Just received confirmation I’ve been offered a place on the Tax intake this year! WikiJob has been an immense help whilst preparing for each stage of the application process so I wanted to say a huge thank you and also share my experience in the hope it might help others.
APPLICATION FORM - The 3 important questions are the 3 motivational questions. Why KPMG? Why the route you’ve chosen? What you think you’ll be doing in the first year.
Advice here is be honest and straight forward, being all mushy and cliche won’t bode well, they recognise it as waffle. Just be to the point and professional - just how you would be with a client.
Why KPMG - what sets its apart from its competitors? Obviously quality of work and lcients is pretty much the same, what attracted to you them? For meit was their reputation and the investment in their employees training and development, their CSR and the European LLP - secondment opps?
Why Tax - enjoy numbers, a career in tax will enable me to use XYZ skills. The tax course provides a dual qualification (only one of the big 4 that does!) and will assist me in becoming a well rounded professional services advisor.
First year - Be honest and realistic. They want to know that you know what you’ll be getting into. Study and hardwork!!
Everything you need to answer these 3 questions well can be found on the KPMG careers website. Watch the employee videos, there is loads of inside info in them to do with every day work and schemes they run etc, that isn’t found in writing on the site.
NB. I got an E and A Level Maths and put this in and just went to town in my extenuating circumstances - told them that it was a freak result and ehat other Maths qualifications I had which were all very good. And I put all about the skills and experiences I’ve developed and what i could offer the firm. So it goes to show that you can get in with lower than expected grades if you make up for it elsewhere and really sell yourself in the extensuating circumstances. This was never mentioned again throughout the interview process.
I sent my form on a Sunday night and got the email the following morning to say I was through to the online tests.
ONLINE TESTS - I found these pretty hard but I don’t know if its because of the hype that they are so hard. I did prep tests and did fine on them, scored 70-odd% on both verbal and maths each time. When I came to do the real thing I got 78% on verbal and 33% on Maths! I think it was mainly nerves, I finished all of the verbals and I think 13 or 14 of the Maths ones. The numbers involved are not that complex there is just much more data to deal with and/or processes to go through than the others. I panicked. Try to stay calm and just take them one at a time. If one seems really hard or complex skip it don’t waste time when you could go to another. Of the ones I did I was pretty sure I got 11/12 of them correct and I got through.
I got the email the day after the online tests to say I’d got through.
INTERVIEW - This was fine. I was really nervous but the lady was really nice and friendly and calmed me down. There is a more detailed write up of my experience here:
Main advice is make sure you prepare plenty of examples that are adaptable to different types of questions. Make sure you’re up on current business affairs and issues affecting business such as the economy, new legislation. You don’t need to be a pro and know everything. All they want to see 1. that you take an interest in business; and 2. that you have a basic understanding of business and issues affecting them.
I had the interview on the Monday and got the email on the Wedsnesday to say I was through to the AC.
Again I’ve already written up my experience of this here:
I waited a WEEK to find out if 'd got through. If the partner who interviews you is really busy it can take a while for them to report back to HR so don’t panic too much if you don’t hear withint the next day or 2.
I had my AC on the Tues and chase on the Fri, they advised they were just waiting on the partner. I then chased again this morning and they apologised and said they’d be back to me today for sure. I got a call 20 mins later from the partner who interviewed me advising I got the job!
Any questions feel free to ask!