Network Rail runs, maintains, and develops Britain’s rail tracks including the maintenance of the many signals, bridges, tunnels, level crossings, and viaducts, as well as keeping 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 areas. 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 high competition for these spots so only the best will get through the Network Rail recruitment process. We have prepared this short guide enabling you to understand the process and get ahead of the crowd.
The Network Rail Recruitment Process:
Network Rail Online Application Form
This is the first step of the Network Rail application so it is very important to make a great impression right from the very outset. You are first asked to provide some basic details about yourself, work history and academic history. You can also upload a copy of your CV and a cover letter. Following this there is a situational judgement test included in the application.
Network Rail Situational Judgement Test
The Network Rail situational judgement test (SJT) has 13 questions. In each of these questions, you are provided with a work-related scenario and then given 4 different response options. You must rate each response 1-4, 4 being how you are most likely to respond and 1 being how you are least likely 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 showing that you have these skills and answering the questions this way you are showing true motivation to be part of the company. This makes the assessors sit up and take note of you. The key values are:
By showing that you have these values and have demonstrated them in the past, you are giving yourself the best possible chance of getting to the next stage of the Network Rail recruitment process.
Network Rail Online Aptitude Tests
There are three possible tests that you can encounter during your application to Network Rail. Whilst the Network Rail numerical and verbal reasoning is administered to all applicants, those applying for an engineering program will receive inductive reasoning tests instead. The tests are provided by CEB’s SHL and are sequential, meaning that you will only be sent the second test if you pass the first. It is imperative that you have fully prepared for the tests as they are the key to success in the application process.
Network Rail Numerical Reasoning Test
In this numerical test you are tested on your ability to work with tables, graphs, percentages, and ratios. After careful analysis you need to 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 and assessors then decide whether to proceed with your application. Being well prepared for this test can help you proceed to the next stage and you can find SHL-style numerical practice tests with JobTestPrep.
Network Rail Verbal Reasoning Test
In this test you are presented with a paragraph that is often packed with different factual information. For each paragraph you have to answer up to four different questions relating to the text. There are 30 questions to answer in the 15 minute time limit. This means that you only have a short amount of time to answer these questions. 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 and learn how to answer the questions quickly.
Network Rail Inductive Reasoning Test
Those applying for the Network Rail graduate scheme engineering tracks are asked to complete an inductive reasoning test. In this test you are presented with matrices where one of the objects is missing. It is your job to work out the missing shape from a list of five different options. These questions can be challenging but with practice you can become an expert. Use our SHL-style inductive reasoning practice tests to prepare.
Network Rail Video Interview
Following a successful testing stage, you will be invited to a Network Rail video interview.The interview is pre-recorded, meaning that Network Rail will send 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 so make it count. This is a 20 minute interview that has six questions. The questions focus on competencies and your CV so make sure to have that handy. Before the interview, it’s a good idea to review the Network Rail key values and try to apply them to some real life examples. Some popular Network Rail interview questions are:
- Why do you want to work for Network Rail?
- What are Network Rail’s future challenges?
- Tell me about a time you had to build confidence within a team.
- Tell me about a time you have to analyse more than one problem at a time.
- Tell me about a time when you overlooked something that was an important part of a project.
- How do your values fit in with the values at Network Rail?
- Tell me about a time you had to convince someone of an idea you had.
A useful tool for structuring your answers is the STAR method. Try our Skype-based interview practice to help prepare you for your video interview.
If you are successful in this Network Rail interview you will be invited to the Network Rail assessment centre that includes scenario exercises, group activities, a presentation and of course, an interview.
Have any experience applying to Network Rail? Tell us about it in the comments section below!