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BT Assessment Day

 
#1 BT Assessment Day
24/02/2008 01:16

James

Hey,

I've got a final round assessment day coming up for BT's Professional Services grad scheme. Has anyone been to one already this year? Any pointers would be very helpful,

Cheers

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#2 RE: BT Assessment Day
24/02/2008 02:32

do a search to James (#1)

There has already been a lot on this forum about BT. Search the threads.

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#3 RE: BT Assessment Day
25/02/2008 01:04

Tried that... to do a search (#2)

I did a search before I posted. There are a few arguements about whether or not it is a good programme, but non about the structure or experience of anybody at an assessment day

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#4 RE: BT Assessment Day
25/02/2008 15:46

anon to Tried that... (#3)

Serveral group exercises with case study problem, role play i.e. in front of client director, several interviews (competencies, fit etc.), psychometrics (math, logic, verbal etc.). It's long and all about being consistently proficient in all tests. Remain professional for the whole day and do your research. This assessment centre is very similar to most supposed 'fast track' grad schemes or consultancies. Good luck.

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#5 RE: BT Assessment Day
26/02/2008 03:23

ketan to James (#1)

Hi there,

Can you please eloborate as where & when did u apply for the Fast track position. On the BT site it is displayed that the campaign will start from May/April onwards.

Awaiting your feedback.

Cheers..

Ketan

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#6 RE: BT Assessment Day
26/02/2008 12:32

James to ketan (#5)

I'm applying to the Professional Services Graduate Scheme. The Fast Track Leadership thing is a different scheme, starting in May

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#7 RE: BT Assessment Day
26/02/2008 21:41

ex-BT to James (#6)

anon - please don't try and kid yourself or anyone else that BT put a 'client director' in front of people at the grad recruitment. Never mind that there is no such role within the company. The person sitting in the corner of the room while you have (an admittedly entertaining) session with an actor will be an Accenture 'recruitment specialist' or a BT junior manager who wants some experience interviewing for their CV. The rest of it - you're right about.

My tips for BT assessment centres (plus any others run by firms that don't bother doing grad recruitment themselves and employ people like accenture, who in turn take on temps):

1. Don't think that a bad performance in any area matters - it's an average score so dry your eyes and do well on the next piece

2. Be nice, smile, relax. These tips apply to any interview for anything.

3. Dress reasonably smart but don't think it's the be all and end all. They wouldn't dare discriminate, and so don't. One guy was genuinely useless, socially inept, dressed in baggy blue trousers, big scruffy brown loafer things and a beige jacket. He still got offered a job.

4. Learn how to manage someone - ideal for the actor part / any role play - basic steps really, that apply to many interview situations (i.e. logic/reasoning) - listen carefully, ask pertinent questions to get to the point of your brief, suggest a solution and work with the interviewer at each stage of explaining it, summarise what has been discussed (and put a plan in place for the future - arrange another meeting or something, in the case of the BT role play)

4. Brush up on psychometrics - maths and language. They're easy points on the scoring system! Also, there's no negative marking so do the ones you can then come back to harder ones at the end and guess if you don't have time to do them.

James - anon was referring to the grad scheme, just in the wrong terms. Many people consider grad schemes to be a 'fast track' option of sorts. They're not. If you join a company on one, you'll spend the next 2-3 years being paid less than the equivalent job role for a non-grad person and trying to get promoted off the scheme - this is especially true of BT.

Good luck, apologies if i sound negative but i generally am when it comes to BT. The majority of grads leave when their time on the grad scheme comes to an end as there are no promotions available - you end up doing the same level job as you were for the last 2 years. Many leave before the end of 2 years. The ones that do stay tend to have plans like starting families (seriously), which is why they joined the cushty life that is BT. If you want an easy ride tho, with plenty of working from home and the chance to disappear under the radar, then it's the place for you.

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#8 RE: BT Assessment Day
26/02/2008 22:26

James to ex-BT (#7)

Thanks for the post. About the fast track thing, there is actually a position available called 'fast track', which starts you on £35-£40k - this is different from the graduate scheme.

Nice insight into the role play - seems a bit of an odd one.

There aren't any numerical and verbal tests this year

Group excercise, role play, case study, 1:1 interview and meal

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#9 RE: BT Assessment Day
27/02/2008 18:40

Assessment day attendant to James (#8)

Having attended an assessment day I want to give the following advice:

- make sure you understand why you want to work for BT, what they do and what you want to do in the area that you are applying for.

- assume the whole time is an assessment. Ask questions after the presentation the night before and make sure you look decent.

- keep thinking about customer service and how you can meet then needs of customers as this is very important to BT.

- practice a role play with a friend where you are the manager and you have to help someone find a solution to a difficult situation.

- be aware of some of the key issues that BT are engaged in.

- practice competency based questions because they come up as you'd expect.

Good luck and, I'll say it in advance cause some people are bound to ask, I will not give any specific advice as this is remove the point of assessment centres.

Hope it goes well!

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#10 RE: BT Assessment Day
28/02/2008 17:42

anon to Assessment day attendant (#9)

Hi again - just to correct some points from 'Ex BT'...He's obviously negative however, he is incorrect in saying that grads end up doing the same jobs as more senior people and get paid significantly less and also that grads don't have much in the way of promotion prospects. 'Ex BT' obviously gave up from not seeking the opportunity and took an offer elsewhere (sorry but I have to have a dig). There are some of us off the grad scheme who have been promoted several times, have increased our pay, bonus and benefits and travel to interesting places regularly like India, US, Hong Kong. If you want to do well at BT, during and after the grad scheme, you can without doubt. This will happen if you are tenacious, good at networking and influencing and generally impress in your job. Cream rises to the top where ever you go. One piece of advice is not to follow the beaten-track, find your own way upwards, it is often easier.

I don't want to defend or put down the company however as always in life, it's up to the individual to be successful, never think that 'the establishment' is stopping you getting anywhere because that's just in your head.

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#11 RE: BT Assessment Day
28/02/2008 22:47

BTGS to anon (#10)

anon ... total and utter tripe

"He's obviously negative"

No, he isn't. That's a very accurate description.

"however, he is incorrect in saying that grads end up doing the same jobs as more senior people and get paid significantly less and also that grads don't have much in the way of promotion prospects."

I know of quite a few grads who are doing the same work as middle managers that have been with the company 10+ years.

"here are some of us off the grad scheme who have been promoted several times, have increased our pay, bonus and benefits and travel to interesting places regularly like India, US, Hong Kong"

These grads are few and far between. I suspect anon is the co-founder of the (b) club (OV?)

"If you want to do well at BT, during and after the grad scheme, you can without doubt."

That is true. But don't kid yourself into thinking what you are doing is management consulting or even proper systems integration. There are precious few customer facing roles for graduates.

"This will happen if you are tenacious, good at networking and influencing and generally impress in your job."

You can be the hardest worker, producing the most amazing results, if you don't network in BT, you won't be getting anywhere. Rightly or wrongly brown nosers (at the graduate level) in BT get the spotlight.

"Cream rises to the top where ever you go."

Very true, and the cream often know when to go.

"never think that 'the establishment' is stopping you getting anywhere because that's just in your head."

Partially true. Nobody (at least not anybody I've met) in BT wants you to fail, however, as previously mentioned there is a lot of bureaucracy in BT. Plenty of hoops to jump through, unless you can "network" your way through.

Good luck!

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#12 RE: BT Assessment Day
29/02/2008 16:55

BTer to BTGS (#11)

Hey,

I recently had a Prof Services assessment day, and thought I'd clear up exactly what takes place, as some of the info on here isn't correct.

Night before:

Presentation

Meal

Day:

Presentation/Intro

1:1 interview

Management Roleplay with actor

Group activity

Case Study (writing recommendations)

No verbal or numerical tests.

This was for Professional Services Graduate Scheme for Global Services

Good luck to anyone applying

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#13 RE: BT Assessment Day
29/02/2008 17:04

Ex BT 2 to BTer (#12)

Here are some tips for you.

BT's one track in mind:

Right First Time

No 1 for Customer Service

Work in real time rather than BT time

Help the customers get what they want

If there is a problem fix it and prevent reoccurrance

Good luck

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#14 RE: BT Assessment Day
29/02/2008 19:02

Michael to Ex BT 2 (#13)

BT re-opened applications for many for their streams, such as professional services. Is this because there was not enough quality applicants first time round?

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#15 RE: BT Assessment Day
02/03/2008 13:13

Paul Hunt to Michael (#14)

I heard they're upping to the intake, especially in the Global Services and Openreach parts. They get 4,000 apps for 200-240ish places, so you'd think they'd get some decent apps, but who knows

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#16 RE: BT Assessment Day
02/03/2008 18:05

BT grad to Paul Hunt (#15)

BT graduate recruitment is (almost) a farce. Back in October, before recruitment had started, they had already decided to set the application deadline for december and would re-open again.

I have no idea why they do things this way. Totally misleading. Bunch of jokers.

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#17 RE: BT Assessment Day
03/03/2008 11:51

Surprised but unsurprised to BT grad (#16)

Yeah, that does seem like a completely farce. BT grad, do you have any idea how many slots have already been filled for BT's professional services grad scheme?

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#18 RE: BT Assessment Day
04/03/2008 23:23

anon to Surprised but unsurprised (#17)

To pass the BT assessment centre you need to average a score of 2.8 or above across the 4 exercises.

Does anyone at BT (past or present) have any idea of percentage of grads score in the following brackets?

2.8-3.2

3.21-3.60

3.61-4.0

Just interested really. Has anyone ever got a straight 4.0?

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#19 RE: BT Assessment Day
05/03/2008 18:57

Mr Fry to anon (#18)

I'm an insider - saw a few assessment centres with some bright oxbridge types who had good confidence and presentability. However out of circa 24 people, I think about 2 made the mark as they were consistent across the board so got 'above watershed' in all exercises.

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#20 RE: BT Assessment Day
05/03/2008 23:18

Mr Fried to Mr Fry (#19)

Mr Fry,

Thanks for your insight. Are you saying that they are letting in the best Oxbridge grads and only a few from other unis?

Thanks.

P.S. I'll have mine poached please.

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#21 RE: BT Assessment Day
05/03/2008 23:44

BT grad to Mr Fried (#20)

Quite the opposite, well, if the numbers that actually accept/start are anything to go by.

Oxbridge grads are in the minority over here.

As an Oxbridge grad, unless you're have a deep passion for research in the telecoms area, then there are very few incentives for choosing to begin your career with BT. There are faaar better organisations, in terms of work you do, pay, exit ops etc.

Lamentably, I'm, not an Oxbridge grad.

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#22 RE: BT Assessment Day
06/03/2008 12:24

Egg on my face to BT grad (#21)

Thanks for your honesty BT grad.

Although it many sound arrogant, I think everyone wants to work for a company that employs the best people. Hence, usually this involves working for a company that attracts a substantial quantity of Oxbridge grads.

Having been through the assessment exercises and, quite honestly, not being particularly impressed with others at the assessment centre, I'm wondering if BT will provide the challenges and competitive environment that a "competent" grad would want.

I know that this all sounds extremely big-headed but hopefully someone here understands. After all, aren't all consultants a little too overconfident and possibly even arrogant?

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#23 RE: BT Assessment Day
06/03/2008 21:51

BT grad to Egg on my face (#22)

Egg on my face, I know what you mean. I wouldn't say it was arrogant, a "competent grad" as you put it would want to be challenged in their role.

As Oxbridge (rightly or wrongly) has been portrayed to represent the pinnacle of (academic?) intelligence, it seems logical that the search of a challenging job would include a role with a relatively large number of Oxbridge graduates.

BT certainly has the potential to provide the environment and challenge a competitive grad would be seeking, however it largely depends on where your interests lie.

I've certainly found that showing some initiative and drive will get you far.

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#24 RE: BT Assessment Day
06/03/2008 22:21

ummmm. Egg.... to BT grad (#23)

Thanks again BT grad.

As I'm starting in September it is good to know that there is the potential to be pushed and challenged. I imagined that was the case and so, even though BT was the first place I applied, I decided to accept the offer.

Eggy.

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