KPMG is one of the most popular destinations for job seekers in the accounting industry. If you’re here, you’re most likely considering a move to KPMG or thinking about what the requirements are. This article will help to provide some insights and tips to help you get your resume to the top of the pile at KPMG.
What Is KPMG?
KPMG otherwise known as Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler is one of the Big Four accounting firms. The firm has spanned three centuries and undergone several mergers and name changes until the company was finally renamed in 1999. Services offered by KPMG include:
- Audit & Assurance
- Tax & Legal
- Enterprise Management
Headquartered in the Netherlands, KPMG is the home of 207,050 people across the globe. They operate in 156 countries including the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, Brazil, The Cayman Islands, The Bahamas, Switzerland, China, and India just to name a few.
Employees at KPMG can expect to enjoy benefits such as:
- Premium Health Insurance for You & Your Family
- Paid Time Off
- Additional Purchased Annual Leave
- Paid Parental Leave
- Career Breaks
- Flexible Work Options
- Employee Assistance Program (Counselling)
- Wellbeing Program
- 13th Month Salary + Performance Bonus
- KPMG Klubhouse
KPMG360⁰ is an apprenticeship program located in KPMG UK. It is a 2-6 year program that allows those interested in the business field, insight into different areas within the company. You will rotate through different offices and departments to gain insight and knowledge. Some of the programs will also provide time and tutoring for extra studies. During the advanced years in the program you will be able to decide what area you want to specialize in for your career.
What Is KPMG’s Hiring Process?
When applying for any job, it’s the job seeker’s responsibility to put their skills on display for potential employers to assess and see if these skills fall in line with what the company is looking for. KPMG has a five-step process in which candidates can do this.
The first stage of the recruitment process is an online application. The application should take candidates no more than about 20 minutes and usually does not require the candidate to upload a resume. The candidate, however, is expected to outline their academic background and previous work experience. If you’re seeking a job at KPMG, vacancies can be found on their website, and if you, unfortunately, do not find a job that you’re interested in, you may join KPMG’s Smart Network to get updates on new opportunities when they arise.
Situational Judgement Test (SJT)
Following the online application, usually within one working day, the candidate will receive a link to take a situational judgment test. The test is untimed, needs to be completed in one sitting and within seven days of receiving the link. The SJT is a psychometric assessment that is designed to assess how applicants think and how best they will react to certain situations. Candidates are presented with multiple-choice questions which will propose hypothetical as well as challenging situations which trainees might encounter at KPMG.
Online Numerical and Verbal Reasoning Tests
Once a candidate is successful in the SJT, they will be invited to sit for the verbal and numerical reasoning tests which are designed specifically for KPMG. Since 2000 these tests have been outsourced to the HR firm Cubiks. The tests are designed to assess the candidate’s ability to analyze both numerical and written data which is pertinent to the day to day at KPMG. Each test consists of multiple-choice questions which are to be completed in 20 minutes. Both tests must be completed in a single sitting. Just like the SJT, the tests need to be completed within 7 days of receiving the invitation to attempt it.
KPMG strongly recommends that candidates practice before taking the aptitude tests. Practice tests may help candidates identify areas that they need to improve. In addition, a few other suggestions KPMG highlights are:
- Contact them beforehand if adjustments are needed.
- Make sure you sit for the tests in a comfortable environment
- The tests are designed to put candidates under pressure, don’t expect to finish.
Success in the aptitude tests gives candidates the opportunity to move on to the next step of the process. The candidate will be required to do a two-minute long digital voice recording. This gives candidates the opportunity to showcase their communication skills as well as gives KPMG some insight into their career motivation.
The recording is used to assess the candidate for three of the nine Behavioral Capabilities: ‘Career Motivation’, ‘Makes an Impact’, and ‘Seizes Business Opportunities’. It must be submitted within three days of receiving the invitation to record it.
Launch Pad Recruitment Event
The final stage of the recruitment process, the Launch Pad Event, is only extended to persons that have been successful in all four of the previous steps. The Launch Pad event is an opportunity for candidates to meet members of staff, including those within the department which the candidate applied to, and learn more about the work environment at KPMG.
Just like the other steps, the Launch Pad Event provides a platform for KPMG to learn more about candidates and give the candidates a chance to demonstrate the various behavioral capabilities that KPMG are looking for.
Successful candidates are contacted within two working days of the event, while unsuccessful candidates are given the opportunity to get feedback. Something I am sure unsuccessful candidates would be grateful for.
What Qualities Are KPMG Recruiters Looking Out For?
KPMG has a fairly rigorous screening and recruitment process. Like all other screening exercises, there are desirable traits which make your application more appealing. According to KPMG’s careers website, there are nine key Behavioural Capabilities (the skills and behaviors that all employees at KPMG share) that recruiters look out for. These nine Behavioral Capabilities are:
- Your Career Motivation
- You Deliver Quality
- You Drive Collaboration & Inclusion
- You Strive for Continual Improvement
- You Exercise Professional Judgement
- Make an Impact
- Seize Business Opportunities
- Demonstrate Innovation & Curiosity
How to Prepare for the KPMG Recruitment Process
KPMG’s recruitment process is rigorous, but they provide a lot of assistance for candidates to do their best. Below are some of the tips that KPMG themselves recommend:
Tips for Resume/CV
KPMG recommends that candidates ensure to list all relevant information on their CV. While listing all relevant information, ensure to keep the document concise and organized. Candidates are advised to avoid using too many fonts and keep the formatting structure consistent. Once you’re finished drafting your resume and cover letter ensure to convert them to PDFs as this helps to protect your document. This is especially important for digitally submitted documents. The most important tip of the lot is—be honest.
Tips for Pre-Employment Assessments
KPMG’s tips are straight-forward and would fall into the category of general exam pointers. Their pointers include:
- Work quickly and avoid wasting time on difficult questions.
- The more questions you solve the better, but you are not required to answer every question. The tests are designed to assess the candidate’s ability to prioritize.
- Not all information provided is pertinent to answering the questions.
- There is no need to read over the test before starting. This wastes time and does not help candidates to answer the questions any better.
Tips for Interviews
First and foremost, candidates are expected to do due diligence and research the company. Read brochures, check the website, or maybe consult members of staff you may happen to know at KPMG. In the interview itself, be honest and highlight your strengths. Candidates are to remember that interviewers do not know them, and it is expected that candidates do their best to provide the interviewers with as much relevant information as possible.
Maintain a professional look for the interview. Candidates are to be well groomed, avoid smoking too close to the interview (the smell can be distracting for the interviewers and in some cases be a massive turn off), and do not turn up to the interview chewing gum. Most importantly, act natural.
KPMG has done its best to make the recruitment process as simple as possible for job seekers. They have a detailed outline of the process on their website, and they strongly encourage that candidates pay attention to this so that they may have the best chance of getting noticed.
All the best with your application!