KPMG Partner Interview 2013

#1

I know there is stuff out there, but I have trawled the forums and not found much.

Could somebody point me to useful thread regarding what to expect from a partner interview? i.e. types of competency, motivational and current affairs questions.
Would also love to receive input from those who have been successful this year.

Much appreciated.

#2

I had mine last week and was asked questions like:
Why KPMG?
Why (Insert Service line here)?
Where do you see yourself in 15 years?
What does KPMG do?
Tell me about yourself
Greatest strength?
Biggest Dissapointment?
What will you be doing?
Business story?
How will KPMG help?

The interview lasted about an hour. I was successful, but had done vacation scheme prior to that so not sure how much my partner interview counted towards the decision.

Top tip:
Have some commercial awareness and some basic knowledge of accountancy. You may be asked to back up things that you say. e.g. Me: KPMG may help check the financial statements to see if they give an accurate representation. Partner: What are the most important things on the statements that we need to be wary of?

Good luck

#3

Thanks for the reply - I actually had my interview on Monday so had to go on what I already knew. Still, this thread can serve a purpose going forward.

Mine lasted an hour also. There was an initial 15 minute chat where I was asked about my motivation for joining and my current role. My partner then said there were three specific questions and two role play questions that she had to ask. The questions had many different additional questions but covered;

Why KPMG?
Why (Insert Service line here)?
What are you objectives?
Can you tell me about all of KPMG’s services?

The situation (have to read a short paragraph then answer) questions were;

  1. How I would go about creating opportunities for my self
  2. You are giving a presentation about how to create new business opportunities to first year graduates - what do you include in your presentation

Much to my surprise I didn’t have any explicit competency based questions. As I said before I had it on Monday - I haven’t heard back yet and I was probably expecting to by now either way. Oh well, no news is good news?

#4

hey, got my interview next week , whats the best advice you could give me? do they really focus on commerical awareness ?

#5

@bor54321

My interview was mostly focused on career motivation. We had a bit of a chat about the business news (it was the day after BAE announced their merger - as they are a KPMG client it was a good conversation) and then moved onto the standard career motivation (why KPMG, why tax, why this particular office over the other locations, where do you see yourself in the future). Then I got the standardised situational questions, in fact pretty much exactly the same ones as ec265 above. There were also a couple of commercial awareness questions and a question about a particular division in advisory and what exactly they did (I applied for tax so this got me a bit stumped - do your research for the whole firm, not just your service line!). Then we had time for me to ask questions, which turned into a chat about various topics including my ECs and my summer job.

I interviewed on a Thursday and got a call from the partner the following Tuesday offering me the job.

#6

Hi,

Had my final interview recently as well. It started off with the interviewer giving me info on himself and the structure of the interview. Then he asked me to talk about myself. Then we got into the questions.

Why KPMG?
Why Audit?
Tell me about a time when you had to learn a new skill? (wasn’t expecting competency Q’s really)
What do you think a normal day as a graduate employee would be like?
I talked about studying for my qualifications (as something I’d be doing on a daily basis) so he asked how do you think you will be able to keep motivated to study for your qualifications?
Talk about a recent business story (and then I was asked some further questions from the story I picked)?
How do you think KPMG gets new clients?
What things would you like to do in the future (talked about secondments, possibly going to other sub departments within audit)?
What are the diff services KPMG provides ?
Why is KPMG different from the other big 4 firms?
Why that particular office location?

Scenario based Q’s (the interviewer reads it out but you also get a copy to read while they read it out)?
There’s another graduate employee who joined at the same time as you but he seems to be getting more high profile clients and is doing more interesting jobs than you. What will you do?
The second question was about giving a presentation to new graduate employees / graduates that had been there for 1-2 years on how KPMG gets new business opportunities?

The second

#7

How long is normal to wait for a partner interview? I had my assessment day nearly a month ago and was told I passed but I don’t know if there are different degrees of passing and whether I may have been bumped on to some reserve list in case they find someone better…
I have emailed HR asking when I can expect to be called in but they did not even bother to reply…

#8

I had to wait about 3 weeks but that was late August - early September, they will be busier now so a month is probably about right.
It’s all about waiting for a partner to be available at your office and in your service line, this is affected by many things.

#9

Just thought I’d write to thank you for the information.
I had my assessment centre last monday (8th Oct), found out I passed on Wednesday (11th) and then was called to organise a partner interview for this week and have mine on Friday (19th Oct). But that’s for the gatwick office and I presume it’s different for each office.
I was just wondering if there’s any advice that anyone could give? Also does anyone know what percentage of candidates that get through to the partner interview get offered a job?

#10

According to the HR guy at my AC, pass rate at partner interview was 88% (might have decreased now though as we are later in the cycle)

#11

Oh ok, that’s slightly more reassuring, thank you! Did you apply for London? I don’t think the applications for gatwick opened as early as london (pretty sure it was in the start of september), so I thought that as it’s only been around 6 weeks since they opened that it’s still reasonably early?

#12

@Daudit. I think a bit of advice would be to really research on kpmg and the role before the interview … The personI interviewed with pointed that out, find out about their rankings and the awards they’ve received as a grad employer … Like some other people have said be yourself, at the beginning of my interview he said they want to see the real me. So be relaxed but don’t get too comfortable that you forget you’re in a job interview if that makes sense. Good Luck!!

#13

@therealjemima: Thank you very much, Ive tried to do a lot of research on other services they offer and the role (after looking here). How much would you recommend talking about awards and rankings? Like I would mention that they won targetjobs top grad employer and are consistently ranked high in times top 100 graduate employers, is there much more that needs to be mentioned?
But I will heed the advice and try and be as relaxed as possible, although I’m getting pretty nervous now!

#14

@Daudit Yeah like u can just drop things like that into the conversation (like briefly mention it so they know that you know) and how that’s an important factor to you as a graduate (or prospective graduate) … I also mentioned their awards for their work in the community, the fact that they are the only one with a Platinum Plus corporate responsibility index rating or something and the fact that the company is quite people focused when I was asked something like what differentiates KPMG from the other big 4 (at the end when it was my turn to ask questions the interviewer pointed their focus on people as one of the reasons he likes KPMG as well) ?? Don’t be nervous, the fact that you passed their assessment centre means you definitely have the qualities they’re looking for so I’m sure the interview will go well!!

#15

For audit do we need to do a presentation? Or will it be like a more in-depth first interview?
What other preparation do you recommend?

#16

@therealjemima: thank you for all the advice, I’ve finished my interview and now the nervous waiting starts!

@jason: Audit doesnt require a presentation, it is just an interview and will vary (from what I can gather) depending who you get interviewing you.
Mine was quite informal and a lot of it was just chatting with the interviewer and was actually quite enjoyable, it was 1hr 15 mins but went really quickly.
One thing I would recommend is getting a lot of detail for the eurozone crisis as although I knew about it, the questions asked were more in depth that I was expecting (i.e. one follow up questions was "if greece left the eurozone, what would be the consequences to greece?).
It wasnt really any more in depth though but was more a chat. I would recommend preparing for the worst as there is a chance it will be more of a grilling than mine as its better to be over prepared as it does help relax you on the day!

#17

I should also mention that my scenario questions were pretty much exactly the same as the others mentioned

#18

About the scenario questions I am unsure about what should be in presentation for new business opportunities. Any pointers? Thanks

#19

Biggest point to hit is leveraging the massive number of former KPMG employees that are out in industry. Thousands of contacts in every company worth doing work for. Also go back to the integrated product - a company might come to KPMG for an audit, but if you can bundle them tax and advisory services too, client gets a seamless service and KPMG get more £££

#20

@Hedgeman49
Thanks for the input!