Daniel Clifford is a civil engineering apprentice at Transport for London. This is the third in a series of behind-the-scenes diaries of his apprenticeship to find out what it's really like to be a TfL apprentice
How long did you wait between your first application and hearing from TFL? “From sending my application to first hearing back from TfL, took about 2 weeks.”
How did you hear from TFL? Was it by email, or by phone, or by letter? “They sent me an e-mail letting me know that the first part of my application was successful and I was invited to take some written tests at the training centre in Acton.”
What was your first reaction when you heard the good news that you were through to the next stage? Did you jump up and down and scream?!
“I was delighted by the news and impressed that TfL had responded so quickly as I was sure that there would be thousands of applications. This gave me confidence in myself that I was on the right track.”
How did you prepare for the assessment centre? Did you consider what sort of questions might be asked, and how you might answer them? “I was told in the e-mail what kind of test I would be taking, so in preparation I researched some similar tests online and practiced several times so I knew I would have a good idea of what to expect on the day and how to approach it.”
What was the assessment like? Were you assessed as a group? How did you feel? What kind of questions did they ask? "When I arrived there I was assessed with a group of people in the same room. The assessment itself was an individual test paper covering mechanical comprehension, numerical computation and technical understanding. The questions were challenging with the added pressure of being on the clock, however it is important to remain calm, take the questions one at a time and answer sensibly, without paying attention to others around you and how they are doing. You should only focus on yourself."
Are there bits of the assessment you feel you did especially well?
"I felt the numerical computation and technical understanding went particularly well as I understood every question and answered with ease, without any second guessing or doubts."
What did you wear to the assessment centre? Did you choose special ‘interview’ clothes? "On the day I was unsure about what would be appropriate wear, so I dressed in smart casual, wearing jeans, shoes and a shirt."