Signaller assessment

Discussion in 'Railway Jobs & Careers' started by Sabs5296, 6 Nov 2016.

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  1. Sabs5296

    Sabs5296 Member

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    Hi guys, I have an assessment coming up in less than two weeks in London for a signalling job at network rail, although I was sent a PDF on what to expect, it didn't really provide much so I'm guessing it's just a guide, is there any other way to prepare for the assessment? Anything I can read up on? And how long after these assessments does one usually get invited for the interview (assuming you pass the assessment :lol:) I have to say I'm really excited about this cos I've always wanted to work at network rail but always got the unsuccessful email after applying, so I decided to try out for the signaling position and I can't tell you guys how happy I was when I got the email inviting me for the assessment :D.
     
  2. SmokeAndJoe

    SmokeAndJoe Member

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    I did mine a few weeks back and passed. I looked for ages for other source material, as there were so many mentions of a booklet sent through to you.

    This doesn't seem to be the case anymore, but the example booklet you get emailed does pretty much cover everything. Go over the examples you have until you are confident, especially the fault finding ones. (Where you decide if the train should pass into the next section)

    Make sure you get some sleep! The tests will be faster than you expect.
     
  3. Sabs5296

    Sabs5296 Member

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    Thanks smoke and Joe, I'll definitely go back to the PDF that was emailed to me, and congratulations on passing the assessment. Have you got a date for the interview yet?
     
  4. carbers255

    carbers255 Member

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    Use the booklet sent to you. On the fault finding particularly, don't get too caught up on each question. It's not about necessarily answering all the questions but getting right the amount you do answer. I think you need to get around 20-22 out of the fault finding correct so make sure you're accurate. Listen on the lift counting and ask for a replay on the tones if not sure. The recruitment facilitator on my day was superb and gave everybody the best chance of passing.
     
  5. Sabs5296

    Sabs5296 Member

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    Thanks for that, will definitely do that.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    A quick update on my assessment, I had it on the 16th of November, I made a complete blunder of the lift counting and was so sure I was going to fail, but got the email that I passed yesterday, I'm not really sure how I feel about that because if i passed with an average score, the possibility of getting an interview could be quite slim (I'm almost wishing I failed the lift counting so I can do it again in 6 months and get better scores :oops:) within minutes of getting the email about my assessment results, I received 2 unsuccessful emails for 2 different positions, can't help but think it had to do with my test scores :cry: and then when I logged into my account, I saw application under consideration for assessment 2, for another position, I applied for about 5 lol, so small ray of hope, but I hear that can quickly turn to application unsuccessful as well.We were just 5 that sat for the assessment so hopefully that might mean I will be among the top 5, because I heard it's top 8 for the SJT and top 5 for the assessment. Did I get the unsuccessful email because of my score??? Or am I overthinking the whole thing, Someone please put me out of my misery :(
     
  6. TomBoyd

    TomBoyd Member

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    It sounds like an automatic response due to the test scores. No way to know for sure. Bear in mind those 5 people aren't necessarily your competition, could be more tested before/after you and in different locations.

    Nothing you can do now but wait, so no point stressing
     
  7. JohnFM

    JohnFM Member

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    The thing is you're stressing yourself a lot about how you did and what you didn't do. Forget it, you can't change it. It's done.

    The other things is that you subscribe to a lot of rumour. Ignore it. The facts from the TOC are probably the only thing you can trust. Hearing a rumour that they need x number of recruits etc doesn't help.

    You've submitted your application, it's done.

    Go and get a hot chocolate with cream and a marshmallow, give it to the nearest granny, get a pint down ya neck and relax.
     
  8. carbers255

    carbers255 Member

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    Did they tell you your score? Sometimes they give you a result if you ask on 0161 261 7594. It might help if you find out because it is clearly stressing you. As JohnFM says tho "IT'S DONE"
    There are others on here at least that could tell you their score maybe and you'll have an idea where you stack up. Remember too for the Signaller roles, that the scores from the SJT are also taken into account and that score is a percentile which is really hard to fathom out. Congrats on passing. Don't stress if you don't find out your mark from the assessment. Good luck for the future.
     
  9. Webby

    Webby Member

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    Did u apply for kings x/West Hampstead?
     
  10. Cagey

    Cagey Member

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    Quite possibly the best advice on here. :D
     
  11. Sabs5296

    Sabs5296 Member

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    Thanks guys, and you're all right, stressing won't solve anything, so I'll just have to wait and see, I applied for west Hempstead/kings cross but its been on "test completed " for weeks now, and I made the hot chocolate with marshmallows for myself Johnfm, I don't drink beer :lol:
     
  12. Webby

    Webby Member

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    8 weeks for me!!!!!
     
  13. TRain87

    TRain87 Member

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    Evening guys and girls!

    I have my assessment next week - just doing some evening swatting and wondering if anyone has any last minute tips? I have a hotel booked close by so can get a nice sleep night before. A little worried about the lift test as unable to practice this one! Are we marked on the accuracy of answers?

    Any help is very much appreciated. Cheers

    Tony
     
  14. Cagey

    Cagey Member

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    Tony,

    Try not to fret too much about it. The person in charge of the tests will explain everything and will be very approachable. You'll have a practice run at it before the actual test begins, to make sure you understand everything asked. Don't let yourself get too stressed over it.
     
  15. carbers255

    carbers255 Member

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    There are two parts on the lift counting. The recruitment facilitator will talk you through everything. You get practice runs before the realtime test commences. Don't be afraid to ask for a replay on the tones. Listen carefully to what to do on the second part. You'll be ok on first bit. The second isn't hard but just listen to what is asked of you. Good luck and don't stress :)
     
  16. fantaheed

    fantaheed Member

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    i had mine a few weeks ago and as others have said it is nothing to worry about.

    Every task you have to do is explained properly and the teacher who is excellent gives you a few practice runs and once everyone in group is comfortable you do the test.

    sounds really basic but with the lift counting I just used my fingers (covered so others weren't distracted) and that worked well.

    Every test is very similar to the info you were sent in the email, just be aware of the time limit you have.

    it really is not a hard test at all it is all about your concentration levels and multi tasking
     
  17. Sabs5296

    Sabs5296 Member

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    Hi guys (and gurls) quick update on my last post, after several unsuccessful applications, I finally have an interview on Monday 19th of December at East Kent signalling cantre, its for the Wateringbury post and I would really appreciate any tips and advice on how to prepare. I've read the 8 non technical skills, but what type of questions would they ask? And should I use the key words in my response like "I achieved so and so because I was very conscientious "
     
  18. 09065

    09065 Member

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    One thing to remember with the signaller assessments is that it does not matter if you pass at the assessment stage; the manager now only needs to interview the top 5 scoring candidates.

    Like many specialist roles these days - HR have meddled with the recruitment process to try and align it with a desk job job profile.

    Even more bizarrely still, you could be the best external candidate for a job, however an existing signaller candidate can still be worse than you on interview day and score more points.
     
  19. signallerscot

    signallerscot Member

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    How do you think an existing signaller with years of experience feels when he's told he hasn't got the job he applied for because someone off the street managed to score more abitary points in an interview? I know of one case where a relief signaller who wanted to become resident at a box he had already worked for 15 years (not even a promotion) was beaten to it by a former postman, who he now has to work with every day and unsurprisingly they don't get on. I've nothing against the guy but I do think that sort of decision is crazy.

    In my opinion it is only right that existing signallers are given priority over external candidates. I don't want to go back to the days of seniority being the deciding factor because that was responsible for just as many crazy decisions but surely a proven track record actually doing the job should count for something.
     
  20. JohnFM

    JohnFM Member

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    Don't forget though, signallerscot, that you have one side of a story.

    It may well be that he totally blew the interview due to incorrect responses or just plain old arrogance in his demeanour.

    I am sure that a chap with 15 years experience was not beaten to the job by a newbie but rather a case of a chap with 15 years experience who lost it because of how he did in his own interview.
     
  21. nom de guerre

    nom de guerre Member

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    Why "unsurprisingly"?
     
  22. 09065

    09065 Member

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    I have lost track of which version of the interview process we use now.

    Obviously everyone gets the same questions; but it was something like the maximum score you could get was:

    Existing grade 10-6: 70 points
    Existing grade 5-1: 50 points
    Non signaller: 30 points

    Although that has not stopped externals getting grade 9 roles...
     
  23. signallerscot

    signallerscot Member

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    It should never get to the point where internal and external candidates are interviewed for the same position. Jobs shouldn't be advertised externally unless the are no internal applicants at all, that way you wouldn't have experienced signallers being passed over in favour of people from off the street. And that's before you get into the realms of people with no previous railway experience being recruited into high graded boxes and the company being surprised when they take over a year to pass out. The driving grade has the concept of 'qualified' and 'non qualified' vacancies and I think the signalling grade should be the same. Though I'd expect people who aren't already signallers would disagree with this sentiment!
     
  24. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham Established Member

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    That's fine, except where is this career progression going to come from?
    The lower grade boxes are being closed and many of those residents are getting older and/or are not willing to move house so that they could work at the Control Centres.

    When I was deemed unfit to work my Grade 2 mechanical box there was no-where in travelling distance I could move to, even if they had allowed me a promotion, unless I was willing to move into a city, and I know that none of my collegues would have done the same as we had discussed it because our Box was due to close next year.

    When I was at Signalling School there were 2 people "off the street" going to a Grade 8 box. I know they didn't take 12 months to learn their first panel, and I know people who have done likewise since who haven't taken that long either.

    And I am sorry to say it, but there is an attitude amongst some signallers that they know it all, and then find that when they do move to a bigger, more modern box, that their preconceived ideas and their old-fashioned way of working doesn't fit the new, modern world. However a "virgin" entrant doesn't have those ideas and can be more easily trained, and is more willing to accept how NR want the job done. Experience may be good in some things, but it is not the great panacea you seem to think.
     
  25. eriks

    eriks Member

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    So what if there was only one internal candidate? In this case should they just get the job because externals aren't allowed? Even if they are the wrong person for the job?

    If you are a former postman shouldn't you have equal rights for a job on the railway?

    If the relief guy can't get on with someone who was employed to be part of the team, they are not very professional and not good at the non-technical skills. NTS is not just NR bulls**t; NTS are important in any workplace.

    This probably came out at interview.
    Q "Tell me about how you manged a difficult relationship in the workplace?"
    A "Well this guy got the job I deserved because I've done 15 years, so i don't talk to him now."
     
  26. Sabs5296

    Sabs5296 Member

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    All good arguments and as the saying goes, there are two sides to a coin, even though I don't have any experience in signalling, I can only imagine how discouraging it must be for ppl with experience being passed over for people off the streets, I know I'll feel utterly gutted, however, I won't expect the position to be handed to me on a platter either, I should expect to prepare thoroughly for it like everyone else, find out what the new interview process is all about and put the work in, without any sense of entitlement whatsoever, it would be most unfair for the job to be given to someone new after all that. Now back to the issue at hand, tips, advice, likely questions, I'll appreciate anything, interview is on Monday.
     
  27. JohnFM

    JohnFM Member

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    Ignoring the possibility that your aged friend possibly completely stuffed up his own interview therefore the newbie gets the job . . . Yes there could be qualified or non qualified recruitment days but there has to be a long term plan too.

    It isn't a black and white as "the qualified guy gets the job". Then you're left with a gaping black hole once your old folk start to go into retirement and you've got a skills shortage. That is a sure fire way to ensure that the railways end up in a dangerous position.

    Strategic management is an art, at times, and the here and now folk, such as your case, maybe cannot see, accept or wish to understand that there has to be a strategy to recruitment.

    You need a recruitment strategy that ensures trained and experienced staff are always there buffered by folk heading into retirement and folk entering the role.
     
  28. nom de guerre

    nom de guerre Member

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    This.

    Scot's post implied that it was not only inevitable, but justified for the 'wronged' Relief to take out his frustration on the Postman. No idea why - he can hardly be held responsible for HR's decision-making.


    I've heard plenty of stories about overpromoted/unsuitable internals struggling at PSB/ROCs. Previous experience is no guarantee. Two of my signalling school classmates went straight off the street into Grade 9 boxes; both did fine.

    The fairest method would be for all Grade 7+ jobs to be FTC trials. If you pass out within the FTC period, the job becomes permanent. If you don't, the LOM has the freedom to say 'thanks but no thanks' with no strings.
     
    Last edited: 17 Dec 2016
  29. Sunset route

    Sunset route Member

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    We have plenty of recently promoted and new off the streets that have arrived under the new vetting system at my place, that you are far better off using the roads to travel. But we also have ones that have taken to it like a duck to water.. We also have plenty of 30yr men that can't move sideways or down thanks to the new system, apparently they are not good enough, but they are good to teach the new staff all the required rules, regs, panel knowledge, SBIs oh and the new 8 non technical skills.
     
  30. TomBoyd

    TomBoyd Member

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    To be fair, even if there's only one candidate for a job, that's far from saying they're guaranteed it!
     
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