Six skills and values that Balfour Beatty seeks in graduates

Are you able to change your plans in accordance with new information?

Throughout the recruitment process for Balfour Beatty’s graduate job, summer internship scheme or annual internship scheme, you will be expected to demonstrate that you have the skills to perform in the role and that you share the company’s values. The selection process will be some variation on the following, depending on the role:

  1. An online application form, which involves uploading a CV and covering letter (which you should tailor to Balfour Beatty).
  2. Online ability tests.
  3. A video interview – the video interview will involve pre-recording answers to questions that will appear on screen. You will be asked about your career aspirations, your experiences and reasons for applying to the company.
  4. An assessment centre, which usually includes a group exercise, a written exercise, a case study and a presentation.

You can find out more about the interview process (and previous interview questions) at Balfour Beatty by reading the TARGETjobs Inside Buzz graduate survey.

Members of Balfour Beatty’s emerging talent team, including Raveena, Charlotte, Joy and Kelly, shared with TARGETjobs some of the key skills, behaviours and values they seek in graduate recruits. To impress the emerging talent team, think of examples when you demonstrated the skills, behaviours and values below. Write about your examples in your CV and covering letter and talk about them at interview. Act in accordance with these values at the assessment centre, and keep them in mind if completing a personality questionnaire at the test stage too.

Balfour Beatty values flexibility

‘A flexible approach to work is a must,’ the emerging talent team says. This means being flexible in terms of workplace locations – you must be prepared to relocate to work on different projects – and in how you tackle your work. Will you change your plans in accordance with new information or to meet new priorities? The most successful Balfour Beatty professionals will do whatever is needed to deliver projects to brief, on time and within budget, despite the challenges presented by changes and unexpected events: for example, the cost of the materials could increase, the client could issue a new brief or the work could be delayed on site.

You will have demonstrated flexibility in the past… when you changed your plans in response to changing circumstances: for example, standing in last minute for a work colleague who didn’t show up.

A tip for the recruitment process: If you are given the opportunity to ask questions in your interview and at the assessment centre but find that the questions you have in mind have already been answered, don’t ask them again. Show the interviewers that you can think on your feet by coming up with some different questions.

Balfour Beatty values creativity

‘We are looking for creative thinkers,’ says the team. After all, one of Balfour Beatty’s core commitments is to ‘constantly look for innovative and creative solutions’. Creativity is about thinking of new ideas and ways of getting things done. It’s is an important element of the everyday problem solving that you will have to do.

You will have demonstrated creativity in the past… when you have contributed new ideas. You would have been creative if you: took part in industry competitions, came up with innovative ways to raise money while fundraising; launched a new event for a university society; or, if you’ve worked or volunteered with children, devised ways to inspire and entertain them!

A tip for the recruitment process: Contribute ideas during the group exercise/case study portion of the assessment day. Think creatively about your presentation, too: you don’t have to just illustrate your points in writing, for example, you could use pictures or diagrams.

Balfour Beatty values teamwork

‘You will need to be a team player who can interact with a wide range of people at all levels to succeed at Balfour Beatty,’ the team points out. Teamwork is an essential throughout the construction industry and it is one of Balfour Beatty’s core company commitments. The company puts a particular emphasis on the importance of listening to one another and sharing knowledge and expertise. Graduates have a number of placements in different teams, which is another reason why it’s important to be able to build relationships.

You will have demonstrated teamwork in the past… through involvement in sports teams, group projects on your course and university societies. You could also mention when you worked in a team as part of industry work experience or your part-time job.

A tip for the recruitment process: If you’re asked for an example of when you worked in a team, choose one in which you actively contributed to the success of the team. Your contribution could be in leadership or decision-making, in carrying out an allocated role to a good standard, or in being the peacemaker!

Balfour Beatty values integrity and respect

These are Balfour Beatty’s core beliefs and essentially boil down to ‘doing the right thing’, which includes treating people as they would want to be treated, ensuring that health and safety procedures and good practice in general are followed, and keeping promises.

You will have acted with integrity in the past… if you have acted ethically or stood up for your values. An example could be that while on a placement on site you reported breaches of health and safety.

You will have shown respect in the past… anytime you have treated people well: for example, in a seminar, hearing someone out even if you disagree with their argument, rather than interrupting or insulting them.

A tip for the recruitment process: Be polite and listen to everyone at the assessment centre; don’t be tempted to rudely cut across another candidate. Demonstrate your interest in what others are saying through active body language. If health and safety or environmental impacts feature as part of your case study, make sure you have considered them as part of your solutions.

Balfour Beatty values excellence

This is another of Balfour Beatty’s core beliefs and it includes ‘not tolerating under-performance’ and ‘going the extra mile to deliver’.

You will have demonstrated excellence in the past… through your academic results or any awards or competitions that you have won. Mention any times when you’ve met or exceeded a target (these could be fitness-related, sales targets in a part-time retail job or charity fundraising).

A tip for the recruitment process: Don’t be shy about explaining your achievements to recruiters. If you are worried about sounding boastful, concentrate on giving the facts: what you achieved and the steps you took to achieve it.

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