KPMG Assessment Centre 2013

#1

Hi! I had my assessment centre for KPMG audit vacation programme last Wednesday and found out today I passed. Unfortunately all the places at my chosen office have now been filled, so I have a short 10 minute phone interview retesting my career motivation tomorrow morning. Does anyone know what this entails/has anyone been through this before? Stressing out! Thanks

#2

Hey hb1343, congratulations on passing the AC! I was wondering if you could tell us going through the process what it involved?

#3

I think you want to know what the AC involved so here goes!

As I was there for the vacation programme I was only needed until 1pm. Firstly we all met downstairs and the woman took our passports and gave us all visitor passes so we could enter the building. There were about 15 of us and we went upstairs to what I can only describe as a boardroom. There were laptops and notepads set out for everyone and we found our names and sat down. There were 2 other girls doing the AC for the vacation programme so I was next to them.
Firstly the woman told us a little bit about the day, she was so friendly and put us all at ease. We then had to redo the English test we did during the application programme which I wasn’t expecting to do as people always say you don’t have to so be prepared!
After this we had to do the exercise where we given lots of information about a company and then had to write a formal report. One thing I’d say about this is that you do not have time to read everything, plan your report and write it. I’d recommend skimming through the whole booklet, deciding which bits you think are most relevant and reliable sources and then starting your report. The woman told us to make sure we gave ourselves enough to write something for each section of the report so I would also try to do this first and then add more to each section.
We then had a quick tea and toilet break before heading back in to do the E-tray exercise. During this exercise, you use your laptop and receive emails, voicemails etc. and must answer them all within a the hour. Be careful as some of the tasks have to be completed before a certain amount of time. I don’t really know what you could do to prepare for this part, just keep your cool and work through things as speedily and accurately as you can!
As I was only there for the vacation scheme I was then done! However, the 12 people there for graduate jobs had to stay for role plays but I can’t help with that, sorry!
I got the call on the Monday telling me I’d passed the AC but that all the places unfortunately had gone at my destination but as I said in my original post they offered me other locations but I had to do a another short phone interview to retest my career motivation, but this must have gone well as I got the job!
If you have any other questions please just let me know and I’ll try my best to answer!

#4

I recently got an offer from KPMG and vowed that if I did I would help other graduates through the process as the advice on here has been invaluable. I’m concentrating specifically on the AC and the partner interview.

THE AC
The day started with a verbal retest- so they do happen!40 questions. 20 minutes. No neg marking so it’s worthwhile guessing if you don’t know.

We then progressed onto the written exercise. I was handed booklet (about six pages). You basically take on the role as a trainee working for an advisory firm called AAA and you have to summarise all the info given. There is a fair bit to digest but like previous advice given I would focus on what the task asks for and to focus on quality not quantity. I wrote a lot less than the other candidates there and it appears my strategy worked!

We then had a break and moved onto the e-tray exercise. I found this relatively straightforward. There were a few very basic calculations that had to be carried out for one of the questions. Another one was about spotting mistakes in a table of data. There were a few video calls too which tests your situation judgement e.g a colleague is going on holiday and wants you to cover her workload on certain days. When you review your schedule you find you’re busy and you have to draft a response to her.

The next bit of the day involved the role play. You are given 15mins to prepare for both role plays. One is with the client and the other with the manager. I found that some candidates had a very difficult client, luckily mine was fine. You are guiding this meeting so make sure you keep an eye on the time! Aim to be professional, maintain eye contact and open body language.

The second meeting is with your manager where you talk about how the meeting with the client went and then about how you are finding the job. I think the aim here is to show you can adapt yourself in different situations.

Then we were free to go! you do have to do a self assessment after each task. you have 10mins to do this.

THE PARTNER INTERVIEW
I then got an email the next day saying I was onto the partner interview. The interview happened a week after my AC.

It started with the usual introductions. Then a 10min presentation. You are given a brief before you go and it’s the same for everyone: prepare a presentation on a company that has featured in the news in the last 6 months suggesting ways they can improve. They tell you what they want in the presentation so it’s pretty straightforward. No ppt or flipcharts though!

After this I was asked questions like

  1. what are the dangers of expanding internationally?
  2. how have they integrated their acquisitions into the business?
  3. what are the difficulties they can face with their current growth strategy
  4. how can KPMG help?

The majority of questions were quite specific to the suggestions I put forward so i guess it depends on the company you do.

Then we progressed onto the interview, some questions:

  1. tell me a time when you have learnt a new skill
  2. what do you think the biggest challenge will be when working in your chosen role?
  3. How do you think KPMG can help you?
  4. What do you know about audit?
  5. tell me how MC differs from RC
  6. Why KPMG?
  7. If you don’t get this what will you do?
  8. What do you know about KPMG?

To make this as fair as possible. I will read private messages and for questions that are quite common I will post responses on here for everyone to see. And the original question (otherwise you won’t know what my answer relates to lol).

Best of luck to everyone going through the process!

#5

hey berry91, I pm’d you about the ac, any help would be fantastic.

Thanks

#6

I found out I had passed the assessment centre on the 31st July of this year (for 2013 intake) but still haven’t heard back for a partner interview date. My application page on KPMG Grad Apply states, “Application Under Consideration”.

It has been 3 weeks now, should I be worried?

#7

Did you hear back regarding your partner interview?
I have an assessment centre this week and was wondering if you could share your experience of it?

#8

Hey,

How did your AC go? Any new surprises or was it just the way other people had mentioned it would be? Any special tips that you could give me? I also have an AC coming up.

Thanks

#9

Am from Nigeria, I just passed KPMG’s aptitude test taken on 25/10/2013. I picked internal audit as my first choice and audit as my second choice…pls someone should tell me what am facing next and tips for passing

#10

Hi all,

The advice and information I recieved from posts on wikijobs was so important to me when preparing for my assessment centre, so I thought I’d add what I could and give as much detail as possible. There were 9 people there for my assessment centre, it took place in what looked like a board room. We were provided with hot and cold drinks and food, and we were kept very relaxed and comfortable throughout the day.

I had my assessment centre at the Canary Wharf office last Thursday.
The schedule was more or less:
Verbal Reasoning Test
Summarising Exercise
Etray exercise
Lunch
Role-play interviews

You were given time to get food and drink and use the toilet between tasks, and some people had their role-play interviews before lunch, and the etray afterwards. This is just because there is a limited number of actors to use for the role playing, so they can’t do everyone at once. After each task there is a 10 minute period where you can talk about what you did well and what you struggled with, this is assessed, so make sure you utilise this. If you struggled with something let the assessor know, they want to see that you understand your own strengths and weaknesses, there’s no point lying as they can see how well you’ve done on the tasks.

Verbal reasoning - 30 Questions in 17 minutes, I think it was the same Cubiks test you had to complete online. It isn’t any harder, and I recognised some of the paragraphs, I’m not sure whether you repeat this to ensure you didnt cheat the first time, or maybe there is a higher benchmark on the second attempt? we weren’t told.

Summarising Task - Definitely the hardest part of the day, I’d say keep an eye on the clock! DO NOT try and read the entire document at once, it takes too much time. Listen to the advice given by the graduate recruiter, she is trying to help!

Etray - people say its harder than the deloitte task, which is true to an extent, but it is just different, not hard. It comprises of written replies to emails, multiple choice questions, and numerical reasoning tasks. Practice the deloitte and civil service etrays, and practice online numerical tests and you’ll be fine with this section.

Role play - you have 15 minutes to prepare for a 15 minute meeting. The first is with a client, the second is with your manager. The first meeting will see how well you can remain calm when the client is angry at you, how well you can build the relationship with them and how well you manage the time. The actor will try and talk over you and go on monologues and rants, just remain calm, and politely ask them if you could bring the meeting back to what you wanted to talk about. The second meeting is being run by your ‘manager’ so you don’t need to worry about keeping track of time or going off topic. This meeting is checking you can rely information from the first one, build a relationship with your manager and come up with creative solutions to the problems that were found in the first meeting. The second one is much easier than the first.

That’s pretty much everything I can remember from the day, it is very intense and tiring, but they just want to see that you can cope with the work they give you.

If there’s anything else you’d like to know feel free to PM me.

#11

All the advice on here really helped me and I wanted to give back a little of what I’d taken. I really hope I don’t repeat what has already been said too much, I’ll try not to make it too in depth as what the exercises are etc I think has already been covered quite extensively so I’ll just add little points that surprised me throughout the day.
I read on the target jobs website that they recommend in the self review at the end of each exercise that you don’t talk too much about the positives as the assessors are going to see what you’ve done well anyway. This must have changed since they wrote their article because now there are designated sections of what you did well, what you didn’t do well and what you would do differently next time. This is a timed exercise and 10 minutes goes by quick so get your points down and then go back to flesh them out if needed. Be honest here as one of the key competencies is ‘strives for continuous improvement’ so they want to know you’re aware of your strengths AND weaknesses.

The laptops are quite a lot smaller than a standard laptop (mine is a dell inspiron which is quite a lot larger) so you will need to get used to where the keys are and constantly check for typos as there is no spell checker.

I would also recommend you get a friend to practice role plays with - it doesn’t matter what scenarios you do just get used to these situations. This was my first AC and I was thrown by nerves especially in the first role play. KPMG use professional actors for the ‘client’ and ‘manager’ role but when I get nervous I want to giggle and everything about the situation is very alien. However how well the actress played the role of the client threw me again and put me on the back foot and I think in places I lost control of the situation. I was much more prepared for the second meeting and felt I did a lot better in that.

Other than that just try to relax and enjoy yourself. I was extremely nervous as it was my first AC and I didn’t manage to get a lot of sleep. When I walked in I was ten minutes early and still the second to last to arrive. I was the only girl amongst four other guys who all wore suits and most were older than me. Although initially I felt very out of my depth none of them were in the same stream as me and the facilitator said at the beginning on a good day we could all be successful and on a bad day we could all be rejected so at no point do you feel you’re being pegged against someone else. The facilitators were both really friendly and were open to any questions. Even the assessors in the role play were friendly and made you feel a little less nervous.

I really though I had messed up the first meeting but I found out today that I passed! :smiley: Now I have the partner interview which I’m getting nervous about! I think the key to that is preparation but if anyone has any advice I’d be very grateful. If anyone wants any clarification or advice about my experience of the AC feel free to PM me :slight_smile:

#12

Hiya,

Sent you a pm :slight_smile: x

#13

Hey guys,

The advice on here for the assessment centre was really helpful so I thought I’d share my experience.

  1. Analysis Report
    Before the report began we were allocated 15 mins to look at a booklet with general background information on a fictitious company. After this 15 mins we were then given another booklet with more detailed information on the company and had 60 mins to write a report. The report had to include general background on the company, areas the company was performing well, areas it was performing badly, challenges that the company was facing and recommendations you would make to improve the company’s fortunes. The HR woman at the assessment day said that the marks were heavily weighted on your recommendations (as it displays innovation), so remember to leave PLENTY of time for that!
    Although 60 mins seems like a long time, it went unbelievably quickly, so make sure your really manage your time!

  2. E-Tray
    Pretty much as everyone else describes it. You receive another booklet with more information and receive a series of emails, voicemails and video messages that you have to respond to based on the information that you have been presented with. I completely stuffed this one up - I panicked with the time and finished too early. My suggestion with this would be to keep note of how many tasks you have completed (so you know how you’re doing in relation to the time you have left) and really read the question (sounds stupid, but with the time pressure I certainly misread some of the questions!)

  3. Role Play 1
    Again, you will be presented with another booklet of information before-hand. The first role play is with an employee of the fictitious company that other exercises have been based on. They are trained actors, but you have an assessor in the room with you too! (they were really friendly though and I didn’t find them off-putting). The client is designed to be slightly awkward and unhappy in some way with the company you work for. Just make sure you stay calm, really listen to the clients needs and give them a straight answer (no waffle!). The meeting lasts 15 minutes and you have to host it, so you must also make sure you keep tabs on the time.

  4. Role Play 2
    As usual, you get another booklet of information before-hand. You then have a meeting with your fictional line-manager. This is more laid back than the first role play, and you don’t have to keep tabs on the time because your manager is the meeting’s host. You just have to relay the previous meeting you had, the problems the client identified, the suggestions you made to the client and how these can be implemented. Your company may also have some issues that will need to be rectified before you can give your client advice on the same subject, so make sure you identify this too.

After every exercise you have 5 mins to write a self-appraisal. This is also assessed to really big up the things you did well, but also be brutally honest about what you did wrong an how you would dod it differently in future (demonstrates you strive for continual improvement)

I won’t beat about the bush - the day is tough and tiring, but all of the assessors appreciate this! Your performance is taken as a whole as well, so if you mess up one exercise (as I did with the e-tray) it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve failed. I found out within 2 working days that I had been successful, so definitely keep trying your very best to the end!
Good luck!

#14

Hey guys,

The advice on here for the assessment centre was really helpful so I thought I’d share my experience.

  1. Analysis Report
    Before the report began we were allocated 15 mins to look at a booklet with general background information on a fictitious company. After this 15 mins we were then given another booklet with more detailed information on the company and had 60 mins to write a report. The report had to include general background on the company, areas the company was performing well, areas it was performing badly, challenges that the company was facing and recommendations you would make to improve the company’s fortunes. The HR woman at the assessment day said that the marks were heavily weighted on your recommendations (as it displays innovation), so remember to leave PLENTY of time for that!
    Although 60 mins seems like a long time, it went unbelievably quickly, so make sure your really manage your time!

  2. E-Tray
    Pretty much as everyone else describes it. You receive another booklet with more information and receive a series of emails, voicemails and video messages that you have to respond to based on the information that you have been presented with. I completely stuffed this one up - I panicked with the time and finished too early. My suggestion with this would be to keep note of how many tasks you have completed (so you know how you’re doing in relation to the time you have left) and really read the question (sounds stupid, but with the time pressure I certainly misread some of the questions!)

  3. Role Play 1
    Again, you will be presented with another booklet of information before-hand. The first role play is with an employee of the fictitious company that other exercises have been based on. They are trained actors, but you have an assessor in the room with you too! (they were really friendly though and I didn’t find them off-putting). The client is designed to be slightly awkward and unhappy in some way with the company you work for. Just make sure you stay calm, really listen to the clients needs and give them a straight answer (no waffle!). The meeting lasts 15 minutes and you have to host it, so you must also make sure you keep tabs on the time.

  4. Role Play 2
    As usual, you get another booklet of information before-hand. You then have a meeting with your fictional line-manager. This is more laid back than the first role play, and you don’t have to keep tabs on the time because your manager is the meeting’s host. You just have to relay the previous meeting you had, the problems the client identified, the suggestions you made to the client and how these can be implemented. Your company may also have some issues that will need to be rectified before you can give your client advice on the same subject, so make sure you identify this too.

After every exercise you have 5 mins to write a self-appraisal. This is also assessed to really big up the things you did well, but also be brutally honest about what you did wrong an how you would dod it differently in future (demonstrates you strive for continual improvement)

I won’t beat about the bush - the day is tough and tiring, but all of the assessors appreciate this! Your performance is taken as a whole as well, so if you mess up one exercise (as I did with the e-tray) it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve failed. I found out within 2 working days that I had been successful, so definitely keep trying your very best to the end!
Good luck!

#15

KPMG assessment centre
Wiki really gave me some heads up for my AC preparation. Here is my own AC experience.I arrived at London office at around 9 o’clock. There were 12 of us together for that day. The assessment lasted from 9a.m to 4p.m… Overall there were four tasks , no online test for us:
Written report
Virtual office exercises
Role play meeting customers
Role play reporting to manager
After each task, there are 10 minutes for self assessment.
During lunch, they have two employees talking to us sharing their experiences in KPMG.
Good luck everyone.

#16

Hi, I know everyone is saying this, but Wikijobs really helped me before my assessment centre, so I promised if I got through that I would right down what happened to me in case it helps someone else. Got the email just now offering me a Vacation Scheme so BOOM B****! Ok so for the vacation scheme you don’t have to do any of those scary case study interviews, you just have to do a written case study and the virtual office. You’re all in a room with the other Vacation Scheme candidates but you each have your own computer. I was applying for Management Consulting but others were doing Technology Consulting, Audit, anything really. You get 15 minutes reading before you start to read through an introductory booklet. The idea is that you work for a fake consulting and audit firm called AAA. You have been given a job for an energy company that is trying to improve it’s customer service, its relationship with regulators and its corporate responsibility arm. The initial task is to write a report about the company with four sections: where it’s done well, where it can improve, what challenges it faces and what you’re recommendations are. Write a fair amount for all the sections but put slightly more focus on the recommendations, because the other three sections are just reporting the facts, but the final one is where you can show your skills. It says not to write in note form, ie to use full sentences, but I think that bullet points is definitely the way to go. It would be the way that management would want to see the report, and it means that you will be concise as there is the tendency to waffle and that is absolutely not what they want. Also split the report up into sections with an underlined header so that it is clearly laid out. In the initial background reading, it says that AAA is a cross-services firm, meaning that while you are in the professional services arm of the firm, there are other parts such as IT or Governance etc. This is something that I think a lot of other candidates forget, but if you can recommend in the report other services that AAA can supply then this will look really good. For example, the energy company has recently been taken over by another firm called Brazilia, thus a good thing to recommend would be the say that the IT department of AAA could help the energy company in making sure that it’s systems are compatible with that of Brazilia. Things like that are really good to put in. One thing I would say is to be careful of spelling mistakes and things like that. There is no autocorrect, or spelling and grammar function, so leave yourself five minutes at the end to make sure that you can read through it and correct any typos. You are likely to make mistakes when you are working in a rush. For the virtual office exercise what I would say is that you do have enough time to complete everything but you have to be quite quick. Tasks will keep popping up with emails that you have to reply too, but don’t let that bother you as most of the emails and phone calls only take a few minutes. The long things are the two tasks that you’ll be given. Get them out of the way as soon as you can because some of them have to be done before a certain amount of time on the clock has gone by. With the emails, it is important to be polite and professional in your tone, but you have to be firm and make sure that you have managed your workload, so if you have a meeting and someone asks you to cover for them, then say “I’m very sorry that I am unable to help out, but I have a meeting at 9am on Thursday and will be unable to cover you”. Things like that. I hope this is helpful, I know there are a million of these things already on WikiJobs, but I thought I would put my two cents in, in case anyone found it helpful. Good luck everyone!

#17

Hi, sent you a pm!

#18

Was yours for a vacation programme, as lots of people are saying that it is just the written report and virtual office exercises for them? Thanks :slight_smile:

#19

Hi Everyone,
Two years in a row I fail SJT at KPMG. Can anyone who passed SJT help me with the way how to answer questions etc.? I want to mention that I am working in another big4 in Asia and SJT scenarios are almost the ones which I face in my daily work. I assume KPMG reject me each time bcuz I dont have work permit visa. Just an assumption, but read on another forums that the same happened to most of other guys requiring tier2 visa

#20

Hi,

Thank you for the very informative post! :slight_smile: For the analysis exercise, I was just wondering whether or not you could start taking notes in the 15 min reading time?

Thanks!