Getting A Job At The BBC
Headquartered at Broadcasting House in London, the BBC is the national broadcaster of the United Kingdom. It is both the world's oldest and largest national broadcaster, with more than 22,000 employees.
Positions at the BBC are highly sought-after and competitive, therefore, the recruitment process is rigorous, consisting of several stages including an online application, and online assessments, and interviews.
The BBC prides itself on its diversity and inclusivity, seeing it as necessary to represent and reflect the diversity of the United Kingdom. Throughout the application process it is important to remember the BBC's core values, which are:
- Trust is the foundation of the BBC. We're independent, impartial, and honest
- We put audiences at the heart of everything we do
- We respect each other and celebrate our diversity
- We take pride in delivering quality and value for money
- Creativity is the lifeblood of our organisation
- We're one BBC. Great things happen when we work together
Types Of Roles At BBC
The BBC has teams across all aspects of broadcasting and digital services, all over the world. As a result, there is a wide range of opportunities at the BBC spanning many industries such as journalism, production, design, engineering, and technology.
The BBC also offers great opportunities for graduates, school leavers, or people looking for a new career with their new talent schemes.
Hiring Process At BBC
Competition for positions at the BBC is highly competitive, so the application process is rigorous and thorough, consisting of several stages including creating a career profile and submitting an application, an online assessment, and multiple interviews. It is worth noting that the application process may vary slightly depending on the position you are applying for.
BBC Career Profile
You will begin the application process by building a career profile in the BBC careers hub. This is where you will search and apply for jobs, and track your application process.
Your career profile is your first chance to prove why you are a good fit for the position, so make sure you showcase your relevant skills and experience. You will be able to upload your CV, which should be up to date, and tailored to the requirements of the role, as outlined in the job description. You can upload more than one CV if you want to highlight different skills and experiences.
The career profile will also let you add examples of your work, which is particularly important for creative roles, such as UX design.
BBC Online Application
After creating your career profile, you will be able to submit online applications to positions you are interested in. The application form will involve a series of questions relating to the role. You should take the time to make sure you understand what each question is asking you, then form an effective answer by considering how your skills and experience relate to the position.
You should assume that the hiring manager knows nothing about you, giving detailed and specific examples from your work experience or studies.
There is also space on the application for you to prove you have the competencies required for the role. You should use this section to show how you have displayed crucial skills, knowledge, or other qualities in the past during your previous work experience, education, voluntary work, or other areas of your life. To ensure you give a detailed and concise response, the best way to structure your statement is to use the STAR technique (situation, task, action, response).
BBC Aptitude Tests
Depending on the role you are applying to, you may be asked to complete some online assessments. The BBC uses two main types of psychometric tests in their assessment - ability tests, which assess how you perform on reasoning tasks, and personality questionnaires, which evaluate your personality traits, your work preferences, and how you react to workplace situations. The BBC uses SHL for their assessments.
BBC Numerical Reasoning Test
A numerical reasoning test assesses your ability to read, understand and analyse data presented in tables or charts, and use simple mathematical calculations to come to the correct conclusion. The test will be timed and presented in a multiple-choice format.
To prepare for the test It is worth brushing up on basic mathematical concepts such as percentages, ratios, and fractions, and practicing sample SHL numerical reasoning tests.
BBC Verbal Reasoning Test
The verbal reasoning test will be presented in a similar multiple-choice format, except this time it will be measuring your ability to read, analyse, and extrapolate key pieces of information from a passage of text to reach the correct conclusion. You must use the information in the text to decide if the statement is ‘true’, ‘false’, or ‘cannot say’.
This test assesses your comprehension and analytical skills, which are essential to many roles in the BBC. Remember to only base your conclusions on the information presented in the text, and not on any additional factors or existing knowledge.
BBC Logical Reasoning Test
Logical reasoning tests (sometimes referred to as abstract, inductive, or diagrammatic reasoning tests) are non-verbal aptitude test that assesses your ability to analyse and interpret abstract information and apply logic to draw relevant conclusions. Logical reasoning tests evaluate your problem-solving skills, which are essential for many roles at the BBC.
The logical reasoning test will typically present you with a series of images, shapes, or patterns, from which you are required to recognise relationships between them to predict the next item in the sequence, spot the odd one out, or identify the missing item.
BBC Situational Judgement Test
The situational judgement test will present you with workplace scenarios that you might encounter whilst work for the BBC. You will then need to decide which is the best course of action to take in the situation. This is used to predict how people might behave whilst working at the BBC, and gives them more insight into your preferred style of working.
The test is not timed, and there are no right or wrong answers, however, keeping the BBC's core values in mind when answering the questions will help ensure your responses are aligned with the kind of employee they want to hire.
If you are successful in the online assessment, you will be invited to the final stage of the recruitment process, which is a series of interviews with the line manager and members of the team you are applying for. These are competency-based interviews, which means you are required to provide real-life examples to demonstrate you have the key skills and competencies for the role.
BBC Interview Questions
While the interview inquiries may vary, many applicants can expect competency-based interview questions are:
- Why do you want to work for BBC?
- What would you change about the BBC?
- What is your routine for finding new stories?
- Describe your strengths and weaknesses.
- Describe a time when you have gone above and beyond.
- Describe a time when you made a mistake, and how you handled it.
- Tell me about a time when you had to make a quick decision without all of the facts.
The best way to prepare for competency-based interviews is to take a look at the core competencies required for the role, which should be outlined in the job description. Then create a list of real-life examples in your previous work experience, education, volunteering, or other areas of your life. After you've got your examples, try to practice structuring your answer using the STAR technique.
Depending on the role, you may also be required to complete a range of technical, professional, or other psychometric tests.
What Is It Like To Work At The BBC?
The BBC offers fantastic opportunities for learning and development, and excellent perks and benefits such as a generous pension, discounts at shops and restaurants, and contributions towards commuting costs.
Overall, the BBC is regarded as a great place to work and has been described by employees as an open and collaborative workplace with lots of opportunities to learn, develop, and advance your career.
Top Tips To Getting Hired At BBC
Use The STAR Approach
The STAR (situation, task, action, and result) technique is essential for success in the BBC's recruitment process. Using this method will help structure your answers to competency-based questions on the online application or during the interviews by keeping your real-life examples specific and concise. By effectively using the STAR technique you will be able to demonstrate to the hiring manager that you possess the necessary skills and experience for the position.
Block Out Distractions
Whether you are preparing for the interviews, practicing online assessments, or taking a real online assessment, you should eliminate distractions by finding a quiet space. Your phone can be a massive distraction, so don't have this next to you (unless it's turned off). If you are using a computer, don't leave social media sites open, as you may be tempted to click on them.
Removing these distractions will help you maintain your focus and attention on the task at hand, which is essential if you want to stand out at all stages of the application process.
It may sound cliche, but remembering to be yourself through the process is essential. During your application, make sure to showcase why your skills and experience make you a suitable candidate for the position, whilst remaining authentic.
You should practice for the interviews but don't over-rehearse it so you sound robotic. Instead, keep in mind some key experiences and skills you want to showcase, but allow your unique personality to shine through too.
You are more likely to impress the interviewer and enter a position that is right for you if you remain authentic.