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Paper Sifting Stage

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Spannergirl

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Hi

I have recently applied for a trainee train driver job along with several of my colleagues. Does anyone know what the company is looking for when it comes to the paper sifting? I would assume thousands have applied as it's been over 5 weeks now and I have heard nothing. I know lockdown probably hasn't helped either.
 
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Elwyn

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I used to interview candidates for jobs in another industry but I would expect the rail industry system will be similar. It’s not possible or necessary to interview everyone who applies for a job. The normal ideal ratio in our organisation was 6 candidates for every job. So if you had 10 vacancies, you would aim to interview 60. (Not only does that give a reasonable chance to the stronger candidates, but it gives you spares when candidates withdraw or fall by the wayside for other reasons. Many apply for several jobs and so withdraw because they have had another offer. Some fall because of some other issue, eg medical, criminal record etc. So you need some spare, well qualified, candidates to ensure you end up with 10 suitable employees).

Let’s say you have had 1000 applications for 10 jobs (not at all unusual). The sift is to reduce that to around 60 candidates who will be interviewed, and to do it in a fair way, rather than by taking 60 applications at random from a sack. The interviewers or others with the relevant experience take all the applications and read through them. They look at the examples given for each skill or competence and mark them on a scale of say 0 to 5, based on how powerful and relevant the examples are. You add up all the points and get a total for each candidate. You invite the top 60 to interview.

(There can be a little more to it, in terms of crosschecking scores with another interviewer to ensure consistency, and there can be situations where its been agreed in advance that a candidate is an automatic fail eg someone with 2 or more comptences that score 0 or 1, but that’s basically it.).

What the sifters and the subsequent interviewers are looking for is the same sort of evidence. If you have to give an example of a time you managed conflict, for example, then how strong is the example(s) given? Was it sorted out well? Was it a really nasty conflict or just a storm in a teacup? Did the applicant resolve the conflict by just putting the phone down or walking away, or did they calm the person down and leave them with some level of acceptance of the decision/situation, and of the fact that their behaviour had not been acceptable? And so on.
 
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kickin aff

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16 Oct 2015
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Hi

I have recently applied for a trainee train driver job along with several of my colleagues. Does anyone know what the company is looking for when it comes to the paper sifting? I would assume thousands have applied as it's been over 5 weeks now and I have heard nothing. I know lockdown probably hasn't helped either.
A lot of the time the sifting is done by a computer, therefore by using lot of buzz words, the computer may select it. You would look to include some of the following in your answers, team work, own initiative, safety, time management, priority of tasks, communication, lone working, concentration, calm under pressure, customer service etc.
 

Undiscovered

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28 Jan 2013
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Make sure all your spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure is correct on your CV and application. If a cursory spell check flags you up, you'll be binned.

Next up, check all your factual details are correct- employment history, dates, qualifications etc.

Then, on the questions, think of strong answers to the situation given.
It's about what YOU did to sort a problem, etc. Be concise and truthful- these form the basis of questions you'll get at interview and they'll probe your actions and responses to see if you have the required skills. If you're fibbing, they'll sniff that out straight away.

Have someone proof read it, then send it off. Be prompt in your application as they do close early.
 
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