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British Nuclear

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by SpeedFreak, 23 May 2006.

  1. SpeedFreak

    Soldato

    Joined: 14 Nov 2002

    Posts: 7,148

    Location: Bristol

    Right, this forum is huge, so hopefully somebody will be able to help me :D

    I applied for the Elements graduate programme with the British Nuclear Group and have now reached the fourth stage of my application. I now have to attend a Graduate Assessment Centre in two weeks time. The purpose of this is to test my ability to work as part of a team, my research ability, more verbal and numerical reasoning tests.

    Has anybody been to the BNFL assessment centre before, or something similar? What exactly should I be expecting? thanks in advance for any help.
     
  2. DaveyD

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 19 Jan 2003

    Posts: 12,645

    Location: Warwickshire

    What kind of stuff have you done already in your 3 stages?

    I've had a couple of undergraduate placement assessment centres where team work has been involved, usually doing something quite simple, but really needing you to think about it. One example has been as a team coming up with lego brick bridge design then making it in very little time to a set cost. Another having to come up quickly as a team to build some sort of contraption to catch an egg falling from the ceiling.

    If it's anything like those I've done, expect a couple of other candidates being with you, and then you being told a problem, then you get on with it, with 2 or 3 other people sitting there observing you and making notes. What I can say for this is speak up, and make clear observations of the key problems you're going to be facing in such activities.
     
  3. SpeedFreak

    Soldato

    Joined: 14 Nov 2002

    Posts: 7,148

    Location: Bristol

    I had my initial application approved, this was then followed by a verbal and numerical reasoning test. These tend to be much the same everywhere, looking at charts and calculating percentages under a timed situation. The verbal reasoning was mostly extracing the facts from passages.
    This was then followed by a one hour telephone interview. The interview was mostly checking my abiltiy to work in a team. Questions about difficulties, both human and technical in my present job.
     
  4. steMS

    Associate

    Joined: 11 Jul 2005

    Posts: 80

    I've been on both sides of the BNFL assessment centre so I should be able to help! What discipline are you? Engineer?

    The assessment centre will probably start with the group discussion. This involves all of the candidates being given a brief and then sitting round a table discussing it e.g. solving a problem for a fictional business etc. The important thing on this is not what you say (although that is important), but how you act. The assessors will be looking for someone who contributes well, allows others to get their point across, and defends their position without being confrontational. Above all, don't sit their quietly as this is a guaranteed way to score low. Also, it will not hurt to be the first person at the table to speak.

    You will then have the tests, numerical and verbal. Make sure you pass these as if you fail the tests, you fail the assessment centre!

    There will also be a presentation of some description to give, and an interview. During the interview you will be given every opportunity to steer the discussion as you wish so make sure you discuss something you know about. For instance, the interviewer may ask about your final year project and then use that as a basis for some technical questioning.

    Above all, the interviewers are looking for people that they could work with. Be confident, but not cocky, and remember that if you are at the assessment centre they are desperate for you to pass. You are not in competition with the other candidates. Hope that helps.

    Ps. Feel free to ask any other questions, I should be able to answer them or find out the answer for you.
     
    Last edited: 24 May 2006
  5. SpeedFreak

    Soldato

    Joined: 14 Nov 2002

    Posts: 7,148

    Location: Bristol

    Hi steMS, thanks for your reply. I'm doing Physics if thats any help. Are the reasoning tests similar to those from earlier in the application process, or completely different? Also, what type of presentation is it? Are you given a topic on the day, or are you supposed to choose your own? Oh, and is the hotel nice? :D I'm going to Lancaster.
     
  6. DaveyD

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 19 Jan 2003

    Posts: 12,645

    Location: Warwickshire

    Hate presentations. On an assessment day for Vauxhall I had to do one, I think the topics were something like "What's good about the engineering industry", "Why should we employ you" and "What's important about the developing industry" or something along those lines. Was given 20 min to prepare a 5min presentation. It was all but fun.
     
  7. SpeedFreak

    Soldato

    Joined: 14 Nov 2002

    Posts: 7,148

    Location: Bristol

    Yeah Davey, thats what i'm afraid of. The good news is I have already spoken to somebody from BNFL who has given me plenty of background reading on the British Nuclear industry. Hopefully this will be useful.
     
  8. steMS

    Associate

    Joined: 11 Jul 2005

    Posts: 80

    I think the tests are pretty much the same and the hotel in lancaster is quite nice actually. As for the presentation I think you are given a subject to present and some time to prepare. Again the content is not the most important thing, it's your manner of presenting and your ability to answer questions on your presentation that's important. For instance you may have to defend your opinions etc.

    Also, do your research beforehand. I recommend you get clued up on the following things before going to the assesment centre:

    * Formation of BNG (British Nuclear Group) from BNFL
    * The NDA (Nuclear decommissioning Authority) - v. important
    * Impending sale of BNG
    * Sellafield (check its website)
    * The sale of Westinghouse and BNG America
    * The role of BNG as contractor rather than owner/operator
    * Nexia
    * Your opinions on nuclear power

    You may not be asked about these things but it will help if you are at least aware of them.
     
  9. SpeedFreak

    Soldato

    Joined: 14 Nov 2002

    Posts: 7,148

    Location: Bristol

    thats exactly what I wanted steMS. Thanks. My friend actually highly reccommended reading up on the NDA and I have some very interesting pdfs now. Just out of curiosity, do you work for BNFL/BNG?
     
  10. steMS

    Associate

    Joined: 11 Jul 2005

    Posts: 80

    Yeah I work for BNG