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:

  1. KPMG Online Application
  2. KPMG Situational Judgement Test
  3. KPMG Online Aptitude Tests
  4. KPMG Digital Submission
  5. KPMG Launch Pad Recruitment Event

1. KPMG Online Application

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.

  • Personal profile related questions
  • Qualification related questions 
  • KPMG application questions such as:
    • Are you currently employed by KPMG in the UK/US (or the country you apply to)?
    • Current salary
    • Salary sought
    • Do you have the right to work in the UK/US and take up the role you have applied for without sponsorship by KPMG?
  • Questions necessary under the Equal Employment Opportunities Policy

For example, in case you’re applying in UK, you will be asked questions like: 

  • What is the highest level of qualification achieved by either of your parent(s) or guardian(s) by the time you were 18?
  • Which type of school did you attend for the majority of your time between the ages 11-16?
  • Thinking back to when you were about 14, please tell us the occupation group which best describes the sort of work your parents did in the main job?”, etc.

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.

2. KPMG Situational Judgement Test

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.

  • To understand better what is a situational judgement test, visit our Youtube channel:
Video: What is a Situational Judgment test (SJT)

KPMG-style Situational Judgement Test Example

Get yourself ready for SJTs with these 5 tips on how to pass a Situational Judgment Test

Video: Situational Judgment Tests – Tips to Pass – KPMG Preparation

3. KPMG Online Aptitude Tests

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:

  • Numerical reasoning test,
  • Verbal reasoning test

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.

a) KPMG Numerical Reasoning Rest

  • Since working at KPMG will require you to use numerical skills and ability to interpret data from tables and charts, the KPMG numerical reasoning test will examine your ability to understand a previously unseen passage – as well as its data. You will be required to perform basic GCSE Maths calculations.
  • Do not worry if you have not done Maths in a while! The complexity of this does not lie in the knowledge tested but in the time pressure and stress. When taking your numerical reasoning test, you will have less than a minute to read the question, analyse data provided and perform the necessary calculations.
  • Tip: The only way to succeed is to take practice tests beforehand. This way you familiarize yourself with the types of questions and become more confident. Learn how to manage your stress in a safe environment and you will not have to face rejection – just because you were unfamiliar with the process.
  • Learn more about numerical reasoning tests or find out what numerical reasoning tests are in this short video clip
  • If you are looking for a KPMG-style numerical reasoning test with answers, worked-solutions and professional score reports including personalised tips based on your performance – then Graduates First has it covered.

KPMG-style Numerical Reasoning Test Example

Check if you got the correct answer at the bottom of the page.

For more FREE QUESTIONS similar to KPMG assessment testsregister with Graduates First  and take your FREE numerical reasoning test now!

We encourage you to watch this video with 5 most common numerical questions. In this video tutorial we guide you through numerical questions, answers, worked solution so you are able to solve up to 80% of numerical reasoning questions fast.

Video: Free Numerical Reasoning Questions, Answers, Solutions tutorial – KPMG Preparation


b) KPMG Verbal Reasoning Test

  • KPMG’s Verbal Reasoning Test will determine how confident you are in extracting information from a previously unseen passage of text, to identify whether the following statements are true, false, or impossible to say based on the information contained in the passage of text.
  • KPMG’s Verbal Reasoning Test could potentially be more challenging for non-native speakers in English, but the advice we give to everyone is to practice verbal reasoning test questions beforehand, as this allows you to understand the specific way in which the texts are built and questions asked. The format of questions is very different to anything you would experience at school.
  • Tip: To have a better understanding of what is required of you, always start by reading the passage first before even looking at the question. Make sure you fully understand the text and only then should you attempt answering the question.
  • Learn more about verbal reasoning tests or find out what verbal reasoning tests are in this short video clip
Video: What are Verbal Reasoning Tests – KPMG Preparation

Remember, you will have around 45 seconds to answer questions like the following

KPMG-style Verbal Reasoning Test example

Got the answer? Check it out at the bottom of the page.

For more FREE QUESTIONS similar to KPMG’s online aptitude tests, register with Graduates First  and take your FREE verbal reasoning test now!

Get yourself ready for Verbal Reasoning Tests with these 5 tips on how to pass a Verbal Reasoning Test

Video: Verbal Reasoning Tests – Tips to Pass – KPMG Preparation

4. KPMG Digital Submission

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!

5. KPMG Launch Pad Recruitment Event

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:

  • KPMG Group Exercise

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:  

  • Be confident
  • Don’t interrupt people
  • Keep the passive members engaged in the conversation 
  • Don’t talk rubbish 
  • Don’t try to dominate 
  • Don’t argue

Few topics for the KPMG Group Exercise round that the candidates got are as follows: 

  • Technology impact on banking sector
  • Is it fair to spare political parties from income tax investigation? 
  • Are MNCs better than domestic industries?

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

  • KPMG Written 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:

  • Time-management
  • Prioritization 
  • Observation 

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

  • Senior Partner Interview

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.

  • Do you want to pass your KPMG assessment first time? Sign up for tools offered by Graduates First, the only aptitude practice test experts that provide tests to students from over 90 universities in the UK, Asia and continental Europe. As a team of organisational psychologists who have worked for over 15 years in SHL and Kenexa, the two largest test providers for companies, we know how to pass the tests. As a team of recruiters, who have worked for major multinationals, we know how you will be assessed and what is important. Go to Graduates First now and select from the range of products we offer at no risk. We offer a comprehensive premium package with a full set of assessment tools for candidates (numerical, logical, verbal reasoning, situational judgment tests, assessment centre exercises and more). Buy with peace of mind without commitment to a full 100% money back guarantee if you do not pass your job tests.

Correct answers to example questions:

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

START PREPARING TODAY