Prepare for Arriva Assessment Test, Interview and Assessment Centre

Are you applying to the Arriva graduate scheme? The recruitment process contains several testing stages designed to get the best out of you. Prepare to give your best with our range of preparation resources.
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The Arriva graduate programme is a popular scheme for engineers and management candidates alike. The scheme is divided into two branches, the General Management Programme and the Engineering Management Programme. The Arriva graduate scheme includes the Arriva Trains graduate scheme, Arriva Bus graduate scheme, and Mainland Europe scheme. The recruitment processes for both schemes are similar, but the individual exercises may differ based on the scheme and even the role you have applied to. Learn more about the main assessments and how to prepare for them with JobTestPrep.

Arriva Recruitment Process

Recruitment to the Arriva graduate scheme follows several stages:

Arriva have set of skills and qualities that they are looking out for in every candidate. Your task is to use every assessment in the recruitment process as an opportunity to show that you do indeed have what Arriva are looking for.


Customer focusDeliveryLeadership
Solves problemsAdaptability

About You (Qualities)

Leadership of others and your careerResilience and a strong work ethicResourcefulness
Commercial and customer focusExcellent communication skillsFlexible, adaptable and mobile

Arriva Application Form

The Arriva application form is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the recruitment team. The form asks for the usual information about you and your CV, but also contains several open ended questions. These are really your chance to make an impression, so make sure you answer the questions carefully. Do your research on the scheme you are applying to. Use examples to back up every answer, and organise them with the STAR method (situation, task, action, result).

Arriva Assessment Test

Once your application has been received you are sent a set of online tests to take. These tests are provided by CEB’s SHL, and you have to do well in both the numerical and verbal test to move on to the next round. Arriva rank all applicants based on their percentile score, with only the highest ranking applicants progressing. Preparing thoroughly for these tests is the best way to give yourself a chance of moving up the rankings.

Prepare for your Arriva online tests with our tailored SHL-style preparation pack.

Numerical Reasoning Test

Numerical reasoning tests examine how well you use numerical information to influence your work. Information is presented in a table or graph, and you have approximately a minute to analyse the data and answer a multiple choice question. In order to do this you have to be confident in your basic maths skills. Learn more about how to do this and take practice tests with our specially created SHL-style numerical reasoning test pack.

Verbal Reasoning Test

The verbal reasoning test assesses your ability to understand and utilise language. In this test you are given texts to read and asked a series of questions on the information written. Questions are either multiple choice or ask you to assess whether a statement is true, false, or you cannot say. Taking practice tests help you hone the skills needed to identify the relevant information and answer questions correctly. Prepare for this test with our SHL-style verbal reasoning test practice pack.

Arriva Telephone/ Video Interview

If you are successful at the online test stage, the next stage is either a telephone interview or video interview. In a telephone interview you are asked questions by an interviewer on the other side of the phone. In a video interview you are given a minute or two to answer a set of pre-recorded questions. Ahead of this interview review your application and the responses you gave to the open ended questions. You should also think of more examples and how to deliver them using STAR. Do more research on the company to inform your answers. Think about your interview technique with our online interview preparation and guide to interviews pdf.

Arriva Assessment Centre

The next stage is the Arriva assessment centre, which will last up to a day and a half. It may include a site visit to an Arriva facility. Each assessment centre is tailored to the business area the applicants are applying to, and you will be told ahead of time what to expect and what preparation you should do. You are tested against the competencies throughout and marked against them rather than against other candidates. In this section we describe some of the exercises you may experience.

Group Exercise

These are usually used to assess your team working and communication skills. In a group exercise you are placed in a group with other candidates at the assessment centre and given a brief for a discussion or a task to complete. Throughout the exercise you are watched by assessors who are marking you on your contributions to the discussion and the way in which you relate to your team. Treading the line between saying enough and taking over the group can be challenging. Plan your strategy in advance with our group exercise pages.

Psychometric Tests

You may be asked to take a set of psychometric tests at the assessment centre, either for the first time in the recruitment process or to verify the results from last time around. Read more about these tests above.

Written Exercise

Written exercises come in a variety of formats including case study exercises where you need to read a pack of information before writing a report or brief to a manager; or an exercise asking you to respond to a customer or other stakeholder. Whatever your written exercise, prepare for your assessment with our written exercises practice pack.


Many assessment centres include presentations where you either have to prepare in advance or you are given time at the assessment centre to prepare a short presentation. This presentation may be based on the outcome of an earlier exercise, or on a new topic entirely. The panel will be on the lookout for how well you give across information, as well as the organisation and delivery of the presentation. Gain tips on how to craft an impressive presentation with our presentation pages.

Arriva Interview

You may experience more than one interview during your Arriva recruitment process, including at the assessment centre and as the final stage. The aim of the interview is to get a better picture of your skills and who you are. Ahead of the interview review your application form as well as the qualities and competencies Arriva are looking for. Think about common questions you may be asked and how you would answer them, including examples from your experience that show off your skills. Memorise the STAR method to ensure that you organise all your answers properly. You may also want to read up on the company and the area of work you are applying to. Once you have pulled all your preparation together, the final step is to practice answering questions in an interview environment, such as our Skype based interviews.

In Summary

In order to get through all of the stages of Arriva recruitment, you must be able to prove to the recruitment team that you have what they are looking for. This means preparing thoroughly for each new assessment. This page has highlighted the resources available to you for each stage of the Arriva graduate recruitment process.

Have you gone through the Arriva graduate programme recruitment process? Tell us about your experiences in the comments box below.

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