Interviews and assessment centres

What to expect from BT's assessment centre

21 Jun 2023, 15:40

Discover advice to succeed at the BT assessment centre, from the selection exercises to expect to the insider tips that will put you ahead of the competition.

a video interview

Succeed at the video interview stage of BT’s graduate recruitment process and you’ll progress to the BT virtual assessment centre. You'll receive a virtual invite in advance, alongside some preparational materials. On the day, along with a group of other candidates, you’ll complete a number of tasks designed to assess specific strengths, such as how you work and solve problems.

To find out what is involved in the employer’s assessment centres, targetjobs spoke to Corinne Dugdale, when she worked as a talent acquisition specialist at BT, to get her advice and insights.

BT assessment centre advice: What to expect | Impress during the group exercise | Individual presentation exercise | Assessment centre interview | Assessment centre technical interviews | Final tips

What to expect at BT’s assessment centre

BT’s assessment day is typically made up of a group exercise , a presentation and an interview . Corinne says, ‘The assessment centres consist of both individual and group tasks. You will also have the opportunity to speak to BT graduates who are currently on the programme and sat the assessment process themselves within the last two years.'

If this sounds daunting, there is no need to be nervous. ‘There are no right or wrong outcomes to each task, and no one gets "knocked out" before the assessment centre ends,’ Corinne reassures. ‘Instead, assessors will be looking at how you deal with the task at hand.’

Top tip: think about BT's values

Look into BT’s values and corporate vision on the employer’s website and consider how you could show that you share these values throughout the assessment day. ‘The values of personal, simple and brilliant are lived out through every BT employee every day when you’re working there. If you can demonstrate that during the assessments, then that would be very impressive for recruiters,’ Corinne tells us.

It's just as important to make sure you are clear in your own mind about your motivations for wanting the role and to work at the employer before the BT graduate assessment centre begins.

How you can impress during BT’s assessment centre group exercise

Recruiters will be on the look out to see how you work with others. The aim of the group exercise isn’t to stand out, or to be the loudest person in the room, instead it’s to be a good team player. Show you are listening to, and taking on board, the suggestions of other candidates in order to come to a solution to a problem you are presented with. ‘It’s as much about how you listen and communicate with others as it is about the ideas you are contributing,’ says Corinne.

Focus on showcasing your teamwork and communication skills and work towards the success of the group as a whole. For example, ways in which you could focus on the group’s success include making suggestions about how to approach the task (such as by splitting into sub-groups to tackle different problems, if appropriate) or volunteering to be a scribe or to take notes for the rest of the group.

For more tips to prepare for BT’s group exercise, head to targetjobs’ guide on assessment centre group exercises .

Top tip: use your time wisely

You’ll have a set time to complete BT’s assessment centre group exercise and every minute of it will need to be used constructively.

‘Try to keep calm under pressure,’ states Corinne. ‘You’re given time to prepare and there’s usually a lot of information for you to get through – so it’s about prioritising. Pick out the key bits of information and use your time wisely.’


Learn more about BT at its targetjobs employer hub and discover advice for BT’s interviews.

BT assessment centre presentation exercise

BT likes to keep its lips sealed when it comes to the individual presentation exercise and advises that you’ll receive more information once you get your invite to the assessment centre. However, you’ll be given a sizeable amount of information to digest and analyse and then have to present your conclusions to the assessors within a set time limit.

You could be given the information for your presentation in the days leading up to the BT assessment day or you could receive the information on the day.

Top tip: present your ideas succinctly and clearly

The assessors will be looking at how well you have planned and prepared for your presentation. They will do this by taking things such as your timings into consideration, judging whether you’ve spent too long or too little time explaining something.

You won’t have any time to ramble when presenting, so it’s important that you state your points concisely and speak at a moderate tempo.

It’s also advisable to make ‘eye contact’ by ensuring you spend enough time looking into your webcam. Looking into the webcam, as opposed to away from it towards your notes, for example, will help to be seen as more confident.

Top tip: expand on the points contained in your presentation

BT’s assessors will also be looking to see how well you are able to analyse and interpret data and then present your findings to others.

You’ll want to ensure that you don’t just repeat the briefing material you were given. Make sure to elaborate on your points to fully explain your thinking. However, keep the previous tip in mind so as not to risk going off on a tangent and running out of time.

See our article to delivering a graduate job worthy presentation for more advice on how to prepare for BT’s presentation exercise.

The BT graduate assessment centre interview

The last component of your BT assessment centre is a one-to-one interview, traditionally held with a manager from the respective department. You’ll be asked hypothetical situations questions to assess your strengths, competency-based questions to assess your skills and motivational questions so that you can demonstrate why you want to work for BT.

Our guide to answering BT’s graduate interview questions contains in-depth advice for how to tackle the telecom company’s interview questions along with more insights from Corinne.

BT assessment centre interviews for technical roles

BT technical graduates have previously reported having a technical interview at their assessment day. If you’re applying for a technical role at BT, it’s wise to prepare for technical interview questions.

Past BT technical interview questions and topics include:

  • If you want to send a compressed file securely, should you encrypt it first and then compress it or vice versa?
  • Tell me about a time you learned a new technology and applied it.
  • Questions about your knowledge of specific programming languages, such as Java.

To prepare for these technical questions, revisit the job description to remind yourself of the technical requirements for the role. Then check that you meet them and, if possible, have examples of when you have used your technical skills.

Also, don’t be surprised if you’re asked on-the-fly questions about the projects which you have included in your CV. Remind yourself of the details of these projects and think of the skills you were able to develop – both technical and soft skills – and how they apply to the role at BT.

See our article on technical interview tips by graduates for graduates for more help.

How targetjobs can further help you in your journey to BT

If you want to get the very best head start for succeeding at virtual assessment centres, then head to targetjobs’ guide to virtual assessment centres . It provides more details for what to expect and will allow you to round off your preparation.

Also, if you haven’t already, create yourself a free targetjobs profile . You’ll get careers advice content recommended to you that is tailored to the career interests you tell us about. We’ll also recommend advice based on which stage of the recruitment process 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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