British Airways – Application Process, Interview & Assessment Guide
British Airways is a high profile, world-class, leading airline with a proud history.
Applying for a career with British Airways can be a challenging process. They seek both graduates and undergraduates who are forward-thinking and with an agile mind. Candidates should be able to deal with all the modern world’s challenges.
Hiring the best candidates for roles that can often carry big responsibility and the need for attention to detail is an ongoing challenge. Like its competitors, British Airways uses a variety of assessment practices to help them recruit the best people for the job.
Competition for individual roles is increasingly fierce. It is essential to make sure that you prepare well for any tests you may encounter and that you give yourself plenty of time to practise by familiarising yourself with the likely format and question types of such tests.
Job Test Prep has a range of resources to help you prepare for your online assessment and make sure you rise above your competitors.
Table of Contents
About British Airways
The airline serves around 45 million customers and makes extensive use of data and modern technology to simplify this complex process. The strict regulations and drive towards sustainability that govern British Airways add further complexity to this multi-layered organisation.
What Does the British Airways Application Process Involve?
- Online Application
- Psychometric Assessments
- Telephone Interview
- Assessment Day
The first parts of the application process will be done online and include a range of aptitude and psychometric testing.
British Airways Psychometric Tests
These tests measure the cognitive ability of potential candidates, and they assess the likelihood of excelling in a specific career or position.
Psychometric tests can take several forms, including numerical, logical, and verbal. Taking these tests means that employers can streamline the recruitment process and reveal top applicants efficiently before the face-to-face interview process, which, by its very nature, can be time-consuming and costly.
Depending upon the position you are applying for, you may encounter several tests taken in tandem. The test scores that you receive will be considered in combination with other elements such as CVs, covering letters, and then later on with tailored tasks group and individual interviews.
It is essential not to overlook the significance of your psychometric test score. This can often mean the difference between securing a final stage interview and being unsuccessful at the first hurdle.
Situational Judgement Tests (SJT)
Many organisations use SJTs to determine how a prospective employee may react or respond in various workplace situations, and British Airways is no exception.
In this test, you will receive a range of scenarios that you may encounter during a workplace situation. These could include anything from dealing with a disgruntled customer to finding a solution to a logistical problem.
The skills being assessed will mainly include communication, teamwork, motivation, and commercial knowledge. Management roles may look for skills such as strategy and long-term planning.
There will be many possible responses for the given scenario, and it will be your job to choose the response that best matches or describes the action you would take. You may need to choose either the least effective or the best response from the ones listed. You may also be asked to rank the responses available.
Whilst there are no right or wrong answers — there may be questions where your automatic response is not listed at all. It is important to bear in mind the role for which you are being assessed and the likely competencies that your future employer seeks.
Sometimes, the options given will include responses that are clearly unethical or oppose company values. These are clearly not favourable answers if you are to do well in the assessment. Similarly, ‘doing nothing’ is rarely a favourable choice.
The SJTs will give both you and your employer an understanding of how you might respond to workplace challenges and the effectiveness of your judgement. You will also gain an insight into the types of decisions you could be expected to make and the scenarios you may encounter if you are successful in securing employment with the organisation.
Numerical Reasoning Tests
The title of these tests is fairly self-explanatory in that they focus on your numerical and mathematical competencies.
The tests are usually conducted under timed conditions, and you will encounter around 20 to 25 questions. The questions will comprise graphs, tables and problems relating to percentages and data analysis. You will be expected to select the answers in a multiple-choice format.
Verbal Reasoning Tests
These tests will assess your analytical, comprehension and grammar skills. The tests themselves are timed, so practice is vital to ensure that you can give your answers efficiently and accurately.
Within a verbal reasoning test, you can expect to encounter:
- Verbal critical reasoning – Stating whether a phrase is confirmed by the given text using your logical ability.
- Reading comprehension – The retrieval of information in an accurate and timely manner from a given passage of text. You will be asked to confirm whether statements are true, false or uncertain based on the information provided.
- Explicit multiple-choice questions – Answering questions such as ‘how many…?’ or ‘who did…?’ from the facts given in the text.
- Implicit multiple choice – The answers to these questions are inferred by the text rather than expressly given. Questions such as, ‘why did the employee choose to do…?’ will require you to extract implied meaning.
- Meta multiple choice – For these questions, applicants must answer broader questions such as, ‘which statement may strengthen or weaken the argument of…?’ The answers to these questions will not be specifically given in the text but will seek the candidate’s interpretation of the text. In all of the verbal reasoning formats, it is important to remember that everything you need to know will be given in the text and no prior knowledge of the topic is necessary – your answers should be based solely on what you have read.
- Grammar and spelling – These tests simply assess your knowledge of the correct spelling and grammar for certain words and phrases.
- Vocabulary – This is an evaluation of your vocabulary range and how words can sometimes be related, for example, as synonyms (words with similar meanings) or antonyms (words with opposite meanings).
- Word analogy – Assessing your ability to find the relationship between a pair of words.
Logical Reasoning Tests
These tests will comprise a series of questions that relate to sequences of shapes and patterns. There will be a piece of the pattern missing within each sequence, and you will have to find that missing piece from a given number of options.
These questions are timed. It is important to prepare well so that you are familiar with the format of the questions and can answer efficiently and accurately. The questions are designed to measure your problem solving and logical thinking skills.
These tests are very similar to the SJTs and are likely to be linked specifically to the role for which you are applying.
As with the situational judgement tests, you will be given a range of scenarios and asked to rank the answers in order of least to most favourable.
The questions will likely seek to understand character traits such as conflict resolution, teamwork, reliability, honesty and ethics. If you are successful in the online tests, then you will be asked to attend further face-to-face assessments.
Try a free personality test at Job Test Prep.
This is designed to test how well you work in a group and the level of your people skills. There will be scenarios for you to discuss or address within your group, and managers will observe how well you interact within that group. They will be looking for individuals who are neither too aggressive nor too passive when dealing with challenges or issues.
The assessors will provide a subject and it will be your task to create and deliver a short presentation around that topic. You will be given time to prepare your material and collect any prompts you may need.
The amount of time you have to prepare may vary from the day before to a few hours before and will be relevant to the given subject. You will be assessed for your skills in public speaking, presenting and how well you perform under pressure when taking questions from managers.
In this part of the assessment, you will be observed ‘acting out’ how you might respond in certain workplace scenarios or situations. You will be given a short time to prepare and will be assessed on your ability to deal with the kind of challenges that you may encounter in your future role.
In summary, when applying to work for an organisation with such a prestigious reputation as British Airways, it should be expected that application processes are likely to be comprehensive and somewhat competitive.
Employers are aware that the business of hiring new staff can be costly both in terms of time and money, and consequently, they are keen to make sure the process is as reliable, efficient and accurate as possible.
How to Prepare for the British Airways Assessments?
You’ve heard it before. But practice makes perfect. With test formats you may not be familiar with, we highly recommend using psychometric test preparation materials from a trusted provider.
Our favorite is Job Test Prep, who have a whole range of free and paid practice materials that will help you nail the tests.
People increasingly use psychometric tests in the hiring process, and it helps to achieve the best results in terms of building harmonious and productive work teams. Job Test Prep can provide you with the resources to make sure that you not only ace the assessments, but that you do it with calm confidence and outshine your competitors!
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Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.