Barratt Developments
www.barrattdevelopments.co.uk Coalville, United Kingdom 1000 to 5000 Employees

Barratt Developments Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Oct 29, 2013
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Customer Service Manager Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
London, England (UK)

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Barratt Developments in October 2013.

Interview Details – Was initially contacted by recruiter who put my CV forward for consideration. About a week later I was scheduled for a phone interview. I felt that the interview went very badly; I found it impossible to build any sort of rapport, the interviewer had not seen my CV, they expected candidates to know a great deal about the inner workings of their competitors; and all this for a position that did not exist and was now being introduced at the company. I was disappointed at the phone interview, left with a less-than-positive impression of the company and certainly did not expect to be called in for a face to face interview.

Surprisingly two weeks later the recruiter informed me that I was on a shortlist to be interviewed in person. I received an email which informed me of the interview and to prepare a 60 second elevator pitch targeting one of three groups of people (irate customers, sceptical executives or uncooperative staff). On the day of the interview we all met with the other 3 candidates in one of several assessment groups and met a manager who introduced herself, her assistant and one other person who did not introduce themselves.

We were given some information and told to prepare to speak to a “customer” who would be coming in to complain. We were split up and put into different rooms where we prepared and waited. At some point two people came into the room, the manager who we had met earlier and another person who did not introduce themselves. Before I could make my introductions a third person walked in, this was a paid actor who was playing the part of the irate customer. As they had all come in together I did not initially realise that the exercise had started. I spent about 20 minutes dealing with the “customer” after which she left and I was asked by the two interviewers to assess my performance. They were obviously on a tight schedule because they left abruptly before I could get any feedback. Then I was interviewed by the manager’s assistant who was nice enough, but knew absolutely nothing about the role. It was the first time I had interviewed for a position without any idea of what the job was; there was not job description at all. Although nice enough she really could only give me answers to very broad questions concerning company culture.

Then a more senior manager walked in and I spent the ten minutes he was there trying to get some of my questions answered to no avail. Disdain is the only word I can think of to describe his demeanour. Then another interviewer walked in, without introducing herself and told me to begin with my elevator pitch, timing me on her phone and literally cutting me off mid-word when the sixty seconds were up. Then we proceeded to engage in role play-play where I had to re-do my pitch in various ways; bring it down to 10 seconds, make it more dramatic (“Daily Mail headline”), make it more emotional, make it less emotional etc. I felt as if I was in an acting class. I assume part of the exercise what to assess EQ, there were lots of questions about what I wanted people to feel when I spoke to them, or how I would feel getting a particular reply. They told me I was done before rushing out of the room on to the next applicant.

I left in a state of confusion not having the slightest idea how I had done; quite certain that I did not want to work for this company, that I would never fit into such an organisation. It seemed that people were intentionally rude; I just can’t tell if that was part of the test or if that is the company culture. The job itself ultimately was to handle the complaints of customers who had spent hundreds of thousands of pounds at least to buy a new house and were now discovering the issues or snags that new built properties often have and are considered normal within the construction industry. Effectively it involves taking a lot of abuse from very angry customers on a daily basis. I could handle that, I don’t think I could handle the abuse from my colleagues.

Interview Question – In a prepared sixty second pitch to company executives, reduce that pitch to ten seconds and within that time SCARE them.   Answer Question

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