Application process and advice for our Graduate scheme and undergraduate year in industry and summer placements.

Making an application

We strongly recommend that you read the below information on the various steps of the process before starting your application, to give yourself the best chance of succeeding.

Our online Match-me quiz is designed to show you what it’s like at Network Rail, and based on your answers, give you an indication as to whether you’re likely to be a good match for one of our roles.

You’ll need to register to do it but it’s not part of your application and you don’t have to go on to apply if you don’t want to.  You can also skip straight to the application form if you don’t want to do this.

Our application form is quick and easy. There are no complicated questions, we just want to collect the information we need and see that you meet the minimum criteria.

As long as you meet the minimum criteria, you’ll be asked to take our online test. It’s a situational judgement test (SJT) and it works by giving you some scenarios you might come across when working at Network Rail. You’ll be asked to choose what you think are the most effective responses from multiple-choice options. It helps us assess you against our pre-defined criteria. The test isn’t timed so you can take as long as you like to do it, but it must be completed in one sitting, there isn’t an option to save and return to it.

Here are our top tips:

  • Before you start, we’d recommend that you familiarise yourself with Network Rail, our purpose and the type of work we do.
  • Take time to read each scenario and the response options fully before choosing
  • Don’t think about the scenarios for too long, it’s usually most effective to read the scenario and go with your first reaction so you’re giving your natural response.

If you meet our minimum entry requirements and meet the SJT level for the programme you’re applying to, the next stage is our psychometric game.

Instead of using the more traditional psychometric tests we find we get more authentic information about you from using a different format. We’re essentially looking to get a view of your numerical, logical and verbal ability. You’ll work your way through different scenarios and it should take around 20-30 minutes to complete. There will be a practice game at the start so you can take your time and familiarise yourself with how it all works before completing the real thing. You’ll need to download an app to your smartphone or tablet for this.

If you’re successful in the psychometric game, the next stage is a video interview.

You’ll be asked to record your responses to questions which are designed to help us find out a bit more about you, what you’re interested in, what motivates you and how you go about things. We’re looking for people who align with our values and have the potential to succeed with Network Rail.

Here are our top tips:

  • Before you start, a few things to think about: why you’ve decided to apply to Network Rail and why you think you’d be a good fit; what you’re good at and what energises you; your experiences – so that you’ve got some examples to draw on – these can be from any context, for example -social, academic, sport, work, family life.
  • Practise beforehand and make use of the practise questions
  • Check your tech works ok for audio and video
  • Try to make sure you won’t be disturbed
  • Try to give specific examples as this is a better way to show what you can do, rather than a general response.
  • Stay focused; it’s fine to take a little time to consider your answers just as you would during a face to face interview but be mindful that there’s a set amount of time for each question.


The final stage in the process is the assessment centre. We might invite you to a virtual assessment centre or invite you to one of our offices. The number of candidates we invite to assessment centre is based on the number of places we have to fill so will change during recruitment period.

You'll be asked to take part in different assessment exercises and an interview. We’ll give you more information about it nearer the time so you know what to expect. It’s a chance for you to meet some of our leaders and current graduates, to ask us questions and see whether a career at Network Rail is right for you.

We want everyone who has an assessment centre with us to have a great experience – you’re being assessed and we know that can be stressful so we do our best to support you throughout so you can concentrate on doing your best.

Here are our top tips:

  • Do your research! Make sure you’ve got a good idea of what Network Rail is all about. Make sure you understand the requirements of the programme you’ve applied for.
  • We’re going to be looking at things like: how you approach challenges; how you deal with change; how you collaborate with others; how you build relationships; how you make decisions, how you get things done and how you use data. So have a think about these things in advance and think about examples that show the things you want us to know about you.
  • We’re looking to get to know you in a short space of time; think about what it is that motivates, enthuses and inspires you so that this comes through on the day.

We want everyone who applies to have the best opportunity to succeed and we’re committed to making our recruitment as accessible as we can.

We’re happy to consider reasonable adjustments for any stage of the process. If we haven’t been in touch already, please contact us before you start any of the assessments.

We understand that the support needed might change as you progress through the stages depending on the activities involved at each stage so it’s fine if you need to ask us to revisit the support, but it’s important to let us know before you start an activity so we can put things in place at the right time.

Your questions answered

The requirements:

There is no age restriction.

We are committed to inclusion and welcome applications from disabled people. Some jobs have certain physical requirements, for example to go trackside unaided or to distinguish between colour coded wiring/computer generated images. As part of the recruitment process, successful candidates applying for roles with these types of requirements will need to undergo a medical assessment in order to determine whether they will be able to carry out these elements of the role safely.

Where issues are identified, we are committed to making adjustments to the work environment to help overcome barriers whenever it is reasonable and practicable to do so.

UK Visas and Immigration require Network Rail to demonstrate that no resident workers meet the requirements of graduate roles before an applicant may be sponsored in some circumstances. We make this assessment in line with the requirements published by UK Visas and Immigration. Our schemes usually attract a sufficient number of suitable resident workers and, if so, we are unable to offer sponsorship for our graduate scheme positions if such a requirement applies.

If you do not have the right to live and work in the UK for the duration of this role, please explain within the application the basis upon which you believe you will be able to acquire this by the commencement date.

The Role:

Your starting salary will be £26,500.

You'll also enjoy:

  • A welcome bonus of £2,000
  • 28 days' annual holiday, excluding public holidays
  • An interest-free season ticket loan
  • 75% discount on season tickets up to a maximum of £3,000

You'll need to be available to join us at the beginning of September 2021 to take part in our common induction.

When you join us you'll receive a £2,000 welcome bonus, which you can use to help you relocate if necessary. We do not offer any extra relocation expenses.

We can only accept one application for each intake, so if you've already applied for 2021 and been unsuccessful we can’t accept another application from you.

If I have further questions , who can I speak to ?

You can ask us any questions your like through our dedicated early careers inbox, please contact or give us a call on  01635 584137