Saturday, 23 June 2012

Toyota Production Line Team Member Interview Process Blue Arrow

If you are reading this page you've probably found yourself in the same situation as me.
I applied for a job on the Production Line as a Production Team Member at Toyota Burnaston, Derbyshire via Blue Arrow.  This article relates directly to the Burnaston Recruitment Centre, although the Recruitment Policy is standardised Worldwide. After applying I searched the internet to see if there was any information relating to the recruitment process and found very little.



  • Applying

You fill in the application on the Blue Arrow Website, giving your basic contact details to them, such as address, date of birth, telephone number email address etc.  Click submit, then prepare to wait, a long time.  One annoying thing you'll find is that you won't be sure that you've actually applied, as Blue Arrow in their professionalism do not acknowledge your application via email, even though you've supplied an email address (if you're reading this Blue Arrow, sort it out, autoresponders take very little setup).  Approximately 2-3 months later you'll receive a call from Blue Arrow in Luton booking you in for the first stage of the assessment, be prepared for very little notice, my call was the day before they expected me to attend.


  • Assessment Part 1
You arrive at Toyota, park your car and then enter reception, I was greeted by a particularly grumpy chap who appeared to be quite annoyed to have to tell me where to wait (there were roughly 20 other people there so I suppose it does get tiresome)  you stand around with you co-recruitees and wait, on this particular day they were either running late or are generally bad at time keeping as we were kept waiting 10 minutes over the supposed start time.  You will then be lead through to the IT Suite where you are told to sit at a desk with a laptop.  The assessment is then described to you, it is an online knowledge and common sense test, you basically answer general maths questions, multiple choice scenario based questions, timing questions, and recognition tests (think generation game).  The questions are not that difficult if you have a reasonable level of general education, although one guy I noticed was still on the second question when I'd finished so I'm not sure if this was due to ability or a technical glitch.  You get 2 hours to complete the test but may complete it quicker than this, don't be too concerned if you are finished before others, it doesn't mean you have failed.  After this you are given a general questionnaire to complete which takes about ten minutes, you are then told if you have been successful, if so you are given a letter with the date of part 2 of the assessment, the Day at Work Test.



  • Assessment Part 2 - Day At Work
If you thought stage one was relatively easy, then be prepared for a slight increase in difficulty. For starters you are given a final chance to visit the toilet, you are told that your next opportunity will be in three hours time, so relieve your bladder if possible. Your invitation letter quite wrongly states that you can wear either trainers or safety boots, this is not the case, you cannot wear trainers, if you do you are given some rather uncomfortable steel toe overshoes to fit over your trainers, which can make things quite difficult.  I'd recommend wearing your own safety boots which fit, they do have a few pairs of safety boots knocking around in various sizes but not all, not to mention they have been worn by others (athletes foot, verrucas, you get the picture)  You are then spoken to like a group of school children on a day trip, told what you can and cannot do, single file and keeping the line with no gaps as you walk through the factory.  Toyota employees have right of way at all times, as do the numerous fork lifts and dolly trucks whizzing around.  Fail to adhere to these instructions will result in you being spoken to like a dog which has soiled it's owners carpet.  This was not my experience but a guy in our group.  You are then led to the testing area (or cage as I'd affectionately call it) it's a big white cage in the middle of the factory with mesh walls so all the employees can see you and you can see them.  You are then given a locker number which relates to your number on a whiteboard, at the side of this number is the order of the three tasks that you'll complete that day.  You have to lock all your possessions away, but are allowed to take a drink of water with you.  You are instructed to collect items of PPE which include safety goggles, hard hat, and cotton gloves.  These must be worn at all times and cannot be removed or adjusted unless you are stood in one of the red squares in the exercise area.  The exercises are as follows:-

1. Weight Wall
For two hours (after 15 minutes practise) you will be moving weights of various sizes (maximum 10KG, down to 2.5KG) labelled with different codes to correspond locations on the wall behind you, the instructions are given by a computer screen.  There is a time limit for each of the movements, once completed you must walk back to the computer screen and press enter, to be given the next instruction. Fail to do this in the required time and a buzzer will sound, letting everyone know you are not keeping up (supposedly to signify the production line being stopped).  I think the time allowed varies depending on age, I'm pretty fit and the buzzer didn't sound very many times in the two hours, however I did notice a rather large unfit guy who appeared to be struggling yet his buzzer didn't sound too many times either.  He was older so I think the threshold adjusts for age.  Initially this doesn't seem too hard, but I can assure you after two hours of continuously picking weights up, squatting down, stretching up it does take it out of you.  During the process you are continually being monitored via cameras and all of your work is recorded.

2. Spot Weld Simulator Test
This test is to challenge your attention span, mind numbing is not strong enough a description for this.  You are given a spot weld rig and three stations labelled X,Y, and Z. Each station has numbers 1-8.  A screen in front of you barks orders out such as Y-7, you then are required to move the rig to the given location and lower the tip of the spot welder into that location until the computer screen shows "weld complete" your next location is given and you then move the weld rig to that location.  At times the locations appear random, however during the middle stages of the test repetition is brought into play with Z-8 X-4, Z-8 X-4, Z-8 X-4, Z-8 X-4, Z-8 X-4, Z-8 X-4, Z-8 X-4, Z-8 X-4, Z-8 X-4, Z-8 X-4, Z-8 X-4, Z-8 X-4, Z-8 X-4, Z-8 X-4, Z-8 X-4, Z-8 X-4, Z-8 Y-4, did you notice the change?  After 20 minutes of repeating the same thing it's harder than it sounds.  Out of the three tests, this is definitely the easiest.

3. Cab Excercise
This involves climbing in and out of a car shell with two different colour wiring looms (white & black) when instructed by the screen just above where the cars dashboard would normally be.  Located at various points in the car are locations A-H, which correspond to connections on the wiring looms.  You must connect each labelled connection to the same lettered port inside the car.  Prepare for a lot of twisting, and being cramped into a small space to get the task done.  Once you have everything connected up, press enter on the keyboard, you will then be instructed to fit bolts using an air ratchet into various locations in the car labelled W, X, Y, Z.  At each location there is a grid labelled A-C & 1-3, your instruction will be similar to insert W-A-3 so you'd fit the bolt to location W and slot A-3 on the grid.  This happens for a number of instructions until eventually you are instructed to disconnect the loom and hang it back up at the rear of the car.  You then re-enter the car and press enter and will be told to fetch either the White or Black loom again and start the process all over, this continues solidly for two hours whilst all the time being under time pressure with the buzzer again to signify the timescales of the production line.

  • Assessment Part 3 - Final Interview
You made it this far, well done.  Now is either what you'll class as the easiest part or hardest part, you will be asked general questions about your current employment status, why you want to work on the production line, to give examples of problem solving in your current job and also suitability questions about working shifts and night shifts in particular.  The answers you give will determine whether you are offered a job or not.  If you are offered a position you will be required to attend a medical.

Hope this helps a little of the Toyota Interview Process