Royal Mail Assessment Tests & Interview Process Online Preparation – 2021
What Is Royal Mail?
Royal Mail is the United Kingdom’s official courier service. Royal Mail was founded in 1516 under King Henry the VIII. In the past few centuries, Royal Mail has amassed well over one-hundred and forty-thousand employees with locations throughout the entire United Kingdom and an additional branch that serves Europe as a whole.
Royal Mail divides specialties and jobs into two categories: technical and corporate. The technical side of things includes operations, engineering and the like while the corporate side includes marketing, finance, and more.
What Is Royal Mail’s Hiring Process?
Royal Mail utilizes three different stages to screen candidates. These stages look at a variety of qualities such as intelligence and personality. All of these qualities must fit a loose outline of the ideal employee that Royal Mail is looking for. The stages of Royal Mail’s hiring process include the following:
Royal Mail’s application form takes anywhere from twenty to forty minutes to complete. The form resembles most application forms one might encounter when applying for a job but with a few key differences.
For instance, in the work experience section, Royal Mail wants to know what the applicant learned from their previous job and specific skills they gained. These skills, if possible, should align with Royal Mail’s guidelines for the job—these guidelines detail particular competencies and qualities they look for in candidates for certain jobs.
Next, there is a section on the applicant’s interest in both the position and the company. Additionally, this section will inquire about certain restrictions or possibly opportunities one is willing to take with the company. This includes traveling, taking on additional hours, etc.
After the application is submitted and reviewed, candidates will be notified in the following week or so what their standing is with the company. If they are successful, they will move onto the online assessment stage.
Royal Mail Online Assessments
Royal Mail’s online assessments mark a turning point in the interview process. At this point, abut fifty percent of candidates are cut from consideration due to low scores on the assessments. The assessments were designed to be difficult to assess someone’s ability to perform under pressure and to get an idea of their raw intelligence and behavior.
The assessments come in a wide variety with some tests evaluating the candidate’s behavior in the workplace and others evaluating the candidate’s proficiency with numbers. Either way, the tests offer Royal Mail with an objective measure of the candidate’s aptitude and personality.
The online assessments are sent to the candidate via email and must be completed within three to five days. The content of the assessments depends on the role and its location, however, below is a list of all the possible assessments one might encounter with Royal Mail.
Checking Test The checking test is for post carrier positions typically but can also be administered to clerical or administration positions. The test presents the candidate with a set of numbers, like postal codes, and then a handful of similar options with one of those options being 100% identical. The test-taker is tasked with finding the completely identical one. While this seems easy enough, the candidate must complete each question under a difficult time constraint.
Logical Reasoning Test The logical reasoning test is a twelve-minute, non-verbal assessment. Non-verbal means that instead of numbers and letters, the questions contain shapes. These shapes are arranged in a specific sequence that depicts a pattern, but one of the shapes in the sequence is missing. The test taker must use diagrammatic and abstract thinking to identify the pattern and find the missing shape from a list of five to seven similar shapes. The patterns are represented by changes in shape, position, color, or frequency. The results of the logical reasoning test inform Royal Mail of how someone works with ambiguous and novel information to reach a plausible conclusion.
Numerical Test The numerical aptitude test is akin to a math test. The assessment appraises the candidate’s ability to work with quantitative data, graphs, tables, and statistics. The test accomplishes this by providing the test taker with a graph or table accompanied by three to five subsequent questions. These questions are multiple-choice, and the candidate is limit to seventy-five seconds per question and ninety seconds to interpret the data in the figures. To be successful on the numerical test, candidates should brush up on basic algebra, fractions, and a little bit of data analysis.
Personality Test The personality test is a behavioral questionnaire that examines how someone acts in the workplace. This includes communication, leadership and teamwork skills among others. Each question presents a statement that the candidate must rate based on how they relate to it. The statements will be rated on a five-point-scale with one end being “Strongly Disagree” and the other end being “Strongly Agree”. The personality test results outline key factors of the candidate’s temperament and character which Royal Mail then compares to their outline of desired traits.
Verbal Test The verbal test is a twelve-minute assessment that is administered to people whose job requires frequent written correspondence, presentations and the like. This assessment provides two to three brief passages that must be analyzed by the reader for man ideas and details. Subsequently, there will be three to five questions each with six different answer choices. Each question is timed with slightly more time allotted to read the paragraphs and fewer seconds to read the questions. The verbal reasoning assessment evaluates reading comprehension, grammar and vocabulary skills.
Royal Mail Assessment Centre
The assessment center is the final stage of Royal Mail’s hiring process. About a dozen candidates are asked to convene at one of the company’s main offices for four to six hours. At the assessment center, candidates participate in a variety of activities. These activities include interviews, case studies, group exercises, and presentations. The type and number of activities someone may encounter are dependent on what role is being interviewed for.
The interview is an hour-long with competency-based questions. The interviewers are usually a hiring manager and a senior member of the department. Beyond competency-based questions, there are a handful of job-specific and technical questions for the candidates. These may include problems or current industry trends.
Royal Mail’s group exercise is a team building and leadership activity. Candidates will meet and discuss a report related to Royal Mail or sometimes they will be asked to solve a problem that has occurred at Royal Mail before. This exercise uses the same materials as the case study. The assessor will be noting each candidate’s dynamic in the group and how well they work with others.
The next part of the case study is done individually. Using the information in the packet from the case study, each candidate must propose a course of action for the situation at hand. This could be solving an onsite problem or handling a client. The presentation will be about five to fifteen minutes depending on the case study.
Some jobs require that the candidates partake in a role-play exercise. The exercise begins with a packet of information detailing the situation and circumstances that have arisen. The candidate must then act out how they would respond to that situation with one of the assessors. The role one will be playing depends on what job they have applied for.
Candidates will be notified of their standing with Royal Mail about a week or two after the assessment center. From there, the onboarding process will begin.
How to Prepare for Royal Mail’s Online Assessments?
Preparing for the online assessments first requires categorizing the assessments based on their broad content. You will not be studying for aptitude tests the same way you study for behavioral tests. Royal Mail will inform you of which exact assessments you will be taking, so you don’t need to spend time preparing for each test listed above because you will typically only take one to three of them.
The aptitude tests are usually the biggest obstacle in terms of testing difficulty. There are time limits and the questions are adaptive, meaning they get increasingly harder. Preparing for these requires lots of time and focus. Fortunately, there are a few resources that can help ease your preparation for Royal Mail’s online assessments.
A popular option is online practice tests. They simulate the testing conditions giving you the chance to experience and navigate the assessments before you must take them with Royal Mail. This way, you can get all of your silly mistakes out the way and get used to the content and time limits. An additional benefit is the opportunity to see your scores. These scores act as an estimate for how you’ll do on the tests and give you an idea of how much more preparation you’ll need to do.
The personality test is a different story because, technically, there are no right or wrong answers. This makes preparing for it a little tricky. The best way to prepare for the personality test is by reviewing Royal Mail’s values and outlined competencies for the role you are applying for. These should give you an idea of what they are looking for and you can align your answers to this outline.
Royal Mail Interview Tips
Royal Mail’s interviews are primarily focused on your personality and behavior. They are keen on candidates who will be an asset to the team and who will be a positive influence on the company’s environment. This is why many of the questions probe at qualities surrounding these traits.
Common questions include:
Why are you interested in Royal Mail? Why this position?
Describe a time you assumed a leadership role. How did you handle it?
Why are you the perfect candidate for this role?
Royal Mail is also looking for a candidate that shares their values. A handful of questions will implicitly or explicitly ask about your connection to these values. Royal Mail’s values are:
Be Part of It
An example of a question they may ask about their values is “Describe a time you were apart of a team and what that meant to you”. Royal Mail may subtly ask about the values by questioning “What would you do if you and a coworker disagreed on a project?”
These questions give you the perfect opportunity to show Royal Mail that you are the best candidate for the job. Best of luck!