My experience of the group task:
You are each given a booklet on a company and you have ten minutes to read it individually. Then you have to work together and come up with strengths, weaknesses and then four recommendations in a presentation. Make sure you read the booklet from cover to cover. Skim through the graphs, get an idea of general trends but don’t spend too long on it. Focus on the letters of correspondence and reports towards the back. If someone steps in first and starts leading, take the opportunity and say you will help with the time-keeping. Gets you points. I got the feeling the presentation itself doesnt matter, it is how you worked together as a team in the lead up to the presenting.
Get everyone involved. Do come up with ideas yourself and your opinions, but don’t look as if you are forcing them on the others e.g. “Guys I thought of xxx idea, what you do think of it?” Look like a team player basically.
For the partner interview, I would suggest reading several business issues to show commercial awareness. DONT USE THE WORDS ‘CREDIT CRUNCH’ they have heard it a million times and it probably does their head in.
For commercial awareness I read about an issue related to the department I was applying for specifically, then an issue affecting professional services in general, and then a broader economic issue. Have several to talk about.
The partner has some questions he is told to ask you but for a good amount of the time we just talked about my personal background because it is a bit unusual. He did ask me what I know about the qualifications I will be studying for, and where I will be in five years from now.
For your presentation, you are so much better off choosing a company you are interested in and you know well in terms of how it operates and the broader external factors that affects its operations. I got asked some very in depth questions about the company I used, and I have no doubt if I chose one that I did not know as well it could have made things messy.
Make sure you mention ways KPMG can help the company as well.
That’s about it, hope it helps, and if you get the job ask them to save me a place for next year… !!