Over 60% of job candidates get rejected in the online psychometric tests stage of recruitment. Practice today and get your dream job with HMRC first time. Follow proven recommendations and tips from Graduates First, a team of organisational psychologists and recruiters, to pass HMRC’s aptitude tests, interviews and assessment centre.
HMRC, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customers, is a department of the UK government responsible for tax collection, payment of various forms of state support and the administration of regulatory regimes.
The HMRC recruitment process is made of four different stages; each requiring you to do your best and outperform your competitors if you want to land your dream job. Our step-by-step guide allows you to benefit from expert tips for each stage of HMRC’s recruitment process:
This part of the recruitment process is your first chance to set a good impression and stand out from your competition. The online form will ask you to provide details of your education and any academic results, work experience and may include some motivational questions, depending on the business area you apply to (see below for examples).
Throughout your Online Application you need to refer to the key competencies sought after by HMRC recruiters. Make sure your achievements and projects you have worked on reflect these skills or values:
Preparation and organisation
Consideration for customers
Tip: Apply as early as possible, as applications are often reviewed on a rolling basis. By doing so, you increase your chances of progression to the next stage of the recruitment process.
Motivational questions are likely to be along the lines of:
What is your motivation to work at HMRC?
Why do you want to apply for this particular role?
Tip: In answering motivational questions remember to be as precise as possible: refer to unique facts about HMRC that motivate you to work there. When describing why you want to apply for this specific role mention the core skills required for this position and how these match both your previous experiences and personal interests.
Online Aptitude Tests
After the successful initial screening of your application you will be invited to the next stage of the HMRC recruitment process: HMRC Online Aptitude Tests. This stage can involve a number of different aptitude tests. As a result, we’ve summarised some of the most common aptitude test types for you down below:
In this aptitude test, you will be given a few passages with tables, charts and other types of data presentation. Your task will be to quickly analyse the information and answer a series of questions.
Do not worry if maths is not your strong suit! All you will need is a quick recap of basic GCSE calculations, such as ratios, percentages and reading data off charts. HMRC’s Numerical Reasoning Test is difficult – not because of the knowledge tested, but because of the time pressure and stress involved. You will have to solve 35 questions and will be allocated (on average) less than a minute to answer each one!
Tip: You need to be able to control your stress and time pressure. The only way to achieve this is through Numerical Test practice in a safe environment, before your real aptitude assessment.
For more hints on how to pass a Numerical Reasoning Test, visit our Youtube channel
If you are looking for a HMRC-style Numerical Reasoning Practice Test with answers, worked-solutions, progress tracking and professional score reports, including personalised tips based on your performance – then Graduates First has it covered. Take a test now!
HMRC-style Numerical Reasoning Test Example
Check if you got the correct answer at the bottom of the page.
This test will not examine any particular area of your knowledge. This time you will be presented with 5 diagrams with varying shapes and spatial arrangements, and will then be asked to identify the right pattern to determine what comes next in the sequence.
The main difficulty in the Logical Reasoning Test, often referred to as a Diagrammatic Reasoning Test, is that there is no pre-requisite knowledge required and there is no limit to how abstract these patterns and trends can be; both two- and three-dimensional shapes will differ in: size, arrangement, movements and colours.
However, is does not have to be as difficult as it seems. By having a look at HMRC-style Logical Reasoning Tests offered by Graduates First, you will get familiar with the format of the questions and the level of difficulty they involve. A lot of patterns are repetitive and follow similar logic, so by practicing you will grow in confidence and be better-suited to take your real test.
If you are looking for a HMRC-style Logical Reasoning Test with answers, worked-solutions, progress tracking and professional score reports including personalised tips based on your performance, then Graduates First has it covered.
For more hints on how to pass a logical reasoning test, visit our Youtube channel
HMRC-style Logical Reasoning Test Example
In the example above, you will have ONLY around 45 seconds to notice that:
the arrow moves around the diagram
shapes change from triangle to circle to square and
the long line is either horizontal or vertical, and then to find the right answer! There is a lot of time pressure which often leaves candidates anxious and harms their performance.
Got the answer? Check it out at the bottom of the page.
For more FREE QUESTIONS similar to HMRC’s aptitude tests, register with Graduates Firstand take your FREE Logical/Diagrammatic Reasoning Test now!
C. HMRCVerbal Reasoning Test
In the same way a Numerical Reasoning Test examines how confident a candidate is in their numerical calculations, HMRC’s Verbal Reasoning Test strives to identify whether a candidate can accurately extract the relevant information from a previously unseen passage of text to analyse whether subsequent statements are true, false, or impossible to say based on the information contained in the passage of text.
For more hints on how to pass a verbal reasoning test, visit our Youtube channel
HMRC’sVerbal Reasoning Test could potentially be more difficult for people who are non-native speakers of English. We suggest to practice verbal reasoning test questions as much as you can, as this will help you to understand the specific way in which the texts are built, and questions asked.
The HMRC Situational Judgement Test will examine your main characteristics and skills in dealing with unknown life situations that you are likely to encounter when working for HMRC. This test is designed to check if you suit the core values that HMRC are looking for (we covered these above!).
This test is especially difficult because all answers will seem like appropriate options. They will all have some good qualities, so you need to differentiate between them to find those that are practical and desired by HMRC.
This is another type of psychometric test that examines your ability to fit into the specific role you applied to, and how well you align with the work culture at HMRC. You will be asked to identify statements that describe you best. However, often you will be required to allocate a specific amount of points between many desirable qualities. In this exercise, you will be faced with a challenge to priorities your key skills and competencies.
Tip: Do not try to manipulate your responses, as these tests are designed to flag up any inconsistencies. Be honest with your answers, but just bear in mind that some of your qualities or skills might be more appropriate than others for this particular job role.
Occupational Personality Tests vary in their structure and design, but most of them will follow a similar format to the one we’ve presented below.
HMRC-style Occupational Personality Test Example
GF offers a test similar to HMRC’s Occupational Personality Questionnaire. We call it the Work Personality Questionnaire. (Try it out here).
If you have successfully passed the online aptitude tests stage, you should receive an invitation to the Assessment Centre. This is likely to last a full day, and include some assessment exercises – as well as the opportunity to network with HMRC professionals. Although challenging, this is also a great opportunity for you to get a feel of what working at HMRC might be like, and whether you would enjoy working there.
Before your Assessment Centre, do as much research about HMRC as possible – the work they do, different departments, recent changes and possible future developments.
You will be asked to participate in some assessment exercises that will largely depend on the role you applied for. One example of an exercise that you are likely to be given is the Role Play Exercise.
HMRC’s Role Play Exercise
In this task you will be given around 20 minutes to work in a pair and analyse a set of information. You and your partner will then need to prepare your response. In the second part, your interviewer will play the role of a client and you will be representing HMRC. In this task, you will need to demonstrate your negotiation skills, teamwork and analytical thinking.
This stage of the recruitment process will consist of a number of one-on-one interviews with seniors from the business area you wish to join. They will be competency based, and will be a final chance for you to demonstrate your passion, skills and enthusiasm for working at HMRC.
Tip #1: Each interview should last up to 30 minutes. Although it might seem long-winded, remember to refer to specific arguments following the S, T, A, R method: describe the particular situation, the task you were faced with, and what action you took to resolve it, concluding with the result of your work.
Tip #2: Make sure to refer to HMRC’s core competencies. We covered these earlier!
You should also consider answering your questions in a way that demonstrate that you are capable of:
Setting direction: Meaning that you have the ability to see the bigger picture when making decisions.
Engaging people: Meaning that you feel comfortable both leading a group as well as partnering with others to achieve a common goal.
Delivering results: Meaning that whatever activity you engage in, you deliver great results with the resources you have.
You should also prepare some ideas of examples that you can later use during your interview based on the most common types of interview questions.
Want to know what questions could come up in your interview? Graduates First can help with the Question Identifier Tool (QIT). You can find it here.
At the end of the interviews, you will be given a chance to ask questions. You must definitely use this opportunity! This is a way of showing that you are interested and motivated, so prepare some thought-provoking and interesting questions beforehand. You can also ask your interviewer about their career path.
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