How to tackle the BAE Systems graduate application form

It’s worth writing down the questions and working on them over time before submitting the form.

BAE Systems advises candidates to submit their application as early as possible due to high levels of competition.

The BAE Systems recruitment process

The first stage of applying for any of the BAE graduate programmes is an online application form. Candidates are then asked to complete online psychometric tests, followed by a telephone interview (Sigma graduate scheme applicants only). The final step is an assessment centre; this lasts two days for applicants to the Sigma leadership programme, and one day for applicants to the other schemes.

Apparently it can be several weeks after completing the application form and psychometric tests before candidates are invited to an assessment, so patience may be needed.

Tackling the application form

Before filling out the online application form, candidates are asked to select an area of interest and career stream from various drop-down menus. Each career stream has a number of subsections from which to choose; for example, selecting engineering – electrical or electronic gives the choice of combat vehicles or maritime services.

The online application form has eight sections which can be completed in any order. They can be saved and returned to at a later date for completion or re-editing. There is no time limit for filling out the form.

Sections included are:

  1. Personal details – name, contact details, right to work in the UK.
  2. Application details – programme applied for, dates of availability and any contacts within the company. Also asks candidates to list the top three positions they would like to be considered for if unsuccessful.
  3. Nationality details.
  4. School education – schools attended and qualifications obtained.
  5. Higher education – university, modules studied and results.
  6. Work experience – includes voluntary work and placements for sandwich courses.
  7. Skills – language, IT and financial skills.
  8. Equal opportunities.

Sigma leadership programme application

The application form is fairly helpful in this section, as it prompts candidates to consider particular issues when answering. However, the questions are more detailed than those of the other form, and include hypothetical situations relevant to the post.

Please tell us your reasons for applying to this role, highlighting why you are interested in it and how your strengths align to it.

Make sure your answer covers:

  • Why you want to work in this industry?
  • Why you wish to work for BAE Systems?
  • Why you want to join the Sigma Leadership programme?

Members of the Sigma Leadership Programme must be able to work effectively with a variety of different people. Please tell us about a time when you led, or were part of a successful team to deliver a challenging project.

Make sure your answer covers the following elements:

  • What was the situation/context?
  • What was your role?
  • How did you interact with the other team members?
  • How were the individuals different?
  • What challenges did you face in working with them?
  • How did you keep everyone focused and motivated to achieve the team goal?

Members of the Sigma Leadership Programme are expected to embrace challenging objectives and maintain a focus on delivery under pressure. Describe a time when you had to achieve a challenging goal.

Make sure your answer covers the following elements:

  • What was the situation/context?
  • What made it challenging or pressured?
  • What was your approach to achieving it?
  • Why you adopted this approach?
  • What obstacles you had to overcome and how?
  • Who else was involved and how did you interact with them throughout this time?
  • What was the outcome?

Members of the Sigma Leadership Programme must have the drive to identify and implement change with a view to continuously improving existing ways of doing things. Please describe a time when you developed a new idea or implemented a change that delivered a significant improvement.

Make sure your answer covers the following elements:

  • What was the situation/context?
  • Why did you identify the need for the change or idea?
  • What was the solution you developed and why?
  • How did you convince others to buy into your change or idea?
  • What challenges did you face in implementing this change or idea?
  • After the changes were made, how did you ensure things were working effectively?
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