TfL implements transport strategy, manages services and is responsible for most aspects of the transport system in Greater London; busses, Santander bicycles, Trams, Underground. There are a variety of roles within Transport for London ranging from admin positions to engineering. Securing employment or a place on one of their graduate programmes is competitive and candidates should be prepared to complete a variety of tests and assessments during the selection procedure. Once an online application form has been completed, candidates are required to undertake online psychometric tests, which typically include numerical, verbal and inductive reasoning depending on the graduate scheme. This is typical of graduate level positions, although further tests may be required for higher level roles. Candidates are informed in advance as to which tests they will be required to take.
TfL use bespoke SHL aptitude tests throughout their selection process, as a means of screening out candidates who lack the abilities necessary for a career in this area. This ensures that only candidates with the necessary abilities progress to the next stages of recruitment.
The TfL Process
The TfL selection process is made of four stages:
- Application: Applications are made online and require candidates to provide their contact details, education and work experience. Candidates are also instructed to answer a number of competency based questions as part of their application and are advised to take careful consideration when choosing a graduate scheme to apply for, as they will only be able to apply for one a year.
- Online Ability Testing: The next stage of the selection process is online assessment, in which candidates will be required to complete an online numerical reasoning tests followed by either an inductive or verbal reasoning test. The online tests have been written in workplace context by SHL (now part of CEB) and will be relevant to the area of graduate scheme applied for. Upon receiving an email invitation to take the online tests, candidates will have five days in order to complete and submit them. The reasoning tests will be timed, so practice tests are recommended.
- Telephone Interview: Successful candidates will then complete a telephone interview, comprised of knowledge-based and competency-based questions similar to those answered at the application stage, although they will now include technical or specialist questions relevant to the scheme applied for. A second telephone interview will be a requirement for those applying for the finance and management schemes.
- Assessment Centre: The final stage is attendance at an assessment centre, which will include a presentation, group exercise, an interview and a written exercise; although these can differ depending on job role. The interview will be competency-based and is likely to be administered by business managers from the candidates chosen area. Successful applicants at stage 4 will be offered a place on one of the graduate schemes with TfL.
*Some positions will also require candidates to complete a situational judgement test at the “Online Ability Testing” stage.
TfL Numerical Test
In these tests, numerical data is provided to a candidate, usually in the form of graphs, tables, statistics and financial data. To answer these questions, candidates must analyse this data and make a logical conclusion from it, allowing them to select the correct answer. Typical numerical skills which are tested include addition/subtraction, multiplication/division, ratios, fractions and percentages.
TfL Inductive Test
Inductive reasoning tests are one type of psychometric test frequently used in selecting applicants for job roles such as engineering and IT. You have to think logically and methodically against the clock to spot patterns in the sequence of graphics. Usually, the best way to approach inductive reasoning tests is to spot a pattern in the first two or three figures and quickly test out your theory by checking if this fits with the next figures.
TfL Verbal Test
In these tests, candidates are provided with a passage of written information and asked to analyse and draw logical inferences from that written information. The questions will be multiple choice with the answer options being: true; false; cannot say. The key here is to answer the questions based on purely the information contained within the passage (ignore any prior knowledge you may have). Think literally and go only on what you have been told in the passage.
TfL Situational Judgement Test
Situational judgement tests (SJT) describe fictional scenarios and provide a selection of potential actions. Throughout different sections of the test, candidates are instructed either to select the course of action they are most or least likely to adopt, the most or least effective option, to rank the options in order of effectiveness and to rate responses in terms of effectiveness and counter-productivity.