Application process

In order to secure a position on one of our graduate and student placement schemes you will need to be successful at all of the below stages. We have provided you with some tips and advice to help you with your application.

Stage 1.

Application form & situational strengths test

We only accept one application per role, per year, so it's vital that you think carefully about all the options you're eligible for before submitting your application.

The application process starts with a short application form where you'll be asked:

  • Personal information (name, email address, contact number, etc)
  • Details about your education
  • Eligibility questions
  • To submit a copy of your CV

Following your application form, you'll be invited to complete a situational strengths test. This test is based on a series of typical scenarios you might encounter on your graduate scheme or student placement. You need to think about the scenarios and what you might do in those situations before selecting your answer from a list of options. The questions are designed to show us how you would respond to certain situations and gives us a good idea about whether you'd enjoy working with us, and if you have the overall strengths to be successful here.


  • Consider all schemes you are eligible to apply for before submitting your application
  • Respond to the situational strengths test honestly - we're interested in what you would do, not what you think the correct answer is
  • The situational strengths test isn't a knowledge test - the scenarios give you an insight into the kinds of situations you may encounter, you don't need to have worked here to answer them
  • Select your answer based on the information provided - the test isn't timed so you can work at your own pace

Stage 2.

Online ability testing

You'll be asked to complete an online numerical reasoning test. This test measures your ability to make correct decisions or inferences from numerical or statistical data. We want to see if you can work with numerical data in a realistic workplace environment.

If you're applying for one of our engineering schemes, you'll also be asked to complete an online inductive reasoning test. This test measures your ability to draw inferences, and your ability to understand the relationships between various concepts, regardless of your overall general knowledge.

Please note: we may ask you to complete further tests at later stages in the selection process to ensure validity of your online test results


  • Before you start, familiarise yourself with the test by completing some practice questions
  • Doing the practice test on the SHL website¬†should help you to relax and perform better during the real thing
  • Do the actual test in a quiet room - the test will be timed and you only have one chance to complete it. Don't let distractions cost you time
  • You'll have five days to complete the tests but once you've started, you'll need to finish them within the time given

Stage 3.

Video interview

The video interview gives you the opportunity to show your passion and enthusiasm for wanting to join us on your scheme of choice. It gives us the chance to find out more about you, your skills, and your behaviours.

Don't worry if you've never completed a video interview before, you'll receive full instructions and further support is available. Our video interview consists of five questions, for each one you will be given a small amount of time to prepare your answer and then a set time to answer it - you'll only get one chance to answer each question.


  • Make sure you're in a quiet environment where you won't be disturbed - you only get one chance to answer each question  
  • Clothes-wise, think businesslike - dress to impress
  • Test your that your internet connection works, your camera is on and your microphone can pick up your voice clearly - you don't want any last minute surprises
  • Complete the practice questions available on the video interview platform - you can practice as much as you like before you're ready to begin
  • Remember, be confident and don't be afraid to show your passion and enthusiasm for the scheme you're applying for

Stage 4.

Assessment centre

The final stage of our selection process is held in London, where we will assess you in various different exercises. Just be yourself and show us what you're made of. Your assessment centre will include the following activities:

Group exercise

You'll read through a brief individually, before being asked to discuss the question(s) posed, and try to find a solution as a group. You'll need to make a quality contribution to the discussion, communicating clearly and working collaboratively.

Written exercise

You'll be asked to complete a written activity which relates to the scheme you have applied for. Make sure you leave time to proofread your write-up because we look for attention to detail as well as your writing skills. 

Presentation exercise

One week before the assessment day you'll be sent a technical question that you'll need to do a presentation on. The presentation will be specific to the scheme you're applying for, and will allow us to assess your technical knowledge. We'll  also be assessing how you structure your presentation and your delivery style.  

Competency/strengths-based interview

We use this interview to explore the key competencies and technical skills we need, and your experience and understanding of them. You will be asked a variety of questions: for some you'll need to provide specific examples from your experiences, and for others we'll ask you to think about what you'd do in certain hypothetical situations. Your specific examples can be from past work and/or university experiences, or outside interests.

Psychometric ability test

You may be required to sit a test to verify your online test scores. This is done at random across all of our assessment centres.


  • Prepare by re-reading the information about the role and think about the skills you will need to demonstrate for the role
  • Think about why TfL and the scheme you've applied for interests you and what makes you the best person for the job
  • Contribute to the group discussion - this will add value throughout the exercise
  • Keep practicing your presentation until you feel comfortable and confident
  • Structure your answers using the STAR method during your interview
    Situation (describe the situation background)
    Task (specifically describe your responsibility)
    Action (describe what you did and how you went about it about it?)
    Results (describe the outcome of your actions?)
  • Use experiences from university, outside interests and hobbies, work, or anything else to talk about during your interview

Stage 5.


We aim to give verbal offers as soon as possible after the assessment centre.

Once you accept the offer your contract and paperwork will be sent out within two weeks, we then ask that you sign and return it within ten days of receiving them.

We know that you might be interested in a variety of available graduate schemes and applications to other schemes will in no way prejudice your application for a place on our graduate programme. However, we ask that if you decide to accept an offer of a position with us or another organisation, that you tell all the other potential interested parties as soon as possible.


If you accept our offer, we'll make sure that everything is done to make joining us as smooth an experience as possible. We'll only request references once you've accepted our offer.

You'll have the opportunity to join the private Facebook group for the 2017 intake so you can start meeting and talking to colleagues who are starting at the same time. This is a great way to start building your network and interacting with members of the TfL team.

We may invite you to an 'insight day' before you start. This gives you an opportunity to meet some of your colleagues, and get a better understanding of the business. You'll spend your first five days on an intensive induction programme, before you move to your first placement.

If you're doing an operational placement, we'll arrange occupational health appointments as part of your pre-induction.



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