the trainline.com Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
Agile Developer Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied through a staffing agency and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at the trainline.com.
Interview Details – I got introduced to thetrainline.com through a recruiter. After reviewing my CV they wanted to know more through email about my experience with Agile. I answered with 5/6 lines replies to each of their 4 questions and they came back with more questions about agile and so this time I replied with 30/40 lines per question.
Next I got scheduled for a first phone interview where I was asked a few technical questions (not too difficult) and again I was requested to explain how I work in an agile way in my current company (all over again with the same questions I had already replied in detail on my email).
After this step I got assigned some code to comment on and improve with unit tests, etc... I completed the excercise the same day and posted to their shared repository. Nothing too difficult, there were clear design issues with the implementation.
A few days later I was notified by the recruiter that they didn't like my solution so they would not proceed further. I was a bit surprised, I asked for more details from thetrainline.com but were offered none.
In the emails that we exchanged (through the recruiter) they managed to misspell both my first name and my surname, which I've found a bit careless on their side.
Interview Question – I didn't get to the face to face interview. The phone screening questions were fairly standard about OO, database, data structures. Answer Question
Management Accountant Interview (Negative Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3+ weeks - interviewed at the trainline.com in November 2013.
Interview Details – Initial communication was good after applying - 2 or 3 days after submitting application I was offered a telephone interview, and after a few emails back and forth this was arranged at a mutually convenient time. The interview was conducted by the Line Manager for the role who had only a few questions and they were basic - why do you want this role, tell me about your experience / current role, why do you want to leave current role, all the usual basic stuff. Interview lasted only around 20 mins and seemed to go well. He asked when I would be available for a face to face interview, my notice period and salary etc... Then things became quite frustrating. After 5 days I had heard nothing and so emailed the HR team asked for an update. There was no reply to this email. I then sent another email a further week later (clearly not expecting to have got the job but frustrated at the lack of courtesy) and again this received no reply. A week after this and purely due to the discourtesy of receiving no reply to the previous emails when I had taken time to prepare for and take a telephone interview, I emailed again. Finally, I got some reply, which as expected, was not positive. They had decided to progress with another candidate though they had no negative feedback from my interview to give. At least I knew there was still someone alive in the HR team! I am frankly relieved that I didn't get further and take a role at thetrainline.com from my dealings with them they appear unprofessional and discourteous and I am glad I found that out now. I wouldn't recommend others to bother with them.
Interview Question – Isn't this role a step down? Why would you want to do that? View Answer
Technical Architect Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 5 days - interviewed at the trainline.com in July 2013.
Interview Details – Telephone Interview by a relatively clueless HR woman, I think she was just checking off a list of keywords that I was supposed to say (but didn't). Apparently 5 years of Agile is "not enough". I didn't get much out of the interview and I was a little offended that I wasn't being asked by a technical interview - it just makes me think they don't care about their hiring process. To their credit they are supposed to have a nice working atmosphere with no job titles just a meritocratic structure, but I'm wondering now if that's just a nice way to sidestep any responsibilities when it comes to promoting people and career progression.
Interview Question – How would you plan a user-journey? View Answer
Agile Developer Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at the trainline.com.
Interview Details – Interview with HR (heavily scripted, pseudo technical)
Work-at-home problem (fix this class)
Character interview with line manager and head of department
Interview Question – What are co-variance and contravariance? Answer Question
Quality Assurance Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at the trainline.com.
Interview Details – Process was very quick from application to hire took about 11-12 days.
First interview was with a HR person over the phone, some basic formal questions about rights to work etc then they read off a script some basic questions about QA & Testing with some of the HR personality questions thrown in for good measure.
Second interview was face to face at the office. Fairly simple one hour interview with lots of software testing based questions Basic case study of login box which I had to derive as many test cases as possible.
Second interview was done with the hiring manager the senior manager and HR person were a no show.
Interview Question – Name your 3 biggest weaknesses. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Was not offered the opportunity to negotiate.
Sales Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at the trainline.com in April 2012.
Interview Details – do your positive attitude and do well fell good and relax for the interview and good knowlege about the subject
Interview Question – which company have more risk in the market? and which sector more risk in the market? View Answer
Negotiation Details – your body language and your knowledge
Software Development Manager Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at the trainline.com in December 2010.
Interview Details – Intial communication was good. Handled by a contractor. First interview was with CIO and HR and was well run and well organised. 2nd Interview was with 2 potential peers. Well organised and fair interview. Not sure they knew what they were looking for, though.
They didn't spend much time explaining and selling the benefits of the role to me, just questioned me closely on Agile methodology: Unit tests, SCRUM, etc.
I don't mind that I wasn't offered the job. However, because they are recruiting directly, I had great difficulties in getting updates. I have had to follow up weekly to find out the status and I feel this does not reflect well on the company.