ARghhh just lost the everything I wrote so I apologise now if this version has lots of bad spelling and or grammar
After having used this website esp the forums I thought it would only be only fair to write my experiences from start to finish of KPMG.
First stage is the application form, the best thing really is to use the “walkthrough” guide on this website as it is very good.
Second stage is spilt into two parts the verbal reasoning and the numerical reasoning. The verbal reasoning is fairly simple in my opinion not too much you can do but do a few practise tests before hand. The numerical on the other hand I believe a lot more difficult. The pactise tests you will find wont be as hard as the KPMG ones. But make sure you do practise and practise a lot. Ok, my best piece of advise on these really is to make sure you do not panic, work through quickly but accuratley and pass on to another question if you get stuck. DO NOT worry about answering all the questions you wont, I aswered about half the questions and passed easily.
Ok, so after this I got fast tracked like a lot of others seem to of have.
Final Stage the Assessment Centre, about half the people on my day had been fast tracked.
First part is a quick introduction and then straight into the e-trays. Pretty much agree with what others have said on this. For the email multiple choice part of the task would advise flicking through the booklet before you go straight into the questions (about 5 mins) get familiar with where all the data that you need is. You wont have enough time to read through the whole booklet. The task is quite time pressured but do not guess the answers you can leave a few emails unanswered.
Second part of the e-tray is the written part, (note - I got a break between the first e-tray task and the second) you get 50 mins to answer two questions. From my impressions people didnt seem to write too much so dont worry about content but quality. Just make you can justify your decisions as to which option you choose. And also there is no spell checker, so be accurate.
Next: 2 hour Lunch, nice and relaxed you will need the break but 2 hrs was a bit long.
The afternoon session has the dreaded partner interview and the group exercise. The group gets spilt in two, the first half doing the group exercise and the other half doing the partner interview. I did the group work exercise first. You get 10 mins to read the booklet, it is again very time pressured. What i did was jot down the strengths and weaknesses of the business whilst reading through you will need this when discussing with the group. And try and come up 4 different strategies wth regards to the case. Ok, you get 30 mins (i think cant really remember) to discuss it, the groups are small so everyone should have plenty to talk about but if someone isn’t tallking try and get them into the conversation. There is no timer and you wont be told of time so keep an eye on the time in the last 5 mins you need to decide on the 4 options you will take and who will say what in the presentation. So at the end there is a very informal presentation (we didnt flip it but i suppose you can) lasts about 5 - 10 mins. This presentation didnt seem to be assessed but that might have just been our group exercise.
Ok next was the partner interview ask the trainees at lunch about this section I did and it does reassure you cos it can be quite daunting. So the first thing my interview was a quick introduction from the partner himself. Followed by my presentation I did it sitting down but you can stand, it is quite informal mine went on beyond 10 mins prob about 12 mins but that seemed fine. I did mine on a KPMG client but didnt put me in a bad position as unless the partner has had specific knowledge it is ok. With regards my presentation I only came up with two strategies and just went through those in detail then I talked about how KPMG can help specifically. The kind of things KPMG can help with would be advisory on mergers and aquistions, internal controls, strategy, tax etc just pick one, look at main website. The partner then asked a lot of questions on my presentation, it is important to be able to justify your stratgic decisions.
Ok after this (about 20 mins in total)
The partner asked me the following…
What issues are businesses facing in the current climate? (credit crisis, lack of lending etc)
What issues are currently affecting Audit? (SOX, auditor independence)
Where else have you applied?
Then following these questions I had about 5 compentency questions (I didnt practise in advance for these), some of these were based on te PAPI questionnaire you would have done earlier.
What is your proudest achievment?
Tell me a time when you have had to coach someone after a poor performence?
Tell me a time when you have had to step in and take the initiative?
Tell me a time when you have had to adjust your approach after a sudden change in objectives?
Tell me a time when you have had a manage a team?
Finally you get a chance to ask a few of your own questions, make sure you do.
Ok so that is pretty much my experience got a call a few hours after the AC to say I have got in.
Hope that helps someone, if you need any more info feel free to message me or just write on the forum and I’ll answer it.