For its 2019–2020 graduate intake, BT has a total of 18 different graduate programmes that you can apply for. However, whichever programme you choose, the core of the application process remains the same. The stages for BT’s graduate recruitment process are:
- submitting an initial online application
- completing online assessments
- an online video interview
- attending a final assessment centre.
We spoke to a graduate recruitment advisor at BT (and herself a recent graduate), Corinne Dugdale, to learn a bit more about this process and to get her first-hand advice on how best you can prepare and what you can expect from BT’s online application and situational strengths tests.
Answering BT’s application form questions
The initial application form for BT is remarkably simple compared to many other employers. ‘Candidates start their BT application on our BT Early Careers website,' explains Corinne. 'The initial application comprises of basic information, such as your work experience and your grades. It’s fairly short and straightforward.'
The purpose of this initial application, then, is to see whether applicants meet the requirements for the programme. As such, be sure to read the job description very carefully and think of examples of when you have demonstrated each of the essential and desired skills and qualities. Make sure that all of these examples are reflected in the work experience section of your application. You may also be asked to expand on what you included in your application form at interview.
Do I need to submit a CV?
You will need to upload a CV but its importance depends on the specific scheme you are applying for. Corinne explains: ‘You will be asked to input a CV but we don't screen CVs except in cases where we’re looking for a specific degree type, so we wouldn't advise spending lots of time on it.’ As such, if the programme asks for a specific degree, it may be worth also including information about your specific modules and exam results on your CV.
We’d always advise, however, to take up this extra opportunity to show off your skills and experiences in a bit more detail – it could be your way to get ahead of the crowd. You should tailor your CV to BT by highlighting skills and experiences that are asked for in the job listing, as this is how you’ll show that you’re the candidate that BT are looking for.
For example, one of the required skills for BT’s software graduate programme is the ability to ‘innovate and drive improvements’. You could demonstrate this by including an example of time when you showed entrepreneurship and initiative in a part-time job or extracurricular activity – perhaps you found a new source of funding as part of a university society committee, or you streamlined a cumbersome process while working in a shop.
Generally, we advise against including personal statements on CVs. However, as you are not required to submit a covering letter, including a brief statement about your ambitions, your passion for technology and your interest in BT could be beneficial. Remember to keep it short, under 100 words. You can read more advice on the benefits of including personal statements on your CV here.
Make sure your CV is as clearly presented and easy to read as possible. Keep your CV to one or two sides of A4, and make use of headings and bullet points in order to separate out sections and highlight specific bits of information.
What are BT’s online assessments?
If your initial application is successful and you meet the requirements for your graduate programme of choice you’ll be invited to complete BT’s online assessments. There are two tests that applicants need to complete:
- a 'Logiks' assessment, which looks at your logical reasoning skills
- a 'Factors' assessment, which is used to assess your strengths.
The 'Logiks' logical reasoning assessment
This test comprises of three sections and you'll be faced with a number of questions designed to test your problem solving skills. These are usually fairly abstract problems and puzzles that look at how you think and approach problems, as opposed to assessing any specific knowledge. The best way to prepare for these tests is to do a number of practice tests, so that you'll know what to expect and won't be caught off guard, especially as you'll only have 12 minutes to complete it.
- Find out more about what employers mean by 'problem-solving' and 'logical reasoning' skills here.
- You can practice online logical reasoning tests here, from our partners at AssessmentDay.
The 'Factors' situational skills assessment
Each question poses a specific scenario and you’re asked to answer with how you would respond. Corinne explains, ‘there are no right or wrong answers, the questions are to see whether your strengths align with our BT graduate development model, BT Connect Leaders.’
These questions are looking at how you would fit into BT as a whole as an organisation, rather than solely the role that you are applying for. 'As much as this test allows us to see if you are right for BT, due to the strengths being assessed, it also allows you to see whether BT is right for you,' says Corinne. Think about how you would respond if you working for BT, which response would best convey BT's methods of working and its corporate values of personal, simple and brilliant.
- Your best source for information on BT’s values (as well as its strategy, vision and goal) is BT’s corporate website. In advance of the test, consider how these might be applied in the graduate programme and try to convey this in your answers.
While you should keep BT’s values and cultures in mind, Corinne is keen to stress that there isn’t a ‘trick’ to answering these questions: ‘'If you are unsuccessful in this test, it suggests that BT might not be the right organisation for you right now. As a result, we'd advise that you give your natural and honest reach when answering the questions.’ As such, the best way to prepare is to do practice tests, so you’re familiar with the format of the test and know what to expect. There isn't a time limit for this assessment, so you're free to take as much time as you need to consider the question that is posed and think as to how you would honestly respond.