Network Rail runs, maintains, and develops Britain’s rail tracks—including the maintenance of the nation's many signals, bridges, tunnels, level crossings, and viaducts—as well as keeps 17 key stations up to date with the latest technology and services. The Network Rail graduate recruitment scheme receives about 900 applicants each year, with positions for 135 candidates in the various Network Rail departments. Even if you aren't interested in a career in engineering, there are many options at Network Rail for you. As you can imagine, there is a great deal of competition for these spots, so only the best will make it through the Network Rail recruitment process.
An application form is the first step of the Network Rail process, and it is very important to make a good impression right from the outset. You are first asked to provide some basic details about yourself, your work experience, and your academic history. You can also upload a copy of your CV as well as a cover letter. After submitting your application, you are asked to take a situational judgement test.
The Network Rail situational judgement test (SJT) has 13 questions. For each of these questions, you are provided with a work-related scenario and then given four different response options. You must rate each response 1-4, with 4 being how you are most likely to respond and 1 being how least likely you are to respond. Get a feel for the test with our practice SJT pack.
When answering the skills-based questions, it is important to incorporate the key values of Network Rail. By demonstrating that you possess these skills, you display to assessors that you are truly motivated to be part of the company. This will make them sit up and take notice of you. Network has four key values:
There are three possible tests you may encounter during your application to Network Rail. Whilst the Network Rail numerical and verbal reasoning test is administered to all applicants, only those applying for an engineering program take inductive reasoning tests instead. The tests are provided by CEB’s SHL and are sequential, meaning that you are only sent the second test if you pass the first. It is imperative that you prepare fully for these tests as they are the key to your success in the application process.
The numerical test assesses on your ability to work with tables, graphs, percentages, and ratios. After careful analysis, you must answer the multiple choice questions within the time limit. There are 20 questions to answer within the 20-minute time limit. Your score on the numerical test is measured against your application. Assessors then decide whether or not to proceed with your application. Being well prepared for this test helps ensure you proceed to the next stage. Practise SHL-style numerical practice tests with JobTestPrep.
You are presented with a paragraph often packed with different factual information. For each paragraph you have to answer up to four different questions relating to the text. The test contains 30 questions to be answered in 15 minutes. Not only is the content often terse, but the time limit is very constricting as well. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you use our SHL-style verbal reasoning practice tests in order to understand the structure of the test and learn how to answer the questions quickly.
Those applying for the Network Rail graduate scheme engineering tracks are asked to complete an inductive reasoning test. On this test you are presented with matrices, each missing one object. It is your job to work out the missing shape from a list of five options. These questions can be challenging, but practice can help ensure your success. Use our SHL-style inductive reasoning practice tests to prepare.
Following a successful testing stage, you are invited to a Network Rail video interview.The interview is pre-recorded, meaning that Network Rail sends you a link to where you can record yourself answering questions that are displayed on the screen. You have seven days to complete the recording. However, you only have one chance to do it, so make it count. This is a 20-minute interview consisting of six questions. The questions focus on competencies and your CV, so make sure to have a copy of it handy. It’s a good idea before the interview to review the Network Rail key values and try to apply them to some real life examples. Some popular Network Rail interview questions include:
If your Network Rail interview is successful, you will be invited to the Network Rail assessment centre. The assessment centre consists of scenario exercises, group activities, a presentation, and, of course, a more formal interview.
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