Tips for the day:
Research obviously the company as a whole-especially their history and their strategy for the future. Figures I think are also generally important. (However remember to research them as each interview differs slightly- also remember to use the newest figures and you may also compare them against previous years). However, when using figures always relate them to the competition- and vitally how you think working for the company, based on the figures, will help you.
Also, try to relate the different questions to your experience and goals.
In regards to the layout, it first consists of two non-assessed group activities (Although they say ‘Non-assessed’ do take an active position and doing things like suggesting relevant creative ideas and engaging the rest of the group by asking them about their own opinions- Make sure to address the whole group and not just one or two people (There were around 8 at my assessment centre)
Next there will be an interview and written task (Half will do each segment and then reverse). With the interview, I would suggest the same things that I suggested above. However the absolute KEY is to ensure you really REALLY understand their key competencies. Remember to also have real-life examples demonstrating those competencies, BUT DO NOT SOUND REHEARSED. Therefore ensure you have the example in mind, but do not rehearse an answer fully (They do also ask A LOT of follow up questions anyway which you obviously can do little to rehearse for.)
Written task (Hand written) : Really ensure that you PLAN AHEAD. You will have 40 minutes (or certainly around that time). I will not suggest how you should exactly plan your own time as everyone has different styles. However, really ensure that you have a decent idea of what your paragraphs will consist of as well as the number of paragraphs- This is key. Very importantly do not over-plan by writing too many notes that do not relate too much too structure or the numbers *(Again everyone has different styles). You will have a pack given to you detailing key e-mails. Ensure you base your essay (And some notes, especially relating to the budget- the budget is in the emails) around those e-mails as they are ESSENTIAL. Also working out basic figures relating to their given budget-Like the difference, percentage wise, between your figures and the budget will help to stand out- Remember, they want to see that you can write a formal written piece similar to the work you will do at the company. Therefore, ALWAYS address the specific question/s asked ( A good idea could be to base your paragraphs around the key questions, thus encouraging you to stay on track regarding exactly what they needed). Again everyone has different styles but ALWAYS answer exactly what they want, do not drift off topic) Always justify your actions and choices as well and keep in mind their key competencies.
A key tip is to begin the assignment by addressing the person/s that you you need to respond to, and end with an appropriate ‘sign off’- it shows professionalism. Next you will also receive a final task where you have to state how you performed. Ensure you have stated weakness and try to say how you can improve them-Be honest, they are trained assessors- However, DO NOT state weaknesses that are the same to the key competencies.
The absolute key to everything at KPMG are the key competencies- plan around those competencies on the day itself and before the assessment centre- A simple google search on the KPMG website will detail them- and you will be golden
Just a note that the assessment centre might differ now, or change in the future, therefore please do separate research to avoid any mistakes.
Tips for the day:
I would also add that for the other two stages (Before the assessment day) base all answers around the key competencies, just like you would at an assessment centre.)