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As the third largest audit company in the UK, employment opportunities and places on KPMG’s graduate schemes are highly sought after. This requires KPMG to implement a comprehensive selection process, ensuring that only the most suitable candidates progress successfully and a high calibre of workforce is maintained throughout the firm. Psychometric testing is adopted from the beginning of the recruitment process, as a means of screening out candidates who lack the abilities necessary for a career in this area. Candidates are asked to complete a situational judgement test and if successful, they will then be instructed to complete verbal and numerical reasoning tests. This is typical of graduate level positions, although further tests may be required for higher level roles. Candidates are informed in advance as to which tests they will be required to take.
KPMG tests are provided by Cubiks and are specifically formulated for their use. KPMG also use (CEB) SHL for their reasoning tests. The 10 key competencies KPMG look for in potential employees are: Business Focus, Delivers Quality, Drives Collaboration and Inclusion, Career Motivation, Strives for Continual Improvement, Exercises Professional Judgement, Makes an Impact, Seizes Business Opportunities, Demonstrates Innovation and Curiosity, and Resilience; so be sure to demonstrate these throughout the application and assessment process.
The KPMG Process
The KPMG selection process is made up of five stages:
- Application: Applications are made online and require candidates to provide their contact details, education and work experience. This is to ensure that the candidate meets the entry requirements for their selected role. After submitting their application, candidates are invited to complete some online assessments.
- Testing: The online assessments include, situational judgement (SJT), numerical and verbal reasoning tests, which must all be completed within a week of them being sent to you. Ths SJT is expected to take half an hour to complete. Upon successfully passing the SJT will the numerical and verbal reasoning tests be sent to you. These are slightly shorter in length, lasting around 20 minutes each.
- Telephone Interview: Successful candidates will then be telephoned for an interview, which typically lasts around 45 minutes. The interviewer will be looking to hear about situations in the past few years in which the candidate has demonstrated their skills and how various problems and challenges were tackled.
- Assessment Centre: The assessment centre day will involve three exercises. Two of these are laptop-based to evaluate your office skills with everyday tasks, such as responding to e-mails and voicemails. The second of these is designed to evaluate analytical skills as candidates will be asked to review given information and form a written response. Both of these assessments are under timed conditions.
- Final Interview: The final interview is more in-depth than the previous interview and will be conducted by partner or director from the applicant’s chosen area. It is during this interview that candidates are encouraged to ask questions about the company and learn more about the role for which they are applying. Some Candidates will be required to make a presentation during this stage, depending on the nature of the role applied for. Successful applicants at this stage will be offered employment or a place on one of the Graduate schemes provided by KPMG.
KPMG Logical Test
Logical reasoning questions present a sequence of numbers or symbols and ask the candidate to select the next item in the sequence, from multiple choice options. These tests are considered non-verbal reasoning and require candidates to recognise patterns or rules and use them to make logical conclusions as to what will come next. Logical reasoning tests have a set time limit, so it is important to work efficiently and try to answer as many questions as possible. The Unilever logical test is completed online.
KPMG Numerical Test
In these tests numerical data is provided to a candidate, usually in the form of graphs, tables, statistics and financial data. To answer these questions, candidates must analyse this data and make a logical conclusion from it, allowing them to select the correct answer. Typical numerical skills which are tested include addition/subtraction, multiplication/division, ratios, fractions and percentages. The KPMG numerical test is completed online and lasts approximately 20 minutes.
KPMG Verbal Test
In these tests candidates are provided with a passage of written information and asked to analyse and draw logical inferences from that written information. The questions will be multiple choice with the answer options being: true; false; cannot say. The key here is to answer the questions based on purely the information contained within the passage (ignore any prior knowledge you may have). Think literally and go only on what you have been told in the passage. The KPMG verbal test is completed online and lasts approximately 20 minutes.