Just finished my telephone interview and I am posting my experience here while my memory is fresh. Although I am still not informed of the result, I am still so grateful for the WikiJob forum and everyone who has been contributed now I feel that I should do the same in return.
Practicing material: Assessment Day
It took me quite a long time to finish the online tests because I just practiced again and again before I did the actual test.
SJT: Passed after I practiced four of the Assessment Day tests and review the solutions carefully for several times. I don’t quite remember how it was now though, but it is definitely the easiest one compared to the verbal and numerical tests.
Verbal: Again, the Assessment Day practices were really useful, and it would become much easier after you familiarize the patterns of the tests. My tips would be NEVER MAKE ASSUMPTIONS when doing the test, just base your answers ONLY in the information given by the text.
Numerical: It is really time pressured but don’t panic! It is really easy in terms of difficulty, because the questions themselves were mainly data interpretation, and the answers were quite straight away, so try not to overthink too much. The results are obviously based on the number of questions you finished and the accuracy rate. So it doesn’t matter if you can’t finish all the questions, and I think very few can do them all anyway. Because I bought a package in Assessment Day, my practical material mainly comes from there and I found it would be more useful if you practiced the numerical comprehension sets.
PS: It sounds really like I am advertising for Assessment Day but I am actually not! The Logical Reasoning tests are not very useful if you try to finish PwC’s online tests (as the ones on Assessment Day were much harder). It would be more useful to do the mock assessment carefully. If possible, record the mock assessment and carefully review it. It is important to know what kind of patterns will most likely to be in the questions.)
I don’t know about the results yet but I’d say the interviewer was really nice. She interrupted me a few times, I don’t know whether it will affect my outcome. But it definitely helps if you go through the forum before your interview, because EVERY question that was asked to me could be found in the previous posts.
To prepare for the career motivation and business part, I went through KPMG’s website and read the annual report. Plus I read the Accountancy Age and FT as the main input for business news.
It was a very structured interview, focusing on the five qualities mentioned in the email: Delivers Quality, Resilience, Awareness of and Seizes Opportunity, Career Motivation and Makes an Impact. Except Makes an Impact which is examined via the way you communicate, under each quality there will be two questions, one behavioral and one scenario-based. When I was preparing for the interview, I gathered as many questions as I could in the forum and divided them into the four categories. I tried to prepare for all the questions that were possible to be in the interview. I was quick to respond as a result. The questions I was asked were:
- Describe a project that you are proud of. Followup Q: What challenges did you come across? How did you overcome?
- You just finished a project and about to join a new one which is also very fast-paced. Your are notified by the leader from the previous project that you have to finish some tasks by today. What would you do? Followup Q: Why do you think it’s important for you to finish the previous project? How do you make sure you will not fall behind in the new project?
- Describe a time when you had to perform under a pressurized environment. Followup Q: How did you think about the pressure? What would you have done differently?
- You are working as part of a team of 4 and are asked to deliver a report. You are given a very large volume of very detailed material which you are to use to help you compile the report. The workload between the four of you is muddled and there is a high risk of error due to the volume of material and the high level of detail. How would you handle this situation?
Awareness of and Seizes Opportunity:
- Tell me about a company that is not performing well currently. List four reasons and what opportunities do they have to improve?
- Describe a time when you deliver good customer service. Why do you think it is important to deliver good customer service?
1: How is KPMG different from other Big four? Why do these appeal you?
2. How Audit fits in other services provided by KPMG?
At the end, the lady allowed me to ask one more quick question and told me that the results will come out 2-3 days later. I really wish I can pass it although it is my first telephone interview. Fingers crossed!
Hope that my post can help and wish you all the luck in the application process!