KPMG in the UK is a leading provider of professional services including audit, tax and advisory. As part of KPMG Europe LLP they are part of the largest integrated accounting firm in Europe. A member of the Recruitment team at KPMG presented to University of Westminster students, followed by a questions & answer session. KPMG and the Westminster Careers Develop Centre, joined forces to talk about how to land a job with KPMG in detail. If you were unable to attend, do not worry, as I will talk about the process of how it all works for the graduate entry.
- Obtained a 2:1 Discipline in your degree
- 320 UCAS Points or Equivalent
- Grade B in GCSE Maths and English
There are six stages of the application, before you are offered a job with KPMG.
Listed below, are the key skills KPMG are looking for in each candidate.
- Career Motivated
- Delivering Quality
- Drives Collaboration
- Strives for Continual Improvement
- Professional Judgement
- Makes an Impact
- Innovation and Curiosity
- Commercial Awareness of Business Opportunities
Stage One: Self Selection Pre – Screening and Online Application
The first stage of the application process is a pre-screening. They will give you a self-selection questionnaire, which in essence is a series of questions that KPMG ask to see if you are actually right for the job. For example, “ Derek is working away in Leeds for three weeks, compiling files to show the audit trail for a key accounting process and meeting with client representatives to understand how they are using the financial reporting system”
How suited do you feel to do this type of work?
Option 1: Not Suited
Option2: Not sure
Option 3: Very suited
As you can see from the above, these scenarios help KPMG know if you would be willing to do this sort of work, as it will never be 9am- 5pm every day.
The online application form is your chance to tell KPMG about your academic background and any work experience. It should take about 20 minutes to complete.
Stage Two: Situational Judgment Test
After you’ve submitted your application form, you’ll receive a link to a Situational Judgment Test (SJT) within one working day. The SJT presents you with hypothetical, challenging situations that you could encounter at work as a trainee with KPMG. In response to each situation, you have a choice of possible actions you can take to deal with it. The SJT takes around 30 minutes to complete.
This is a test of your judgment in a given situation that would occur at KPMG. For example, in what way you would answer emails, either in order of receipt or order of importance, or a piece of work has not been carried out by yourself and you are on holiday do you delegate or not. This helps KPMG sort candidates for the next stage.
Stage Three: Online Numerical and Verbal Reasoning Tests
If you’re successful in your initial application and SJT, you’ll be asked to take both numerical and verbal reasoning tests online, lasting 20 minutes each. Designed especially for KPMG, they’re not only used to see how good you are at reading and maths. They look at your ability to analyse numerical and verbal data – skills that you’ll need on the job. You will have to study graphs and tables then answer questions on the data they have proved.
There will be multiple choice questions at the start of the test. The recruiter said that it is better to answer 10 out of 10 questions and getting all of the 10 correct, rather than finishing all the questions and getting 4 correct. It is more about quality of your math’s not how many questions you attempted.
The recruiter requested that you practice over and over again; this is the only way you will get better at them. You can view examples of psychometric and SHL Tests on the KPMG website .
Stage Four: First Round Telephone Interview
If you’re successful in the reasoning tests, you’ll be invited to join a telephone interview that should last around 45 minutes. This will be with someone from the business area you’ve applied to and will focus on our behavioral capabilities.
This is your chance to show you meet every one of the keys skills listed above. KPMG really want to know if you are right for their position they are offering. So you need to make a really good impression on the phone. If you are going to talk with a low tone of voice and answer questions with a few words you will not make the next stage. You need to be explaining everything they ask you on the phone in detail.
Stage Five: Assessment Centre
On the Assessment Day we’ll provide background information about a fictional organisation based on KPMG. All activities during the day will be based on the fictional organisation for you to experience a ‘day in the life’ of a KPMG trainee:
- The Virtual Office Exercise is laptop-based. Simulating day-to-day situations, you’ll be given messages (for example, emails, voicemails) and expected to prioritise and deal with various tasks within a time limit.
- The Analysis Exercise is also laptop-based and lasts around an hour. We’ll ask you to review complex information and present your recommendations in written form.
- Lunch is your chance to relax, meet some of our trainees and hear their views about life at KPMG.
- Two Simulated Meetings assess how you’d handle a client and an internal meeting. This exercise is designed to give you a real insight into the types of meetings you could find yourself in at KPMG.
- After the meetings, you’ll be free to leave. We’ll send you an email in a few days’ time to let you know if you’ve been successful in securing a final interview with one of our senior interviewers.
If you’ve applied for the Audit London Programme, there’ll be a short wait after you have completed the Assessment Centre exercises whilst we assess the evidence to identify who has been successful in securing a final interview with a senior interviewer. This interview will take place on the same day as your Assessment Centre from any time between 5pm and 7pm. We will try not to keep you waiting too long and to help pass the time you’ll even be served afternoon tea!
If you’ve applied to a different graduate programme you will find out whether you have been successful at the Assessment Centre within approximately 3 working days. We will contact you by email to let you know the decision on your application. If successful you will be invited to complete a final interview with a senior interviewer.
Stage 6: Final Interview
If you’ve applied for a position in London and are successful on the Assessment Centre Exercises, you’ll find out there and then and have your final interview that day with a Senior Representative between 5pm and 7pm. If you are unsuccessful you will be informed on the day and we will follow up with an email to confirm the decision and offer the option to request feedback.
Applicants to other programmes will be contacted regarding the outcome of their Assessment Centre by email within 3 working days. If successful you will be invited back to the office you’ve applied for to meet a senior representative from your chosen area. This will be more in-depth than the first round interview. If you’ve applied for our Advisory or Central Services Sales and Marketing business areas, we will also ask you to prepare a presentation.
For further information please visit the KPMG Website
If you have any questions on the graduate entry please call: 0500 664 665
Finally may I remind you to visit the careers development centre via blackboard for more information on job interviews, online practice tests and assessment centres.
Shivum Kara, Marketing Intern at Westminster Business School attended the KPMG Careers Event on Thursday 8th November 2012.