KPMG - First/Competency Interview - ADVICE PLEASE


Hi everyone,
I’m new to the site, having applied to KPMG recently (Graduate Tax). I am through to the third round and have my interview coming up soon.

I’ve been preparing my answers to the competency based questions having read a lot of posts on here and spending a lot of time on the 8 competencies. I feel OK with that part. However, having only recently decided this is the career for me (graduated in law in 2005 and worked in insurance since), my knowledge of the corporate financial world is limited. I’ve been reading daily for the last 3 weeks but I’m really worried about the questions that are likely to come up along the lines of:

  1. A company doing well and why? - My initial thought was one of the discount stores - Primark, New Look, Matalan etc. Due to the credit cruch obviously consumers are tightening their purse strings etc. But is this an easy choice? I want to stand out from the crowd. I imagine loads of applicants will be saying these. My next choice was Apple. Despite producing what could be deemed expensive luxury items they have gone from strength to strength in 2009 largely on the back of the iPhone. Would this be a better eg? Any other suggestions welcome.

  2. A company underperforming and why? Again obvious choices at the moment (with my 2 weeks limited knowledge of FT!!) is Citigroup and RBS. Again though they seem like obvious/easy choices. Any other suggestions or would you stick with what I have?

  3. What is your understanding of the credit crunch and what does it mean for KPMG? My thoughts are A) more business! The economy has companies troubles. They will want extra advice on how to be more tax effective so as to produce more profit/less loss. Also, due to the massive strain on government coffers lots of new tax regulation/legislation has been introduced - companies need advice on this, how to best implement it, how to interpret it etc. Also, lots of companies going under - more business as receivers/administrators. In terms of advisory, companies will be in need of support and advice on how to best deal with the credit crunch, how to manage their assests and so on most cost and tax effectively.
    Perhaps I’m underestimating myself but is this a simplictic way to look at it? Will they be expecting more from a graduate than this?

  4. Why KPMG above its competitors? It seems to me that the quality of work and clients at the Big4 is not very different. My take on KPMG as being different from the others is first and foremost their prioritisation of training and self-development, the working environment, and their commitment to CRS.

Sorry this is a lengthy post, but this is all new to me and I want to make sure I’m on the right tracks. Perhaps I’m making life to hard for myself but I’d rather that than underestimate what they’re looking for.

Any feedback/advice/pointersetc would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks so much!



We would always urge candidates to focus on a company that they are interested in, and also one that they have a good knowledge of. This could be a small family run business, or a shop or bar in which you work part time. Alternatively, if you have done a project on a particular firm at university, this will provide you with a good level of knowledge to bring to the partner interview and presentation.

We want to see that candidates have a good knowledge of the current economic climate- both what has happened and what is happening at the moment. Has this created new opportunities for firms such as KPMG? Has it meant that large companies have had to adapt the way in which they work?

Finally we want to see that a candidate really wants to work for KPMG. There is a lot of information on our website about the various things we do which we feel sets us apart from our competitors. It is worth reseraching this to ensure that you are able to show good career motivation when at the interview.

I hope this helps.


Hi Guys,

Has anybody received a formal contract from KPMG for the Performance and Technology scheme for 2010 intake?

I received my offer first half of Dec but am yet to receive the contract!!




We are currently in the process of finalising our contracts - please be assured your offer still stands. Kind regards, KPMG