GFI Group Ltd. is not associated with KPMG. We provide preparation materials for KPMG candidate assessment.
Want to work at KPMG, one of the Big4 professional services companies but don’t know where to start? You’re not the only one. KPMG assessment tests are hard. The numbers are clear: only 3-5% of those who apply to KPMG get hired. Majority fail during the aptitude psychometric testing.
We are here to help you get the job at KPMG.
In the article below, we will provide you with a step by step overview of the best tips for successfully passing the KPMG candidate assessment process during recruitment. Follow proven recommendations and tips from GF, a team of organisational psychologists and recruiters who created assessment tests for employers and recruited thousands of job applicants.
Buckle up and let’s start!
This is your 2021 / 2022 guide to passing the KPMG’s aptitude tests, interviews and assessment centre.
KPMG is one of the Big Four professional services companies and for many is the top destination to work at. Every year they receive tens of thousands job applications, in the UK alone. Unfortunately for applicants, there are only a few job openings at KPMG and so the competition is extremely tough. In order to streamline the recruitment process, the company uses online aptitude tests, often rejecting more than 60% of candidates – depending on the business line.
The KPMG recruitment process is made of five different stages; each requiring you to do your best and outperform your competitors if you want to land your dream job. This is why we are providing this step-by-step guide; so you can benefit from expert tips at each of the stages of their recruitment process, including:
This part of the recruitment process is your first chance to set a good impression and stand out from your competition. The online form will ask you to provide details of your education and any academic results, work experience and potentially some motivational questions, depending on the business area you apply to.
For example, in case you’re applying in UK, you will be asked questions like:
Tip: Apply as early as possible. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. This way you increase your chances of progression to the next stage of the recruitment process.
KPMG’s Situational Judgement Test will provide you with a number of scenarios that you are likely to encounter when working at KPMG; it will require you to identify the best and worst courses of actions. You will need to use your common sense, and appreciation of what it takes to excel in a professional environment, to give satisfactory responses.
Tip: KPMG Situational Judgement Test is written in a way that makes all answers seem desirable. Always bear in mind which response is the most practical and demonstrates the key characteristics of an ideal candidate.
IMPORTANT: You will only have around 30 minutes to complete this test and you must do it within 7 days of receiving the email.
KPMG-style Situational Judgement Test Example
Get yourself ready for SJTs with these 5 tips on how to pass a Situational Judgment Test
After you complete the Situational Judgement Test, you will find out whether you have progressed to the next stage of the recruitment stage – and this will consist of online aptitude tests.
These will include KPMG’s:
The difficulty level of the KPMG online tests will depend on the business area and position you applied to, so be sure to carefully read all the information in the aptitude test invite email.
IMPORTANT: Like the Situational Judgment Test, you will have 7 days to complete the tests from the day you receive the invitation email. Each test should only take around 20 minutes.
Check if you got the correct answer at the bottom of the page.
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Remember, you will have around 45 seconds to answer questions like the following
Got the answer? Check it out at the bottom of the page.
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Get yourself ready for Verbal Reasoning Tests with these 5 tips on how to pass a Verbal Reasoning Test
If you have successfully passed through the aptitude tests stage, you will be required to record short (around 2-minutes long) responses relating to two KPMG global behavioural capabilities ‘Makes an Impact’ and ‘Career Motivation’. You will have 3 days to complete this assessment.
Tip: Practice your responses to assess your tone and body language, by recording yourself or standing next to the mirror. Ask your friends how they would perceive you by showing them the video, and then make necessary changes.
Tip: 2 minutes is not a long time, so make sure that your responses are precise and clear! Focus on demonstrating your enthusiasm and motivation to work for KPMG. Prove that your communication skills are outstanding. This is your chance to impress the recruiters. Be creative and original!
This is the last stage of the recruitment stage; so congratulations if you have made it this far. There are only a few things left before you land your dream job.
The Launch Pad Recruitment Event will be a chance for you 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. These might involve:
This exercise will examine your ability to work as part of a team. Throughout this task various KPMG employees will observe you and how you solve problems, when required to work with others.
KPMG Group Exercise round consists of 50 to 80 people who will be divided into small groups of 5-8 people. You will get 3-5 minutes to jot down your points and later present them in front of the group. These group discussions can have two sides as well.
This is a mere elimination round. In this exercise, you will have to sit with the fellow potential candidates to discuss a particular topic given by the senior managers of that field.
Few points to keep in mind before going into the group discussion:
Few topics for the KPMG Group Exercise round that the candidates got are as follows:
It is important that you are confident to share and argue for your ideas, but also be ready to contribute to somebody else’s input. Most importantly, speak clearly and do not interrupt anyone!
Tip: Try to persuade others towards your ideas and also ask critical though-provoking questions; but only do so when it feels natural. You need to appreciate that other people on the team are just as important.
Learn more about Group Exercise
This task will ask you to prepare a response to a previously unseen case study problem, write emails, or prepare summaries of particular reports. It will be provided in the candidate brief given to you.
The topics for the email writing can go like, “Write an email to the client regarding delay in delivery of the project”, “Write an email to your manager about being stuck between different projects which is constraining your efficiency”, “Write to another colleague congratulating them on the appreciation they received in the last town hall (all company meeting)”
Three things you must take for the written exercises with you:
Tip: Start by skimming through all the information in the candidate brief and then plan your response quickly. You should not be starting to answer before you form a clear idea for your response. Always check your spelling and watch the time – in many cases it might be better to miss one or two arguments in order to finish the task on time.
Learn more about Written Exercises
This will be a one-on-one interview with the partner or director from the business area you wish to join. It will be a competency based interview, and it is a final chance for you to demonstrate your passion, skills and enthusiasm to work for KPMG.
Most questions in this round are behavioural questions. They may ask you to walk them through your resume or ask questions from your resume, as well as some technical questions. The interview generally goes on for 60 minutes total in two rounds of 30 minutes each.
Some example of KPMG interview questions that you may come across in the KPMG Senior Partner Interview are as follows:
Question: Please describe a situation when you had to handle repetitive tasks for an extended period of time? How did you cope with that?
How to answer: By asking this question they want to know if you’re a person who likes to work on different projects every time and if boring and repetitive tasks affect your productivity. This question makes you draw a line between being adventurous and being a non-interested candidate and that’s exactly what the interviewer needs you to do in order to reject you. Therefore, the answer to this particular question should be governed by your interest in your field and the passion you possess for your work. For example, you can say, “Accounting can never be boring for me, of course I like to try and put my hands on new projects but my love for my work doesn’t let me get bored if I get to do similar tasks again and again. So even when the tasks get repetitive, they’d still be polishing my skills, I would still learn something new. In fact, this raises my morale when I complete the work assigned to me fast just because I’ve done it so many times in the past.”
Question: Tell me about the time you made a mistake at work and what happened afterwards
How to answer: The interviewer asks you this question, not because he wants to reject you but because he wants to know how you cope up with setbacks and stress and how that affects your integrity. While answering this question you be honest. Select a mistake that have learned from, describe the learning and future application.
Question: Describe a time when you didn’t get along with a co-worker and what did you do about it?
How to answer: How you handle a team is important for KPMG because the company is all about people, your interaction, empathy, and communication skills are extremely important and thus, the interviewer needs to know if or not you are a team player. In the answer to your question, you must focus on how you communicated with the co-worker, and how you evened things with him or her and did you or did you not understand his/her perspective because that’s what the interviewer is looking for.
Question: If you have a deadline that you are unable to meet for a client, what do you do?
How to answer: This is a commonly asked behavioural question the answer to which shows how much of a people person you are. Do you get irritated or do you calmly explain all the points to a client about why the deadline is unattainable? If you choose the second option, Congratulations! you will do great at your job at KPMG.
These were some examples, but this is not it you can be asked many technical questions from your field as well. For example, “What is a left join”, “What is the difference between Star and Snowflake schemas?”, so don’t forget to revise all the basic concepts. Some questions asked in a KPMG interview aim towards knowing what you know about the company and its position and the issues faced or maybe issues related to the job position that you’ve applied for. Therefore, research about the company and the job role is very important.
At the end of the KPMG Senior Partner Interview, you will be given a chance to ask questions. You must definitely use this opportunity! This is a way of showing that you are interested and motivated, so prepare some thought-provoking and interesting questions beforehand. You can also ask your interviewer about 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 on this occasion, you will be given an option to request feedback on your performance. Use this opportunity to improve for future job searches.
Correct answers to example questions:
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