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Royal Mail (Post Office) Aptitude Testing
The Royal Mail (or The Post Office) is one of the oldest institutions in Great Britain. It is also one of the UK's largest employers, with well over 150,000 employees. Over 250,000 apply to work for the Royal Mail every year.
Recruitment Process of The Royal Mail
As with most companies in the age of the Internet, the first step towards working for The Royal Mail is to complete an online application form. This form contains some competency questions, the answers of which will contribute towards the decision of whether an applicant carries through to the next stage or not. Applicants should be informed within five working days as to whether they have been successful or not in progressing to the next round.
Depending on the position and department being applied for, there is a combination of aptitude tests and psychometric testing applicants may face. Anyone applying for a graduate role or more senior position will likely be asked to sit a numerical reasoning test and a verbal reasoning assessment. For other roles, candidates may have to sit a personality questionnaire and a custom "mail sorting test" (more on these in the section below). Candidates who make it through this stage will be invited to arrange a telephone interview. This interview will be competency based like the questions on the online application form, but the questions will be different to those on the form.
The final stage of the process, as it is with many companies including Kimberly Clark, Capital One and RBS is an assessment center. Details of the specific tasks at the assessment center are not readily available but could include such tasks as group work, individual or group presentations, further interviews (this time in person), case studies and written assessments. Any candidates applying for a role in the operations division will usually be offered a site visit the day before the assessment center as an extra experience. It is not clear how long it takes Royal Mail to contact candidates to inform them of their success and rejection at this time.
How The Royal Mail Use Aptitude Tests
The Royal Mail / Post Office are firm believers in the use of psychometric and aptitude testing as an effective recruitment tool, both in terms of finding the best candidates and for cutting recruiting costs. In 2006 after a tendering process The Royal Mail selected Kenexa (PSL) to design two custom tests for them; A personality test/questionnaire and a purpose built "mail sorting test". Most applicants for the Post Office must sit these tests (it is not clear if these apply to graduate positions or not).
As mentioned above, graduate and senior roles face a more traditional testing approach, though as stated it is not clear if this is instead of the custom tests, or in addition to. The more traditional approach involves asking candidates to participate in a numerical reasoning aptitude test and a verbal reasoning aptitude test. These are online aptitude tests which can be taken at home or other convenient location. Due to the nature of the Royal Mails' relationship with Kenexa, it is assumed these other tests are also provided by Kenexa, but at this time PracticeSHLTests has not been able to confirm this.
Advice for Post Office / Royal Mail Aptitude Tests
Whilst PracticeSHLTests.com cannot offer much advice on the Royal Mail bespoke tests, hopefully the website can be of more use on the more general kinds of testing. Specific pages dedicated to numerical reasoning and verbal reasoning are available for anyone wanting to brush up on specific kinds of testing. In addition, any prospective Post Office employees who would like to get more general advice on aptitude testing can check out the general hints and tips for passing aptitude tests section.
In addition, there is a small free sample of SHL/PSL style verbal reasoning test questions available for all readers. This test sample will allow readers to get a small taste of the kinds of verbal reasoning questions they are likely to be asked if the role they are applying for requires them to sit a verbal reasoning assessment.
The best piece of advice available is, aside from reading up on the topics listed above or speaking to anyone who has been through the recruitment process themselves, that practicing for the aptitude tests can make a real difference to candidates chances. Sitting even a couple of tests before the real thing allows the candidate to gain insights into the type of thinking required to solve aptitude test questions quickly, allowing the limited answering time to be put to best use. For information on where applicants can sit practice tests, please read below.
Where to Practice for Royal Mail Aptitude Testing
The ability to practice for The Royal Mail aptitude tests will depend on which tests you wish to practice for. Unfortunately, as the mail sorting test and personality questionnaires are bespoke products designed exclusively for The Post Office by Kenexa, PracticeSHLTests.com does not believe there are any facilities available online to practice these.
On the other hand, anyone wanting to practice for the numerical or verbal testing, the best location on the Internet to practice for those is at the Assessment Day website. Assessment Day are specialist providers of practice company aptitude testing suitable for applicants who are likely to face tests produced by companies such as Kenexa/PSL, SHL, Saville Consulting and others.
Assessment Day provide a wide selection of numerical tests, verbal tests and inductive / abstract reasoning tests allowing people who are part of company recruitment processes to practice for their aptitude or psychometric assessments under conditions as realistic as possible. For anyone wanting to boost their chances of success, we recommend heading over to Assessment Day to start practicing today - it could be the difference between getting that desired job and getting rejected!