Network Rail Interview Questions & Answers

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Difficulty rating 6 / 10

Interview experience

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  • Graduate HR Scheme

    5.0/5 | Interview date: March 2019 | Job offer? Not yet |

    Was this helpful? Yes

    Sectors: Human Resources

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    I was sat with two people from Network Rail who had question sheets where they were taking notes. The interview started with me having to ask the 3 questions I had been asked to prepare. They answered they efficiently. They then commenced the interview. They asked general competency questions as well as motivations to work in HR and on this scheme in particular.

    Most difficult question

    The difference between a HR practitioner and HR business partner.

    Interview tips

    Engage in the group activity. Listen to others in the group and try to keep the focus on the aim of the task. In the reflection, be honest with what you think went well/badly. Reflection is important to improve and they're looking for you to say things could have gone better if you'd done x, y and z. Take your time in the interview; they are happy to wait for you to gather your thoughts. Make the most of the grads - they were so friendly, and really made me want the job!

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    After registration, we were given our groups and shown to a seating area where we were to wait. We individually had our documents checked at a time between activities. In the group task, we were given a scenario and had time to think independently before starting the discussion. Part way through the task we were given additionally information to throw a spanner in the works. We were observed by a panel of people. After the task, each of the candidates was assigned a member of the panel who took to individually complete a reflection/review questionnaire. The questions included how we think ourselves and the group did, and what we individually and as a group could have done differently/better. This was an informal discussion with the interviewer scribing my answers. We also completed the interview. As well as this, we had a presentation from graduates already in their first year of the scheme in which they told us about their experience on the scheme and what they felt were the highlights. This also included a Q&A portion. When these grads weren't giving presentations they stayed with the candidate waiting between tasks to answer any questions and give more information about their experience.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 5/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 5/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 5/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 5/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5
  • General Manager

    5.0/5 | Interview date: March 2018 | Job offer? Not yet |

    Was this helpful? Yes

    Sectors: Management

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    At this stage of the process there was no formal interview with one candidate at a time, but there were some individual and group tasks to complete. We were given about ten minutes to do the first individual task before moving on to discuss it in a group of about five people. This stage lasted about 40 minutes, and there were members of staff in the room watching each of us, taking notes on our interaction. They were not able to speak or give guidance during that stage. After that, we were each asked to prepare a presentation individually, then deliver it to one member of staff.

    Most difficult question

    There were no questions asked directly in the normal interview format.

    Interview tips

    There are several positions available around the country, and Network Rail hires a fresh intake every year so there are always new graduates. It is worth getting to know something about your local rail networks and stations, such as by observing whatever you can about difficulties or potential challenges. This will help you with examples when dealing with some of the questions that are asked.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    About 60 graduates were invited to the new Network Rail building in Milton Keynes. We were welcomed very well, and required to do a few assessments. The first was to think about as many solutions as possible to a potential railway problem. Then we had to discuss them in a group and come up with a strategy for solving them. The second half of the day was preparing for and delivering a presentation on one of those issues to one assessor.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 5/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 5/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 5/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 5/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5
  • Project Management

    4.0/5 | Interview date: September 2017 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes

    Sectors: Public Sector

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    I was interviewed by two ladies. Both within the industry, but not specific within the role I was applying for.
    Questions about me and what I've done (great opportunity to fill in some points about how your skills match up to skills relevant/needed for the role)
    Usual competency based questions were included - example of team work, time you demonstrated leadership, How do you manage your time well?
    General questions about role - Why Network Rail, What interests you about the project management scheme, how will you cope with the University course in the first year?

    Interview lasted around 40 minutes.

    Very comfortable interview. The questions didn't try and catch you out - they tried to make you feel comfortable and if you looked stuck on a question/didn't answer question fully, they asked a follow up question to get the points out.

    Most difficult question

    Industry based questions - can't remember them all - I checked after and they were general Project management jobs - such as describing risk management. Put me on the spot as I wasn't expecting that at all.

    Interview tips

    Be prepared. Prepare knowledge of what challenges the company may be facing, on the projects they are currently working on.

    For assessment day - read the finance section of a finance section on an a-level revision website (basic understanding will help you)
    Fell confident during it - it isn't as intense and scary as it may seem, everyone is very friendly. You also get a great lunch at the staff canteen!

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    Assessment centre was based in Warwick.

    It consisted of:
    one to one interview
    group exercise
    presentation exercise


    Presentation exercise - I would recommend brushing up on knowledge of break even/ revenue/ profit/ loss - as you will need to work out lots of data and compare.
    - It is a fun exercise - important to read through all documents first, to ensure you get an overall understanding of all the information (this will make more sense once you're there)

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 4/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 4/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 4/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 4/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 3/5

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