I recently had an assessment centre with KPMG and was really happy to be offered the job! Such a big relief especially in such a tough job market. I know others have posted their app form to offer experience but it always helps to hear it from a fresh perspective.
Really straight forward. Probably one of the easier ones to fill in, no long competency questions.
I got asked to do the online tests the next day after I submitted my application. Wow these tests are HARD. I thought I failed but I did well. The key is to work quickly accurately and don’t guess anything because I think they are negatively marked! What also makes it worse is there are eight multiple choice options that are all pretty similar so it is hard to take an educated guess.
My first interview was pretty straight forward. After you do the online tests you are asked to do a PAPI personality questionnaire. I have a feeling the questions that they ask you are generated from that. The ones I found hardest were the business focus ones, only because they were very very specific. Career motivation questions were straight forward.
Got an email the day after my first interview telling me I passed. But they had to arrange assessors for the AC so I had to wait a week or two before I could actually book my AC. The problems were related to scheduling so it affected every applicant and so couldn’t be helped.
My AC started off with the Etray, then group exercise, lunch and partner interview. I’ll talk about each one individually.
E-tray: Two parts to the exercise, the first half is looking at a simulated inbox and you have to respond to various things (multiple choice, no typing) based on the information you have. It’s a bit overwhelming at first because you just have loads of information on the pages in the booklet provided and on the computer.
But just flick through everything to have a general idea of the information you have, then start tackling the questions.
Work through it quickly. There are four options when it comes to ‘actioning’ an email but it is quite easy to eliminate one or two. I’d say never ever guess a response. Make sure you know why you are selecting a certain option.
We had about an hour to complete this first part. I finished with ten minutes left, looked around, others were still typing and I was SCARED. I thought maybe I had missed a massive email, or something had gone wrong but no I’d finished all 24 emails. So I just went to get some water.
Second part of the etray, you have to type two written emails based on the information you have. Generally you have to make recommendations and justify them based on the information you have.
There was about an hour for this section as well. Once again I finished with 10 minutes left, and everyone else were till typing, some flipping through the booklet pretty furiously. At this point I wasn’t sure if maybe there was a problem with the booklet I had or something, I went over my responses and the task I needed to do but I was sure I covered it.
Group exercise: My AC was really small, which is definitely a good thing for the group exercise as you can get your point across and take in others’ as well. At first you have to read the booklet you are given. There is quite a lot of information so I went through it quickly and picked out the main points. The discussion went well as well, there wasn’t anybody in the group that steamrollered over other people and we were able to complete the task in time. After wards you have to present the findings to the person from HR that hosts the AC.
Lunch: The trainees that took us out were very nice. Very relaxed and laid back and you could tell they enjoyed their work and what they were doing. Lunch lasted about 2 hours. It’s a useful opportunity to ask any last questions about the role or about the firm.
Partner Interview & Presentation: The director that interviewed me was very nice and relaxed. I felt really comfortable straight away and you don’t walk into the room thinking ‘here comes interrogation time’. After he introduced himself, I started off with the presentation I prepared. The briefing that you get when you book the AC tells you to time this for about 10mins. Really, stick to that, not longer. I was surprised when he told me some people went on for 15-20mins and he had to tell them to stop…!
Afterwards he asked me questions about the company I presented on, about their strategy and their market environment as well.
After there there were the competency questions, so assessing leadership, why KPMG, why audit, the usual questions you should know the answer to.
Once we finished that he said I should hopefully hear from between 24 to 48hours… Bad estimation, I got called 30mins later offering me the job! Oh and I passed the etray, so finishing with 10mins to spare on each part of the exercise was a good thing!
So that was my whole experience, I hope it’s useful and helps others with their app process! Good luck people!