Kpmg start to finish


ARghhh just lost the everything I wrote so I apologise now if this version has lots of bad spelling and or grammar :stuck_out_tongue:
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)
Why audit?
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.


are the groups usually small for kpmg? last year there was a wopping 8! which i think was way too big. thanks a lot tho! i have my AC this week, and i’m a little scared cos i got rejected last year.

Edit: about the presentation with the partner. it doesn’t mention anything about it in the brief, but do we have to incude how kpmg can help? i thought kpmg was helping just by giving them ways to improve their business.


group sizes depends but the trainees said they are rarely above 5 i guess sometimes it is just down to luck. I’m sure you will do fine for the AC just follow what is on this site really! with regards to the presentation and “the how can kpmg help?” it is opitional but a lot of people have recommened doing this on this site plus the partner was quite impressed when i did so worth doing i think.


That’s a great piece of interview feedback! Thank you! …did you accept the offer?


Just wanted to do my bit eh! haven’t accepted my offer yet but I think (95% certain) that I will. Just don’t see the point of applying for any of the other big four just beacuse of the effort and hassle. The only other thing I would consider is maybe IB but surely this isn’t a great option at the moment. Would actually like to see if other people have choose to apply for audit rather than IB because of the maket conditions?


I’d take it and run! Graduate recruitment is rather dodgy right now, and will be getting even dodgier by the looks of things. KPMG’s a great company. If you wanted to play the field you could always accept KPMG and still apply to IB’s on the off-chance they invite you in… but as you noted, IB is a worrying place right now. Audit is certainly a safe bet… in fact I keep reading that accounting and law are the only professions that will do better because of the credit crunch… because they have to sort out all te failing companies. Rather grim - but at least not for you!


yay i just got a call saying that i got an offer from kpmg following my assessment centre earlier today! we could be working together :wink:


You got an offer at 9:40pm!? Nice one!!!


well done noob! we could well be working together haah


yay! did you get any formal notification about the offer? i’m still waiting on something. don’t want to celebrate until its formal!!!


Congrats noob! Eeek i have an assesment centre in a couple of weeks too. So nervous. Do you mind if I ask you some questions?

E.g. can you state what competency and company presentation questions you were asked at the interview and briefly how you answered them? It would be great to have as many profiles abt KMPG from app to offers as possible!



ah ok! i guess i can write a little on my experiences too then.


Day started at 9am, although i was still waiting in reception, trying to talk to the other candidates who looked a hundred times more nervous than I did. NB- you will not make friends at the AC. Anyway, then we went in at around 9.15. was going up and down the lifts at their offices in canary wharf - like a maze in there! so i felt a little sick after that. And then the HR lady introduced herself and told everyone the plan and when their interview was gonna be and who with.

9.30 - E-tray exercise. this has been the same since they started the test. not that it matters, as you cant really prepare for it. all i would say is to really manage your time well, and also, look at the chart depicting the organisational structure of the company you’re working for. i made it a point to answer my line manager’s emails asap. if there were some emails stating that they needed the information by a certain time that day, prioritise it. also, jot down the competencies they’re looking for in this test (the hr person will tell you before you start) and make sure you answer your emails according to these competencies - eg business focus, understand client’s point of view and don’t do anything that would make them unhappy. also, time management. try to answer all of them. most people do, and i actually finished 20 minutes before the end. it was a bit of a boring 20 minutes tho, so don’t aim to finish too early.
then the written part of the exercise. i would personally suggest (although different people would do differently), to spend 10 mins reading through the information on both, then 5 mins of jotting ideas on your notepad for the first email. 13 mins of writing, 2 mins of checking. and repeat for the other. that should take you to 50 mins ,which is the time allotted. i finished just in time.

then you have lunch - i couldn’t eat cos i was nervous about the interview. chat to the grads there, they will be quite honest about working at kpmg.

group exercise - last year there were 8 people in my group. one person would not shut up, so i couldn’t get much in. this year, there were 4 people, so it was MUCH MUCH better. i would recomment you use the 10 mins wisely - skim through everything, and jot down the strengths, weaknesses and recommendations, so its easier to discuss this. for the discussion, before anyone could start, i jumped in there and said we should sort out the times - 10 mins for weaknesses + strenghts, 10 mins for recommendations, 10 mins for presentation discussion. and then we discussed. there will be 1 quiet person in the group usually, make sure its not you. reiterate ideas everynow and then, just to make sure everyone agrees. remember to talk about the budget! and be client focussed! nod at people and smile when they’re talking - v artificial, but it makes you look like you care what they’re saying :slight_smile:

partner presentation. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT THIS AT ALL. just bear in mind, to become a partner you need to have great people skills. they will not bite your head off if you say something wrong. they’ve heard 10000000 candidates talk about the same stuff, so they just don’t really care. my partner even said he was bored of asking the same competency questions, but he needs to, in order to keep things fair. and he only asked 3

1- tell me about a time you worked in a team - did you face any problems
2 - tell me about a time when you just had to give up
3 - tell me about a time when you worked extra hard on something

then why audit, why kpmg - and a more informal discussion on current affairs stemmed from that. but i did initiate it. just be a friendly, personable person. look confident even if you’re shaking in your shiny shoes. they need people who can speak to clients without having panic attacks. i tried to be articulate and speak clearly. and laughed at his jokes. and i guess that was enough!

good luck with your ac. if you have any more questions, there seems to be a lof of people here who can help :slight_smile:


yeah KPMG will confirm the offer by email in a few days and invite you to an open day. and then a few days later you will get an emaiedl contract of employment.


Thanks noob!!

What type of questions did he ask at the end of your company presentation? I know it might be specific to the co you did, but can you still give your examples? Cheers


yeah, he asked…why did you choose your company. then he asked me to go into one of the proposals in more detail. SLIGHTLY more detail. it was easy. honestly.



I am applying to KPMG under the tax programme in London. I originally applied to Audit ACA in Nottingham as this programme was not available in London and this is the department I have always wanted to get into. However, as I live in London and working here is more beneficial to career progression I changed this to Tax in London as I will still work towards the ICAS CA qualification as well as CIOT. However I am greatly attracted to the Corporate Tax function and just found out that my application is for the Pesonal Servies Tax department. I sent an email regarding this and found that Corporate Tax is full. I am confused as on the website it states that all graduates join the Tax scheme and then specialize at the interview stage.

I also have enquiries about Personal Services Tax, as I have not really been interested in this field. Will this role deal with the exact same qualifications of ICAS and CIOT that corporate tax does? As the first year is generally training towards examinations, does anyone know whether it would be possible to transfer to corporate tax after I start the programme at any stage, possibly the second year of the scheme?

I would really appreciate if anyone could help me in any way.

Many thanks


mmmm, to be honest, i’d doubt you can change while you’re training. otherwise a lot of people would go from audit to other lines!



would you mind share more informations about the e-tray such as what sort of data we have to read to justy the answers and what are the client companies is involved in the etray?

As I have not experienced any etray before I would like to get much info as posible. Many thanks


I’m applying for the grad position at KPMG.
I passed my tests and now waiting for them to call me for the first interview. So what should I expect in this interview? Competencies and commercial awareness I guess.
Would there be any technical or specific questions about a certain company as in the AC or any accounting stuff that they may ask?
What does “fast track” mean?
Also, I applied for ACCA but I’m not sure what is the difference between ACCA and ACA?

Many thanks


they have quite a structured set of questions in the first interview. go through the competencies mentioned on their website and think about 2 or 3 examples for each. then why kpmg, why (i’m guessing audit) etc, and finally, look at a company doing well, a co. doing badly, and read the news for some general business news. you should be fine! :slight_smile: