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Graduate Development Programme

This is the business for graduates. Where else can you work on projects that affect so many millions of people? Or help to define the energy infrastructure of Britain? And who else consistently invests so much into graduate development?

Below is a list of our most frequently asked questions (FAQs) - click on the question to reveal the response. If you are unable to find the information you need please call our Recruitment Team on 0207 061 1939 or email nationalgridcareers@gtisolutions.co.uk

Advice - Completing the application form

Provide us with as much information as you can. Think about how your skills and experience relate to the job.  This is your opportunity to sell yourself to the organisation, so take your time in completing the on line application form, be honest with your answers, show a passion for the Industry, Sector and role. Research the organisation and read any information/advice and questions on the website and don’t forget to make reference to it in your answers.  We are interested to hear about what you have achieved and any contributions you have made e.g. Social Action, so be sure to tell us about these.

Qualifications - any qualifications you enter on the application form even if they are not required for the vacancy will be checked thoroughly by our background checking provider if you are successful in receiving an offer from National Grid. If any details are found to be incorrect this could lead to the offer being withdrawn. Attained qualifications will be checked at the Assessment Centre and verified by the Resourcing team and third parties that they are original documents.

This also applies to the education and employment details that are submitted on the application form. If the work experience you have obtained is through an Employment Agency please ensure you provide us with their name.

Supporting documents - we would encourage you to upload any supporting documents on the application system. This could be transcript of exam results, qualification certificates etc.

Advice - Time to complete the application form

Time to complete the application - we anticipate that the application process could take you between one and two hours to complete so please make sure to allocate sufficient time and a quiet place to work. You will have the facility to save each page and to return to the application form to complete on separate occasions. However the last stage of the application process when you submit the full application and undertake the first part of the screening will need to be completed in one sitting.

Advice - Interview Advice

We have introduced an extra stage in our recruitment process called the Video Interview.  This is only for candidates who have applied for the Finance Analyst Graduate Programme roles and will only take place if you have successfully passed the telephone interview stage.   

The video interview offers you the unique opportunity to bring your communication skills and personality alive in real time. 

You will be able to undertake the video interview using a webcam on your computer or laptop, a tablet or mobile phone at a time that is convenient to you and should take no more than 15 to 20 minutes. 

The interview will involve you being asked up to 3 short questions and you will be able to record your answers.  Instructions will be sent along with a link to the system and there will be on-line help should you require it. 

The videos will be reviewed as they arrive, so don't forget to complete the interview as soon as you can!  Don't forget that by successfully completing each stage of the recruitment process promptly will mean you are at the front of the pipeline of candidates. 

Advice - Video Interview

Video Interview

We have introduced an extra stage in our recruitment process called the Video Interview.  This is only for candidates who have applied for the Finance Graduate Development Programmes roles and will only take place if you have successfully passed the telephone interview stage.  

The video interview offers you the unique opportunity to bring your communication skills and personality alive in real time.

You will be able to undertake the video interview using a webcam on your computer or laptop, a tablet or mobile phone at a time that is convenient to you and should take no more than 15 to 20 minutes.

The interview will involve you being asked up to 3 short questions and you will be able to record your answers.  Instructions will be sent along with a link to the system and there will be on-line help should you require it.

The videos will be reviewed as they arrive, so don't forget to complete the interview as soon as you can! Don't forget that by successfully completing each stage of the recruitment process promptly will mean you are at the front of the pipeline of candidates

Advice - Qualifications

Qualifications - any qualifications you enter on the application form even if they are not required for the vacancy will be checked thoroughly by our background checking provider if you are successful in receiving an offer from National Grid. If any details are found to be incorrect this could lead to the offer being withdrawn. Attained qualifications will be checked at the Assessment Centre and verified by the Resourcing team and third parties that they are original documents.

This also applies to the education and employment details that are submitted on the application form. If the work experienced you have obtained is through an Employment Agency please ensure you provide us with their name.

 

Advice - Email Communication

Email Communication - all communication during the application process will be made via email, please ensure that you enter your email address correctly. Please also be aware of any filters or firewalls that may prevent you from receiving emails, and remember to check your Spam or Junk email folders regularly. National Grid or its agents, subsidiary companies, Alliance Partners and any contracted data processors cannot be held responsible for lost emails. We would advise you to use an email address that you are able to access regularly and do so from the time you apply. Please be aware of our Assessment Events which can be viewed on our website.

Advice - Situational Judgement Test

The Situational Judgement Test will present you with various situations you could encounter during your time on the programme.  We are looking for you to identify what is the most effective and what is the least effective response to each situation.

You should spend the same amount of time identifying the least effective response as you would for the most effective response.  Both areas are awarded an equal level of scoring. 

Please make sure you sit the test in one session and that you select a quiet area to do this away from any distractions. 

This test has been developed and validated by individuals who are currently performing well on our development programmes and within their permanent roles.

The questions on the Situational Judgement Test have been designed for the Graduate Development Programme and are not relevant for a different career profile any support that you may be given by a friend or family member could seriously impact the final result of this test.

We do not expect you to have any prior knowledge or experience in this kind of role. We are assessing how you judge a situation and whether you can recognise the most effective or least effective reaction to each of the given situations.

There are no trick answers and you can assume that the information in the responses is correct and that you would undertake the activities you suggest.  Each situation should be considered on its own merits; the situations do not link or relate to each other.

 

Advice - How to prepare for an Assessment Centre

Preparation is all-important. Be sure to think about your previous experiences (work, education, extra curricular activities etc.) and what you have learned and gained from each of those. It's always good to have a variety of examples at hand. Remember, we are assessing you against the competencies!

It's also essential to do some research into the business - and you can find lots of information about us here on the website.

During the selection process - stay calm, be yourself, don't try to second guess what we are looking for or act out of character otherwise you will only mask your natural strengths and qualities. Whether it's an interview question or a group exercise, listen to what's being asked of you as this will enable you to demonstrate the skills you have.

Advice - Documents at Assessment Centre

Documents at Assessment Centre - you will be expected to provide originals of your qualifications and right to work in the UK without Company sponsorship documentation at the Assessment Centre.  Please be proactive and ensure that this information is current and available in the event that you are successful in reaching an Assessment Centre.  If the qualifications are not obtained then please provide an original latest summary of results or a covering letter from your Tutor.  Some documentation can take up to 8 weeks to obtain new originals.  Attained qualifications will be checked at the Assessment Centre and verified by the Resourcing team and third parties that they are original documents.

Advice - Competency-based interview

Competency based interviews are interviews where each question is designed to test one or more specific skill or competency.  The questions can be used to assess both behavioural and technical competencies and the skills and competencies tested will vary depending on the requirements of the role.

You will be asked questions relating to your behaviour in specific circumstances which you will need to back up with concrete examples.  What we are looking for are true and honest examples from your past where you have dealt with or managed a particular situation.

Preparation is key, be sure to think about your previous experiences (work, education, extra curricular activities etc) and what you have learned and gained for each of these areas.  Before the interview find out what competencies are important; for our Graduate Programme we assess against 4 key competencies at Assessment Centre, Relationship Management (Team Working), Organising and Planning, Communication and Problem Solving and Decision Making.  Look back on your own experience and find examples against each competency.  It’s always good to have a variety of examples to hand.  Take a list of keywords into the interview for reference.

This type of interview will help us gather evidence to measure your capability in a competence and is designed to find out if you have got the initial qualities we are looking for our Graduate programme.

Advice - Pre-employment checks

In order to provide an offer of employment in writing we will require the following information from you.

  • Your original valid UK Passport or full A4 birth certificate and proof of your National Insurance Number    
  • Your full UK Car Driving licence (both card and paper) if you have one
  • Your original degree certificate or latest Transcript of Results and/or equivalents

To speed up the process it is advisable to bring these original documents along to the Assessment Centre for us to verify and check that they are originals.

Once an offer of employment is made you will then be registered for background checking and you will need to complete a medical questionnaire and undertake a drug and alcohol test. 

Verifile our background checking company will then conduct a Criminal Record Check together with a 5 year career, education and address check. 

All information collected by Verifile as part of the background checking process will be compared against your original application form.  It is therefore imperative that all information but particularly the education and employment details are accurate.   If the work experienced you have obtained is through an Employment Agency please ensure you provide us with their name.  Please be aware that if you have entered additional qualifications on the application form that are not relevant to the role, these qualifications will be checked as well and if they are found to be incorrect this could lead to the offer being withdrawn.

All candidates must have successfully completed all of the pre-employment checks prior to physically starting with National Grid.  Once an offer has been made to you we ask that you are very proactive in registering and completing the paperwork

Social Action (Step Up 2 Serve)

'National Grid welcomes the Campaign for youth social action and see this as a win/win for society, young people and businesses like ours. We know from our own experience, that young people who have been involved in volunteering and community projects have greater confidence, communication and problem solving skills - all things we look for in new recruits. We commit to including a question about social action in our application and interview processes and will encourage and support young people to continue volunteering once employed with us, as a valuable way to develop new skills. We encourage other businesses to support this campaign and help build a society where youth social action becomes the norm‘  – Steve Holliday, CEO, National Grid

Youth Unemployment

“The UK has the fastest growing rate of youth unemployment of all the G8 countries. And many of these young people are unemployed not because they’re lazy or demotivated, but because businesses are inadvertently excluding them from opportunities.

“12 months ago we turned the mirror on ourselves at National Grid and found we weren’t making our jobs accessible to all unemployed people, either because we weren’t advertising at Job Centre Plus or because of the way we were wording our adverts. So we made changes to how we did things.

“With the launch of Generation Talent today, 90 UK businesses have committed to making 25,000 jobs visible to unemployed people, of which they expect 10,000 to be filled by young unemployed people.  

“We want more businesses to join us in that pledge. Businesses big and small need to look at getting more involved in Education to ensure our young people know which skills we need, and influence their subject choices at a much younger age.

“We need to look heavily at our recruitment and become involved in initiatives such as Generation Talent to ensure that we’re not excluding people from being able to apply. 

“Broadening the diversity of people entering our profession is vital to increasing the skills base and creating more creative, productive engineering teams. And this is why we are proud to support Generation Talent.” - Steve Holliday Chief Executive for National Grid and Skills and Employment lead for BITC

What is the closing date for the Graduate Development Programme?

The closing date is the 31st January 2014, Be proactive through the recruitment process - don't wait for the closing date of the 31st January 2014.!  Our first Assessment Centres will begin in February 2014.  We will make offers of employment after each Assessment Centre.

The recruitment campaign for the 2014 intake will begin in October 2013.

I have applied before, can I apply again?

You are permitted to submit an application in two consecutive years.  We are unable to accept a third application.  If you attend an assessment centre for the second time, it would be helpful if you could now show some additional experience that would support your case.

Do I need to have a UK car driving licence?

No but you must be willing to learn to drive a car and obtain a UK licence by the time you join our Graduate Development Programme. As part of the programme you are required to be mobile and undertake projects anywhere throughout the UK in order to accelerate your development.

Will National Grid sponsor me if I do not have a work permit for the UK?

National Grid is a registered sponsor under Tier 2 of the Points Based System (PBS). We are only able to consider offering sponsorship to applicants that meet the Home Office’s requirements under Tier 2 (General) of the PBS.

All candidates are encouraged to apply for our available roles. We consider all applications in accordance with our recruitment process irrespective of nationality.  At an appropriate stage however, and after an assessment based in skills and experience, we will consider an applicant’s immigration status in the context of the role for which they have applied.

Equivalent Qualifications

Equivalent Qualifications outside the UK - if you have studied outside of the UK and believe that you have equivalent qualifications, please can you verify this with NARIC:  info@naric.org.uk. Office hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 - 17:00 in advance of submitting your application.

Equivalent Qualifications inside the UK - if you have obtained equivalent qualifications in the UK, please verify this with Ofqual (Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator) through their website: http://www.ofqual.gov.uk/qualifications-assessments/89-articles/147-equivalent-qualifications in advance of submitting your application.

I have a Master's/MBA - how does this affect my application?

We are happy to accept applications from MBA graduates however the starting salary offered will be equivalent to an individual who has studied a Master of Engineering (MEng).

I have foreign qualifications. How do I convert these into UCAS points?

UCAS points are not an essential element of the criteria.

Will National Grid consider candidates without the required UCAS points or degree grade?

UCAS points are not part of the selection criteria. A 2:2 is the minimum for engineering applications.

What is the selection process?

After meeting our initial programme requirements and successful completion of the Situational Judgement Test, we then go through each submitted application against our set criteria. If you get through this stage, there is a telephone interview asking you competency-based questions. And then, the final step is an assessment centre. You will be assessed against our competencies at each stage of your application, so please be prepared.

Is it possible to transfer from one business function to another once I have applied?

It's unlikely, because a commercial graduate probably wouldn't have the relevant technical qualifications or understanding to transfer to the technical or property schemes. But we would take each case on its merits if there was a request.

Can I apply to more than one of National Grid's Graduate programmes?

Only apply to one career path i.e Technical Engineer.  Call or email the Resourcing Team if you are interested in other career paths.

Telephone: 0207 061 1939

Email: nationalgridcareers@gtisolutions.co.uk

 

 

What competencies do you look for at National Grid?

Our business skills are:

  • Planning and Organising
  • Problem Solving and Decision Making
  • Relationship Management
  • Communication

What personal qualities do you look for?

We are looking for those well rounded individuals who have a good balance of academic qualifications along with a real passion and interest in engineering or their functional area.  Individuals that value working in teams are committed and conscientious and want to make a difference.  For some they will have taken the initiative to secure early work experience or become involved in social action initiatives in their local communities i.e. volunteering etc.  

For our Entry Level Talent Programmes we don’t expect individuals to have developed strong capabilities in these areas but can demonstrate the potential to grow in the future through the activities they have been involved in so far and the training and experienced we will offer.

What does your Assessment Centre consist of?

Our assessment centres are made up of a competency based interview, group exercise and a presentation designed to find out if you've got the initial qualities we're looking for.

On day 1 of the assessment centre, there will be a welcome presentation followed by 90 minutes preparation time (working individually) to prepare for your presentation on day 2. 

On day 2, you will complete a group exercise, presentation and interview.

What should I wear to assessment events?

Business dress for the assessment centre, such as a suit or jacket, or similar, and smart casual for dinner (smart jeans are acceptable).

When do the assessment centres begin? Where?

Assessment Centres will begin in February 2014 and will be based at Warwick Conference Centre near to Warwick University in Coventry.

What is the start date?

We only have one intake a year onto the Graduate Development Programme every September.  We are currently recruiting for the September 2014 intake.

What would my hours of work be?

37 hours per week, although exact start and finish times can be dependent upon the location and the aspects of your project.

Can I travel abroad?

This is an international business; and because of the nature of some of our projects, we've seen people travel to various countries on assignment. Obviously we can't guarantee that you will; but you never know ... 

Typically there is no international travel during your Graduate Development Programme.

Is there an opportunity to study for further qualifications?

Engineering graduates are supported towards chartership with a relevant institution.  Procurement Buyer will be supported to CIPS and Finance Analyst supported with CIMA.

What influence do I have over my work location?

Your Business Coordinator and Development Specialist will work with you to define the best project rotations for you to undertake in order to accelerate your development both through and after the Graduate Programme. These projects could be in various locations around the UK. We are looking for individuals who strive to deliver exceptional performance from day one and who are keen to take on the most challenging projects in order to drive their development.

Is it possible to defer for a year?

We are happy to consider individuals who wish to defer their entry for a year on a case by case basis, however you do need to go through the recruitment process and have been made an offer first.

Do I need to pass a medical?

All new starters to National Grid have to complete an Occupational Health questionnaire - if anything is picked up from there then you may need to go on to have a full medical.

However, as part of the pre employment process, all new starters have to pass a drugs and alcohol test.

Where can I be expected to be located on the graduate programme?

In order to achieve the most from the Graduate Development Programme you will need to be flexible where you work.  Often the most remote location or the most difficult project can offer you the greatest developmental experience.

How much choice do I get in choosing rotations?

We are recruiting for six different career paths on the Graduate Development Programme that are crucial to National Grid's future success.  The 18 month programme (3 years for the Finance Analyst) has been designed to accelerate your development by offering you key experiences and knowledge within your relevant career path, ensuring you are ready and prepared for this demanding role in 18 months time. 

Your Business Coordinator will have a good understanding of the career path area and will be able to discuss the right rotation for you.

What happens at the end of my graduate programme?

You will move into a permanent role in the organisation and continue to use the techniques and tools you have been shown during the development programme to continue to drive your career.

National Grid's Core Values

Our Core Values define the way in which National Grid expects us to act both as individuals and in teams to deliver our goal of being the world’s premier network utility. National Grid has developed its brand identity within the company’s Framework for Responsible Business.

Approved by the National Grid Executive and underpinned by employee feedback, the brand identity draws together our core values and brand promise. Our brand promise is ‘to carry out all our activities safely, reliably, responsibly and efficiently’. Our Core Values support the brand promise and are set out below.     

  • Respect others and value their diversity
  • Take ownership for driving performance
  • Demonstrate integrity and openness in all relationships
  • Work as one team, one National Grid

Diversity Monitoring Information

Diversity Monitoring Information

National Grid and its subsidiaries, is committed to providing equality of opportunity for all.  In compliance with Company policy and to enable us to effectively monitor our recruitment practices; we need to gather diversity information in respect to gender, ethnic minority, nationality, sexual orientation and disability.

When you submit your completed form, this diversity information will be saved separately from your main application. It will not be used in any way as part of the selection process.  This information is voluntary, if you do not wish to answer a question please choose “I prefer not to state”

Employee Resource Groups

We value and respect the strengths and differences among our employees, customers and communities. As a way of fostering inclusion and diversity at National Grid, we have a number of employee resource groups.

 

 

These groups are established to provide a mutually beneficial relationship for our company and our employees. They contribute to an inclusive environment by providing opportunities for employees to network with each other, senior management, to attain career building skills, and to provide a better understanding of our company and our business.

What is a competency-based interview?

This is an interview where we ask you specific questions about your past experiences so that we can gather evidence to measure your capability in a competence, and is designed to find out if you've got the initial qualities we're looking for in a Graduate.