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Top tips from KPMG Grads

KPMG Australia

KPMG Grads share their application process tips.

Graduate Application Process

Test taking skills

"How did you tackle the online assessments? Did you prepare for them? What are the online assessments like?"

I did not prepare for the online assessments – I think psyching yourself out by over preparing can be detrimental to the end result and the tests themselves are quite intuitive

— CFO Advisory, Melbourne

To prepare, I practiced aptitude tests and read forums online about other candidates’ experiences with KPMG assessment tests. I was surprised by how ‘fun’ KPMG’s online assessment test was compared to tests from other companies (which were mostly in multiple choice format).

Technology Implementation, Management Consulting, Melbourne 

KPMG uses Revelian’s Theme Park Hero, which is a game-based psychometric assessment. There is little you can do to prepare, but I would recommend familiarising yourself with the types of questions and activities that you will be asked to complete. This can be found on Revelian’s website, or you search online for general practice tests. For the questions about your behavioural style, answer them as yourself, not as what you think KPMG is looking for. There is no point misrepresenting yourself at the assessment stage, receiving an offer, then realising the culture or working environment is not suited to you. Compared to other companies, KPMG’s assessments are actually a lot more fun!

— Management Consulting, Melbourne

Be as specific as possible in your interview preparation.

"How did you prepare for the interviews (Video and face-to-face)? (ie. practising the STAR technique/ preparing the right questions to ask/ research into the division)"

I brainstormed a list of potential questions I thought may be asked in the interviews, and how I thought of I’d like to answer them. For questions that were career oriented, I read through the KPMG website, as well as looking at resources such as LinkedIn and Whirlpool to tailor my answers. For potential scenario type questions, I reflected upon various scenarios that I’ve thought to be particularly good learning opportunities (positive & negative experiences) and thought objectively about what was the scenario, what role did I play, how was the scenario resolved and what did I take away from the experience. Through a careers mentoring program I participated in at University, I was able to actually connect with a Manager at KPMG in a division I was interested in applying for, which was incredibly valuable in learning more about the opportunities available to me.

—Audit, Assurance & Risk Consulting, Melbourne

I prepared for the interviews by researching the company on LinkedIn, YouTube, GlassDoor and GradAustralia and filmed myself answering practice questions and singing. 

—Audit & Assurance and Risk Consulting, Melbourne

I went through my resume and thought of specific examples where my direct contribution to a situation led to a particular outcome (importantly, both positive and negative). I was also reminded that group work throughout university provides a great opportunity to reflect on questions such as: how you could've worked better as a team, how you approach conflict and how you work to tough deadlines. If your past work experience doesn't allow you to provide the examples you need, always fall back on uni. 

—Management Consulting, Melbourne

Be natural, not nervous.

"How were you able to be authentic during the application process as well as in the interview?"

Always say yes to a drink, it will help you relax and make you more comfortable.

—RST Melbourne

Remember they are real people who want to see that you’re a real person who they can see themselves getting along with and working with in the future.

—RST Melbourne

Being relaxed and having small talk, the interviewers can sense when you are being overly anxious and conversation doesn’t flow as well.

—External Audit Melbourne

Become an expert in KPMG

"What did you know about KPMG prior to joining? Why is knowing about KPMG important and what are some ways that applicants can gain knowledge about KPMG? Did you attend any networking events where KPMG was present?"

As one of the big 4 firms, KPMG is set apart by its people and values. Research its online presence and talk to the staff who attend career workshops and expos. 

— CFO Advisory, Melbourne

I knew that KMPG was a highly respected organisation which would be a great starting place to begin a career. I also knew it had great learning opportunities and would allow me to meet similar like-minded people.

Applicants can gain knowledge through researching online such as LinkedIn, GlassDoor and Whirlpool forums. Additionally talking with friends and co-workers who work at the firm as they will be able to provide valuable firsthand knowledge and experience of what is involved with the roleI attended university career expos which I feel were very helpful in gaining insight into different careers and companies I previously was not aware of. 

— External Audit, Melbourne

I knew that KPMG was a well-respected accounting and consulting firm that is known for its strong client relations and quality services. Knowing about who KPMG is and what they do is very important in understanding how you can fit in and contribute to the business. Applicants should research KPMG through their website and be well-informed on issues in the news that are relevant to the business. 

— External Audit, Melbourne

Gain relevant experience tailored to the role

"Advice on how to maximise the University experience/ what types of experience did you have prior to joining KPMG?"

Get involved in student programs that will help you gain exposure to life after Uni. For myself, a Strategy consulting program was an invaluable experience which taught me a number of skills that I now use regularly.

Prior to starting with KPMG I had a mix of Strategy and Engineering experience both here in Australia as well as internationally through an internship in Vietnam.

—KPMG Strategy Melbourne

Mingle with as many likeminded individuals as possible to expose yourself to an arrange of different ideas and career possibilities. Uni is as much about leaning soft skills as it is about gaining relevant academic knowledge, as such making friends and improving the way you are able to get along with a variety of different people is key to post-uni success!

While studying hard to gain a good knowledge of theoretical concepts at uni is important, it is the soft skills and knowledge of interpersonal relationships that really enables the practical, industry specific learning process that takes place in the workplace.

—KPMG Enterprise Audit & Assurance Melbourne

University is a great time to network and put yourself out there in an environment that is safe to fail. Take hold of the opportunities that are given to you in order to get the most out of them.

Throughout my time at university I worked as an accounts clerk at a bookkeeping firm which provided me with valuable insights into the industry while I was still completing my studies. I feel like this experience was one of the key reasons that I was able to gain a position at KPMG. I would strongly recommend others seeking to gain employment with KPMG to find a way to gain skills and experience that will differentiate you from your peers.

—External Audit – Melbourne Office

More about the Graduate program

Day to day

"What do you do in your day-to-day role? What sort of clients do you work with?"

My day-to-day role can consist of anything from client meetings, technical accounting research, process control mapping to audit readiness testing. What is consistent is that I learn about my client, their working landscape and pain points, and I work to support the engagement team in assisting them.

— CFO Advisory, Melbourne

In the grad level we are responsible for a lot of the test work, whether it be testing controls, doing walkthroughs of processes or ticking through samples. While at higher positions the role encompasses more delegation, reviewing work and developing client relationships. I have worked in a variety of industries such as Financial Services clients such as investment funds and banks, a multinational consumer foods company as well as an infrastructure client through the grad rotation program. 

— External Audit, Melbourne

A typical day involves working from the client’s office and performing procedures that are relevant to the particular audit. This will involve meeting with clients to understand their processes and to determine what sort of information is needed from the client. I work with clients across various industries including the energy and agriculture sectors. 

— External Audit, Melbourn

The Graduate Program

"What is included in the KPMG graduate program? Ie. 2 day induction, graduate pathway, AARC rotation"

Firstly there is a two day offsite induction where you will get an overview of KPMG as a business as a whole. The Grad Challenge is a way to solve a real business problem with other grads who you may not usually work with in other teams. The rotation program will let you jump into a different team for a 3 months and learn and most importantly, network with others in KPMG which is an important aspect of our business.

—RST Melbourne

They will find out more as they are updating it for next year – we had a 2 day offsite induction, Grad pathway which included the touchpoint group project, social mixers such as drinks and trivia night, AARC rotation. Best perk of the grad program is being able to meet others in different areas of the business. An important aspect of working at KPMG is having networks over the business to have an understanding of what our capabilities are and being part of the graduate intake allows us to do that as well as having a peer group for support who are in the same position as you. Each team will transition their grads into their team in a different way.

—RST Melbourne

Usually is a packed first few weeks with Induction (social events with the whole graduate cohort) and trainings, we have an overnight stay at an accommodation as part of our first induction week as an ice breaker to really network with the cohort and learn about the firm itself and also some trainings. Trainings are also scattered throughout the year depending on your sub division. The main change from prior graduate programs is the new rotation program whereby we rotate for a few months into another line under ARC, aimed to help us develop some new skill sets and also to network amongst the firm and get a taste of what kind of valuable work other divisions within ARC provide

—External Audit Melbourne

How to impress

"What skills are important to display as a Graduate?"

I think it’s important to be confident, display surety in what you know and what you don’t and to be inquisitive.

— CFO Advisory, Melbourne

  • Eagerness to learn
  • Ability to prioritise work and turn down some tasks to avoid burnout 
  • Ability to network
  • Ability to ask clarifying questions during uncertainty 
  • A confident and genuine personality

— Technology Implementation, Management Consulting, Melbourne

The first is proactivity. You are the only one who can own and drive your career - gone are the days of hand-holding in high school and university. While KPMG and your team will support you, the Grads who go the extra mile are not the ones who sit back and wait for work or opportunities to be handed to them – rather, it’s the ones who go out and find those opportunities!

The second is curiosity. You should treat your Grad year and this early stage of your career as a time to learn as much as you can about everything and anything. The worst thing you can do is start as a Grad who has a blinkered view of exactly what it is that you want to be working on or doing. Seize every opportunity you can to learn about other teams, other industries, and other types of work.

— Management Consulting, Melbourne

Memorable experience

"What has been your most memorable experience as a KPMG Graduate?"

My most memorable experience as a KPMG graduate has been being able to be a part of the Graduate Rotation program. During my three month rotation to CFO Advisory, I was able to meet new people, learn more about what other divisions do, learn new skills and most importantly, feel like I was really able to add value through the tasks allocated to me and the contributions I was able to make. The rotation program was the best three months I’ve had working at KPMG, and I’m incredibly grateful I got to experience it. 

—Audit, Assurance & Risk Consulting, Melbourne

My most memorable experience was getting to work on a variety of different clients as well as the rewards such as Audit Lunches and the KMPG Ball where I had a lot of fun. 

—Audit & Assurance and Risk Consulting, Melbourne

The first time I was entrusted to facilitate a workshop was a massive point of growth for me. Whilst somewhat daunting, seeing how people directly respond to your presenting style (including any content and activities) is really rewarding and provides a great opportunity to seek feedback. Overall however, the diversity of clients I have encountered across Australia has reinforced my belief that deep down, many organisations are encountering relatively the same problems, from both internal and external sources.

—Management Consulting, Melbourne