The Graduate Trainee position in Belfast follows a similar pattern to most KPMG graduate position interviews, and the process is known to be quite difficult and fairly long, lasting as long as five or six months.
First you complete an online test. This comprises of numerical, verbal and situational judgement sections. If you score highly enough, you may be invited for a telephone interview and/or an assessment centre. The assessment centres feature group exercises, virtual office scenarios, case studies and so on, while the telephone interview lasts around 30-60 minutes and will ask you mostly competency-based questions like ‘what companies are doing well or poorly at the moment?’ (and avoid giants like Microsoft), ‘why KPMG?’ and ‘what do you think the role entails?’.
Sometimes, candidates are also invited to a presentation evening, which is less of a test per se and more an icebreaker and networking event.
Only a few candidates will then be selected for the final one or sometimes two partner interviews. These will be more difficult, and ask some tougher questions. As well as typical interview questions like ‘why KPMG?’ and ‘why this role/area of business?’ and so on, they might include questions like:
• What is your proudest achievement?
• Describe a situation when you worked in a team and had a disagreement.
• Talk about a company that is doing either particularly well or particularly badly at the moment.
• When have you had to adhere to a rigid structure and procedure?
• Describe a situation when you were particularly under pressure.
• What makes KPMG stand out from the ‘big four’?
• What would you expect to be doing on a day-to-day basis in this role?
• Give me an example of a recent news story and how it might impact upon business.
Of course, these are only examples. It’s also likely that there will be case study or scenario-based questions too, so be sure to practice that kind of analysis.
After this final set of interviews, it’s over and you will be contacted within the next few weeks with the outcome.