Careers at BAE systems
Over 85,000 people are employed by BAE Systems in 40 countries. As a leader in technology, it is one of the most sought-after workplaces for graduates and those looking to build a career in this industry.
Even if you are not an engineer, there are numerous opportunities in HR, finance, operations, and marketing. Working for BAE often means being at the forefront of your field, and it is highly selective, with a competitive application process.
If you are passionate about joining the company, then learning as much about the application process and aptitude tests is sensible.
BAE systems Application Process
Online Aptitude Tests
Telephone or Virtual Interview
1) Online application
This is your initial application where you put forward your background information, experience and skills.
2) Online aptitude tests
You will be asked to do a series of online tests, including verbal and numerical reasoning.
3) Video interview
This will be a pre-recorded strength-based interview and allows the hiring staff to get a better sense of your personality and skills.
4) Telephone/virtual interview
Depending on restrictions, the next interview will either be in person or over the phone. This will be more like a regular interview and will be live with a relevant member of staff.
5) Security clearance
As the company deals in defence and security technology, any job offer given is dependent on a thorough security check.
The online application is where you need to show why you are suited to the position in question. It’s vital that you know the job specification and how you meet the criteria, as BAE seeks to knowhow you are the best candidate for the job.
As previously mentioned, background details are especially important when it comes to working for BAE, so make sure that you have checked any restrictions or given the necessary information that is needed to ensure your eligibility.
Applications are screened against required competencies (see below), so you need to show how you possess these qualities and how you have demonstrated them in your previous experience.
In particular, make sure that you fill in the ‘personal achievement’ section as fully as possible to show detailed examples of your past achievements and progress. BAE calls this ‘competency sifting’ and these fall under two categories:
- Good at looking at the bigger picture and how processes can be improved
- Keen to implement creative and innovative ideas
- Seeks feedback and understands how to develop from it
- Encourages cooperation with colleagues
- Responds positively and actively to others’ ideas and perspectives
- Considerate of your place in a team, e.g. attention to details of your own work, supports other team members, open and honest communication
To proceed to the next stage, you must meet both the qualification and skill criteria and the competency sift, which shows whether you’ll be a good cultural fit for the team. Therefore, it is particularly important to have examples that demonstrate your personality and how you embody these qualities.
BAE Aptitude Tests
BAE verbal reasoning test
The online tests given by BAE are standard psychometric tests, one of which is the verbal reasoning test. These assess your language and problem-solving skills through word-based questions, which shows employers your communication abilities and how well you work under pressure.
For graduate roles, BAE uses SHL verbal reasoning tests. Typically, these tests are around 30 questions long, requiring ‘true, false, or cannot say’ answers, and allow 17 to 19 minutes for completion.
Have a look at some tips on how to pass your verbal reasoning test, which can help you identify areas you might need to focus on before going into your actual test.
BAE numerical reasoning test
Numerical reasoning tests show employers how well you work with and interpret numerical-based data. This isn’t just important for those working in maths-based fields such as engineering or finance, but is a key workplace skill for all roles in a modern company.
In most jobs you will probably be asked to deal with numerical data in a less obvious way, and these tests show how well you deal with graphs, percentages, and identifying key information within a scenario.
BAE also uses SHL numerical reasoning tests for its graduate programme. These tend to have fewer questions than the verbal reasoning: around 12 questions in the 17-minute time limit.