Application Process: Hints and Tips

Our recruitment process is designed to bring out the best in you.

Throughout the process, you will have the opportunity to showcase yourself and your strengths whilst giving you the opportunity to learn more about the role you are applying for and also about EMR. We have put together these handy Hints and Tips to help you along the recruitment process.

Our online application is simple and easy to navigate. It should take you no more than 15 to 20 minutes to complete in one sitting. We advise that you give yourself enough time to be able to complete and submit the application before 23:59 on the closing day. Ensure that you provide as much information as you can on your application, as this will help us when we are reviewing and scoring. Most importantly, do not forget to attach an up to date CV with all your personal information removed as we operate a blind screening policy.

Once we have shortlisted applications, we will send you an email to inform you of the outcome. Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications we receive, at this stage, we are unable to give you any feedback.

If your application is successfully shortlisted, you may be invited to sit psychometric testing. These may be online tests, or we may invite you into one of our testing sessions.

If you have applied for a managerial role, you will be invited to sit an occupational personality assessment, numerical and verbal reasoning tests. You can find out more about these tests and practice here.

For customer facing roles, you will be invited to a testing session where you will be required to sit an online Safe Concentration and Attention Test (SCAAT) and/ A Safety Awareness Test (SAT). You can find out more about these tests here.

If you have applied for a Trainee Driver role, you will be invited to sit Train Driver testing, administered by the Occupational Psychology Centre (OPC). Practise materials will be sent to you at least 7 days prior to the testing session. You can find out more about these tests here.

For some of our Fleet roles you could be asked to sit verbal reasoning and SCAAT.

For some of our roles, you may be invited to sit a video interview. This allows us to get to know you a little better and it’s your opportunity to tell us what you know about the company and the role you have applied for in a short amount of time. You may also be asked a competency-based question or two. You can complete your video interview in the comfort of your own home; just make sure you find a quiet space with no distractions, dress as though you were attending an actual interview and use the time wisely. You can practice video interviews here.

We will email you the outcome of your video interview and invite you to the next stage if you have been successful.

Our Assessment Days are designed to allow us to assess your behaviour and skills in group and individual tasks. The group tasks you will be asked to do may seem random, however they are designed to assess your ability to work as part of a team. Team work at East Midlands Railway is absolutely essential in all roles. It shows us how well you communicate, listen, share your ideas and respond to other people’s views.

The assessment day is also a great opportunity for you to learn more about EMR and to find out what it’s like to work for the company from current colleagues from around the business, allowing you to decide whether the role and company is right for you.

Top Tips for Assessment days:

  • It is an opportunity to demonstrate your skills
  • Get involved
  • Keep an open mind
  • Show positivity and enthusiasm
  • Keep to the brief of the tasks
  • Be yourself

General hints and tips for the day:

Things to DO!

  • Listen
    The day will be busy and you will meet a lot of new faces, which is fun but can also be distracting at times when you are being given important information by the assessors. Make sure you pay attention to the instructions and advice being given. Asking questions about something that has just been explained shows a lack of attention and listening skills.
  • Smart
    At East Midlands Railway we have a high uniform standard that we expect our candidates to be aware of when applying. We therefore expect candidates to present themselves in a smart and professional way that demonstrates an awareness of this.
  • Preparation
    We want candidates to relax and enjoy the assessment day, however we also expect candidates to take time to do their research on the company, understand the role they have applied for and have some examples of work based scenarios to discuss should they be progressed to interview stage. Your preparation is key and will help you stay calm and relaxed without feeling like you're being put on the spot.
  • Skills
    Think about the role you have applied for and the specific skills relating to it, this is what the assessors are going to want to see. How are you going to demonstrate these? Always keep these skills in mind throughout the day so that you don't get lost in the task at hand and forget to apply them.
  • Be yourself
    It is really important the managers get to see your personality on the day. You'll be surprised at how far just being yourself and enjoying the experience will get you. The managers will be looking for people that can demonstrate the skills for the role, but also people that our customers will like and warm to. That comes from within so don't be afraid to let the managers see your light hearted side too. This leaves that lasting impression.

Things to AVOID!

  • Guessing
    If you don't know the answer to something, give it your best but don't wild guess!
  • Not being yourself
    Avoid trying to behave in a particular way - don't assume you know what the assessors are looking for.
  • Negativity
    Avoid being negative about the process and exercises you will be taking part in. If you are in a situation where you have not progressed to the next stage, your response to the feedback demonstrates a lot to the assessors about your character and willingness to learn.

We will contact you by email if you have been successful at this stage and if you are not, we will be able to provide you with some feedback on how you can improve for next time.

Our competency based interviews are designed to assess your past behaviours to allow us to compare how they align to the EMR behaviours and values. You’ll be asked a set of behavioural based questions and we will require you to give us specific examples from past employment or education.

To ensure that you provide us with a detailed response that fully answers the question, we would advise that you use the STAR technique to structure your responses:

S: Situation – Describe the situation YOU were in

T: Tasks – What tasks did YOU identify that were necessary to be done?

A: Action – What action did YOU take? How and Why?

R: Result – What was the outcome?

Remember, the competency based interview is all about showcasing what you can bring to EMR, so make sure you demonstrate your personal involvement in each scenario so that the assessors are not left guessing. We can only score the information that you give us on the day, so make good use of the time provided during the interview.

For most of our roles, this is the last stage in the recruitment process. If you are successful, we will call you to make you an offer for the role or send you an email to confirm what the next stage in the process is. If you are unsuccessful, we will email you to let you know and you will have the opportunity to request feedback, which you will receive in the form of a call from someone from the interview panel.

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