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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. 

Civil Service Initial Selection Test

In this test you will be given 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.

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.


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