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About HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the department of the UK government responsible for collecting tax and paying certain forms of state support. Employing around 70,000 people and taking in over 100 new people in the HMRC graduate scheme every year it is obviously a great place to work. However, as with all good jobs, there is a detailed selection process to go through in order to procure the job.

Tax Professional Development Programme

The HMRC Tax Professional Development Programme is a four-year graduate programme, which provides training to new graduates for future senior tax positions. This four-year programme consists of modules designed to cover technical knowledge and professional skills needed to apply that knowledge into the job and deal efficiently with clients. The goal of this programme is to give graduates a broad insight about the types of work performed at HMRC and to develop a set of skills and knowledge in order to enhance their own career at the company. Learn about the HMRC Tax Professional Development Programme.

The HMRC Graduate Scheme

In order to get a place in the HMRC graduate scheme, or any other possible position for that matter, there are a number of different stages of the application. The first thing you need to do is to fill in the HMRC online application form. You will have to provide your National Insurance number as well as your previous work experience for the last three years. You may also be asked to answer some competency questions either in the application form or in an HMRC interview. For these tasks, HMRC will be looking for certain competencies in the candidate throughout the assessment, namely:

  • Decision making
  • Communication skills
  • Teamwork
  • Preparation and organisation
  • Analytical skills
  • Consideration for customers

Once you have successfully completed this application form, you will move on to the next stage of the process, the HMRC aptitude tests.

There are four different online tests that you will take in the HMRC graduate scheme application process. These tests are provided to HMRC by Kenexa, a well-known testing company. In order to ensure that you do well on these tests it is necessary to practice them beforehand. The tests that you will receive are discussed below. 

HMRC Situational Judgement Test

In the HMRC situational judgement test you are presented with many different scenarios with four or five different choices for you to choose what you would do in the situation. It is your job to select what you would do the most and what you would do the least. These types of tests are commonly known as Situational Judgement Tests.

HMRC Numerical Reasoning Test

After you have completed this test, you will be sent an email asking you to participate in three additional HMRC Online tests. In the HMRC Numeric test you will be given some data in the form of tables or graphs. You will then be asked to calculate an answer based on the figures and you will have five different options to choose from. 

HMRC Verbal Reasoning Test

In this test you will be given a passage of text with a few different facts in it. You will be given questions based on the text and will have to decide whether the statement given is true, false, or cannot say. 

HMRC Work Style Questionnaire

This is by far the longest of the tests with 150 questions in it. Whereas the other two tests had 20 questions each this has many more. These tests are commonly known as personality tests where you are presented with a number of different statements and characteristics. You have to select the ones that are most in line with yourself. Although you may think that the best and most honest way to answer these questions is in a spontaneous fashion, this cannot be further from the truth. You have to understand what the employer is looking for and then actually see if you provide it. By learning how personality tests work and how to answer them in the correct way, you will be enhancing your best attributes. 

HMRC Deductive Reasoning Test

If you are successful in the HMRC online tests then you will move on to the next stage of the application process, the HMRC online analytical skills test and a deductive reasoning test.

The HMRC deductive reasoning test is designed to assess how well you can draw logical conclusions from a series of premises, all of which are known to be true. There are several key skills examined in this test, including your logic skills, how well you can use data to come to an answer, and how good you are at identifying flaws in an argument. By preparing for this test you will be able to get into the mindset of these questions and improve your final score. This test can be prepared for with the aptitude test pack found above. You can read more about general deductive reasoning test practice here. 

HMRC Online Analytical Skills Test

The analytical skills test is similar in style to the HMRC verbal and numerical reasoning tests but is longer and more detailed. For example, unlike in the HMRC numerical reasoning test, instead of having just one table to analyse you now have multiple tables. You need to make sure that your logical and mathematical reasoning skills are up to scratch at this stage as your skills will be pushed much more than in the previous HMRC online tests. You are given 90 minutes to complete this HMRC Analytical test.


Prepare for the MHRC Tests

HMRC's selection process is by no means easy and the competition for places is constantly stiff. Last year there were 200 places in the HMRC graduate recruitment scheme with the number of applicants being in the thousands. In order to be one step ahead of your rivals, advance preparation is crucial. Preparation involves learning about the selection process and studying for its content. Small improvements in your score can determine whether you pass and go on to the next stage or not.


The HMRC Assessment Centre

After you have completed the previous stages of the HMRC application process successfully, you will be invited to attend the HRMC assessment centre. The assessment centre usually lasts for one or two days and consists of a variety of exercises. The subject and design of these exercises may vary according to assessment centre but all will consist of certain corresponding elements listed below. Not every course has the same HMRC assessment day but we will go through what you can expect in the main one:

The HMRC Role Play

This interview is more of a role-play exercise where you will be given some information about a fictitious company and have to react and judge whether the person sitting opposite you should receive the grant applied for or not.

Two group exercises – These two group exercises are different in nature with the first one is more of a debate with another candidate where you have to try and reason why they are wrong and you are right. The second exercise is much more group based where you will be given some information to discuss as part of the group. It is important to stand up for your opinion as well as listening to other peoples input.

Written report – You will be given some information about a certain government funded operation and you have to weigh up the pros and cons of it in a written report form. This is done under considerable time pressure so make sure you pace yourself accordingly. Prepare for this assessment with our assessment centre preparation pack.

Presentation – At the end of the day you need to make a short presentation on how the day went for you. This isn’t a standard presentation where you are given information beforehand but rather it is a personal assessment of how the day went for you.

The HMRC Interview

The last stage of the application process is the interview. This interview is motivational as well as competency based. What this means is that you need to try and incorporate all the key competencies of HMRC into your answers. They are:

Setting Direction – This means that you have to show an ability to see the bigger picture and thus make effective decisions.

Engaging people – This means that you need to show how you can lead a group as well as collaborating and partnering other in order to achieve a common goal.

Delivering results – You must be able to deliver value for money while at the same time not delivering a poor product.

Study in Advance

JobTestPrep's online practice tests and assessment centre exercises have plenty of problems for you to solve and give in-depth explanations to every question. These tests are also timed in a similar structure to real assessment tests so that you can get used to working under time pressure. Study now and be the one to succeed in the selection process with JobTestPrep. 


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