About BAE Systems
BAE Systems is a British arms, aerospace and security company. As the largest defence contractor in Europe, they employ more than 89,000 people in 40+ countries and are an award-winning employer that offers pathways for early careers, experienced professionals and ex-military personnel.
With locations in Europe, the US and further afield, working for BAE Systems means becoming part of an exciting and innovative company with a focus on protecting what matters for their customers.
Careers at BAE Systems
Careers at BAE Systems are available in several business functions, including:
- Finance and Commercial
- Human Resources
- Manufacturing and Operations
- Marketing and Communications
- Procurement and Supply Chain
- Project Management
- Quality and Assurance
With specific opportunities for school leavers including apprenticeships, and for undergraduates in internships and work placements that could lead to graduate program opportunities, the focus on developing the talents of the brightest young people makes BAE Systems a perfect landing place for students who want to be at the pinnacle of innovation in security and arms design and manufacture.
The competency and skill overlap between military personnel and the security industry makes BAE Systems perfect places to take ex-military staff and help them transition to civilian life, with exemplary support and a range of exciting roles.
Benefits of Working at BAE
Aside from a competitive remuneration package, BAE employees can take advantage of a range of benefits, including pension plans and life, home, and even pet insurance, an Employee Assistance Plan tailored to individual requirements, and extensive paid leave options.
BAE Systems Mission and Values
Understanding the overarching mission of the business as well as the specific values that are held by employees will help you prepare yourself for the recruitment process when you apply.
With a mission “to provide a vital advantage to help customers protect what really matters”, the specific values of BAE Systems are:
When answering questions in an interview, whether it is video or in person, bear these values in mind so that you can demonstrate that you share them in your professional life.
BAE Systems Application Process
The application process at BAE Systems starts with the Careers page, where you will find all the details about open opportunities around the world.
You can search by keyword, business area or location to find the role that suits you best.
To start the ball rolling, when you click the 'apply now' button on your chosen role or program you will be invited to create a profile.
This is your application hub, where you will be able to see the status of your application, and manage each role if you have applied for more than one.
You will need to upload an updated and bespoke CV that demonstrates your experience, skills and qualifications as required in the job description.
Once your application has been submitted, the Talent Acquisition team will review your application to make sure you meet the basic criteria, before inviting you to the next step.
Online Ability Tests
For graduate roles, or those with a cyber focus, you are likely to be asked to complete an online assessment that is gamified. As a relatively new way to assess candidates for their suitability, gamified tests collect thousands of data points about an applicant while they play mini-games, allowing recruiting teams to get a full picture of their suitability.
Gamified assessments are usually similar in structure and style to the 'brain training' apps that you might have on your smartphone, and can test a number of competencies and aptitudes at the same time.
Numerical Reasoning Assessments are used by employers to assess your aptitude for working with numerical data in unfamiliar situations, testing your basic maths ability as well as your ability to learn new things.
You will be presented with numerical information in the form of a table or graph, and need to quickly take in the data, understand it, and analyse it according to the questions you will be asked.
You will usually have to perform some basic calculations to find the correct answer; these are not any more difficult than GCSE-level operators (multiplication, division, addition, subtraction, ratios, fractions and percentages), but you will have to answer under time pressure.
Answers are usually multiple choice.
In a verbal reasoning assessment, you are being tested on your ability to quickly read and make use of information in the form of a passage of text. This is usually presented in formal language and is related to the role you have applied for.
The questions about each passage might be presented in the form of a statement, and you have to use the information in the text to decide if the statement is true, false, or if there is not enough information to tell.
Success comes from being able to read and understand the information presented under time pressure, and all the information you need to answer the question is provided in the text so there is no need to apply any previous knowledge.
After completing the online assessments, your scores will be used by the Talent Acquisition team to decide if you should be taken further in the application process.
Scores on the tests are compared against both a 'norm' group and against other applicants, so it is important that you score as highly as you can to be considered for the next steps. The pass rate is not publicised, but you will be competing with other people.
If you are successful, you will be invited to complete a video interview. This is not a 'live' interview, but you will be provided with a number of questions that you need to answer on video, by recording yourself. Full instructions on how to do this will be provided for you.
The questions in the video interview are likely to focus on your motivations - or why you want to work at BAE Systems in that particular role.
Your research about the company and the wider industry will come in useful here, as you will be able to talk about your future plans and career aspirations with the company mission and values in mind.
The final stage in the application process is usually a face-to-face interview, and at BAE Systems this takes place at an Assessment Centre.
The assessment centre at BAE Systems actually starts the evening before, with a presentation and a meal to be shared by applicants and current employees, including graduates, recruiters and management.
On the assessment day, you can expect to take part in a number of exercises with other candidates, some of whom might be applying for the same role or program, while others might be looking for something different.
You will be assessed throughout the exercises on a number of so-called 'soft skills' like communication, leadership, teamwork and listening. The exercises themselves are designed to match essential skills in the role, and it is meant to resemble the workplace.
Exercises you might face include:
- Group Exercise - problem-solving a case study, or playing games
- Presentation - based on a case study, presenting to the group and recruiters, answering questions
There may be more than one face-to-face interview at the assessment centre, but they are likely to have similar types of questions.
You can expect to answer questions about your behaviours and competencies, where you will be expected to provide examples of when you have demonstrated these in your working or academic life. There will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions yourself, and this can be a great time to show that you have done the research on the business, the role and the wider industry if you can pose some insightful questions.
After the assessment centre, successful applicants will receive a conditional job offer, pending security clearance.