KPMG or Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler is one of the Big Four accountancy firms. They were founded in 1987 and they provide audit and insurance services, tax and legal, advisory and enterprise management. They are a large company, with offices in 155 countries. KPMG are highly regarded as an exceptional company to work for, which is why there is such a lot of competition with applications. As an example, they hire up to 1,000 new graduates a year, but receive 25,000 job applications!
As a result of this, the application process is demanding and there are various stages the candidate needs to pass, before they will be accepted for a role. One of these stages is the KPMG online aptitude tests, which consist of a numerical and verbal reasoning test among others.
The online numerical and verbal tests for KPMG have been created by Cubiks, who are an HR consultancy firm offering a range of services to clients, including online tests. KPMG have outsourced the tests to Cubiks who use scientific insights, together with technology and expertise to help companies find the best candidates to join their business and to help the business achieve their goals.
After the online application has been submitted and been successful, a link is sent out to undertake a situational judgement test. There is no time limit on this test, but it will need to be completed in one sitting and it also must be completed and submitted within 7 days of the link being sent. This is a KPMG online aptitude test and is designed to analyse the candidate’s thought process. There are multiple choice questions, where the candidate will choose the most relevant answer to suit how they would react to certain situations. The situations may be hypothetical, but they are a representation of what a new employee may face when they start working at KPMG. The recruiter will assess the results of your situational judgement test, and if you seem like a good fit for the company, they will invite you to sit the numerical and verbal tests.
The main aim of the KPMG online numerical test is to assess the candidate and their ability to be able to take in and analyse both numerical and statistical information. It is also to test the ability of candidates to work under pressure by interpreting and answering the questions within a specific timeframe. Working at KPMG will involve using numerical skills and being able to interpret information from tables and charts, and this test is designed to ensure you are able to perform basic Maths calculations. Although the KPMG online numerical test questions are not particularly difficult, the time pressure and stress are the challenging aspects of answering these questions. There is less than a minute available for each question, including reading the information, analysing the data and performing the calculations. You will usually have 20 minutes to complete the test and there are 24 questions. The questions will be in the form of six sets of data, and candidates are required to interpret information from the data sets, selecting the most appropriate answer from the options. The data is usually presented either in statistical tables or in another table form or a graph.
The KPMG online verbal test is also an aptitude test designed by Cubiks and the purpose of this test is to ensure candidates are able to understand and decipher meaning and information from a piece of text, as this is something which will be required when working for the company. It can often be difficult to decipher the skills a candidate has just from their interview and qualifications, which is why the online tests are another step in the KPMG application process.
The verbal reasoning text is 20 minutes long and is comprised of 44 questions, which are based on information found in texts. The answers to the questions may be true, false or cannot determine. Although challenging for English speakers, the verbal test can be more difficult for non-native English speakers, which is why it is important to practice similar tests, so that you are prepared.
It is thought that Cubiks tests are some of the most difficult online tests available, so you can expect these tests to be challenging. KPMG reject around 60% of applications after the online testing part of the process, so it is important to practice similar online tests for a good chance of success with these. The tests are different, and the difficulty level varies, depending on the business area you are applying to.
The KPMG online aptitude tests will be sent to you via an email invitation and you have 7 days to complete it from this date. You should read all the information in the email carefully, so that you understand what is expected from you. Learning how to manage stress is key for success when completing these tests. Most candidates can complete the calculations, but the time pressure is what causes them to fail the test. The only way to manage this effectively is to find a comfortable, quiet environment to practice the tests. With the verbal reasoning test, it is important to fully read and understand the text, before attempting the questions. The online tests will be taken from home and can be completed on a computer, but not on a mobile device. The required score to pass the online tests and proceed to the next stage will depend on the role, but it is typically in the top 50% of applicants applying.
As KPMG are looking for an extremely high standard of candidate and consequently, the screening and recruitment process is rigorous. There are nine skills and behaviours which the recruiters will be looking for when screening applications and these include:
Career Motivation – recruiters are looking to ensure that the candidate wants to progress their career. They are not just looking for a job, they want to be with KPMG for the long haul.
Delivery Quality – as a Big 4 organisation, KPMG is recognised as one of the biggest accounting and auditing firms in the world. As such, they need to ensure all employees are committed to delivering work of an exceptional standard.
Collaboration and Inclusion – KPMG have a huge global presence and it is important that employees have an inclusive attitude and enjoy working with others to deliver the service.
Continual Improvement – it is important that any new employees are eager to learn and improve themselves. They should be able to take constructive criticism on board.
Professional Judgement – KPMG employees need to act in a professional manner and show integrity within their role.
Make an Impact – you can’t just go through the motions in an organisation like KPMG. They’re not looking for a clock watcher, but rather someone who will thrive and make a real impact.
Seize Business Opportunities – if you can show signs that you are a networker, who’s always looking at business opportunities, you will be hitting one of the behaviours KPMG recruiters will be looking out for.
Demonstrate Innovation and Curiosity – at KMPG, it is important that you can problem solve and bring new ideas to the table. You should be curious to learn and constantly striving to develop your skills.
Resilient – can you take knocks, dust yourself off and get back up, better than before? This is one of the behaviours which is important to KPMG recruiters.
The KPMG online aptitude tests are challenging, but not impossible. These are some tips for passing the online tests for KPMG.
The tests are timed, and it is important that you don’t waste time trying to answer questions. The recruiters don’t expect you to answer every question, it is more important that you ensure you have read it properly and answered correctly. Of course, the more questions you answer, the better though. The recruiter is looking to see that you can prioritise well. If you are stuck on a question, just move on and return to it later, if you have time.
You may find that some information on the questions is not relevant, don’t worry about that, just focus only on the information which is relevant.
Practice beforehand, as this will give you a good understanding of what to expect.
If you successfully complete the KPMG online aptitude tests, you will then complete a digital submission, which will show the recruiters your communication skills and your other skills and behaviours which are relevant to the role. The other stages are a recruitment assessment centre and interview. It is important to remember the behaviours and skills which are relevant to KPMG throughout every stage, not just during the online tests. There is a quick turnaround at every stage, and you can expect to receive feedback, if you are unsuccessful for selection for the role.