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The Kent County Council Graduate Programme is a popular scheme offering graduates trainee positions across a number of business areas. The Finance Stream is dedicated towards training future finance officers for Kent. Eligibility criteria for the course are very strict and applicants must be able to prove they can meet these requirements before applying. With so many applicants for so few places, the Council are sure they can take only the best. Preparing to prove your worth at each stage is crucial. Prepare for each assessment with JobTestPrep to give yourself the best chance of success.

Application Process

The application process for the Finance Stream contains three steps:

In order to progress through the application process, you have to demonstrate you have the following competencies:

  • Truth and judgement
  • Empowerment and enterprise
  • Outcomes and delivery
  • Tools and professionalism

Online Application Form

The application form is used to decide whether or not to invite you to interview. Only the information contained on your form will inform this decision, making it important that you include all relevant information on the form.

The application form contains several questions for you to provide more information about yourself in 250 words or less.

→ Motivation and previous experience

  • Why would you like to build a career in local government finance?
  • With reference to the criteria, what experience or transferable skills do you have that you could use and develop during this programme?

→ Communication skills

  • Give an example of a situation when you have successfully communicated an idea or opinion and been able to inspire and lead others.

→ IT skills

  • Provide evidence of the IT applications and web tools you use regularly and how you apply them?
  • Skills and abilities
  • Describe a project you have designed and implemented. Your answer should include how you structured the project and its outcomes.
  • Give an example of a time when you have solved a difficult or challenging problem by using your initiative.

→ Partnership working

  • Describe a situation when you have developed a good working relationship with a group or team in order to achieve a specific objective.
  • Please give an example of a time when you have balanced multiple responsibilities and shown that you are capable of successfully combining the work placements and further study required of this programme.

→ Please provide any other information you feel is relevant to your application.

Some application form tips:

  • Before starting your application form, read the job description and person specification carefully.
  • Use examples from work, voluntary work or other activities to illustrate your answers.
  • Plan answers in advance to ensure that you provide the correct information on your form. Organise your answers using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to ensure that you use your examples effectively.
  • Take your time over the application form to ensure you get it right, and include all the information you can.

Online Aptitude Tests

As part of your assessment, you are asked to sit two reasoning tests, a verbal reasoning test, and a numerical reasoning test.

Verbal Reasoning Tests

Verbal reasoning tests are tests that use the written language to test your ability to understand, interpret and use information. In these tests you are usually asked to read a section of text and then answer a multiple choice question or verify whether a statement is true, false, or you cannot say based on the information included in the passage. Most verbal reasoning tests are time limited, which add pressure as you try to understand the information and give an answer quickly. Preparing for a verbal reasoning test hones your comprehension of information skills, and allows you to improve your speed and accuracy at taking the test. Prepare for your verbal reasoning test with JobTestPrep.

Numerical Reasoning Test

Numerical reasoning tests use numerical information in the form of a table, graph or chart to assess how you understand data and use it to inform your decisions. Questions are often based on one or more information source, and involves some form of basic calculation (the four basic operations, percentages and ratios). You will be told in advance whether or not you can use a calculator in the test. This test is also timed. Taking practice numerical reasoning tests can help you become familiar with the skills required in a test, and help you become quicker and more accurate in answering questions, improving your score overall. JobTestPrep’s numerical reasoning practice packs can help you prepare to improve your result.


If your information in your application form impresses the recruitment team, you will be invited to an interview. The interview is your opportunity to show that you have the skills they are looking for in a graduate trainee. The interviewers are also looking for evidence that you have thought carefully about your decision to apply to Kent County Council. The questions are you are likely to face are behavioural, based on the skills required for the job.


  • Read up on Kent County Council, current and projected financial position, and major developments in the Council’s policies.
  • Think about how you would respond in certain circumstances and prepare responses ahead of the interview. Prepare examples to illustrate your answers.
  • Organise your practice answers using the STAR method. This will enable you to maintain a logical order in your answers.

Interviews can be nervous occasions, but with good preparation you can be confident that you have the answers ready to any question you may be asked. Read more about how to approach interviews with the JobTestPrep free guide to interviews. A mock interview is also a very good way of pulling together your preparation and ensuring that you know how you will respond in real interview conditions. 

In some cases you may be asked back for a second interview.

Prepare for Success

Your assessment results are combined with the impression you have made at interview to decide whether to give you an offer of a position, making it imperative that you impress at every stage of the application process. Prepare for each assessment with JobTestPrep and get the position you want!

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