About Balfour Beatty

Balfour Beatty is one of the largest infrastructure companies in the world. They have about 150 places available on the Balfour Beatty graduate scheme in the UK, in addition to internships, apprenticeships and placement scheme positions. This page outlines the application steps for the graduate scheme but bear in mind that similar stages can be expected for other positions.


The Balfour Beatty Application Form

The application form is a fairly straightforward form and you are given the opportunity to upload a CV applicable to the job you are applying for. When writing your CV for Balfour Beatty it is important to make sure that it fits not only with the necessary requirements of the job but also with the key competencies of Balfour Beatty:

  • Integrity: Making sure we keep promises as well as being fair and supportive to everyone.
  • Teamwork: Making sure to listen to everybody, creating excellent relationships and combining expertise.
  • Excellence: Not compromising on safety or quality whilst constantly looking for innovative, novel solutions.
  • Respect: Treating everyone with respect and appreciation of the unique skills that they bring to the company.

Bringing these key values into your CV will enable your application to stand out from the crowd, giving you a better chance of success.

If you have applied to the Balfour Beatty graduate scheme or the Balfour Beatty internship program you will be asked to answer some competency questions. When answering this type of question, use the STAR Method to better structure your answers.


The Balfour Beatty Online Tests

Candidates applying for the Balfour Beatty graduate scheme will need to take three online psychometric tests and a personality assessment. These tests are provided by IBM’s Kenexa and assess numerical, verbal and logical abilities.

Numerical reasoning

In this test you are given numerical data in the form of tables, graphs, or paragraphs. The questions are multiple choice with 5 possible answers to chose from. This is a timed test so you must make sure to work quickly and efficiently. Use numerical reasoning practice tests to prepare for the test. 

Verbal reasoning

In this test you are given a text to read and analyse with a statement about the text below. You have to answer as to whether you think the statement is true, false or you cannot say based on the text you read. These tests are used to measure different aspects of critical thinking and reasoning. Have a look at our verbal reasoning practice tests to help you prepare.

Logical Reasoning

There are two types of questions on this test; the first is inductive reasoning and the second is matrices. In the inductive reasoning questions, you are shown a pattern with 4 combinations of shapes. You must decide from the choices you are given what combination of shapes best fits the pattern. In the matrices questions, you will be shown a table with 9 boxes and decide which combination of images belongs in the missing box based on the other 8 boxes. For candidates applying to the quantity surveyor graduate program, this test is particularly important. Make sure you come prepared by practising logical reasoning tests.

Personality Assessment

This assessment is used to find out about your personality in relation to various stresses that can occur in the workplace. They can also be used to understand your approach and values relating to the job. You are given a number of statements and you have to select which of the statements you highly agree with to disagree with on a scale. Understanding how these tests work enables you to give over the right impression. Find personality practice tests and helpful tips on our dedicated pages.


The Balfour Beatty Interview

If you come through the first stage of the application process, you will be invited to a Balfour Beatty interview. This interview may be conducted over the phone, using a video-call, or in person, depending on both the position you have applied for and how many applications Balfour Beatty has received. Make sure you research the company before the interview, what it does and how it works. It is recommended to prepare a few questions to ask your interviewer as well. This is a motivational based interview. Some Balfour Beatty interview questions include:

  • What do you know about Balfour Beatty?
  • Why have you chosen to apply for this particular job?
  • Tell me about a recent project that Balfour Beatty have been involved in.

As the interview is the first time Balfour Beatty can get a real sense of you, it is important to make a good and lasting impression. Find out how to prepare and practice for interviews with our free PDF guide and online interview practice. If you are successful in this stage of the application process, you will be invited to the Balfour Beatty assessment centre..


The Balfour Beatty Assessment Centre

This is a whole day assessment centre held at one of the Balfour Beatty offices. It is important to remember that you are being assessed throughout the entire day, so make sure that the four key values of the company are constantly on your mind. There are a number of possible activities for the assessment day depending on the role you are applying for.

Group activity

During the group activity, you are given a question about the company, for example, how do you think the company can increase profits in the current financial climate? You then have to discuss it with the other candidates in your group and come up with a viable solution. Make sure to incorporate the key values of the company in your responses and remember that even if you have great ideas, if you don’t speak up the assessors won’t know. Group activities require a delicate balance of being a leader but not overpowering the group. You can find out more information on how best to deal with and prepare for your group exercise with JobTestPrep.

Written Exercise

The written activity is similar to the group activity whereby you are given a brief with a short scenario. You must then give a written answer to how you would resolve the issue stated in the brief and detail what actions you would take. Following this you are asked to present your answer in a presentation. Learn more about about how to prepare for both this exercise and the following presentation with our case study exercises practice pack.

Presentation

During the presentation of your answer, make sure to structure your answers according to the 4 competencies. Assessors are looking at your problem solving skills and thought processes so make sure to give clear and concise answers. Confidence is essential to this exercise so practising written exercises and presentation skills is crucial.

Balfour Beatty Interview

This is an hour long interview with two assessors and is mainly competency based. You can expect to be asked to give examples of when you failed, used your skills to solve a problem, achieved a goal or dealt with a stressful situation. Your answers help the interviewers build a more complete picture of you and decide how you might fit with the company. When preparing for the interview, keep the four competencies in mind and structure your answers around them. Make sure to brush up on your knowledge of the company as well. Interviews can be intimidating. The best way to calm your nerves is by practicing your interview skills.

Technical Interview

Applicants for the IT Graduate Scheme will have a technical interview. The interview is executed by two assessors who ask 10 scenario-based questions. These can be tricky because your answer is timed. You must give an example of the scenario and explain your answer to demonstrate your skills to the assessor. In addition to technical questions, you are also asked competency questions where you are required to give examples of leadership skills, effective communication, management skills, and team-work. These questions are best answered using the STAR Method in order to ensure well-structured, efficient answers. You can expect questions regarding your CV and academic history as well.

Aptitude Tests

During the assessment day, you are asked to take some verbal and numerical reasoning tests. These tests are the same as the online tests you previously took and are retaken in order to verify your score. It may be some time since you took the online tests, so refresh your skills ahead of the assessment centre.


In Summary

Competition for graduate places at Balfour Beatty is fierce. You will need to do your best to remain near the top of the pack throughout the lengthy recruitment process to give yourself a chance of getting a place. Practice is key, and JobTestPrep are here to help. Use the resources available through this article to prepare for each stage.