Telstra recruit at a range of levels, with a popular graduate program as well as an experienced hire recruitment scheme. They offer variety in their business areas, with six strands to the Telstra graduate program: Engineering, Marketing, IT, HR, Finance, and Business and Commerce. Competition is high for each place, so preparation is key to progressing your application. The following article reviews the recruitment process for Telstra’s graduate scheme but other positions may follow a similar recruitment path. You will be notified what the next stage involves each time your application is progressed.
The application form is your first opportunity to impress the recruitment team as they read your application thoroughly. You need to ensure that your form sells you well. The application form asks questions about you, such as your experience, your education, and personal details, as well as a set of questions specific to the role you are applying to. You are also required to attach your resume and cover letter. In order to ensure your application form is taken forward, complete every question, and plan your answers to the specific questions while carefully giving a good account of yourself within the word limit. Wherever possible your answers should demonstrate how you meet the criteria for the position you are applying to.
The next stage for the graduate program is the online cognitive ability test. Applicants for other positions may be invited to take the test at a later stage in the process. The online cognitive ability test is provided by Revelian (formally OneTest), and it measures your verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning. Unlike many other tests, which will require you to sit three separate tests, you are tested on all subjects together. This test contains 51 questions to be answered in 20 minutes. In order to progress to the next stage you are bench-marked against a sample of other cohorts. The three types of question rotate throughout the test and there is no particular sequence to them.
These questions examine your verbal skills and are more of a check to see if your vocabulary is up to scratch. These questions are based on your rudimentary language skills. As an example, you are given two words and asked to determine if they are similar or opposite to each other.
The numerical questions are based on the four basic numerical functions (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). The questions are quite varied with some looking like Sudoku puzzles and others being presented in a sentence. You get five different answer options to choose from for each question.
These questions present you with a number of different shapes with a particular logic pattern running through them. You have to work out this pattern and use it to decide either the missing shape, the next picture shape, or the odd one out. These questions measure your lateral thinking skills on a number of different levels.
You will need to get a very high score in order to progress to the next stage. To do so you will have to answer many questions in a short time frame. The testers are also looking for evidence that you thought about your answers, and did not just guess to answer in time. The best way to overcome these challenges on test day is to prepare for the test in advance. Taking practice tests can improve speed and accuracy thereby increasing your score.
Some of you will be invited to take a personality questionnaire. These tests are used to measure your individual preferences and preferred working style. Personality questionnaires ask a number of questions that look similar but are designed to tease out different elements of your personality. Taking practice personality tests can eliminate stress, indecisiveness and help you know what to expect, all of which will contribute to a better profile in the test.
Successful applicants take part in a phone interview following the cognitive ability and personality tests. For some it may be more of a conversation verifying your application form and asking one or two simple behavioural interview questions. For others, the phone interview may be a longer than that. You are usually told to clear 20 minutes for the call. Keep a copy of your CV in front of you and any notes you feel can help you with your answers. The Telstra phone interview is your opportunity to really sell yourself and your skills as well as ask questions about the program and your position.
If you performed well during the phone interview, you will be invited to the Telstra assessment centre. The assessment centre typically lasts three and a half hours, and you work with a small group of other applicants. The day focuses on some of your interpersonal skills, for example leadership skills, teamwork, listening, and organising. The assessment centre typically contains three tasks, a group activity, an individual case study involving presentation, and an interview.
Some advice from Telstra on how to prepare includes:
This is a discussion which requires you to work as part of a team whilst also contributing new and useful points to the argument. In this exercise you are given a topic relevant to working at Telstra to discuss amongst yourselves. Assessors are watching you for how you interact with the other members of the team, including neutralising difficult or dominant team members and drawing out members of the group who are not saying enough. You are also assessed on the quality of your contribution. Plan your strategy in advance using our group exercises tips.
For the case study, you are given a packet of information describing a situation relating to your applied position. You need to read through the packet, outline the problem, and develop a solution. Once you have come to a solution, you should think of the best way to present it, as the next step is a presentation given to a small panel of assessors. Learn how to manage your time, complete the task and prepare an impressive presentation with our case study practice pack.
The final interview in the graduate program recruitment is with managers from the area you are applying to, and lasts for 45 minutes to an hour. These interviews are behavioural-based, but with technical questions thrown in for some areas. During the interview, give answers that accurately reflect you and your previous experiences. Remember to use only recent examples of your experience, as something that you did more than two years ago is no longer relevant. Think of and prepare answers in advance, using your own examples and the STAR method to organise your answers (Situation, Task, Action, Result). This ensures that you cover all you need to in the interview. Review some example interview questions below. Be prepared for follow up questions on the answers you have provided and come up with good questions to ask the interviewers.
Some of the questions asked in Telstra interviews in the past include:
Competition is fierce for all positions at Telstra as the telecommunications giant is a popular choice for applicants across a range of disciplines. To illustrate, Telstra received 5,000 applications for the graduate program in 2013 for approximately 200 places. Making sure you are fully prepared for each new assessment is the best way to improve your chances of progressing further to the final job offer. This article has detailed each stage of the recruitment process, and highlighted JobTestPrep’s resources designed to help you prepare. We hope you have found this article useful, and good luck!