Competency questions form the basis of both Sky's phone interview and face-to-face interview. and similar questions can be expected at both. Sky doesn't typically include technical questions in its interviews as few of its roles require previous knowledge. Where required, technical ability is assessed through a series of tests, rather than an interview.
The basics of the Sky graduate interview
As Sky's face-to-face interview is part of the assessment centre, you will spend the best part of the day, including lunch, as its offices in Osterley, Livingston or Leeds. The assessment centre typically also includes a group exercise, a programme or business-specific exercise and psychometric tests.
Tip: While Sky prides itself on having a fun and relaxed working environment, don’t forget that this is a formal assessment: be polite and professional at all times and keep Sky’s competencies in mind.
Here are some previous Sky competency questions and how you might approach something like them:
Sky question: Describe a time when you have been part of a successful team.
Approach to take: This is a classic teamwork question and is particularly important given Sky’s strong focus on teamwork and collaboration. With questions like this, it’s always key to highlight your own contribution and actions rather than those of the team as a whole. You need to consider the experience as a whole: think about what you enjoyed about working as a team, what you might do differently another time, and what made the team a success. The interviewer will be looking for evidence that you can build relationships and work effectively with others, so make sure your answer includes these details.
Sky question: Describe a time when you came up with a creative solution to a problem.
Approach to take: This question is closely linked to Sky’s corporate culture: it covers both creativity and problem-solving skills, which are particularly sought for many of Sky’s graduate roles. It also encompasses Sky’s concern with finding new and better ways to do things. It’s important to put a lot of thought and effort into answering this question and coming up with an example which clearly demonstrates how you uphold these values. Your answer could come from any area of your life, but anything which relates to the specific role you’re applying for would be an advantage. For example, if you’re applying for a marketing position, you could talk about how you came up with a new promotional activity to help boost flagging readership of your student newspaper. Or if you’re applying to finance, it could be how you came up with a budget plan to help a friend get home when they spent too much money during their gap year travels.
Other likely Sky competency questions
The list of questions you could be asked at interview with Sky is a long one, so it’s not feasible to prepare an answer for every single one. However, most questions can be tackled using strategies such as those detailed above and those used for answering the qualifying questions on Sky’s application form.
Biographical interviews at Sky
Sky uses biographical interviews as a means of finding out more about the candidate and whether they are suited to both the role and the company.
Here are some previous Sky biographical questions, and how you might approach something like them:
Sky question: Tell me about yourself.
Approach to take: While it may sound simple, this question can be tricky because it’s easy to end up rambling. Preparation is vital: as Sky’s director of people Deborah Baker says, ‘Approach interviews as you would an exam.’ You should go through your original application or CV before the day, picking out key pieces of information that sum up your skills and experience. It’s also useful to refer to the job description and identify areas where your experience aligns with the requirements of the job. By all means practice your answer, but try not to form it into a speech that you repeat word for word – this can sound forced and doesn’t give the interviewer a true impression of you.
Sky question: What are your interests?
Approach to take: Don’t make up a list of things you think the interviewer will want to hear – it’s hard to fake enthusiasm and you’ll usually get caught out if you lie. Instead, think about how your interests relate to Sky and the job that you’re applying for. If you’re applying for a role in betting and gaming, for example, an interest in sport is essential, so give an example that demonstrates your interest. Or if you’re applying for a supply chain position, think about pastimes that demonstrate relevant skills, such as organising social events for a society or students’ union.
Sky question: Why are you passionate about this business area?
Approach to take: When answering this question, consider the business area (be it technology, marketing or procurement) from several different angles. How did you first become interested in the subject? When did you realise that it was something you wanted to focus your career on? What have you done to further your knowledge and experience of this particular area? Be as enthusiastic as you like, without skimming on any detail.
Some questions you might like to ask
Asking questions at interview is a good way of showing your interest in the company and your willingness to seek new information and clarification where necessary – something which trainees will need to do. However, it’s important to think carefully about what you ask: asking banal questions (or worse, ones to which you have already been given the answer) will suggest a lack of engagement and it will be apparent if you aren’t genuinely interested in the response.
You may want to think about:
- Aspects of the graduate programme. For example, how much freedom you would have in choosing the departments or projects you get involved in?
- Management structure. Who would be your immediate boss? What might you want to know about them? How you would interact with them?
- Sky’s working culture. How do the company’s values affect day-to-day working? Is there anything about its diversity policies that particularly interests you?