The questions you shouldn't ask in a interview but are dying to know

Discussion in 'Railway Jobs & Careers' started by Tibbins, 8 Jun 2015.

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  1. Tibbins

    Tibbins Member

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    I just got some "in your face" questions I wanna know out right. It's the questions you can't really ask in an interview but just dying to know. If any train drivers out there can answer would be great to know!

    Question 1: is it true train drivers work 4 days on then rest for 4 days?

    Question 2 : when training to become a train driver can you still be kicked out if your not getting the scores you need to pass ?

    Question 3: how many hours will you work in a day?

    If anyone else has any questions lets hear them! !
     
  2. scotraildriver

    scotraildriver Member

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    1. Depends who you work for but we work 4 out of 7. Not 4 on 4 off.

    2. Yes.

    3.7-10
     
  3. RBSN

    RBSN Member

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    When do I start?
     
  4. redbutton

    redbutton Member

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    Why can't you ask any of those questions in an interview? In my interview, they went out of their way to ensure I was clear on exactly what the role involved re: shift work, turn length, and time off. Asking the questions shows that you have realistic expectations for the role, as long as you don't approach it with too many assumptions.

    For example:

    "Can you tell me a bit about the shift patterns at this TOC? I know that train drivers generally work a 4-day week, but how is it done here?"

    Remember that the DM interview is just like any other job interview, where the company is making sure you're a good fit for them, and it's also the time for you to make sure they're the right company for you. Asking about working conditions is a big part of that.

    Also, this board is a great resource for asking current drivers about this kind of stuff if you don't want to bring it up at interview. It looks like you're looking at TOCs near my patch, so feel free to PM me if you want.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jun 2015
  5. Liddybird

    Liddybird Member

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    During my DM interview I was questioned for around 1hr. I then asked the two DM's what they like about the TOC, how many hours I would be working, shift patterns and starting times. They were both incredibly helpful
     
  6. Gemz91

    Gemz91 Member

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    Would have thought they are the exact type of answers you could ask in an interview.
     
  7. beavercreek

    beavercreek Member

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    Worst job is 6hrs driving to Edinburgh return.Some days only 4hrs and the link pattern is erratic.Some parts have 6-7 days off but 6 days at work.We are very close to a 4 day working week but have nice traction.
     
  8. Tibbins

    Tibbins Member

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    Wow thanks everyone I don't know why I just though these questions are best to ask at a later stage in training.

    What about route learning how many routes do you have to learn? With so many signals and routes wouldn't it be easy to go the wrong way
     
  9. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    No
    Yes
    5h 30m - 9hr 15m (+ delays, reports, briefings, training hours differ)
    Wrong routes can and will happen.
     
  10. bangor-toad

    bangor-toad Member

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    Hi there,
    I don't work for any company related to the railways but I do have to occasionally interview new staff.

    The interview process, for the interviewers, is often quite tedious as we have to make sure we are being fair and that we ask the same questions to everyone and make sure that everyone has an equal opportunity.

    Where this can all cheerfully go out of the window is when the candidates are asked "And do you have any questions?"
    We're going to answer those in a responsive manner and as that's answering a specific question we don't have to be so fixed and rigid in what we say.

    Even more significant is that taking the opportunity to ask questions can make you stand out from the candidates being interview. (OK, really dumb questions aren't going to make this a positive thing!)
    I'd always suggest that people do ask some sensible and relevant questions when invited to at any interview.

    Good luck!
    Mr Toad
     
  11. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Mr Toad is absolutely right. There's no reason at all why the questions listed by the OP could not be asked at the appropriate point in the interview, though I 'd use different wording myself!
     
  12. Tibbins

    Tibbins Member

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    One of the best questions in my eyes which I like to ask is "is there any reason why you think I'd be unsuccessful to getting to the next stage"
     
  13. greatkingrat

    greatkingrat Established Member

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    Seems an odd question to me. If they thought you were rubbish, they are not going to say so, so you will just get some non-committal answer about how they still have other candidates to see.
     
  14. redbutton

    redbutton Member

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    This is definitely something worth asking in the interview. "What routes would I sign as a driver at this depot?"

    Though, it may also be impressive if you could find out beforehand and drop it in conversation. "I'm told this depot signs [x, y and z] is that right?" Shows you've done your homework.

    With regard to route learning in general, yes I'd say that's the most important part of the training. Driving trains is easy, it's stopping them (and knowing where to stop) that's hard. You have to know every station platform length and stop marks, every signal and the route indications it can show (and which ones you can take), line and junction names and speeds, name and type of level crossings, gradients, landmarks (such as the names of foot crossings and overbridges), tunnel names and lengths, all the possible shunt movements (including ones you'll do once in a decade) and most importantly where all the toilets and coffee places are.

    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I wouldn't ask this. It puts them on the spot to say something positive since people don't generally like to give negative feedback face to face.

    If at the end of an interview I feel it's gone well and I'd like to take the job if offered, I say something like "It sounds like I could get on pretty well here. What will be the next step in the process and what kind of timeframe should I expect?"

    Their response will say it all. If they seem enthusiastic, volunteering lots of information about exactly how many people they're seeing and when they'll forward their recommendations to HR, that's good news for you. If they avoid eye contact and give you some quick waffle, that doesn't bode well.

    If it turns out you're not successful and you want feedback, the interviewers generally (in my experience) forward their notes to HR, so you can discuss it with them afterward.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jun 2015
  15. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't think that's a good idea. Most of the interviewers I've ever worked with prefer to wait until all of the interviews are over, take time out to recover if they've had a lot of them to do in a short period of time, and then reflect on their notes and any scoring system before deciding who goes on and who doesn't.

    Speaking for myself, I wouldn't look on this kind of question very kindly.
     
  16. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

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    'Of course sir, you'd have been fine had you not asked that question'
     
  17. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    There is nothing wrong with the suggested questions but i would ask them differently! Perhaps it is an opportunity to show you have undertaken further research than was tested.
     
  18. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That is likely to have been my response, only without the 'sir'.

    The wording in the opening post was not ideal!
     
  19. Tibbins

    Tibbins Member

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    Haha sometimes I wonder should I even ask questions after an interview. The only questinS I would have would be about the training. I would wanna know how many chances I got at passing assessments. Basically saying how many times can I fail before I'm kicked out and that's not something you can really say. Or can I? Just with the job I'm doing now if I was to leave I couldn't go back into it at the same pay rate. So there's risk. It's just hard to get these questions across without sounding like rubbish!
     
  20. redbutton

    redbutton Member

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    Do not ask those questions during the interview. If HR lets you know you're unsuccessful, then ask. And do it a lot more gently than that.

    "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. When might I be eligible to re-apply? Did I fall short in any specific areas? Is there any feedback you could give me for next time?"

    And definitely don't leave your current job until you have a signed offer in writing for the next one. That applies to any job, not just the railway.
     
  21. TomBoyd

    TomBoyd Member

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    I was interviewing for a sales job years ago. They'd got my CV off monster.co.uk or something, and called me in. I was desperate for a different job, so I went along.

    The guy interviewing me owned the company and was an odious ****. He kept saying that if I worked there, I'd have to drive a Porsche and wear a Rolex, and I hate that kind of show of wealth.

    So when the end of the interview came around, he said "do you have any questions?" by which point id already decided I didn't want the job, some said "no, I think I know enough"

    He pushed me for a good 3 or so minutes to ask a question, saying "you don't come to an interview without a question" "you can't expect me to give you the job if you don't express and interest" etcetc

    So I finally relented and said "OK, fair enough, honestly, the only question I've got is: do you have to be a complete c**t to work here?"

    He looked shocked, but just sat back, looked around through the glass walls at the office, turned back to me and said "well, yes. I guess you do."

    He offered me the job (which might have been a veiled insult in itself) and I turned him down. It did teach me that you should always ask a question at interview, but you shouldn't necessarily include the word "c**t" in it...
     
  22. DaleCooper

    DaleCooper Established Member

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    I hope the job wasn't selling Porsche cars and Rolex watches.
     
  23. TDK

    TDK Established Member

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    1. How much will I get paid and when will I get it.
    2. Do I get paid if off sick in the first 6 months.
    3. How long will I have to stay with a company before putting in a transfer.
    4. What is the disciplinary procedure.
    5. Will I have to work with immigrants.
    6. What happens if I decide I do not want the job after training.
    7. As I am an enthusiast do you think it will be a breeze.
    8. I find it hard to get on with people if I am with them for long periods of time will this be an issue.


    I have been asked all of these and all of them were frowned upon at interview.
     
  24. SkinnyDave

    SkinnyDave Established Member

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    Thats a more approriate quesion at interview for a sales position as it shows you are confident at closing, asking for the business etc but bot really appropriate in railway.
     
  25. Treadstone

    Treadstone Member

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    for a driving role tdk? Lol
     
  26. svendopel

    svendopel Member

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    Not seeing a problem with any of those? Must have got a bad apple!:roll:
     
  27. TomBoyd

    TomBoyd Member

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    Seriously? Those are terrible questions!

    1. Reasonable question, poorly phrased.

    2. The way this is phrased implies they are likely to go off sick within the first six months. Not usually a good idea to draw attention to the sick pay in an interview.

    3. Implies they won't stay long/are using the job as a stepping stone.

    4. A reasonable question to ask if you get into trouble. the law is fairly clear on this, as would be the terms and conditions.

    5. Implies racism.

    6. Implies lack of enthusiasm

    7. Is fair but might imply a lack of effort?

    8. Implies they're an antagonistic tool that can't work in a team.

    If I were interviewing someone and got asked these, they'd raise a red flag.
     
  28. scott118

    scott118 Member

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    Why is a transportation by road called a 'SHIPment' but a transportation by sea called 'CARgo'?
     
    Last edited: 11 Jun 2015
  29. svendopel

    svendopel Member

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    I think the original post was being sarcastic! I certainly was :D
     
  30. TomBoyd

    TomBoyd Member

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    I feel small...
     
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