Project Description

Ultimate 2018 guide to passing KPMG

Are you looking to work at KPMG? Welcome to the club! In the US, where KPMG employs nearly 30,000 professionals, over 100,000 job seekers send in applications each year! In the UK, tens of thousands apply!

Feeling lucky? To streamline the recruitment process, KPMG uses online aptitude assessment tests, often rejecting around 60-70% of candidates during the initial recruitment stage, depending on the line of business. How can you put the odds in your favor and pass KPMG assessment tests?

In the article below, we will provide you with a step-by-step overview of KPMG candidate hiring process and assessment tests in 2021. We will give you the best tips for successfully navigating through the candidate selection.

The 4 stages of the KPMG candidate assessment are:

  1. KPMG Online Job Application
  2. KPMG Online Assessments
    • KPMG Transforming Small Businesses Assessment
    • KPMG Delivering Outcomes Assessment
    • KPMG Critical Thinker Assessment
  3. KPMG Interview (Questions with Answers)
  4. KPMG Virtual Launch Pad Assessment Day

To give you the most accurate and up-to-date information, our team of recruiters and organizational psychologists has researched the recruitment process and tools used by KPMG to select candidates for graduate and professional jobs.

We give you guidance, recommendations and assessment tests and tools for each step. Keep in mind that KPMG may adapt their processes or tools to specific locations or jobs.

This article is your 2021 Definitive Guide to passing the KPMG’s online aptitude assessment tests, KPMG interviews and Assessment Center.

Use our research to learn how to prepare for the KPMG online assessment.

We wish you the best of luck!


KPMG Online Job

KPMG Online job application is your first opportunity to make a good impression and stand out from the competition.

The KPMG Online Application requires you to provide details of your:

  • Education
  • Academic results
  • Work experience

It is possible you will be asked some motivational questions (depending on the business area you apply to).

So how do you get noticed from the very beginning of the process?

Tips for getting your KPMG online application noticed:

  1. Apply as early as possible
    First come, first seen! Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Apply early and increase your chances of getting to the next stage of the recruitment process.
  2. Make frequent references to KPMG core values (see below).
  3. Give examples of your personal experiences and interests that tie into the KPMG core values.
  4. Don’t just list your experiences!
    • Everybody loves a good story! So… describe your experiences in story form.
    • Explain what was important to you in each experience and also how it influenced you to develop further, and why it’s led you to apply to KPMG.
  1. Avoid clichés: Don’t be boring!
    • Keep recruiters awake! They see hundreds of applications from people with backgrounds like yours. Your application must stand out.
  1. Make a list of critical keywords from the KPMG job description and use them in your application, description of experiences, etc.

What are the KPMG 5 core values to mention in the job application and during the assessment process?

  1. Integrity: Doing what’s right
  2. Excellence: Never stop learning and improving
  3. Courage: Think and act boldly
  4. Together: Respect others and draw strength from our differences
  5. For Better: Do what matters

Here is an example of how to refer to KPMG core values in your job application:

Value: “Courage. Think and act boldly.”

“I was a head of the PHI-PHI-PHI society at my university. We were asked by one of the senior academic staff to publicly support an initiative that our members did not feel was in line with our society’s values, and went against our integrity. I was tasked to make the final decision. Together with my colleagues we had prepared our arguments and reasoning. I connected to several other academic staff members to gain their support and test our conclusions. We also came up with a different solution. I then arranged for a meeting between the senior staff member (who made the original request), myself and one of our supporters to explain why we wanted to address the situation differently. I convinced the senior staff member to change his mind and accept our new proposal.”


KPMG Online Assessments

KPMG Online Assessments consist of three parts:

  • KPMG Transforming Small Business Assessment
  • KPMG Delivering Outcomes Assessment
  • KPMG Critical Thinker Assessment

These assessments examine the different skills and competencies required of a KPMG professional.

KPMG Online Assessments will put you in a professional situation that may correspond to the position to which you are applying.

In this scenario you will be provided with different types of data and information. You will be required to solve problems using the case study materials provided.

Sometimes you will respond with written input, or by answering a multiple choice question, or by videoing your answers.

What are the types of KPMG Online Assessments?

 KPMG Online Assessments in 2021:

  •  KPMG Transforming Small Businesses Assessment
    • Numerical reasoning tests / section
    • Situational judgment tests / section
    • Verbal reasoning tests / section
  • KPMG Delivering Outcomes Assessment
  • KPMG Critical Thinker Assessment 

KPMG Transforming Small Businesses Assessment (in 3 parts)

Transforming Small Businesses is the first of your KPMG online assessments. It will typically include series of questions dealing with small business cases or scenarios covering the following sections:

  • Numerical reasoning
  • Situational judgment
  • Verbal reasoning

The KPMG Transforming Small Businesses Assessment is not timed but KPMG expects you to take around 90 minutes to complete it. They also recommend that you finish it in one sitting. You have 5 days to finish it once you’ve received your invitation.

Transforming Small Businesses – numerical reasoning section

This exercise will give you information on three fictional small or medium size businesses. Each one faces a different set of business challenges that you will need to analyze. So have a pen, paper and calculator handy.

What kind of questions will I be asked in Transforming Small Businesses section?

The questions in Transforming Small Businesses section are likely to involve typical numerical reasoning. So yes, your high school math will help you with the arithmetic calculations. They include:

  • Percentage growth and percentage differences
  • Ratios
  • Addition or subtractions of values extracted from tables, graphs or charts

Check out typical KPMG numerical reasoning questions below in this article or click on the following link to learn more about numerical reasoning tests.

What is a KPMG Numerical Reasoning Test Question?

How to answer KPMG’s Numerical Reasoning Tests Questions?

  • For you math lovers, working at KPMG will require you to use numerical skills
  • You will need to interpret data from tables and charts, so the KPMG numerical reasoning test examines your ability to understand a new situation, as well as the data related to it. You will be required to perform basic math calculations

Don’t worry if you haven’t done math in a while. The key to the test lies in handling the time pressure and stress rather than the knowledge tested. When taking your numerical reasoning test, you will have less than 60 seconds to read the question, analyze the data and do the necessary calculations.

Tip: If you want to pass this stage, you don’t need to revise your math. Rather, you need to familiarize yourself with the different types of questions and gain confidence, while learning to manage your stress in a safe environment. Those who pass these tests take many practice tests beforehand.

Learn more about numerical reasoning tests.

To improve your performance in numerical tests and optimize your practice you might be interested in watching our short YT movies with bite-size tips:

1. How to optimize your numerical reasoning practice.

We guide you on how to make the most of practice assessment tests and score high on the real test.

2. What is a Numerical Reasoning Test?

What they measure, how they measure, how they are scored, and how you can prepare.

3. Top 5 Numerical Reasoning Test Tips and Tricks

In this video, we help answer the common question: How can I Succeed in Numerical Reasoning Tests?

Visit our YouTube channel for more movies.

Here is an example of a typical KPMG Numerical Reasoning Test Question

Check at the bottom of this article to see if you got the correct answer.

For more FREE numerical test questions similar to KPMG assessment tests, sign-up with GF.

Transforming Small Businesses – situational judgment section

KPMG Transforming Small Business will also give you a mix of situational judgment questions.

These are scattered throughout your assessment, so as you analyze the business challenges of the companies in the scenario, you may also be presented with a scenario where you have committed an error, or need to handle a situation with your manager, or simply must make a quick decision.

These are typical situational judgment questions that we will explore later in this article.

What is a KPMG style Situational Judgment Test?

KPMG’s Situational Judgment Test will provide you with a number of scenarios that you are likely to encounter when working at KPMG. You will need to identify the best and worst courses of actions. To do well, you will use your common sense and your understanding of what it takes to excel in a professional environment.

What is the best way to prepare for the KPMG Situational Judgment Test?

  • Carefully study the listed expectations and requirements mentioned in the job description
  • Bear in mind KPMG’s core values and professional attitudes
  • Remember what behaviors and actions KPMG expects from its employees
  • Include the preceding information in your answers
  • Incorporate these elements into your natural way of working

Tip: KPMG Situational Judgment Test is quite tricky and written in a way that all answers seem to be correct. Always bear in mind which response is the most practical and demonstrates the key characteristics of an ideal candidate.

IMPORTANT: You will typically only have around 30 minutes to complete this test.

An example of a typical KPMG Situational Judgment Test Question


Learn more about Situational Judgment Tests.

Practise Situational Judgment Tests for KPMG.

Transforming Small Businesses – verbal reasoning section

KPMG Transforming Small Business will also include verbal reasoning questions that require you to critically analyze a paragraph of written text, and then to answer the follow-up questions. It is crucial that you give answers that are based ONLY on what the text has provided you so that you do not get “off subject”.

What is a KPMG Verbal Reasoning Test?

KPMG’s Verbal Reasoning Test will determine how confident you are in extracting information from a previously unread text, and to identify whether subsequent statements are true, false, or “impossible to say” based on the information you’ve read.

KPMG’s Verbal Reasoning Test could potentially be more challenging for non-native English speakers. We strongly advise you to practice verbal reasoning test questions before testing, as this allows you to understand the variety of texts and what KPMG is looking for. Get ready, for the format of the questions is very different from anything you’ve seen in school.

KPMG Verbal Reasoning Test Tip: To better understand what is required of you, always read the whole passage before looking at the question. Make sure you have fully understood the text. Only then should you attempt to answer the question.

Learn more about Verbal Reasoning Tests.

To improve your performance in verbal reasoning tests and optimize your practice you might be interested in watching our short YouTube movies with bite-size tips:

1.What are verbal reasoning tests, what they measure, how they measure, how they are scored, and how you can prepare.

2. Verbal Reasoning Tests | How to prepare

3. Verbal Reasoning Tests | How to succeed during the test

4. Top 5 Verbal Reasoning Test Tips and Tricks

Remember, you will have around 45 seconds to answer a typical KPMG Verbal Reasoning Test question like the following:


Check at the bottom of this article to see if you got the correct answer.

For more FREE verbal test questions similar to KPMG assessment tests, sign-up with GF.

KPMG Delivering Outcomes Assessment (video and written)


Delivering Outcomes is the second of your KPMG online assessments. You will be presented with a fictional project that corresponds to the business area you are applying to.

This assessment is not timed but it is recommended you take 60 minutes and that you complete it in one sitting.

Remember the deadline: You have 5 days to complete the assessment after receiving your email with the link. Use some of this time to get ready (see below).

The KPMG Delivering Outcomes assessment is a mixture of:

  • Situational judgment questions
  • Video interview questions
  • Some writing tasks

KPMG Delivering Outcomes Assessment – Video interview


How can I prepare for a KPMG Video Assessment? 12 tips to succeed.

Ok… So you’re not a movie star. Yet there is no need to fear the KPMG Video Interview assessment. You can get ready for it.

During the actual exercise, you will have only 2 minutes to prepare your answer and another 2 minutes to record your response.

Before the interview:

  1. Practice! Get some video interview experience by answering the most typical Competency Based Interview (CBI) questions.
  2. Get in front of a mirror and check your communication style. Do you appear confident, yet natural? What is your body saying?
  3. Try out different ways of answering questions. Focus on how quickly you speak, your tone and volume, as well as any mannerisms or other non-verbals.
  4. Time your answers. Record and re-play them. Try answering them again. Repeat until you become confident with your answers and body language.
  5. Go to YouTube and check out the best answers for typical interview questions. There are plenty of resources that can help you.

During the interview:

  1. Use your computer video camera rather than a mobile phone. If you do use a mobile phone, put it on a stand and don’t hold it (to avoid shaking).
  2. Choose a quiet place to complete the KPMG video assessment so you will not be disturbed. Make sure your Internet connection is strong and stable.
  3. Use a clear background.
    • Make it plain and free of distractions (such as posters, empty beer bottles, or calendars from 6 years ago).
  4. Dress smartly and make a great impression.
    • Choose to dress the same way you would if you were taking this assessment in person in a KPMG office.
    • Solid colors are good for video so that you avoid the moiré effect.
  5. Make good eye contact.
    • The best advice is to treat the computer camera lens as if it were your recruiter’s eyes. And think happy thoughts!
  6. Keep a piece of paper and a pen ready.
    • Read every question twice and plan your responses during the preparation time. Then you can make your point when the recording begins
  7. Always, always keep track of time and present your conclusion.
    • The worst mistake you can make is to allow the recording to cut off your conclusion. It is better to omit an argument than to run out of time.

Want to learn more about Video Interviews? GF can help you. Read our expert advice guide to Video Interviews.

Examples of some of the questions you might be asked during the KPMG video interview:

  • Introduce yourself to a senior colleague from the business.
    • This will be your chance to make the right professional impression on your new team.
  • Explain how your strengths align to the role you’ve applied to.
  • Tell me how you have applied one of KPMG’s values in your life.

Would you like to practice Video Interviews before your KPMG Delivering Outcomes assessment?

We offer a video interview platform where you can answer typical consulting and CBI questions. You can record yourself, replay your answers, record again and receive automated feedback on your body language and expressions. This solution actually emulates the software that is most commonly used by large employers for video interviews.

Check our video interview tool here. You’ll be able to practice typical questions for consultancy interviews.


KPMG Delivering Outcomes – Writing Task

In the KPMG Delivering Outcomes you will also need to complete two writing tasks.

The first exercise will very likely be centered on completing a report or summary of a business problem. Your writing response will be a reaction to a case study prompt which includes all the information you need to know. No previous knowledge will be required.

The second writing exercise in the Delivering Outcomes Assessment consists in writing an email. This email can be one that is sent to a fellow colleague or to a client. In the exercise, you will be presented with a difficult situation that is likely to cause some friction and you will need to deal with it professionally to solve the issue. Make sure you use a style of language that is adapted to your audience and that you really address the problem. Take initiatives in your answer, show determination, be firm, and remain polite, articulate and composed.

How can I prepare for the KPMG Delivering Outcomes written assessment?

  • Carefully read the exercise brief and plan out your answers before you start writing.
  • Use succinct and clear language. Check your spelling!
  • Make sure you answer the question from the exercise rather than get off track and answer something you were not asked.
  • Proofread your work before submitting it.

KPMG Critical Thinker Assessment

The last part of the KPMG Online Assessment is the KPMG Critical Thinker Assessment.

The KPMG Critical Thinker assessment is another numerical reasoning assessment. This time, however, you will be required to complete it in a “virtual room” with a few other candidates, with the KPMG Recruiter acting as a facilitator. You will be expected to keep your camera on at all times. It is therefore vital you ensure your background and the clothes you wear are professional.

What is the KPMG Critical Thinker Assessment test like?

  1. You will be required to complete 10 questions across two numerical reasoning test sections.
  2. You will have a 30-minute time limit to complete the assessment.
  3. The briefs and context for this assessment will be similar to the first part of the KPMG Online Assessment, the KPMG “Transforming Small Business”. However, the questions in this part will be very different, so there is no use in trying to memorize any information.

You will be asked to answer multiple-choice questions by typing in your answer. As before, you are only required to use basic arithmetic. The main difficulty in the KPMG Critical Thinker Assessment is the speed at which you will need to read the question, analyze information from various sources, and extract correct figures for your calculations.

KPMG Critical Thinker Assessment Tip

It is imperative that you perform calculations carefully, as many candidates successfully solve problems and then make silly calculation mistakes.

The numerical questions will focus on some simple financial terms, such as calculating profits, profit margins, average revenue, etc. Pay attention to instructions pertaining to “rounding” your numbers, for you will be asked to round off to a full integer or to a certain decimal place. Make sure you understand what is required before answering.

You have 3 minutes per question so keep track of time. If any time is left at the end of the assessment, you will be able to review previous answers. If you are struggling, do not spend too much time on a question, but rather move on swiftly to other questions so that you do not run out of time.

How can I prepare for KPMG Online Assessments?

You are unlikely to find much information on KPMG Online Assessments. However, they do not test any new aptitude skills or competencies. They are simply assessments that take place online.

Your KPMG Online Assessment will be oriented toward a particular business context and provide a much better, KPMG-branded user experience for test-takers. In a nutshell, the types of questions and problems you will see are similar to those in the KPMG Situational Judgment Test, the KPMG Numerical Reasoning Test and the KPMG Verbal Reasoning Test.

To help you out, we’ve prepared an “all-you-need-to-know” guide on how to score well on a KPMG Online Assessment.


KPMG Interview (Questions and Answers)

Would you like to know what types of questions you will be asked during a KPMG Interview? Here are some of the most common KPMG interview questions with model answers. Give your own answers first before comparing them with our guide.

  1. KPMG Interview Question #1

Give an example of a time when you faced an unusual challenge or conflict during your professional experience. Explain how you resolved it.

KPMG Interview Answer #1

This is one of the more difficult questions you will be asked. Interviews are usually centered on positive experiences, but it is equally important to be able to speak about your negative ones. Understand that the part of the response you will be evaluated on is HOW you approached the problem and solved it. So, tell your story, and be clear in describing the wider situation and the context, what type of work you were doing, and the nature of the challenge or conflict. Then, clearly describe the steps you took to resolve it, including communication with others, or your initiative to bring the challenge or conflict to a healthy resolution.

  1. KPMG Interview Question #2

Give an example of a time when you had to complete multiple projects by a short deadline.

KPMG Interview Answer #2

This question examines your ability to manage multiple commitments and, above all, to manage your workload. Don’t boast about consistently working long hours! Employers are looking for employees who take charge of their own time management. They are expected to notify their managers of their other commitments and expectations, as there is nothing worse than promising to finish something when you cannot deliver. Therefore:

  • Give an answer that focuses on clear communication with your superiors.
  • Show yourself to be someone who can be trusted delivers when you say you will.
  • Also mention that at times, difficult situations do occur, and it is important to face them through honest communication with managers.
  1. KPMG Interview Question #3

Tell us about a time you led a team.

KPMG Interview Answer #3

Even as a junior employee, you will be expected to be ready to take ownership of bigger projects, and at times you may also be asked to lead a team. It is crucial that you think back to times when you served as a team leader for either the delivery of an entire project, or perhaps for just a part of it. Think of, for example, a school competition you took part in, or a presentation you delivered on behalf of the team, or times when you were delegated the responsibility to support other team members in delivering a project. Think of your volunteer work or responsibilities you have had in other organizations.

Think CAR:

  • C: The Context of the situation.
  • A: The Action(s) or tasks you undertook.
  • R: The Results that were achieved by you and your team.

In your answer you should refer to:

  • Your professional attitudes such as determination and drive.
  • Your communication skills.
  • Your willingness to support others and make them successful.
  • A keen appreciation of the different working styles of the people you lead.
  • How you solve problems and other issues as they arise.
  1. KPMG Interview Question #4

Give an example of a time you asked for more responsibility.

KPMG Interview Answer #4

This is a very important question that will measure your approach to work. You might think it incredible, but there are people in organizations who tend to wait around until they are told what to do (smile). Then there are those who actively search for opportunities to make a difference. You’ve guessed it! KPMG recruiters are looking for the latter!

Therefore, think back to times when you showed interest and took on a responsibility that was not necessarily expected of you. Talk about a time that you went out of your way and showed initiative to get involved. Show your enthusiasm for taking on more responsibility and delivering results. Demonstrate that you organize your work and seek opportunities whenever you feel you have scope to do so.


KPMG Virtual Launch Pad Assessment Day

Congratulations! You made it to the final stage! There are only a few tasks left to accomplish before you land your dream job and celebrate.

The KPMG Launch Pad Recruitment Event will be your chance to network with professionals working at KPMG and learn more about the company. It is the perfect time for you to get a better insight into what it is like to work at KPMG.

However, you will still need to go through a few assessments to prove that you are an ideal candidate for the job.

The KPMG Virtual Launch Pad Assessment Day will most probably involve:

  1. KPMG Group Exercise
  2. KPMG Written Exercise
  3. Senior Partner Interview

Let’s start with the group exercise…

KPMG Group Exercise 

This exercise examines your ability to function as part of a team. Throughout this task, various KPMG employees will observe how you solve problems when required to work with others.

  • Show confidence, not arrogance, as you communicate and advance your ideas.
  • Be ready to contribute to other team members’ input.
  • Most importantly, speak clearly and do not interrupt others.

Big Tip: Try to persuade others to accept your ideas. Ask critical and thought-provoking questions. However, be natural and pay attention to your feelings. Remember: You need to show that others on the team are just as important as you and express KPMG’s Core Values. Practicing a typical set of group exercises from various assessment center exercises should be sufficient to prepare.

Learn more about Group Exercises.


KPMG Written Exercise

This task will ask you to prepare a response to a new case study problem. You will receive a “brief” with the necessary information.

How to proceed?

  1. Start by skimming through all the information in the brief.
  2. Quickly map out your response.
  3. Answer only when you have formed a clear vision of your response.
  4. Check your spelling.
  5. Keep track of time. In many cases, it might be better to leave an argument unsaid in order to finish the task on time.

Learn more about Written Exercises.

Similar to a group exercise, practicing typical assessment center exercises will build your skills and confidence.


Senior Partner Interview

What an opportunity! This will be a one-on-one interview with the partner or director of the business area you wish to join. It will typically be a competency-based interview and it is your final opportunity to demonstrate your passion, skills and enthusiasm to work for KPMG. Keep in mind that sometimes the Senior Partner may ask you an out-of-the box question.

To prepare for an interview with a potential employer, you should first map out your key life or professional experiences, then note down some of the major problems you faced, what you undertook to solve them, what the outcome was. Use STAR and/or Strength-based models for mapping your experiences.

At the end of the KPMG Senior Partner Interview, you will be given the opportunity to ask questions. Use this opportunity! Show that you are interested and motivated. Prepare some thought-provoking and interesting questions beforehand. Ask your interviewer about her/his career path.

If you have been successful at this event, KPMG will get back to you within 2 days. If you have not been successful, you will be given an option to request feedback on your performance. Take advantage of this opportunity so you can improve your chances for a future job.

Want to Pass Your KPMG Assessment on your First Try?

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Correct answers to example questions:

  • Numerical Reasoning Test: D
  • Verbal Reasoning Test: B


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