I have a few things:
Firstly, I'm under 18 so I'm guessing a driver position is out of the question ,but what about for Customer Service and Authorised Officers, Barrior staff etc etc, does anyone know the rules around that? ConnexMelbourne.com.au doesn't really tell me much, except what brings me to my next point.
Has anyone seen the application process!? Maybe it's just cause I'm young, but surely not all jobs are like this?
1. Lodge your application
2. Have a telephone interview
3. Go to an exhaustive "Assessment Centre":
- Aptitude testing
- Team building exercising - move around the room talking to people
- 45 minute behavioural interview
4. Police Check
5. Reference Check I
6. Reference Check II
7. Final review
8. Possible Acceptance
Wow.. almost turns me off a job with them :s
Ok it's not as bad as it seems. This is actually a fairly standard process a lot of large companies use when selecting for multiple positions in any type of 'service delivery' role. Even though passenger train driving doesn't seem like it, it's classified as a 'service delivery' role these days (just like bus driving, trams, etc.).
The telephone interview is a 'pre-qualifiying' test where you'd get asked basic questions about whether you know what sort of job you're applying for, confirmation of your details (name, DOB, etc.), whether you've worked for the company before or not, and simple things like that. Then you get asked to come into a group session with other candidates.
The whole aim of the exercise is basically based around predicting behaviour and protecting the company from any future liabilities. That starts from the time you send in your application so it's important to be honest and open-minded throughout the entire process. The major part of the recruitment process is the group session with the aptitude test, behavioural interview, etc. Behavioural interviews are based on the belief that 'past behaviour is a good predictor of future behaviour'.
In the behavioural interview component you'd be asked is to talk about situations in the past (in your case, with little/no work history, things in your home and/or school experience) with questions like "tell me about a time when you tried to achieve an outcome and didn't reach that goal", etc. The key is to be relaxed, honest, don't try to second-guess the interviewer, and try to describe the situation as best you can.
It's usually a good idea to have a bit of practise, perhaps standing in front of a mirror, talking about unusual situations where you were required to decide on a response that you felt was appropriate at the time, or where you were frustrated/angry/etc. due to something not happening the way you wanted, and that way when you're asked similar questions by an interviewer they aren't so daunting.
The aptitude test and the team exercises are also important. The aptitude testing is very straightforward and most big companies now do this using computer-based assessment for the aptitude testing (even the defence force). Few people complete aptitude tests in the time allocated, and it's not just the fact that all questions are answered which counts as there are profiles applied to see how that fits in with the team behaviour and the one-on-one behavioural interview profile.
The team excercise is, as the name suggests, intended to show which people have leadership tendencies and which people tend to be submissive, but that on it's own is not good or bad, as there's more to working with others in small groups that just who leads and who doesn't.
One of the good things I'm getting at the moment out of the Centerlink-sponsored JST program is lots of training about interview techniques, positive thinking, resume writing, etc. and as I'd never written a resume in over 20 years, there's a whole heap I didn't know about 'modern' recruiting practises.
Don't be deterred - there are plenty of people who can help with applying for and being assessed for a new job. If you decide to have a go, good luck!