Having just received an offer from [[KPMG]] for a Grad Programme in Audit, I thought it was only fair I posted all my experiences on here too. If you do have any further questions then please just post something on here or PM me and I’ll surely get back to you.
Application Form & PAPI
There is not much advice I can offer for this, as long as you meet the requirements for your intake the Wikijob walkthrough pretty much explains everything. I used all my characters available to show some effort but generally I think if you meet the requirements and pass the PAPI then you will be invited to take the ability tests. The PAPI is simply questions on some working environment scenarios and asks you what you think might be the most appropriate action. It’s really quite simple.
Number and Verbal Tests
I would agree that these tests are the hardest out of any of the big four. As a consequence their pass marks are lower. The Verbal is not too bad and you could probably do 95% of it if you work very quickly. The Numerical is harder and you need to work very fast. When I did mine I thought I had failed … I only answered 13 out of 24 question. That put me in the 62%. The trick to these is working fast but ACCURATELY. Definitely use the practice ones available and even pop down to your local bookstore and get a career book with these tests in it. That will give those of you who are really worried some much needed confidence.
This is a competency based interview. You will get questions like;
- Describe me a time when you worked as part of a team?
- Describe when you acted as a leader?
- Describe when you need to persuade others?
- Describe when you used your initiative?
- Describe a time when you were criticised and what did you do?
There was then – Why KPMG? And; tell me about a company that interests you at the moment. If you’re anything like me, you will find this interview really “rigid”, I didn’t have the opportunity to make much conversation with the senior but you do get the opportunity to ask some questions at the end. Definitely get a vast amount of competency questions and practice answering them. You need to be confident when you talk and be prepared to be asked for more than one example. They also like it when you manage to use a variety of examples such as work, studies, hobbies that sort of thing. Just be prepared with your answers and this will also help you manipulate answers when you get asked something that you haven’t prepared for.
E-tray In my opinion, this is the hardest part of the assessment day. In the first part you get 70 minutes to answer roughly 24 emails. You cover somebody who’s ill at another office and need to send information to his clients, feedback and that sort of thing. My advice is spending roughly 10-12 minutes making sure that you know where the information is. You can use either the handout they give you or info on the PC, whichever is easiest for you. That will leave you with roughly an hour to answer the questions and you do need to work fast. There are a couple of questions that will require you to do some number crunching. It’s very easy, probably easier than the numerical test questions. I had 2 or 3. I left one email unanswered and it was one of the maths questions as I thought I would do it last!!! The second bit is 50 mins to answer two emails. They want you to make a recommendation for developing a client within a budget, and recommending how to market your own business services. The options are laid out for you. I listened to advice on here and spent more time on the first. WRONG IDEA. I would try do them equally, neither is more important. I did a comprehensive first email but my second was REEAALY rushed. Try and balance them out, keep your SPAG tidy and offer some good justification for your decisions.
Group Exercise You use a company from your e-tray. You are given 10mins to read your booklet and take notes, 35minutes to discuss and then 5-10 minutes to present as a group. Just extract the relevant bits of the book and anything you notice or believe you should recommend. During the discussion, don’t overpower people too much, give people time to talk, but make sure you have the chance to get your points across too!. When you finished saying your bits, try and involve other people as they won’t want to interrupt you, say something like – what do you think xyz? Or even, do we all agree with that?
Partner Interview & Presentation The presentation does NOT need to be really heavy on figures. Just know it well and present it clearly. I did a discount supermarket and there was hardly any financial information on them. However, make good proposals and the justify them. It doesn’t matter the size of your company, and I don’t think you need to know it off by heart. I had my whole thing written out, printed it twice and that was my hand out (of course, made it look great). It didn’t have any charts or things like that. I just engaged with the partner, she could tell straight away I didn’t rely on the handout too much but I also proved I could learn something and present it too! Stay clear and make eye contact.
I then got some questions on the company, why I made those proposals. Just be ready to justify each of your ideas and what KPMG can offer them in the way of services.
Then your likely to have some competency questions, same as the first interview really. Just use your work for that. Then come the conversation bit…Why KPMG? Why your line of service? Why is KPMG different? What you might find good/difficult about the job? Try and smile! Be calm and work through your responses slowly. Their really nice people so you will quickly build a relationship with them. Prepare a good question…Throw in that you had questions answered in your first interview so it looks like your really engaged in the WHOLE application process.
That it’s really…I hope this has covered most of it. By all means, if you need any further information then please ask.
Edit - Don’t get bogged down with response times! They get back to you quickly, after your tests it may take up to two days generally because its electronically! After my first interview I waited 6 days!!!..to hear I got through. After my partner however they got back to me the next day.