Southwest mainline driver interview....

Discussion in 'Railway Jobs & Careers' started by Liam86, 12 Nov 2011.

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  1. Liam86

    Liam86 Member

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    Hi all, I am new to this forum and grateful that I found it!

    I have an interview next week on the 18th for a mainline driver position based at Waterloo.
    This time last year I sat all the assessments and interviews and only just failed at the managers interview. The feedback I received said that everything I said was fine, just I didn't know enough about the actual role, as in what a drivers day exactly consists off. Before the interview I did research the company but didn't actually look into the role in much detail. So I was wondering is there anybody on this forum who could give some insight into the role of a driver on a daily basis..... Or should I go to Waterloo and try and speak to a driver there (that's what hr kinda hinted at to me)?

    Also, in the interview letter I received it had the practise info for the structured interview, which they said I had passed last year, is anyone able to confirm whether I would have to do this again if I did pass last year? I will call/email hr on Monday, just hoping somebody here might of gone through the same.

    Thanks
    Liam
     
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  3. 455/8

    455/8 Member

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    When I had my interview I spent loads of time researching the role and this is what I said in my interview.

    The Question - What can you tell us about the role of a train driver?

    My answer - I understand that the role high level of responsibility, concentration and at times lone working. To begin with train drivers are responsible for ensuring they drive trains taking into account all permissible, temporary and emergency speed restrictions.

    The trains must be driven on time and drivers must make sure they obey all fixed signals and hand signals as the safety of the trains, passengers and staff is paramount. Part of the role also involves communicating with signallers and hand signallers regarding the verbal communication of messages as well as hand signals from shunters and possibly guards and platform staff, other elements are ensuring customers are advised, either directly or through others regarding train running matters.

    Finally train drivers must ensure their traction and route cards are kept up to date safety is essential to the role of a competent train driver and keeping up with procedures and regulations is very important.

    If you passed the interview last time then, you will not have to resit it again this time around.

    Hope that helps,

    Alan
     
  4. Liam86

    Liam86 Member

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    Thanks for the reply mate, very helpful.

    How did you go about your research?
    Are you a driver for swt now?

    From what I remember from my interview last year, I was asked along the lines of "can you talk me through how you think a train drivers day goes?"
    As I hadn't really researched this specifically I tried to come up with something (blag it basically), and said things like doing inspections of the train before setting off, keeping eyes out for hazards and just general things like that. So I will definitely look at what you've told me and research some more aswell.

    Also had a couple more questions if you don't mind.

    Do you have your roster set out for a long time? So you know a lot in advance what shift and route you're on?
    When you attend your shift is there a procedure for signing/clocking in, or do you just go in and start onto you train?


    Thanks a lot for the help.
     
  5. 455/8

    455/8 Member

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    Yes I am a Driver for SWT, I was a Guard previous to being a Driver and for my research I asked Drivers I worked with, Driver Managers at my Depot and just did a search on the internet to get as much information about the job and the company as I could and then tried to condense this info for the interview.

    All depots have a base roster which is posted in the depot and this lists all the running turns (or Jobs) for that link in that depot and you can work out what jobs and free days you'll have for that timetable period, you also get what's known as As Ordered Turns (A/O) which are spare turns that are used to cover work if people go sick so that trains are not cancelled. Once you know what job your booked the work content of these jobs are again posted in notice cases in the depots and you can work out what routes you'l be driving over.

    The normal booking on proceedure for my depot is I turn up for my booked time, I then pick up a phone which automatically dials to the sign on system, I enter my pay number as my signing on pin number, this then signs me on to the system and if I'm working a booked job I hang up the phone, go and pick up my diagram for the day which lists the train I'll be working for that day (running ID, stock to drive, etc) the stations I'll be calling at and where I'll be having my break, I then check the notice cases for any new posts or posts that have been removed, at the end of the week I have to sign for and read my publications which list engineering works for the week and other information about speed restrictions. Once I've signed on I check my kit bag to make sure I have all my kit and then I'll walk out to find my first train. Once you get on if your booked to prep the train then you have a list of things to check, if your not booked to prep then as you walk to the front of the train you'll be looking around the unit, you get to the front of the train, put a key on and set up the cab, you then driver the trains your booked and when you finish your turn you send off any defect or delay reports, check what duty your booked to work the next day and you sign on time and then you can go home.
     
  6. Liam86

    Liam86 Member

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    Thanks a lot for the info, very much what I was looking for.

    What depot do you work from?

    Also, apologies if this is a dumb question, but would I be expected to know all the correct terms like "link" etc?
    I have looked for some kind of glossary or guide but as yet hav been unable to find one.

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: 12 Nov 2011
  7. 455/8

    455/8 Member

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    I'm based at Guildford Depot.

    Most managers understand that not all people wishing to become train drivers know all the railway terminology, so it won't be held against you if your not sure but the best thing is if you not sure then just don't say anything about it that way you won't be asked questions about it.

    good luck with your interview.
     
  8. Liam86

    Liam86 Member

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    Thanks a lot mate, will post on here how it goes.

    Any other tips or advice?
     
  9. 455driver

    455driver On Moderation

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    I take it you will NOT be doing any assessments/ CBI then, just the managers interview?

    Drivers job consists of-
    Shift work, unsocial hours, working alone for long periods, also work as a team with the guard that all SWT trains have, following rules/ regs, preparing trains for service, driving in accordance with SWT defensive driving policy, fault reporting and fixing, taking the lead when things go wrong, dealing with emergency situations calmly, thinking on your feet, answering customers questions.

    Oh and most importantly ALWAYS walk to the train with a cup of tea/coffee in your hand, its da rools! :lol:
     
  10. 30 common

    30 common Member

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    455/8 I know it's off topic but you mentioned you was a guard previous to a driver, I have my assessment this Wednesday, can you offer any tips to help me pass? I'm doing the practice work in the book and online.
    Thanks
     
  11. Liam86

    Liam86 Member

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    Yeah just the managers interview as I passed all the other assessments last year

    Thanks for your help :)
     
  12. 455/8

    455/8 Member

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    The guards assessments aren't that difficult (at least I never found them that difficult). From memory you have a reading/writing assessment (read paragraphs and then answer questions about what you read), communication assessment (listen to a tape and pass on a message), a concentration test (like the dots test for a driver but it's done with shapes and on paper) and I think there is a basic math test too. If you pass all of that you the. Get your manager interview and your customer service role play.
     
  13. klcw_01

    klcw_01 Member

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    Hi there Liam86,

    I am awaiting an invitation for drivers assessment with SWT and as I see that you did yours last year I was wondering if you could tell me more about it? My dad is a SWT driver however he took his assessment a long time ago, so I presume things will have changed alot! Any tips and info would be appreciated!

    Thanks
     
  14. Class2ldn

    Class2ldn Member

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    Im hoping for a move to guildford soon.
     
  15. Liam86

    Liam86 Member

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    Hey klcw_01,

    Yeah sure I'll tell you as much as I remember....it was all done in one day, in the morning was the written tests, the test with the dials etc. My advice for these as the time is strict (pretty much no way you can answer all the questions in the time) is to keep a good pace, be confident with your answers so you don't take too long checking over your answers, I found the actual questions not too hard, so just be confident and don't dwell.
    They then marked my tests and because I passed I got to sit the group bourdon test and the concentration/reaction test. For these the best thing I can say is just practise as much beforehand so you're used to them, for the concentration/reaction test games such as bop-it and rock band might be useful.

    Overall to be honest just spend a lot of time reading the practise info and practise as much as you can.

    Sorry if it's not been that much in detail, the whole day went quite quick for me last year so it's a bit of a blur for me now lol

    Good luck.
     
  16. 30 common

    30 common Member

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    One concern I have is the verbal comprehention. Using the SHL Direct site given by SWT I cannont read the question clearly and select the answer within the 30 seconds are the actual tests like this? The practice booklet has 4 questions for one paragraph.

    The concentration test also poses a small threat as you are marked down for errors. Any specific advice on this part?

    Maths is one of my strong points I won't have any issues with this unless is ultra difficult sums.


    Thanks again, I'm sure if all goes well I'll be picking your brain a bit more;)
     
  17. 455/8

    455/8 Member

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    If I remember rightly you get a booklet with questions and then a booklet that you put your answers in, you get about 5-10 mins to answer as many questions as you can in the time, so there isn't anything that you have only 30 seconds to answer (it'd take me most of that time to read the question).

    The concentration test for a guard is fairly easy as it's done on paper (at least I think it's still done on paper) all I did was hover my pencil over the paper and when I saw the shape I had to cross I simply put a line through it and went from left to right top od the page to the bottom. As you said you are marked down on what you get wrong but its marked between how much you get done and how accurate you are, so if you complete half the page say and you didn't miss one shape your better off than if you completed 3/4 of a page and only missed missed two if that makes sense as it's a test to measure your speed and your accurace not one or the other. It's a lot easier that everyone makes it out to be and you get to have a few practice goes before you start any way.

    If your still unsure or struggling when you start any of the assessments as long as you make it known to the assessors and tell them they'll help you out, after all it's what they're there for. Good luck with it
     
  18. 30 common

    30 common Member

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    Thanks you've been a great help
     
  19. klcw_01

    klcw_01 Member

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    Thanks for your reply Liam86. Was there a numeracy test when you did yours? I just want to know as much as poss well in advance!!

    Thanks
     
  20. Liam86

    Liam86 Member

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    Yeah there was something numeracy based, can't remember exactly what it was though. When they send you the info it should have all the info in there, so just practice practice practice. When you are practicing, do it to a timer so you get used to working within a strict time limit.
     
  21. francisoldfield

    francisoldfield Member

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    What is the managers interview like? I'm supposed to be having one soon for a drivers role at Fratton? Cheers
     
  22. 30 common

    30 common Member

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    I passed my guards assessment!!
     
  23. Urban Gateline

    Urban Gateline Established Member

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    Congrats! :D Which guards position and depot did you apply for?
     
  24. 30 common

    30 common Member

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    Non commercial guard at Waterloo should be having my managers interview beginning of January
     
  25. Urban Gateline

    Urban Gateline Established Member

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    Nice one, that's quite a long wait though don't you think? I bet you are keen to get going!
     
  26. cookiescrumble

    cookiescrumble Member

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    A long wait, I had my Commercial Guard assessment 4 years ago and still haven't got an interview date :lol:.
     
    Last edited: 16 Nov 2011
  27. 30 common

    30 common Member

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    Well to be honest its because I have holiday booked from the 28th November so can't make it early otherwise it probably would some drivers I spoke to today are having there's on the 1st of December
     
  28. Urban Gateline

    Urban Gateline Established Member

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    Wow, are you looking for a Fratton commercial guard position? I say that because your location states "Portsmouth" so I assumed that.

    I think there were some external vacancies for Fratton commercial guard during the summer, can't remember exactly when, but I remember seeing them, they seem to be far and few in between
     
  29. cookiescrumble

    cookiescrumble Member

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    I applied for a commercial guard role at Fratton in October 2007 which was advertised in the local news. I went for an assessment in December 2007, which I passed and was told I would have an interview in the new year. This never happened and I phoned every few weeks for a year and got different excuses every time, after a year of chasing I gave up!

    I went off to do other things, these not working out and now looking at a career on the rails again. To be fair though, recently SWT HR team have been very understanding and helpful! I've got a place to do an assessment again next year incase any positions come up in the near future, apparently there will be one every month next year. I've also applied for other positions in the company, so may have to start lower down the ladder.
     
  30. francisoldfield

    francisoldfield Member

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    they also advertised the commercial guard at fratton at the end of last year and I had already passed the SWT assessment.

    After waiting ages I got a letter saying that there were no jobs but if you want to be kept on the system let us know and we'll keep you in mind...
     
  31. Urban Gateline

    Urban Gateline Established Member

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    That's pretty disheartening, I think it's unfair to advertise a role when there are not actually positions to be filled, it just gives people false hope and upsets them needlessly:(
     
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