KPMG Assessment Centre 12th Oct 2010 ??


Anyone ??


Anyone please share your experience of attending a KPMG AC recently ??


I just had my AC on Monday morning and am still desperately waiting to hear the result. Beginning to worry that the longer this goes on the more likely it is that I won’t have got it! Uuuurgh, the anticipation is killing me.

On the advice side of things…
I think the other posts on this forum give a fairly solid idea of what goes on during the AC day. All I would say in addition is do not rush through your points in the group exercise. Obviously don’t take too long and let all the good points be said by others, but during mine I found that everyone scrabbled to say as much as possible during the first 10mins to get noticed and towards the end ideas began to run dry. For the last 5 minutes we just pretty much went over and over what we had already said, punctuated by awkward silences. It was such a relief when our organiser came back in to end the session.

In the partner interview I had been told that they would be furiously scribbling everything down, so when my partner sat looking avidly at me the entire time it took me by surprise and it kind of put me off a little. So just be prepared that your interviewer might choose to take a different approach. I was also asked a lot of general questions about the credit crunch, what I predict for the future etc so just make sure that you are up on your commercial awareness and current affairs.

Good luck to anyone applying, they seem like a really good bunch.


hey guys :slight_smile: i was at the assessment centre 12th october and was told they were going to offer me a job. But… do you know how long it’s meant to take before they email me the official contract etc? I’m getting paranoid they’ve changed their minds… :frowning:

PS I won’t write a long post about the AC as i’d just be saying the exact same things as everyone else, but anyone do feel free to ask me any questions about it.



As wikijob was useful for me Id like to share my experience. By the way my assesment centre was late September 2010 and I was successful. As with the hundreds of post regarding the format I wont waste time repating but instead I will just give tips as to whats useful and what worked and didnt work for me.

  1. Etray
    a. Stay calm
    b. I found it easier to just reply emails ans they came in prefrence of time, however I did leave the calculations till last because they slowed me down.
    c. Read the instructions carefully it helps put you in the ‘zone’, I found when you actually imagined that you were in the scenario it helps relaxes you and gives you more focus.
    d. Dont rush the questions, accuracy is more important as they are looking for your ability to solve problems.
    e. For the second part, start with the opening and closing paragrahs so even if you dont finish, it looks like a finished and composed email rather than a rushed attempt.
    f. Remember for the 2nd part justify your recommendations and offer alternatives to show your forward thinking.
    g. Remember to bear in mind that you should be thinking about business focus, so how will each recommendation and solution expand or develop and/or be benefitcial to the company.

  2. Group Presentation
    a. Skim quickly through the booklet and try to look for two or more recommendations. Hopefully not the most obvious ones that other people will think of.
    b. Dont speak over others. Remain positive, smile and always appreciate other people’s ideas, even if they are not great.
    c. Dont be scared to speak out just remember your tone and if the discussion steers of course dont be afraid to remind the group what the task is actually asking you to do.
    d. Its much easier if you are chatty and friendly with your group members before the presentation as you will feel more relaxed.
    e. Finally as you give ideas always ask if everyone aggrees

  3. Partner presentation
    a. I only mentioned financial data once, so numerical info is good but not that important if you dont know what your talking about.
    b. 3-4 recommendations is enough just make sure you can justify them. The focus of the presentation is how can the business expand.
    c. Best not to do a KPMG client but in your conclusion do state how KPMG can help.
    d. Thoroughly research your chosen company and remember to look at the entire industry as a whole. Think about competitors, opportunity costs, etc
    e. Make eye contact, a handout is always advisable nothhing more than a few pages with key info. But if you maintain eye contact and stay confident the partner will not really look at it that much.
    f. They will always ask you why that company so think of a strong answer.

  4. Partner Interview
    a. It will based around your PAPI questionnare.
    b. Try to think of two examples per point.
    c. Smile with the partner, look interested and enthusiastic about the company. They are trying to see how you fit in the company so its up to you to prove it.
    d. Small advice. Seems obvious but I didn’t because I was in a hurry and so forgot. Switch off your phone…Mine went off and it was so embarassing but the partner found it funny even though I was mortified…lol…At that point I thought it was over but it was going well before that so I smiled and maintained control and answered each question confidently and calmy…

I hope this helps…


as long as you have u have an email confirming your offer then thats fine…Iol


Thanks all for the invaluable info.

The emal KPMG sent me said that they might hold a retesting session of the online tests. Do they usually take it or did anyone of you gave the tests on an AC?

Thanks in advance!


Gulusahab, generally they do not retest you during the assessment centre as your day will be full with other tasks such as e-tray, interview or group task.

My advice would be -don’t think of this possibility at this point as it will only distract you from prep. for an assessment centre.

Good Luck


I didn’t re-take my tests, like Lancsman said your day will be busy anyway!


Thanks Lancsman and SMCG123 for the advice!


Got an assessment center coming up soon at KPMG. Havent been to any AC before, so really nervous. Im particularly worried about the group exercise. Any tips on that specifically? I know its not advisable to be more dominant or to be quiet, but whats the best way to having a balanced approach? Any key things i should keep in mind during the entire task?


Guys really need some quick advice for the partner interview (got it tomorrow). How do they base it around your PAPI questionnaire?


As far as I know, the partner interview is not based on anything, forget PAPI. Its all subjective, and up to the partner. Mine was based more around competencies. He asked me 6 questions… generally on team leadership, team working, and three more on career motivation. But again, it depends on the partner, he might not question you much. So just revise your first round interview again, you will be good to go.


Best of Luck!


I have been through the KPMG application process so thought I’d quickly share my experience. The first interview is pretty much like what everyone else describes. I was asked a few random questions like ‘what do I think is the next big thing’ in relation to investing in something. But don’t worry too much about those kind of questions.

As for the AC it consisted of Group Ex, Etray, Written and Partner Interview and Presentation. The group ex is standard like any other. As for the Etray its similar to deloitte, your tested on a range of things such as task management leadership etcc, except I found a bit more time pressured, I would recommend spending a bit more time reading the information on the booklet as I failed on task management. Written Exercise is again standard.
For the presentation its better to do it on something you are passionate about. This way when you are faced with a series of questions it will be easier to come to an answer. Present clearly and confidently. Doesnt need to be the full 10 mins, but it should go over!
For the partner interview, be friendly, talkative etc. And demonstrate a real passion for KPMG.


Hi Gingerale,

Congratulations on KPMG !
I have been invited to the KPMG AC - no date yet. I need some guidance with the e - tray exercises. I have bought an online e tray exercise simmulator but it seems to be different compared to what I read from posts ( like yours ) about the KPMG e tray exercise.

the online test I took had 35 questions stacked up to be finished in 40 mins. which is very different to the KPMG style where apparently you start with may be 6 emails - you answer’em and more follow. Am I right? Isn’t that what you went thru.

So if that is correct, I should concentrate on training myself to the KPMG style. SO HOW DO I GO ABOUT TRAINING FOR THAT ?

I making notes on

  • What makes a email - important & urgent , important but not urgent and not important.
  • How to respond to emails ?
    these above pointers would help me choose a response from the choices available - which brings me to my next question

earlier posts suggest there aren’t any right or wrong answers but if that’s the case HOW DO THEY ASSESS ? Just on the premise of how many emails were attended ?





Hey Danish,

Firstly u don’t need to ‘train’ for the KPMG style of etray because its just the layout thats different. Just practice some random etray exercises and u shud be fine.

Don’t worry about which emails are urgent, as IMO THEY ARE ALL THE SAME. Answer in the order you receive them otherwise you will just confuse yourself. No email is more urgent than the other.

You respond to an email by writing back :stuck_out_tongue: lol duhh

As for the right and wrong answers, I don’t know where you’ve heard there are no right answers but that is absolutely untrue. You will have multiple options to choose from and some will be perfect responses, others less preferable (but still good) and then not so good options and you will be scored accordingly. Some emails will test you on leadership, while others will test on your time management or other competencies, just figure out what competency they are assessing and you should know the response. Bottom line, make sure you know what characteristics are ideal for your role and you should be fine. I.e if client service is important then do not choose an option that is not preferable for the client.


Hi Mstar101,

When did you give your KPMG etray exercise ? My AC is probably in a few weeks time.
Really thank you for you guidance. Its cleared the air.

The practise test I have got is the simmulation test from .
When I practise the etray exercise what should I aim for ?
So my efforts during my practise , making sure I am on the same page as you ,

  • should be to demostrate my diplomatic and decision making skills.
  • And also aim to manage my time.

With Regards to making the right responce - can you share some parameters which you applied in making the right decision (or) is it purely left to what you think at the time is the best responce?

I am trying to formulate some sort of frame work and rules for this - I am a bit methodical like that, I do apologize if i sound pedantic.




Hey Danish,

I had my AC in Nov 2010 I think :S but I believe its still the same, or at least really similar. I still managed to pass it without too much prep so u shud be okay if you relax and think clearly.

I didn’t really practice too much, I only used the Civil Service Fast Stream one to practice but thats about it. As long as u practice a few then u should have an idea of the type of responses they are looking for!

In terms of the emails u are just given scenarios asking for your best response and they will test all of the competencies found on the KPMG website so just keep them in mind. It was quite a while back so I can’t remember specific examples - but its just stuff like you have to pick the best option from a series of choices using common sense and reasoning. Some will be easy, some will require maths, some will require more time and analysis. Its nothing to stress about. They score you out of their comps and the ones u fail on the etray u can make up for in the other areas like interview or group ex. For instance, if u failed in the time management, you can still pass it overall cos u demonstrated it in your group ex or partner int. So work fast and do the best u can!


Hi Mstar,

Thanks again. Your advice is really helping.

Can you share some light about the written section, which forms the second part of the etray exercise. I have been told its some case study (business case).
So in terms of prep for this - I am reading the CASE and POINT book for all the frameworks ( BCG matrix , 4P’s and 5 C’s etc) and case studies( how to imrpove this clients sales etc) . Will the written section be in a simmilar manner?

And what sort of answer structures should i incorporate? Will I have to make tables and stuff for numbers and chart … or am i again way ahead of myself and all i will be asked to do is critique and give suggestions in bullet points and substantiate?

Group Exercise:

For the subject matter and how to attack it , do I carry on with my prep from the Case and Point book for business cases?

And in terms of engagement - I have heard that people jump in and try to hog the limelight and the other usual stuff, but what is in your view the best way to conduct oneself in the exercise?

waiting for your reply