KPMG Partner Interview 2011/2012


Can anyone that has had one in 2011 please describe their experience? What questions were you asked? How long did it last? Was yours formal or more of a casual conversation?

A point in the direction of existing threads with useful information would be helpful (bearing in mind the application process has changed for 2011).


Lots of information about KPMG Application process 2012


Thanks but I’ve already posted in that thread several times. There’s only about 2 mentions of partner interview experiences.




Hi ok_cub2008
Have you had your partner interview yet? How was it? Perhaps you can share your experience please?



I was lucky enough to have an interview recently for the Tax Graduate programme with KPMG which I passed and have since been made an offer. I owe a great deal to wikijobs so I thought I’d contribute the interview questions that were posed to me as far as I can recall:

What bought you to apply to KPMG?

What do you think you’ll be doing on the graduate scheme?

What skills do you think you’ll need to do well within Tax?

Where else have you applied? What do you think sets us apart from our competitors?

Tell me about a current issue affecting the Professional Services Industry?

What opportunities can you see in the current market for KPMG to gain new business?

2 scenario based questions (similar to the telephone interview)

If you need any more advice i’d be happy to help.



Currently sitting in my hotel room panicking about my interview tomorrow. I have no idea what else to prep and I’m hoping and praying my partner takes the “let’s just have an informal chat” approach. I study Philosophy at uni so I feel as though I’m going to get caught for slipping through the net for not being more commercially aware and for bluffing my way to this stage! When I come up with answers for questions like ‘current issues affecting professional services firms’, I feel as though my answer may be laughable and any finance student would do a gazillion times better!
I’m getting to the stressed stage now- I think sleep may be the best option. I will post here how it goes and offer up the questions I was asked. I’ve had so much guidance from this site that I ought to contribute to others.


So, I had my interview yesterday and have just received an email to say I was unsuccessful. I am absolutely fuming! The partner seemed like a nice enough guy, but was on a mission to trip me up. He kept picking up on the fact that I am doing Philosophy and have no accountancy background and at one point asked if I was any good with numbers. Of course I’m good enough with numbers, I got through the tests and assessment day! There was no informal chatting, he had a system of questions and grilled me about everything from relocation of a company to China to bankers’ pay.
My previous understanding of the partner interview was to assess how I would fit in KPMG and whether I was a decent guy…however, I just received an hour long grilling on my knowledge of issues and procedures which I thought were not a prerequisite for the job. I thought that was why people from non-accountancy degrees would not be at a disadvantage. I am just so annoyed that so many people seem to get off easy and have a nice chat with their partner, but I was trapped by a partner who seemed to think I was useless because I don’t study accountancy. In my defence, I was able to answer everything and give good responses, but I did get stuck on certain points like when asked to give specific examples of issues that would be involved in transactions. I know my previous post jokes about slipping through the net for not being more commercially aware, but all my answers were fairly good, I thought, and I am annoyed that my partner seemed quite offish about my choice of degree despite being able to get through to that stage.
Sorry about the rant. I just hadn’t seen anyone fail at the partner interview stage and am so annoyed that I’ve wasted so much time and money to travel the length of the country twice for the assessment day and interview.


First off, you’re not the only one who had a tough interview. Mine was extremely hard and i was also taken aback after reading about all the easy partner interviews. I have found it very much depends on the person, not so much the company. Different partners have different styles and some grill you to extreme lengths. Btw you can claim expenses for your travel as well so you didn’t waste your money.


Thanks for your comment, I’m just so annoyed that so much effort has gone to waste. And since I live in St Andrews, I had to pay well in excess of £100 for travel and accommodation each trip. It’s just such a knock-back.


You’re thinking about this the wrong way. It’s not waste. It’s experience. This should build confidence that you got so far with a big 4. Learn from it and stop thinking of the negative. I repeat what I said before, you can get your money back via the expenses scheme.


@Brian89 Sorry to hear you had such a rough interview. I have mine scheduled for next week and I fear I’ll have a similar experience. Not only are my degrees totally unrelated but I’m also a career changer! I’m afraid they will eat me alive!

You mentioned a question about issues involved in transactions. Can I ask what the context was? Just any commercial transaction or something more specific? I remember from the first interview that KPMG does ask some ridiculously broad questions.

Any help much appreciated. I’ve partner interviews with 3 of the 4 but KPMG is the one I REALLY want.


How long did it take KPMG to come back with an answer on the Partner Interview? I had mine on the 28th February… Starting to think the worst!



I had mine this afternoon and had a phone call saying I was successful about 3 hours later. But I think it depends on the service line, office, partner, etc. I’ve seen posts from people who waited several days but still got good news.


Hi, I have been invited to a partner interview. Can someone help me with a few questions on the presentation:

  • Can I talk about the same company I used for telephone interview (I was asked about a company that did well and one that didn’t do well in the phone interview)?
  • Does the partner have notes from the phone interview?
  • Does the company need to be related to the service line I’m applying for?

Lastly, I will greatly appreciate any tips on the partner interview. Thank you.


Thanks for replying!

I heard late afternoon yesterday I passed! Yay!


To Almond 2

They seemed to hold my CV but not notes from the phone interview no. I doubt the service line has to be related, for the current business issue I talked about CBI wanting tax cuts for business’ and then Grant Thornton and the 50p income tax so not at all related to audit!
I didn’t have to talk about a company doing well/bad/improving but I cant see why you couldn’t especially if you say “I really admire this company and like to keep up to date with their news” - just make sure you have done more research as there could be up-to-date news on them!

Good luck!!


Almond- just to second what go9259 said. All my interviewer seemed to have was the background info I filled in online months ago. Definitely dont see anything wrong w/ using the same company. It shows you’ve kept up with their progress over several months rather than just pulling something from the headlines two days before the interview. News stories definitely don’t need to be service line related. I applied for tax but talked about the effect of the 2nd round of LTRO on bond yields and confidence in the markets.

Best of luck!

Go9259- what office will you be in? I assume you’re taking the job!


Go9259 and TooOldGrad, thanks a lot for the replies. The endless possibilities of a partner interview seem so daunting!


TooOldGrad - Birmingham office and I am DEFINITELY taking the job! What about you?

Almond - Don’t worry about the partner interview, I was worried but learnt bullet points to obvious questions and also skip read their Transparency Report for the UK division just in case!

If you want to know what questions I learnt for please ask! Obviously partners vary but 1/2 my interview was really spent on my school and university life!