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I work at BBC Monitoring, a specialist unit at BBC News that observes and reports news from and about the world’s media and social media. As one of the Assistant Editors, I run the Disinformation team at BBCM and oversee the work of its Jihadist Media team and Researchers.
By showing genuine interest in the job that they have applied for.
There are several stages in the recruitment process at the BBC. First, we assess all the applications and CVs we’ve received from candidates. The most suitable candidates are then shortlisted and often asked to sit a test that is designed to check some of the key skills and knowledge required to do the job. The test can include writing assignments, translation and background knowledge tests. The successful candidates are then asked to attend an interview in person or via Zoom. Candidates will get feedback if they have been turned down at the interview stage.
Journalists at BBC Monitoring are required to have excellent writing and analytical skills as well as ability to work to tight deadlines and explain complex subjects clearly and concisely. Strong verification skills as well as good knowledge of social media analysis and tracking tools are a must, as well as understanding of the core principles of data analysis. Regional and language skills are highly desirable but not a must for the Disinformation team specifically, although these are essential for regional teams.
I try to be as open-minded as I can during the recruitment process so strive to assess every candidate individually and on merit. We look for potential as well as experience.
I’d say it always helps to be open about your salary expectations and also do some research prior to applying or attending your interview to gain a bit of an understanding of what kind of reward might be considered reasonable for the sector or company.
It’s hard not to be impressed when a candidate comes to the interview well-prepared and when they show genuine passion for the job or subject matter.
Before applying for any role, it’s worth doing some digging into what the job entails, what kind of skills are essential and what the company/department you’re applying for does.
Personally, I think generic questions like “Where do you see yourself in five years?” do little to help the recruiting manager assess the candidate’s abilities and experience. And some questions that may have been the norm at some point in the past are simply unacceptable in the modern recruitment process. For example, “I can see that you got married recently, are you planning to go on parental leave any time soon?” or “Where do you come from originally?” Discrimination and bias of any kind in the recruitment process are simply inexcusable.
It might sound daunting, but it can be helpful to reach out to people who work at the department you’re applying for and have a chat about the job and what is expected from a candidate. And there is nothing wrong in asking for more information or clarification from the recruitment manager/HR when you apply.
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