train driver telephone interview

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Got a Train Driver Telephone Interview in the next the couple of days, and wants to be successful? Then the 10 Steps below is the ultimate guide for you!

Whether you have or not, you are likely to get this kind of interview in your career. Telephone interview is common in the financial sector. Railway companies like MTR Cross Rail, Scot Rail and First Group are using it now. And others will follow suit.  In this article I present you practical steps to succeeding  at your next telephone interview, whether it’s announced or unannounced.


Announced Telephone interview is when you get a phone call, an email or a letter informing you the time and date of your interview. Fundamentally, you get notified with a specific time range and date on which the phone interview will take place.


Unannounced Telephone interview is when they call you out of the blue – without any prior notice.

I accidentally discovered this strategy in 2002 just after completing my A-levels and had applied for a trainee CIMA post with Lehman Brothers. My application was successful so they gave me a telephone interview out of the bloom. To cut a long story short, I passed the telephone interview and was invited for the next level of the selection process.

So what were the things I did to pass this telephone interview, given that it was announced?

In fact when they called I was in my friends’ vehicle.

They asked if it was ok to have the interview. I was upfront with them. I told them I was on in the car and that there might be noise at background and so they may be times they may not hear me properly. However, I am willing to go ahead with the interview.

By doing this I demonstrated to them the ability to deal with the unexpected.  And also mentioning to them where I was also meant I am an open, honest and assertive – some of the skills essential to the job.


Strategies for dealing with announced train driver telephone interview


  1. Research the train operating company (TOC).

When researching a train company, you need to read their aims and objectives. What are their goals, vision and mission statements? What is that make this company distinct? A good place to such information is to go to the about us page of the train company.

Take note of what they are proposing to achieve and what they have done. Another important information is the owners of the train operating companies, number of employees and the good testimonials of their passengers.

Read any message from their CEO, Directors, and Driving Department. Check them on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Most of them are on LinkedIn.

Also look for their safety, drug and alcohol policy. Learn about their transport network.


  1. Research the role.

Most applicants take this point for granted. Yes, you may have read the job description in advertisement. But they may not be detailed in enough. So do a detailed research of the role. A typical question to ask at this stage is “what are the role and responsibilities of a train driver?” and how it affects the vision of the train operating company.


  1. Predict the telephone interview questions

This part is part of the preparatory process very essential. You see to do well in a meeting, debate or interview you have to prepare. Preparing and regurgitating over your own stuff is only 50%. You’ll also need to anticipate the questions, objections and ponder on their wants.

Your own stuff will be your work and education history, personal experiences and competencies. Looking at the train driver job advert, I can quickly predict them asking why do you want to become a train driver on the phone. Or tell me a time you have to follow rules and procedures.

Their objections may be why should we employ you, what is so special about?

And O, their wants!

What do they want? Train Companies has got a bag of shopping list they are looking for when it comes to employing train drivers?

Figure it out and give it to them. Some of the things they want are the ability to communicate, follow procedures, and remain calm and customer service skills.


  1. Rehearse your answers before the actual interview

Use the STAR acronym to answer the questions you predict.

S – Is for Situation. What was the problem?

T – Is for Task. So you’ve identified the problem. What were you suppose to do.

A – Is for action. Though you knew what you were supposed to do. What did you actually do?

R – Is for Results. What was the outcome of your actions? Was it positive? Always tell a positive story to your prospective employer when it come to an interview.


  1. Asking questions to show your motivation

Prepare for questions to ask. While this area is not compulsory, it demonstrates enthusiasm. It can be a normal question like: when will I get the results of this interview?

You can ask them to explain their selection process if you are not clear in any part.


  1. Get a copy of your Application Form and CV

Many online applications let you print your application or save it in a pdf form. Take advantage of this feature and grab a copy of your application.

Also get a copy of the CV you attached. This will help you to answer questions like ‘tell me about your self? ’.

The interviewer might want to ask you factual questions based on your application to confirm you’re the right person on the phone.  Not your agent. A typical question will be ‘when did you finish college and what were your results?’

Mind you, this is not a point scoring for academic achievements or any achievements per se. They are just using it to confirm if they are speaking to the right person.


  1. On the day of train driver telephone interview

Make sure you are in a quiet and distraction free room; with your application form and CV. The environment you choose is necessary so take time to decide and prepare before hand. Go to the meeting room 15 minutes early to make sure every thing is OK.

As you are early in the meeting room, you can relax, hydrate or visit the lavatory before the interview starts.


  1. Speak on your feet.

Train Driver Telephone Interview unlike conventional interview, you have the advantage to do anything the interviewer can not see. So stand on your feet and speak. You are more effective when you stand and speak than sitting and speaking. You can project a relatively convincing voice and pitch on the phone

when standing.


  1. Smile in the context while you speak.

Almost all the examples you may give have to have a pleasant tone. However there may be a question where you have to answer in a serious tone. Such a question is likely to be a time where you have to deal with a difficult situation. Your tone should reflect the situation at the time was difficult.


  1. Thank them for the telephone interview and give your last pitch.

Most applicants hardly remember to thank interviewers. Let alone, leave a last pitch. Your last pitch should demonstrate your enthusiasm, motivations and willingness to learn and pass all training and tests to become a train driver or whatever the job is. And so they (interviewer) should put you through and you will not disappoint them.



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