Select Page

HMRC Assessment Centre, Aptitude Tests, SJT, Recruitment Process & Interviews Online Preparation – 2024

Solving Aptitude Tests

What Is HMRC?

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is a division of the UK Government accountable for tax collections and paying certain benefits. With around 70,000 employees, HMRC employs many new people each year and has an impressive graduate scheme.

As one of UK’s largest employers, HMRC has people working in a variety of sectors, including:

  • Communications
  • Digital
  • Finance
  • HR
  • Legal
  • Marketing
  • Project Management


What Is HMRC’s Hiring Process?

The recruitment process for HMRC varies depending on the job role you are applying for; however, for most jobs, the recruitment process follows the below structure:

Online Application

After searching for jobs using the HMRC careers site, you will be directed to fill in an online application form. You will be prompted to input your personal information to the application and any education and work history before uploading your CV and cover letter. In addition, you will be asked to answer a few job-specific competency questions to see whether you are the right person for the job. Successful applicants will be contacted within 2-4 weeks if they have made it through to the next stage in the recruitment process.

If your application has been successful, you will be invited to participate in a series of psychometric tests.


HMRC’s Assessment Tests

When you apply for a role at HMRC, you will be assessed using a series of psychometric tests. These tests are a great way for the recruitment panel to evaluate your skills and abilities fairly and consistently. You will likely be asked to take part in a variety of tests; however, you will only know the type of tests once you receive an email stating which ones you have to take.

Tests HMRC use throughout its recruitment process are:

  • SJT TestIn this personality assessment, you will be shown several different situations and five multiple-choice answers for you to select from. Then, with each given situation, you need to decide which answer best fits what you would do. This test helps recruiters to identify whether your values and work ethics align with theirs. Once you have finished this assessment, you will be sent an email link asking you to take some other aptitude tests.
  • Numerical Reasoning Aptitude TestIn the numerical aptitude test, you will be presented with a series of data in graphs, charts and tables. You are then asked to answer the question based on the information in front of you. For this test, you will be given multiple-choice answers to make your selection. The numerical reasoning test is timed, and applicants will be given one minute per question, so it is incredibly important that you read the question thoroughly and act quickly and accurately to succeed.
  • Verbal Reasoning Aptitude TestIn the verbal reasoning test, candidates are presented with a paragraph of text and are expected to assess whether statements given are true, false or if you cannot say. HMRC likes this test as it allows them to understand your communication and language skills, which are important traits for working in roles at HMRC.
  • Deductive Reasoning AssessmentThe deductive reasoning test has been designed to evaluate how well you can draw rational assumptions from various information under time constraints. The deductive reasoning test is not timed as such; however, it will assess how long it takes you to draw conclusions from the data given.
  • Analytical Skills TestThe analytical skills exam is like the numerical and verbal reasoning tests, except that it is longer and more in-depth. For example, you will only have to analyse one piece of numerical data per question on the numerical reasoning test. In contrast, on the analytical skills test, there are many pieces of data to analyse. This test is 90 minutes long, and although questions are not timed, you must work to complete all questions within 90 minutes.
  • Work Style Questionnaire – The work style questionnaire is a thorough test containing over 100 questions. This test will ask you a series of questions about your personality and characteristics, and you need to select the options that are most like you. The best way to perform well on this test is by understanding the type of candidate HMRC is looking for and seeing if you fit that narrative.


HMRC’s Assessment Centre

If you have passed the psychometric tests, you will be invited to the final stages of HMRC’s recruitment process. The assessment centre will be held at the office you have applied for and will last for a full day. Applicants will be presented with a variety of exercises designed to test their abilities in relation to the job role and the company.

Below are the main tasks you can expect on the day:

  • Group Exercise You will be given two group exercises to participate in. The first exercise is a debate with a small group of candidates. You will be paired up with other applicants and will have to debate with them as to why the information you have is correct and theirs is incorrect. The second group exercise sees applicants being placed in a much larger group. The group will be given information and asked a series of questions. The group must debate the answers to the questions and decide on the correct one. The group exercises are not designed for you to stand out from all other applicants by being the loudest or the one with the best ideas. Instead, they are designed to see how you listen to other people’s opinions, have healthy debates, and communicate your point diplomatically.
  • Role PlayYou will be given some information about a situation you may face as part of the job role you are applying to and will discuss this with an interviewer. For example, if you are applying for a position within the claims department, you might be faced with an angry customer wondering why their claim has been rejected. In this exercise, you should always act professionally and as though it is a genuine complaint you are dealing with. Although you do not need to know all the information about HMRC’s policies (as this will be taught to you when you get the job), you should act with empathy and get your reasons across to the customer in the right way.
  • PresentationAt the end of the assessment centre, you will be asked to prepare a 10-minute presentation about how the assessment centre was for you. The point of this task is to allow interviewers to see how you present under pressure with short notice. Following the presentation, there will be an opportunity for your interview panel to ask you questions.
  • Written TaskNot all roles will require each applicant to perform a written task; however, for those roles in finance, legal, communications, PR, marketing and for higher managerial positions, you will be asked to prepare a written task. Job seekers will be given information about something relating to their job role. For example, marketing and PR candidates might be given information to write a press release about new tax rates and what it means for the working person, government and people with different tax thresholds. Candidates will be given 90 minutes to read and prepare their written task before submitting it.
  • Final InterviewThe final part of HMRC’s hiring process is the face-to-face interview. This is a competency-based interview with questions about yourself and your motivations for applying to HMRC and the job role. Competency-based questions will ask you to recall a time when you did something. They offer you a key opportunity to prove that you are the right candidate for the job role based on your experience and skills. Prior to your assessment centre, you want to ensure that you prepare answers to some common competency-based interview questions using the STAR method, as this will ensure that you stay on track and do not go off on a tangent when talking.


HMRC’s Interview Questions

Common HMRC interview questions include:

  • Give me an example of a time when you had to take a risk. How did you make decisions?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to explain a complex idea to a customer or colleague. Did you encounter any problems? If so, how did you deal with them?
  • Tell me about a time when you worked as part of a successful team. How did you contribute?


How to Prepare for HMRC’s Assessments?

Online testing is an incredibly important part of HMRC’s pre-employment screening process, so candidates must carefully prepare for them. Each psychometric test that HMRC uses has been created to fully understand a candidate’s intellect, traits and skills in a non-biased way, and this is why preparation is key to your success.

Preparing to take psychometric assessments can feel daunting, but proper preparation will go a long way. One of the best ways to fully prepare for HMRC’s assessments is by completing practice tests.

While completing practice tests takes time, doing so can help you perform better. For starters, you will begin to understand what to expect concerning time pressures and questions so that you do not feel so overwhelmed on the day of the tests.

In addition to practice tests, it is also important to read up on HMRC. When you understand their business, key competencies and values, you can begin to understand precisely the type of candidate they are looking for. This can also help you perform better on certain psychometric tests, such as the work-based questionnaire.