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Frequently Asked Questions

What does our application journey involve? We want to make sure it runs as smoothly as our services and it’s fair for all. So, this is what to expect. These are the different stops along the way.


1. Application

I am having trouble submitting my application – what should I do?

Please check whether the vacancy has closed – if it has, you won’t be able to submit your application. We recommend submitting your application as soon as possible as some roles close early due to high volumes.

If you are having any other issue, please call FirstGroup’s Resourcing Team on 01793 425 669.

I have submitted my application – what now?

Depending on the type of role you have applied for, the next stage will either be an online test/s, which we will invite you to complete, or your application will be shortlisted for its suitability to the role. We will contact you by email with the outcome of your application or online test, whether you are successful or unsuccessful.

I have previously worked for FirstGroup.

If you are submitting a new application, you will be asked if you have worked for a FirstGroup Company in the past (select ‘yes’, when asked).

Can I get feedback on my application?

If your application has been rejected at shortlisting stage, due to the very high number of applications we receive, we are unable to provide candidates with feedback unfortunately.

I submitted my application a while ago and haven’t heard anything?

Apologies for the delay you are experiencing with this. It’s likely that we are waiting to receive an update on your application from the recruiting Manager. You will be updated via email with any developments on your application, regardless of whether it’s been successful or unsuccessful. If you’d like to speak with someone about your outstanding application, call FirstGroup’s Resourcing Team on 01793 425 669.

2. Testing

I have been asked to complete an online assessment – what does this mean?

Our online assessments are different for different roles but require you to meet a minimum standard in order to progress. This might be looking at your customer service, verbal, numeric skills or your ability to concentrate. We recommend you complete the assessment as soon as possible BUT please ensure you are somewhere quiet and have enough time to complete the assessment to the best of your ability. Most tests take about 20 minutes but are untimed.

I have already completed a test for a previous application – do I need to take the test again?

Firstly, please check that the online assessment is the same as the one you’ve already completed. If it is the same assessment, and you’ve already passed it within the last 6 months, you will not need to re-take it. If this is the case, please call FirstGroup’s Resourcing Team on 01793 425 669 and we will adjust your application status accordingly.

I need adjustments to a test as I am unable to complete it due to special circumstance.

If you have a disability or condition that means you will have difficulty with one of our online assessments, please call FirstGroup’s Resourcing Team on 01793 425 669 to discuss this before you start the test.

I was unsuccessful – now what?

We are sorry you have been unsuccessful on this occasion. For most roles, you can apply again in six months or you can look at different types of roles available within the Business.

Are there practice tests available?

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide practice tests.

I am having technical difficulty with my test – what do I do?

Please contact the Technical Support Team - assesssupport@us.ibm.com / 0800 145 6506. If they are unable to deal with your query, please call FirstGroup’s Resourcing Team on 01793 425 669.

3. Assessment / Interview

What should I wear?

For all assessments and interviews, we recommend you dress smartly. If you are taking part in a driving assessment, please ensure you wear suitable shoes for driving.

What should I bring?

For all assessments and interviews, please bring your right to work documents and some photo ID. (If you have a British passport this will be both your ID and your right to work). Employers right to work checklist

For Bus Driver and Tram Driver roles, as well as your right to work documents, please ensure you bring both your current photocard driving licence (the address on your licence must match your current home address) and the download of your Driving Licence Summary from the DVLA website www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence you should download the summary no earlier than 48 hours before your assessment. If you are unable to print the summary, please call the DVLA on 0300 083 0013 for assistance OR take the code you receive with you to the assessment and the depot should be able to print your summary. To obtain your summary you will need your driving licence number, National Insurance number and your home postcode.

Your email correspondence from FirstGroup’s Resourcing Team will confirm any additional documentation you will need to bring to the assessment / interview with you.

I need adjustments to attend an assessment / interview due to special circumstance?

If you have a disability or condition that means you will have difficulty with an assessment / interview, please call FirstGroup’s Resourcing Team on 01793 425 669 to discuss this.

I have been invited to an assessment / interview but can’t see any dates to attend, what should I do?

This means no dates are currently available. For some roles, further dates may be released in the future, so please mark your application as ‘Assessment / Interview Times Unsuitable’ and we will re-invite you if more dates become available. Please note: we cannot always provide more assessment / interview dates and you should endeavour to book a date as soon as invited.

What will happen at my assessment / interview?

If you have applied for a Bus Driver position, your appointment will include a practical driving test, some basic maths and literacy testing, some questions on the highway code and an interview. Tram Driver assessment will also include a practical driving test.

If you have applied for a role in one of our Rail or Tram companies there will be an assessment which is relevant to the role – this could include role play, group exercises or more specific assessments for Train Driver vacancies, such as Group Bourdon or Multi Modal Interviews.

If you are applying for a HQ, Management or Specialist position and are invited to interview you are most likely to attend a competency based interview but specific assessments may be used.

Can I park at the assessment / interview location?

Not all of our locations have parking spaces – please do confirm all your travel arrangements beforehand.

Will you pay for Travel to my assessment / interview?

If you are asked to attend an interview or assessment centre in a location which is different to where the job is based, there is possibility that a travel pass can be issued.

I can’t attend the assessment / interview, what should I do?

If it is very close to the assessment / interview date, please call FirstGroup’s Resourcing Team on 01793 425 669 to let us know you are unable to attend. If it is more than 48 hours before your assessment / interview, please log on to your careers profile and either withdraw your application if you are no longer interested in the role or mark your application as ‘Assessment / Interview Date Unsuitable’. If further dates are released, we will be able to invite you again.

I’ve been unsuccessful – what now?

We are sorry you have been unsuccessful on this occasion. For most roles, you can apply again in 6 months or you can look at different types of role available within the Business.

How do I get feedback from my assessment / interview?

Please email FirstGroup’s Resourcing Team at careers@firstgroup.com or you can call 01793 425 669 to request your feedback, quoting your name and the role you were assessed or interviewed for.

4. Conditional Offer / Formal Offer

I have received my provisional driving licence back for my Trainee Bus Driver application – what happens next?

Please ensure you notify the depot directly that you have now received your licence back. If everything is complete and they are in a position to offer you a formal start date, they will discuss this directly with you. If you are unable to contact the depot, please call FirstGroup’s Resourcing Team on 01793 425 669.

I have not been contacted with a start date (formal offer) – what do I do?

Please call FirstGroup’s Resourcing Team on 01793 425 669, who can look into this for you.

I have been formally offered the role – what do I do now?

You will have received an email, confirming that your application has been successful and providing details of your formal offer of employment. Please follow the instructions in the email.

I am unable to start on the start date offered – can I change this?

Please call FirstGroup’s Resourcing Team on 01793 425 669, who can enquire if an alternative start date can be arranged for you.

I have provided the Onboarding information but I’m still receiving reminder emails?

All the onboarding sections will need to be completed in order for this section to be finalised. To complete this please log into your account, on your profile click on welcome pack and then the role - in the top right of the screen you will see a link to Onboarding. There are 6 screens of information regarding FirstGroup - once you have clicked into each of these areas, the reminders will stop.

5. Referencing, Medicals and DBS Checks

When will you request my references?

Once you have received a formal offer of employment, you will be required to complete some onboarding documents, including providing details of your referees. Once you have completed all of this information we will be able to request your references. For some roles, we do not always receive your references before you start with us. However, your offer of employment will be subject to us receiving two satisfactory references.

I have not heard back following my medical appointment – what do I do?

Please call FirstGroup’s Resourcing Team on 01793 425 669, who can look into this for you.

I have been told I am going through a DBS Check – what is this?

A DBS check is a Disclosure and Barring Service check, in the past this was referred to as a ‘CRB’ Check. The disclosure is an impartial and confidential document that details an individual’s criminal record, and where appropriate, details of those who are banned from working with vulnerable people.

Which Companies within FirstGroup require a DBS Check?

If you have applied for a position with one of our Rail businesses or Bus Driver position where you would drive a registered school route, you are likely to have a DBS Check.

6. Uniform Standards

GWR:

Uniform Standards – Customer Service:

What if I have a tattoo?

GWR uniform policy requires that all tattoos must be covered up and not visible outside the uniform.

Can I cover up my tattoo?

Covering tattoos with make-up, plasters, tights, jewellery or watches is not permitted.

I have a tongue piercing; can I wear this at work?

Small nose and tongue studs are allowed.

If I’m successful in this role how will I have to manage my appearance?

Your appearance is really important to support our GWR brand and reflect our pride in our railway. Here are our basic standards:

Hair

Keep hair clean and neat.

If your hair is longer than shoulder length, please keep it tied back.

Keep hair colours away from extremes such as blue, green, pink, orange, yellow or purple.

Face

Men should either be clean shaven or have a neat and well-groomed beard or moustache.

Keep make-up natural and don’t over apply.

Hands

Keep your hands clean and well-cared for.

Shellac or gel nails are allowed with clear nail varnish. Other colours or nail art aren’t allowed.

Uniform Standards – Train Drivers:

What if I have a tattoo?

GWR uniform policy requires that all tattoos must be covered up and not visible outside the uniform.

Can I cover up my tattoo?

Covering tattoos with make-up, plasters, tights, jewellery or watches is not permitted.

I have a tongue piercing; can I wear this at work?

Small nose and tongue studs are allowed.

If I’m successful in this role how will I have to manage my appearance?

Your appearance is really important to support our GWR brand and reflect our pride in our railway. Here are our basic standards:

Hair

Keep hair clean and neat.

If your hair is longer than shoulder length, please keep it tied back.

Keep hair colours away from extremes such as blue, green, pink, orange, yellow or purple.

Face

Men should either be clean shaven or have a neat and well-groomed beard or moustache.

Keep make-up natural and don’t over apply.

Hands

Keep your hands clean and well-cared for.

Shellac or gel nails are allowed with clear nail varnish. Other colours or nail art aren’t allowed.

7. Training

Bus Driver

How long is my training?

Your training will generally last 3 weeks, after which you will start route learning with a Buddy Driver.

Train Driver

How long is my training?

All new starters will attend an Induction followed by a thorough training programme in one of our academies to start the process of turning you into a Train Driver. You will return to the training academy over a period of 24 months before undertaking a week long assessment to gain your full qualification as a Train Driver.

Tram Driver

How long is my training?

You will undergo 13 weeks of classroom based training, after the first week of training, most of this training will take place after 18:00 hours. You will not be able to take any leave during this period because our training schedule is arranged in advance for each of the 13 weeks. On completion of your 13 weeks training, you will be placed on a New Driver Support for 12 months where you will continue to receive training, monitoring and guidance. During this period an application will be made for you to acquire an NVQ Level 2 in Light Rail

8. Data Protection / Privacy

Can I remove my details from the system if I am no longer interested in applying for roles at FirstGroup?

Please view our Privacy Policy here - http://www.firstgroupplc.com/site-services/privacy.

If you are no longer looking to apply for a vacancy with FirstGroup, you can cancel any job alerts you have set up and FirstGroup will no longer update you with current vacancies.

If you wish to delete your profile with us, please email FirstGroup’s Resourcing Team at careers@firstgroup.com or call us on 01793 425 669.

9. Other

I would like to take part in Work Experience with FirstGroup – what do I do?

Unfortunately, FirstGroup do not currently operate a Work Experience scheme. If you contact the local manager directly they may be able to arrange something for you or provide you with further advice.

I would like to become a Train Driver – how do I apply?

You would need to apply for a Trainee Train Driver position when you see one advertised, if successful you will receive full training to become a Qualified Train Driver. These are VERY popular vacancies and often close early due to high volumes – please apply as soon as possible to avoid disappoint. The Trainee Train Driver application process includes two online assessments, and two half day assessments. There are also minimum health requirements which will be checked via a medical.

There is no specific route into a Train Driver role as there are no specific requirements. We are looking for people who are safety conscious and customer service driven. You will need to be able to follow instructions and remain professional at all times. There will be a long and intensive period of training and this will include training on locating and where possible, rectifying train faults. You do need to be 21 years old in order to be appointed as a Trainee Train Driver. Some people apply for other roles within the railway in order to give them a broader insight into the industry and then they apply for a Trainee Train Driver this way.

I would like to send in my CV for your records and so I can be considered for any appropriate positions.

Unfortunately we don’t accept speculative applications. For all current vacancies within FirstGroup please check our list of live vacancies https://uk.firstgroupcareers.com/home/.

If you wish to apply for a vacancy with us you will be required to complete an online application form, we can only accept online applications. We will then contact you with the outcome of your application by email.

The site also has the facility to request a job alert – create your profile and then go to the alerts section to set these up -and when a vacancy becomes available which you have expressed an interest in you will receive an email to inform you that a vacancy in that job category is open.

How to set up job alerts?

Please create a profile on this site, once registered, the site has the facility to request a job alert. Under the heading ‘My Alerts’ you will then have the option to ‘enable subscriptions’ or click on this link https://uk.firstgroupcareers.com/alertregister/.

When a vacancy becomes available which you have expressed an interest in, you will receive an email to inform you that a vacancy in that job category is open.

Please check our website and your email account periodically to ensure that you are kept up to date with vacancies which are available in First, along with adding our email to your safe contact list, which should prevent emails filtering into junk folders.