the-job situations, as well as determine reading comprehension, mathematics and problem solving levels. The test helps to determine if candidates have the skills to defuse conflicts between customers, respond appropriately to potential emergency situations, and relate effectively with co-workers (among other skills). The SJT replaces a prior Assistant Conductor pre-employment test that had been in use for approximately two decades. The current Assistant Conductor Pre-employment selection process, including all tests/assessments/interviews, was designed over the course of 3 years with the assistance of the union, Amtrak Management, job incumbents and outside consultants. The current process was implemented in November 2009. Math Test: This test assesses mathematical, reading, and analytical problem solving abilities of candidates. Conductor candidates who pass this test demonstrate an appropriate level of ability to read and interpret schedules, calculate ticket prices, perform ticket transactions, and perform similar tasks relevant to the position. It replaces a portion of the same decades-old pre-employment test as the SJT. Amtrak began using the current test in November 2009. Applicant Personality Inventory (API): An integrity-based customer service personality assessment. The API is designed to determine candidate attitudes towards theft, drug use, treatment of customers, etc under a variety of work-based conditions. Amtrak’s Inspector General’s office recommended an assessment of this nature for Assistant Conductors, Lead Service Attendants, Ticket Agents, and other positions on the railroad involving interaction with passengers, monetary transactions, and teamwork. Amtrak implemented this assessment in 2004 with the assistance of an outside consulting firm, test developers, and job incumbents.
Structured Interview: A standardized panel interview designed to evaluate prior work experiences and work styles. Each panel is comprised of an incumbent, the Hiring Manager, a Human Resources employee, and a union representative. Research indicates that structured interviews are far more reliable and valid than unstructured interviews. Following decades of using unstructured interviews for Conductors, Amtrak began using validated structured interviews in November of 2009.
Position Locomotive Engineer
Assessment and Purpose
Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI): This assessment is designed to reveal candidates’ work tendencies, habits and personality traits. Amtrak’s HPI specifically seeks out people who are ‘focused introverts’ who can focus on repetitive tasks for extended periods and who will not allow themselves to be distracted by cell phones, etc while operating a locomotive. Prevailing research suggests that personality assessments can be even more effective than skills tests at predicting job performance. This personality assessment was designed with the assistance of the union, Amtrak Management, job incumbents and outside consultants, and was implemented in 2002). A standardized panel interview designed to evaluate prior work experiences and work styles. Each panel is comprised of an incumbent, the Hiring Manager, a Human Resources employee, and a union representative. Research indicates that structured interviews are far more reliable and valid than unstructured interviews. Following decades of using regular interviews, Amtrak began using validated structured interviews to hire Locomotive Engineers in 2002.