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Do external candidates stand a chance?

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Ken20

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I had my 3rd interview with NR last week. For the other two interviews the feedback was brilliant however I was told some other candidates performed better. Heard from a source that internals were offered the jobs. Just wondering if externals ever stand a chance against internals.

Apologies if this has been asked in a different thread. Cheers.
 
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class ep-09

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To summarise it , external candidates stand a chance .
Everybody who is internal now was external in the past.

I agree that getting the job is difficult but do not give up.

I do not know what position you applied for, but perhaps you apply to get a job with one of the NR contractors first, gain bit more experience and apply to NR later .
 

ElmPark

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I had my 3rd interview with NR last week. For the other two interviews the feedback was brilliant however I was told some other candidates performed better. Heard from a source that internals were offered the jobs. Just wondering if externals ever stand a chance against internals.

Apologies if this has been asked in a different thread. Cheers.
As has already been mentioned - everybody has been external at some point when applying for a role and that should give you hope ..... you have to be in it to win it .... don't give up.
 

Bucephalus

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Anyone know where I could find a list of NR contactors, particularly for the SE? The only one that springs to mind is Balfour Beatty and that's only because they helpfully displayed a huge banner when they were at Norwood Junction.

@Ken20
Good luck. People on here had to persevere big time for NR so don't feel disheartened
 

pdeaves

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In addition to what others have said:
Look very carefully at the job advert and 'ideal candidate' requirements. If they look like they are written with one specific individual in mind, it could well be that there is a good internal candidate and you have to be even better than exceptional to get in (the advert/process is to get round recruiting policies). However, if things look more open to anybody there is a better chance. Given a choice, put your effort into applying for the latter posts.

I probably haven't articulated what's in my head very well, but hopefully you understand.
 

Intermodal

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Hi Ken

I was very lucky and got in on my first application. This does not so much speak to my ability or competence, but rather that I was in the right place at the right time. The company I applied to was having a large recruitment drive and I was unemployed so very flexible and able to start at short notice.

I have many friends and colleagues who were more experienced and qualified than myself who applied 3 times, 5 times and even more. One friend, who's competence is second to none, applied over 15 times. They all now work on the railway in secure jobs and perform them very well.

Don't lose hope, it is simply a matter of being in the right place at the right time. The fact you've not got the job yet doesn't necessarily reflect on your ability or suitability for any role.

Keep going and good luck.
 

iwasyoungonce

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I had my 3rd interview with NR last week. For the other two interviews the feedback was brilliant however I was told some other candidates performed better. Heard from a source that internals were offered the jobs. Just wondering if externals ever stand a chance against internals.

Apologies if this has been asked in a different thread. Cheers.
3 Interviews !!! looks like you must be doing something right, you may just need a little extra polish and as was said above "be in the right place at the right time" and "take action".
 

DoubleO

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Bear in mind that if external applicants didn't have a chance they would probably only advertise internally....
 

Liam00086

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I was external, and got a Traniee Driver job on my first application, I know some would say I’m very fortunate (especially reading through the forum), but my mate also got his first railway job being external. Being internal may not also be a good thing, as sometimes you have to wait to be released from your current role before you can start new job, I know of people who have applied for a different TOC (and got the job)because they couldn’t get released.
 

C J Snarzell

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The answer to your question is ''yes'' external candidates do stand a chance. I once refused to agree, but from experience I've now change my views on this.

Most jobs nowadays attracted internal candidates and this is sadly the nature of beast even outside the railway industry in other careers.

Companies are always interested in new blood so I would say simply just don't give up and make sure you research the role inside & out, learn about the company and more importantly make sure the job is right for you.

Given the competition out there now for jobs (made worse by the Covid fallout) I'd say you need to make sure you fit the right skill set for the role 100%.

CJ
 

Manda2194

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My opinion on this is it very much depends on your industry background.

A lot of us here are aspiring drivers and I have been applying for 2 years now always refining my applications to make them and still haven't made it as far as the assessment center.

Unless you come from a military or emergency services background I think its incredibly hard to get a driver position which most of us want. If not the position will probably go internal.

I hope im wrong though
 

PaulBusDriver

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My opinion on this is it very much depends on your industry background.

A lot of us here are aspiring drivers and I have been applying for 2 years now always refining my applications to make them and still haven't made it as far as the assessment center.

Unless you come from a military or emergency services background I think its incredibly hard to get a driver position which most of us want. If not the position will probably go internal.

I hope im wrong though
I've got to say that experience in a particular field which relates very easily to the requirrements of train driving is a definite advantage.
Perhaps some applicants just don't have a work related safety ethos to demonstrate knowledge of safety critical work?

I consider myself lucky to have at least got through the sift on four occasions with four TOCS, but in fairness I have worked hard in the public transport industry for five years and have had safety and rules and regulations drummed into my head for the whole five years. People under estimate the experience of driving buses and would assume its no different to driving a big van but there is so much training you learn on the job and experiences on the roads that you wouldn't know about if you didn't do it. I've had vehicles pull out in front of me whilst passing junctions, passengers dropping on the floor, people angry, hostile and belligerant but had to carry on and keep cool, calm and rational. All that kind of mental training is invaluable and I would highly recommend to anybody who is serious about a career in public transport to consider starting off in a job like I've described or maybe another field of transport, lorry driving or anywhere where you would be dealing with the public in a responsible capacity.

I would definitely disagree that all the external jobs go to ex military/police/emergency services, I haven't secured a job myself yet but I certainly wouldn't discourage myself by thinking you don't have a chance, many people driving trains come from many different backgrounds and I know of at least two people who I worked with previously who came from the public transport industry like me.
 

Manda2194

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I've got to say that experience in a particular field which relates very easily to the requirrements of train driving is a definite advantage.
Perhaps some applicants just don't have a work related safety ethos to demonstrate knowledge of safety critical work?

I consider myself lucky to have at least got through the sift on four occasions with four TOCS, but in fairness I have worked hard in the public transport industry for five years and have had safety and rules and regulations drummed into my head for the whole five years. People under estimate the experience of driving buses and would assume its no different to driving a big van but there is so much training you learn on the job and experiences on the roads that you wouldn't know about if you didn't do it. I've had vehicles pull out in front of me whilst passing junctions, passengers dropping on the floor, people angry, hostile and belligerant but had to carry on and keep cool, calm and rational. All that kind of mental training is invaluable and I would highly recommend to anybody who is serious about a career in public transport to consider starting off in a job like I've described or maybe another field of transport, lorry driving or anywhere where you would be dealing with the public in a responsible capacity.

I would definitely disagree that all the external jobs go to ex military/police/emergency services, I haven't secured a job myself yet but I certainly wouldn't discourage myself by thinking you don't have a chance, many people driving trains come from many different backgrounds and I know of at least two people who I worked with previously who came from the public transport industry like me.
To be fair I completely agree with you here and accept public transport like bus or coach driving would be desirable. Everyone in the aviation industry as well I expect would be attractive.

Personally, I come from an office background. it is a very heavily regulated industry with lots of rules and regulations and I have health and safety qualifications as well but i seem to be struggling.
 

Lumpa6259

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To be fair I completely agree with you here and accept public transport like bus or coach driving would be desirable. Everyone in the aviation industry as well I expect would be attractive.

Personally, I come from an office background. it is a very heavily regulated industry with lots of rules and regulations and I have health and safety qualifications as well but i seem to be struggling.
I have sent you a PM
 

baz962

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My opinion on this is it very much depends on your industry background.

A lot of us here are aspiring drivers and I have been applying for 2 years now always refining my applications to make them and still haven't made it as far as the assessment center.

Unless you come from a military or emergency services background I think its incredibly hard to get a driver position which most of us want. If not the position will probably go internal.

I hope im wrong though
You are wrong. As I replied to on another thread. On my course nearly three years ago , not one ex emergency service. Two taxi drivers an ex guard from a different company , ex platform staff and again different company an ex fitter from a different company , a charity admin and a car park attendant. On course's before and after mine , plenty of ex bus driver's. The company has taken on a few ex emergency service , but not loads.
 

Lumpa6259

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You are wrong. As I replied to on another thread. On my course nearly three years ago , not one ex emergency service. Two taxi drivers an ex guard from a different company , ex platform staff and again different company an ex fitter from a different company , a charity admin and a car park attendant. On course's before and after mine , plenty of ex bus driver's. The company has taken on a few ex emergency service , but not loads.
Who you work for pal?
 

ComUtoR

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I'd agree with baz. Whilst we had an influx of ex coppers; in the grand scheme of things the employment history of Drivers, and indeed other rail staff, is quite diverse. We have more ex Posties at my depot than ex Police. We have a couple of ex military and more than a few ex Cabbies.

What does happen (and causes a skew) is that people in their industries who are changing career tend to then speak to their ex collegues and actively recruit them. It happens on this forum too. You get a post asking if there are any ex [insert career] and you get an influx of people saying yeah its no issue, uses these skills for transferability and experience etc. The perception that only specific industries get the jobs almost becomes that reality for some.

The latest seems to be that if your a woman, your likely to get the job :/ a few new Drivers at my Depot have been "home makers" but that doesn't mean that they got it because of X or Y reasons. In all my years I have only seen diversity (in employment backgrounds)
 

Lumpa6259

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I think some roles (Such as Police) do make it easier to evidence some of the key competencies for the role But many many occupations, when properly evaluated can be used just as well to evidence these aspects. From bricklayers to butchers most trades have elements of safety critical work just in different guises.

In essence the application and selling yourself by mirroring the relevant skills is key.

If your a bricklayer, think about site safety, relevance of workmanship, safety equipment checks (hard hat, high vis, site security)

a butcher.. safety and food hygiene controls and checks. Health and safety using sharp tools and instruments for meat preparation etc etc..

Sell yourself and the skills you have.
 

Manda2194

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I'd agree with baz. Whilst we had an influx of ex coppers; in the grand scheme of things the employment history of Drivers, and indeed other rail staff, is quite diverse. We have more ex Posties at my depot than ex Police. We have a couple of ex military and more than a few ex Cabbies.

What does happen (and causes a skew) is that people in their industries who are changing career tend to then speak to their ex collegues and actively recruit them. It happens on this forum too. You get a post asking if there are any ex [insert career] and you get an influx of people saying yeah its no issue, uses these skills for transferability and experience etc. The perception that only specific industries get the jobs almost becomes that reality for some.

The latest seems to be that if your a woman, your likely to get the job :/ a few new Drivers at my Depot have been "home makers" but that doesn't mean that they got it because of X or Y reasons. In all my years I have only seen diversity (in employment backgrounds)

People like platform staff or guards at other TOCs don't surprise me at all. Perhaps I'm being inpatient. My background is mainly office work and i don't see too many people say they have come from that background on here but Im happy to be corrected.
 

dzdoris

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I'd agree with baz. Whilst we had an influx of ex coppers; in the grand scheme of things the employment history of Drivers, and indeed other rail staff, is quite diverse. We have more ex Posties at my depot than ex Police. We have a couple of ex military and more than a few ex Cabbies.

What does happen (and causes a skew) is that people in their industries who are changing career tend to then speak to their ex collegues and actively recruit them. It happens on this forum too. You get a post asking if there are any ex [insert career] and you get an influx of people saying yeah its no issue, uses these skills for transferability and experience etc. The perception that only specific industries get the jobs almost becomes that reality for some.

The latest seems to be that if your a woman, your likely to get the job :/ a few new Drivers at my Depot have been "home makers" but that doesn't mean that they got it because of X or Y reasons. In all my years I have only seen diversity (in employment backgrounds)
Are all women successful then, regardless of their credentials?
 

ComUtoR

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My background is mainly office work and i don't see too many people say they have come from that background on here but Im happy to be corrected.

If a tree falls in the woods....

Are all women successful then, regardless of their credentials?


Of course not. They fail just as much as others. Yes, there has been a campaign to recruit more women/bame/lgbtqi+ but that still doesn't give them any priority than others; that would be illegal. Neither does it give them any advantage with the *assessment testing. Especially as many are computer based.



*all testing has an inherent bias
 

Joliver

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My opinion on this is it very much depends on your industry background.

A lot of us here are aspiring drivers and I have been applying for 2 years now always refining my applications to make them and still haven't made it as far as the assessment center.

Unless you come from a military or emergency services background I think its incredibly hard to get a driver position which most of us want. If not the position will probably go internal.

I hope im wrong though
I got into the driving grade being an external candidate, on my 2nd attempt. My background was emergency services (fire). Remember though, people from these backgrounds still have to pass and get through the same tests as everyone else. The only advantage we may have, is having good examples to use in the MMI. But again, they still have to be answered in a clear and structured way, just as everyone has too.

For example, on my course, there were:
Bus drivers x3
Security x3
Accountant
Police
Customer host (Railway, different TOC)
Me

If you've got the credentials, make sure your CV is as good as it can be (tailor your personal statement to that of the job you're applying for) etc etc. I believe you'll eventually get there.
 
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dzdoris

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Of course not. They fail just as much as others. Yes, there has been a campaign to recruit more women/bame/lgbtqi+ but that still doesn't give them any priority than others; that would be illegal. Neither does it give them any advantage with the *assessment testing. Especially as many are computer based.



*all testing has an inherent bias
So what you meant was you're likely to get the job if you're a 'man or a woman' if you pass all the required criteria ;)
 
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Manda2194

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I got into the driving grade being an external candidate, on my 2nd attempt. My background was emergency services (fire). Remember though, people from these backgrounds still have to pass and get through the same tests as everyone else. The only advantage we may have, is having good examples to use in the MMI. But again, they still have to be answered in a clear and structured way, just as everyone has too.

For example, on my course, there were:
Bus drivers x3
Security x3
Accountant
Police
Customer host (Railway, different TOC)
Me

If you've got the credentials, make sure your CV is as good as it can be (tailor your personal statement to that of the job you're applying for) etc etc. I believe you'll eventually get there.
Thanks mate. Seeing an accountant on there gives me a bit of hope.

Do you mind if I ask what company? I assume every company is different.
 
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ComUtoR

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You could be *Baby Yoda for all the testing process cared.





*³The Child
³Its a Pratchett thing
 

Joliver

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Thbnaks mate. Seeing an accountant on there gives me a bit of hope.

Do you mind if I ask what company? I assume every company is different.
MTR Elizabeth Line (Crossrail)

I can't speak for other TOC/FOC's. I should think they'll all be the same though. If you get through the selection process and nail the interview(s), it really shouldn't matter what background you come from.
 

dmncf

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Anyone know where I could find a list of NR contactors, particularly for the SE? The only one that springs to mind is Balfour Beatty and that's only because they helpfully displayed a huge banner when they were at Norwood Junction.
You might also consider HS2 contractors. At Euston Station, Costain Skanska are doing the early works and Mace Dragados will do the main works.
 

Steam Man

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People like platform staff or guards at other TOCs don't surprise me at all. Perhaps I'm being inpatient. My background is mainly office work and i don't see too many people say they have come from that background on here but Im happy to be corrected.
I work on a heritage railway and I have done for a while I’ve never thought about going for the mainline to be honest
 
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