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Recruitment FAQ

Here are some common questions and answers if you are interested in applying for a job with South West Trains, or have a query about your submitted job application.

How do I find out about jobs with South West Trains?

All vacancies are advertised here on our website, and we would advise you to check regularly our website for positions in your area.

When a suitable vacancy is available, you can apply online via the link in the specific vacancy listed using our job search. Please note that the application form is not available to download. Should you experience any difficulties you can contact the recruitment team and request an application pack. Managerial and some clerical roles require application by CV and covering letter only – please refer to the specific job description for further information.

Applications received after the closing date may not be processed; therefore, we strongly advise applicants to submit their completed applications as soon as possible. Due to ongoing recruitment for certain roles, candidates who meet our selection criteria are invited to attend our Recruitment & Selection centre in the order in which we receive their applications.

To view any current vacancies please use our job search >>

To find out about different career profiles see here >>  

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Can I send you my CV/details for you to keep on file in case a suitable vacancy arises?

Unfortunately, we are unable to keep candidate CVs or details on file. Please keep an eye on our website for positions in your area.

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Do I need to complete all sections of the application, including convictions/prosecutions history or the health/disability sections, or can I tell you when I attend the assessment or interview?

Please ensure that you complete all parts of the application in full and provide us with all the information requested, at the time of applying. An incomplete form will affect the success of your application. If sections do not apply to you, please state ‘none’ or tick ‘no’. If information is not made available to us until your assessment, interview or after employment, this could result in your application/employment being withdrawn. If you have any questions, or wish to discuss any particular issue further, please contact us. 

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I've omitted some important information from my application form or my details have changed, what do I do?

If you applied online with My Page, you can log into your account and update the necessary fields. Alternatively, please contact us immediately, either by e-mail, telephone or letter, notifying us of the changes. If the changes are to update your work skills, it is important that you notify us or you could be excluded from a position because of not having the right experience. Also, if you should change any of your personal details such as your address or telephone number, it is your responsibility to inform us otherwise you may miss correspondence from us.

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Do you have age limits for any of your vacancies?

South West Trains is an Equal Opportunities employer. Within the train industry there are some age restrictions, which are justifiable on the grounds of safety:

  • All safety critical and revenue protection roles have a minimum age of 18
  • For Train Driver roles you must be between 21 and 58 years of age

For other roles, the following applies:

Train Presentation staff employed within the Customer Service and Engineering functions - minimum age of 18.

Ticket Office roles must be over the age of 18 in locations where there is the possibility of lone working.

We may be able to consider a young person at larger ticket offices so before applying please contact the recruitment department for further information.  

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Do all your vacancies involve shift work? What are typical start and finish times for Customer Service or Operational roles?

The majority of our vacancies involve working shifts and many require employees to work weekends and possibly nights. Please be aware that shifts can start as early as 03:00 for Operational roles, 05:30 for Customer Service roles, or may finish after 01:00.

Due to some shifts starting before the train service, certain posts may require access to personal transport.

Please check the Job Description of the specific vacancy you are interested in for further details, or contact our Recruitment & Selection Centre. 

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Do you have part-time vacancies or Flexible working?

We are committed to encouraging flexible working and have part time opportunities in Customer Service roles, such as Station Assistant and Ticket Office. We are particularly interested in candidates who can work early or late shifts. The early shift start time is approximately 06:00 through to 10:00, and the late shift from approximately 16:00 onwards to finish no later than 22:00. Please check the Job Description of the vacancy you are interested in for further details, or contact our Recruitment & Selection Centre.

All successful applicants will be required to attend training courses relevant to their role, and must be prepared to travel for some of these courses. If you are considering applying for a Customer Service role on a part time basis, please be aware that the training period (approximately 4 - 6 weeks for most Customer Service positions) is carried out on a full time basis, which you would need to be able to commit to without exception.

Please be aware that due to the operational needs of South West Trains, we are unable to offer part-time posts as Train Drivers, Guards or Commercial Guards.  

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What happens to my application once I've sent it to you? How long does the recruitment process take?

Stage 1

Once you have completed your initial application form and returned it to the recruitment office, we will select candidates who meet the selection criteria and those who are successful will be invited to attend an assessment.

Stage 2

For all positions, candidates are required to sit aptitude tests. These tests help us decide if someone has the potential to learn the skills required to do the job, and provide a fair and objective assessment of candidates’ abilities.

Stage 3

On successful completion of the assessment, you will then have an interview with the appropriate line manager.

Stage 4

If you are successful at interview, you will be required to attend a full medical and drugs screening. All candidates are also asked to obtain a convictions and prosecutions notice.*

Stage 5

Once we have received satisfactory results from the medical and drugs screening and the prosecutions notice has been received, you will then be contacted again with details of your induction date and contract of employment.

* History of convictions will not automatically exclude candidates from being interviewed or selected for employment.

Please note: The duration of the selection procedure can be between six to eight weeks but this may vary. 

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