How to answer BT’s interview questions for graduate roles

Last updated: 21 Jun 2023, 15:40

Talent acquisition professional Corinne Dugdale, who gained insider knowledge working in recruitment at BT, teamed up with targetjobs to give you the expert advice needed to tackle BT’s interview questions.

A woman with a pensive gesture thinking about answers to BT interview questions.

Once you’ve successfully submitted your online application form and completed the online assessments, the next steps in BT’s graduate recruitment process are a video interview and a virtual assessment centre, which includes a final interview.

Corinne Dugdale, who worked as an early talent acquisition specialist at BT, talked to targetjobs about the types of questions you should expect in BT’s graduate interviews and gave her advice on how you can answer these.

BT's interviews : BT video interview | Answering BT video interview questions | BT assessment centre interview | Answering ‘give us an example…’ questions | Answering hypothetical situation questions | Answering motivational questions | preparing for BT interviews | Final words of BT interview advice

What does the BT video interview entail?

The BT graduate video interview assesses whether you have the traits identified as key for success on BT’s graduate programmes. ‘It’s a strengths-based interview. Some questions ask for an example and some present a scenario and ask how you will approach it,’ explains Corinne. She adds: ‘Again there are no right or wrong answers and the key is to be yourself.’

You will be presented with a number of questions and asked to record your answers using a webcam. As such, you won’t have any direct interactions with recruiters during this interview. 'Video interviews allow candidates to sit this stage of their application in their own time,' explains Corinne. 'The interview should take roughly 30 minutes and candidates choose where they sit the interview.'

How do I answer BT video interview questions?

The following are examples of the types of questions that could come up, based on what previous candidates have been asked. Please note that there's no guarantee that any of the past BT interview questions or topics contained in this article will arise at your interview.

  • When have you worked in a team?
  • If you were leading a team, how would you deal with a team member who disagreed strongly with your approach?
  • Describe a time you had to persuade someone to change their opinion.

The absence of another person in the room can make it hard to gauge your responses and it can be awkward speaking to a lens. It’s important that you concentrate on speaking clearly and at a good pace – don’t ramble or speak too fast. You'll usually only have a short period of time to think about and answer each question, so make sure to use the time wisely.

You will need to deliver your answers within a time limit (usually around 60 seconds), so it’s important that you don’t overrun and get cut off. Having a clear structure to your answers will help you to keep to time and ensure that you’ve covered all the information you need. Use evidence to explain your points wherever possible.

Don’t forget the practical considerations either. Make sure you find a quiet space with a solid internet connection and good lighting to record your answers. Corinne advises: ‘Treat it as seriously you would a “real” face-to-face interview: try to look smart, and be in a quiet environment with no distractions.’


Want to know more about BT? Or need advice for BT’s assessment centre exercises?

What happens at BT’s assessment centre interview?

Succeed at the BT video interview and you’ll be invited to the virtual assessment day, where you’ll have a second interview. BT’s assessment centre interview has traditionally been with a manager from a relevant business area. Being a live conversation, it’s also a chance for you to find out more about the job.

The questions during this final interview will incorporate the different types of questions asked at the previous stage. This includes ‘give us an example of a time when…’ questions and hypothetical scenario questions (‘what would you do if…’). You may also be asked questions about your motivation for applying and your interest in BT and its graduate programmes.

See our guide on BT’s graduate job assessment centre if you need more advice for this stage of the BT graduate recruitment process.

How do I answer ‘give us an example…’ BT interview questions

This type of interview question is known as competency-based as recruiters use them to gain evidence of your skills. A tried-and-tested method for structuring your answers is the STAR framework: you should outline the S ituation, the T ask, your A ctions and the R esults of your actions. You can learn more about the STAR method and how to use it for your answers in our guide to competency-based interview questions .

Past ‘give us an example…’ or ‘tell me about a time…’ questions include:

  • Tell me about a time when you were faced with a challenge. What did you do to solve it?
  • Tell me about a time when you helped cut costs or generate new revenues.
  • Tell me about a time when you successfully contributed towards a team objective.
  • Describe a situation when you demonstrated good relationship skills.
  • Tell me about a time when you carried out customer service skills beyond the usual level.

The focus on your answer should be on your own actions and how they helped to achieve the goal and complete the task, so pick out an example that demonstrates this. This is where your prep time thinking up examples will pay off.

For instance, if you were asked to describe a time when you were faced with a challenge you could talk about a time when you were a person down for a group presentation at university. Discuss the issue and how it disrupted your plans, and then go on to talk about how you overcame this challenge. Perhaps you contacted the absent member in order to retrieve their notes and then suggested that the rest of the work be split between the remaining members.

Make sure to explain how your personal contributions led to an overall positive result – was the presentation particularly well received? Were you commended on how your group worked together? This is just one example of how you could break down an example in order to construct your interview answer.

How do I answer hypothetical situation BT interview questions?

You will likely be asked questions to see how you would behave in certain hypothetical situations (typically a situation or challenge that you might encounter in the workplace). BT’s recruiters ask these questions to get a sense of whether the employer’s values are aligned with your own and whether these values play into your behaviour and professional demeanour. So, make sure you’re using your research into BT’s values and culture to inform your answers. You can find out more about answering hypothetical strengths-based questions in this article.

Past hypothetical situation BT interview questions include:

  • If you were leading a team, how would you deal with a team member who disagreed strongly with your approach?
  • How would you ensure that your motivation for the role remained high?
  • How would other people describe you?
  • Would your friends describe you as analytical?

Keep in mind that BT’s recruiters also want to see what you’re really like as a person. So, respond to the hypothetical situation questions in a truthful way; don’t try and overthink by stating what you think BT wants to hear.

Take being questioned about ensuring your motivation remains high in the role, for instance. Perhaps you’re motivated by career progression, in which case you’d keep the goal of advancing your career with BT in mind to remain consistent in your graduate position. An answer along these lines would demonstrate to your interviewer an ambition to forge a long-term career at BT, which, after all, welcomes ‘graduates whose ambition matches our own’.

Or, perhaps you’ll give a more practical answer and talk about something along the lines of structuring your day to ensure that you complete the tasks you find least interesting first, but, of course, still to the highest standard, and schedule breaks to refresh your thinking. An answer along these lines would demonstrate an ability to manage your work and prioritise tasks in a way that not only gets tasks ticked off, but keeps you motivated to get to the tasks that really interest you.

How do I answer ‘why do you want this role/to work here…’ BT interview questions?

When asking motivational questions, BT’s recruiters want to know that you can tie your reasons for applying to the research you’ve done into the role and company. For in-depth advice on answering motivational questions, see our article on answering the question ‘why do you want this job? ’.

Past motivational BT interview questions include:

  • Why have you applied for this programme?
  • Why would you suit the role?
  • Why do you want to work for BT?

When answering, consider the following aspect, for example. What aspects of the role are you most excited about and why? Or what is it about BT’s values or its position within the market it operates in that makes it the employer that most appeals to you? However you approach answering these types of question, ensure you link your reasons to the role or BT’s values. The strongest answer will touch on both aspects.

How do I prepare for a BT interview?

Make sure that you have done your research in BT and know the skills and qualities that it is looking for. Here are some things that you should be aiming to do while preparing for BT’s graduate interviews. Don’t leave your preparation until the last minute, as you won’t be able to fit everything into an evening.

  • Find out as much as you can about BT’s products and services. If you’re not personally acquainted, perhaps you can speak to friends or relatives who are customers – are they happy with the service, and is there anything that they’d change?
  • Make sure you’re up to date with trends and developments in the telecoms industry. Look at company websites (both BT’s and its competitors’), news sites and the trade press to get an idea of the latest goings on.
  • It’s also worth thinking of other good examples of times when you have used the skills that BT is looking for or tackled particular challenges that you’d be likely to face while working at BT (eg through extracurricular activities, voluntary work, part-time jobs or university projects).
  • Remind yourself of BT’s values of ‘personal, simple and brilliant’. Additionally, have a good look around its careers website and you'll see that BT places a strong emphasis on putting its customers first, for example.

Final preparatory advice for your BT interview from targetjobs

The targetjobs platform is the leading UK resource for graduate careers advice and it’s just got even better! By creating your targetjobs profile , you’ll receive recommended careers advice content tailored to the career interests you tell us about and the stage of the application process that you’re at.

targetjobs editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the targetjobs content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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