In our previous blog we provided you with some essential tips on how to complete the train driver application form. While our previous blog laid out some top tips and guidelines to follow, in this blog we’ll be focusing on the MOST IMPORTANT part of the train driver application form – the question and answer section. Keep reading for some real sample responses, to the type of questions you’ll encounter in the application form.
The Train Driver Application Example Questions
This an essential element of the application form. While the other parts of the form are of course important, it is this section of the form that will be scrutinised in the most detail. The assessors want to know about who you are, and what makes you the right fit for their company.
When answering this section, it’s incredibly important that you don’t just ‘say the right things.’ The bottom line is this: working as a train driver is not for everyone. The application form isn’t just for the benefit of the assessors, but for the benefit of you too. You need to ensure that you mean what you say – so be honest, but sensible. If you aren’t the right fit for a job as train driver then the TOC won’t employee you. Train drivers need to be sensible, responsible and able to adhere to safety expectations at all times. If you are someone who takes lots of risks, gets bored easily, or doesn’t care about customer service, then this is not the right role for you.
In the next section, we’ve laid out a number of train driver application example questions, along with sample responses to each question. Please note that these are to be used as a guide only. It is important that you answer the questions on your application form based on your own experiences and knowledge, and not based on our responses to the train driver application example template laid out.
Train Driver Application Example Question 1
Q. Now that you’ve read more about the job, please tell us why you’re applying for it and what knowledge, experience or skills you have that might be relevant.
The clue in this type of question is to READ about the job you are applying for. The question is asking you to match your knowledge, experience and skills with the job you have applied for. Therefore you need to read the job description before responding. Job descriptions or person specifications usually have both ‘essential’ and ‘desirable’ criteria included. Basically you must provide evidence of where you can meet the ‘essential’ criteria on your application form. Desirable criteria will gain you extra marks but they are not essential.
If the TOC have not sent you a copy of the job description then try to obtain a copy of it before completing the form. This will give you an insight into the role that you are applying for. Once you have read the information about the post you will then be able to construct a suitable answer. Try to include any knowledge, skills or experience you may have that relates to the job description. If you have experience or knowledge in health and safety, working in pressurised situations or working in a customer-based environment then you may wish to include these also.
The Trainee Train Driver position is one that requires your 100% attention at all times, and an ability to learn new skills quickly and accurately. Again, if you have experience of working in these conditions then say so. Now take a look at the following sample response before constructing your own, based on your own skills, knowledge and experience.
I am applying for this post because I am looking for a new and challenging role. I enjoy working in a customer-focused environment and believe I would make an excellent Train Driver for your company. I am also prepared to relocate to live within 30 minutes of the depot. I understand that the company is changing and moving forward and I believe you would be an exciting company to work for. I also believe I can bring something to the team in terms of commitment, motivation and enthusiasm.
I have worked in a customer-based role for a number of years now and during this time I have developed skills that can be applied to the role of a Trainee Train Driver. As well as being a good communicator and possessing excellent practical skills I am also highly safety conscious and understand that this is a very important element of the role. In addition to my 12 years’ experience in a customer-focused role I worked for 4 years with the Royal Navy. I am therefore a highly disciplined person and a very good team player. I have educational qualifications in English Language, English Literature and Art and I am also coming to the end of studying for a Diploma in Management Studies. I also hold a Health and Safety qualification through IODA in Nottingham. I am a fit and active person who visits the gym/swimming pool three times a week and I also play football for a local Sunday team. I am a very good communicator and learn new skills quickly. I am used to working long and varied hours and I understand that the role requires a high level of flexibility, which I am prepared for.
I enjoy working with, and meeting people from all walks of life and I truly value the benefits of a diverse workforce. To summarise, I am a highly professional, caring, trustworthy, friendly and motivated person and I believe I would make an excellent member of the Train Operating Company team.
Train Driver Application Example Question 2
Q. Please tell us about anything you get up to outside work that gives us a better idea of what you’re like as a person and why you might be right for our company.
This type of question is designed to assess the type of person you are outside of work. This will give the company an idea of how you are likely to perform at work and will tell them if you are fit, healthy and active. When responding to this type of question, make sure you make reference to the job description. What type of duties will you be required to perform and can you match your external activities to them? Being fit and active is always a positive aspect that the recruitment staff will be looking for. If you are active outside of work, then you are also likely to be active at work and achieve your tasks to the required standard. If you have recently achieved any educational or academic qualifications outside of work then it would be a good idea to make reference to these too.
Now take a look at the sample response before creating your own based around your own skills, knowledge and experience.
I attend the gym at least 3 times per week and carry out some light weight work. Whilst at the gym, I usually perform 20 minutes of rowing each time and cover a distance of 5,000 metres. I particularly enjoy swimming and swim 50 lengths, 3 times per week. When I get the opportunity, I like to go walking, too, in order to keep healthy. Staying fit and healthy means that I am able to maintain a high level of concentration at work and it also helps to keep my enthusiasm and motivation levels high. This shows that I am a dedicated and determined person who is always looking to improve himself.
MUSICIAN – I currently play the drums and piano. I have always enjoyed being creative and I play the drums in a function band that plays at wedding events and parties on some weekends. This shows that I have the dedication to learn new skills and I have the ability to concentrate on the task in hand when required. Learning new skills is essential to the role of a Trainee Train Driver and I believe that I have the ability to learn new skills quickly and adapt them to the work environment in a safe and effective manner.
Train Driver Application Example Question 3
As the role you’ve applied for means that you’ll be dealing with the safety of our customers and the delivery of our operation, we would like to hear examples of how you have used your initiative to solve a difficult problem.
Having the initiative to solve problems is integral to the Train Driver’s role. On many occasions you will be on your own for many hours and you will have many responsibilities. Whilst you will have set procedures and guidelines to adhere to, you must still have the required initiative to solve difficult problems. Before responding to questions of this nature, make sure you READ the question first and try to understand what is required. Remember to write a response that identifies the use of your initiative to solve a difficult problem.
During a recent staff meeting I was aware that there were a number of problems between some members of the team. The team wasn’t working effectively so we all discussed ways in which we could improve. The actions of the team were starting to have an effect on the team’s performance, so I decided to take the initiative to resolve the issue. I facilitated the meeting and asked everybody to share their views and opinions. I listened to each person individually and tried to encourage people to come up with solutions in order to improve the team’s effectiveness. A positive point that came from our discussions was that people felt that we didn’t hold enough meetings to talk about the problems we all face. It was agreed that with immediate effect we would hold weekly meetings to discuss issues, gather and share information, and look for ways that we could all support each other in our work. Since the meeting the team has moved forward and is now working far more effectively.