If you’re preparing to interview with KPMG, you might be curious about what types of questions you could be asked during the process. We’ve compiled some of the most common questions in this blog post, as well as an overview of what to expect from your interview experience overall, how to prepare for it beforehand and how our courses can help you get ready for it.. 

About KPMG 

KPMG International Limited is a British-Dutch multinational that is a part of the Big Four companies and offers auditing, risk consulting, financial advisory, and tax services. Headquartered in Amstelveen, Netherlands, KPMG is a global firm incorporated in the United Kingdom, with offices in 145 countries and 236,000 employees and offers three types of services: audit, tax, and advisory. 

KPMG stands for Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler. When KMG Klynveld Main Goerdeler merged with Peat Marwick in 1987, they created the initialism.

The Interview Questions of KPMG 

Do you hope to work in an environment where your hard work and results in difficult endeavours are acknowledged? If so, KPMG may be the perfect employer for you since they offer a great opportunity that other companies might not. It's one of the four big accounting firms alongside Deloitte, PwC and E&Y.

If you're scheduled for an interview in the near future, you may want to prepare by reviewing these KPMG interview questions. Thoroughly scanning these questions will help you prepare well for the interview and provide a clearer picture of what it will be like.

Potential interview questions at KPMG involve your familiarity with industries KPMG caters to. You are also judged on your academic performance, experience with the firm, and whether or not you're a good fit for the position.

Interview Process

For Freshers: 

The recruiters at KPMG take fresh graduates on via.

  1. Campus placement
  2. Direct application on the KPMG website

Students can also apply to KPMG roles through the KPMG's careers portal, where details of all available vacancies with locations within KPMG are provided. 

The interview process for freshers at KPMG has two rounds. The first round comprises a series of HR questions to ensure that they’re looking for someone who is a good fit and also has suitable qualities. An example question would be why do you want to work here? Or tell me about yourself, etc. The second round is a case study, which could entail any business topic, such as marketing, leadership, strategic management, etc.

Requirements for Applying as a Fresh Graduate at KPMG

  • Candidates for this position must have obtained at least 60% of the coursework from the end of their degree in order to qualify.
  • They should have achieved at least 60% in their 10th and 12th.
  • Engineering-wise, the most popular branches are Computer Science Engineering, Information Technology, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.
  • These would be the three most preferable programs for those without engineering degrees: a Bachelor of Commerce, a Master of Commerce, and a Master of Business Administration.

The most important thing to remember during your interview at KPMG is that they will never ask you a question they do not already know the answer to. If you’re asked a question, and you don’t know, then it’s better to admit that upfront and tell them why you want to work there. The job search process with KPMG can take between 3–4 months for most candidates.

The skills that KPMG looks for when hiring new graduates are: 

  • Aptitude
  • Communication skills
  • Ability to provide basic answers to technical questions

The KPMG selection process includes the following stages:

  • KPMG Written Test
  • Group Discussion
  • Interview – Technical and HR

Interviews are taken by Supervisor/Associate, Manager and Senior Manager for freshers. HR does one final round of interviews at the end.

For Experienced Professionals:

KPMG's hiring process for experienced professionals differs from others. For experienced professionals, the process follows this outline-

  • Telephone round (Junior HR)

  1. Telephone round (Immediate senior like Manager or Senior Manager)
  2. Assignment: There is a Case Study, as well as an Excel Assignment, Presentation Assignment, Email Writing Assignment, and Proposal Writing Assignment that are required to be completed and submitted to KPMG. Candidates may be asked to present this assignment during the interview too.
  3. Technical Interview round- There are minimum 3 rounds with upper hierarchies of organization structure. During the first 2 rounds, the focus of the interview will be your understanding of the roles and industry. In the 3rd round which is taken by the Director or a Partner, the focus is on assessing if you fit with the company.
  4. HR interview round- Once you have successfully completed the previous round, this round is mainly for negotiation of salary, joining interval etc.

CV Shortlisting Procedure: 

CV Shortlisting is the process of finding the few job applicants from the pool of aspirants who best match the requirements of the open position and are wanted by the company to proceed to the next step of the recruitment process. In short, CV shortlisting refers to the process of creating a list of the candidates the organization is interested in interviewing.

Recruitment processes start by shortlisting before interviews and assessments. As the company screens resume from applicants, they also select the best candidates to advance to the next stage.

There are a lot of important considerations for making a proper shortlist; a few have been discussed below.

  • Online Coding Round at Adobe 

Once a candidate passes the CV screening round (whether an off-campus placement candidate or an experienced professional), they must demonstrate technical ability in the online coding round. Adobe offers popular sites like Hackerrank, CodinGame, and more for online coding test. 

While at an Adobe recruitment event, a candidate was faced with a hacking question. In this case, they were instructed to program a process to achieve a certain desired outcome.

  • Interview Rounds

Phone Screenings: Before you get to meet with a KPMG recruiter in person, you’ll likely go through some type of phone screening interview round. Expect questions like, “Why are you interested in working at KPMG?” and “Tell us about yourself”. Be ready to tell your story succinctly—you don’t want to lose points during a phone interview just because you run out of time before telling all your relevant experiences. The goal of these initial interviews is to find candidates who best fit KPMG as a whole, so prepare for very general questions that touch on work experience, personality traits and goals. You may also be asked questions about why you want to work for KPMG specifically.

Phone Interview With a Hiring Manager: A phone interview with a hiring manager at KPMG usually lasts between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on how quickly you can handle follow-up questions. Expect a series of behavioral and situational questions related to your resume, plus some queries designed to gauge your personal interest in KPMG. It’s also not uncommon for KPMG recruiters to test candidates’ writing skills by having them write an essay about themselves or ask for their thoughts on current events.

  • Technical Assessment

A technical round is where candidates in the KPMG interview are judged on their knowledge of the technical field. These candidates must have a strong foundation in basic technical skills. Some examples of the technical questions from the KPMG interviewers are-

  • What is this cloud computing thing?
  • What does Pixel mean?
  • Tell the difference between relational database management systems and database management systems.
  • What is a Circular Link list?
  • Define LIFO and FIFO

  • Onsite Interview

An onsite interview at KPMG is just a standard interview; there are no tricky questions here. However, getting invited for an onsite interview means you’ve made it through two rounds of interviews, so keep your cool! Practice these KPMG interview tips beforehand—the more you practice, the less nervous you’ll be when it comes time for your real interview.

  • HR Round

The HR round of the interview process is when the company sees just how confident and knowledgeable the candidate is, among other personal traits. KPMG interviewers try to determine the applicants' motives to join their organization in this round. In order to succeed at the interview, it is imperative that the candidate demonstrate a willingness to commit to the role and excitement about the opportunity. For KPMG interviews, this is the part where you focus on the skills that you have for the job and what that would mean for KPMG. Typical KPMG interview questions include-

  • Examine the differences between work that is smart and work that is hard.
  • Tell me about some of your life's successes.
  • Tell me the one word that sums up your personality.
  • If you had to pinpoint the worst mistake one can make in life, what would you say it is?
  • How far do you see yourself moving up in your career by the end of two years?

KPMG Technical Interview Questions

1. Why do you want to work in audit? 

Sample Answer: “I am an honest and skilled individual. I am extremely focused and have a keen eye for detail. My overall goal is to always better an organization with my capabilities and do my best to help them reach its financial and/or commercial goals. I want to be a part of KPMG because it’s a firm that strives for excellence in all areas of business, from finances to IT. It’s also a firm that values its employees as people first and foremost. These are the attributes that I value greatly”.

2. What are the objectives of an internal audit? 

The central objective of an Internal Audit is to supply objective information to managers, governments, etc. Objective information typically includes details about control over the organization's environment, risks, etc. Any person coming for the Internal Audit is called an Internal Auditor. They are employed by the organizations that send them.  An internal auditor works in close association with management because he or she wants to understand how well they have managed their resources. Auditors ensure that companies adhere to accounting standards and laws; they also try to ensure that companies don't mislead investors about their finances or operations.

3. Explain cross-functional audits? 

A cross-functional audit means the participation of different professions in the audit process to improve the organization's practices. For example, a marketing professional may be included in an audit team to ensure that advertising campaigns are compliant with industry regulations. The goal is to achieve better results for your company through more thorough audits.

4. What are audit control procedures? 

There is no one approach that's universal for understanding internal controls, business processes, and control effectiveness. Instead, it depends on the specific needs of each audit.

Auditors must know every component of the client's financial reporting controls, including their environment, assessment process, systems, the activities related to their audit, and how they monitor their internal controls. They also need to be aware of any changes that could impact their ability to effectively perform an audit. In order for auditors to properly evaluate a company's internal control structure, they must have a complete understanding of its business processes and how information flows through them.

5. What is CARO 2003? What do you mean by management audit?

The term CARO means Company Audit Report Order 2003. It describes the matter on which the company's Statutory Auditors must report in their Audit Report. An audit is an analysis and assessment of a company's management competencies and capabilities to execute its objectives. The point of a management audit is not to give grades to individual executives but to review the effectiveness of the entire management team, considering factors such as shareholder satisfaction, staff morale, and business reputation. It is necessary to point out that the management audit examines the management of the company as a whole, not the performance of the individual managers.

6. What are the advantages of using stored procedures?

One of the key reasons why stored procedures can offer many advantages is because they allow programmers to focus on the needs of a specific module, reducing redundancy and the possibility of errors. Another advantage is that it allows for more efficient use of resources. Since stored procedures are compiled into machine language at run time, there’s no need for them to be recompiled each time they’re used; therefore, fewer system resources are required in order to execute them. Stored procedures also allow developers to create reusable code which can then be used in multiple applications or by multiple users.

7. Do you think BCNF is better than 2NF & 3NF? Why?

BCNF is stronger than 3NF because it does not follow the same criterion for normalization that 3NF does. Thus, every left side of an FD in a table must be a super key. Any table that is BCNF will also be 3NF, 2NF, and 1NF by the definitions that precede this.

8. Discuss transparent DBMS?

It is one which keeps its physical structure hidden from the user. A query with respect to DBMS relates to user commands that are used to interact with a database. The query language can be classified into data definition language and data manipulation language.

The distributed DBMS defines that the system should make the distribution transparent to the user. Transparent hides implementation details from the user. For example, in a centralized DBMS, data independence is a form of transparency that hides changes in the definition and organization of the data from the user. A DDBMS may provide various· levels of transparency. However, they all participate in the same overall objective— to make the use of the distributed database equivalent to that of a centralized database.

We can identify four main types of transparency in a DDBMS:

  • Distribution transparency
  • Transaction transparency
  • Performance transparency
  • DBMS transparency

9. What is the difference between exclusive lock and shared lock? 

One of the methods to ensure property isolation in a transaction is to require data items to be accessed in a mutually exclusive manner. That means that while one transaction is accessing a data item, no other transaction can modify that data item. So, the most common method used to implement the requirement is to allow a transaction to access a data item only if it is currently holding a lock on that item.

Thus, the lock on operation is required to ensure isolation of transactions.

1. Shared Lock (S):

  • Shared lock is also called a read lock, used for reading data items only.
  • Shared locks support read integrity. They ensure that a record is not in the process of being updated during a read-only request.
  • They can also be used to prevent any kind of updates of records.
  • It is denoted by Lock-S. 
  • S-lock is requested using Lock-S instruction.

For example, consider a case where initially A=100 and there are two transactions which are reading A. If one of the transactions wants to update A, in that case, other transaction would be reading the wrong value. However, the shared lock prevents it from updating until it has finished reading.

2. Exclusive Lock (X):

  • With the exclusive lock, a data item can be read as well as written. It’s also called write lock.
  • An exclusive lock prevents any other locker from obtaining any sort of a lock on the object.
  • They can be owned by only one transaction at a time.
  • It is denoted as Lock-X.
  • X-lock is requested using Lock-X instruction.

10. What do you mean by “normalization”?

Normalization is the process of organizing data in a database. This includes creating tables and establishing relationships between those tables according to rules designed both to protect the data and to make the database more flexible by eliminating redundancy and inconsistent dependency.

11. What is an object-oriented model? 

Object-oriented modeling (OOM) is an approach to modeling an application that is used at the beginning of the software life cycle when using an object-oriented approach to software development. 

12. Define RDBMS.

RDBMS is an extension of the acronym DBMS (database management system) that is sometimes used when the underlying database is relational. An alternative definition for a relational database management system is a database management system (DBMS) based on the relational model. Most databases in widespread use today are based on this model.

13. Why is DML provided? 

Manipulation and processing of the database   

14. Where do we generally create INDEX? 

An INDEX is created on the columns of a table. An INDEX makes a catalog based on one or more columns of a table. One table may contain one or more INDEX tables. An INDEX can be created on a single column or combination of columns of a database table.

15. What do you understand by total income? 

Your total income is your gross income from all sources less certain deductions, such as expenses, allowances and reliefs. If you are married or in a civil partnership and jointly assessed, your spouse's or civil partner's income is included in the total income.

16. Define LIFO and FIFO. 

First-in, first-out is a method to value inventory and calculate the cost of goods sold (COGS). FIFO items are the oldest products in an inventory because they were the first stock to be added after purchase or production. FIFO uses the principle that when items are acquired first, they are also sold first. The FIFO process is a straightforward way to track the flow of inventory, sales profits and the cost of producing and storing goods.

Last-in, first-out is another way to manage inventory and calculate profits from goods. In this approach, businesses assume the most recent inventory is the first sold. This means that older stock continues to sit for long periods before being sold. As long as the product is not in danger of becoming obsolete, this method works for a variety of goods.

17. What is cloud computing? 

Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently and scale as your business needs change.

18. How would you decide the residential status of an individual? 

The residential status of an assessee is determined with reference to his residence in the previous year. Residential status during the assessment year is immaterial. It is pertinent to note that residence and citizenship are two different concepts hence should not be mixed for the purpose of taxation.

19. What do you mean by assessment year? 

Assessment year is simply the time during which the income earned in the financial year is assessed. It is the year that comes right after the financial year.

20. Differentiate between RDBMS and DBMS.

DBMS stands for Database Management System, and RDBMS is the acronym for the Relational Database Management System. In DBMS, the data is stored as a file, whereas in RDBMS, data is stored in the form of tables. 

21. What is a circular link list? 

A circular linked list is a variation of a linked list in which the last node points to the first node, completing a full circle of nodes. In other words, this variation of the linked list doesn't have a null element at the end.

22. Define pixel. 

The pixel (a word invented from "picture element") is the basic unit of programmable color on a computer display or in a computer image. Think of it as a logical - rather than a physical - unit. The physical size of a pixel depends on how you've set the resolution for the display screen.

23. How many heads are there under total income? 

Under the Income Tax Act, there are five heads known as the heads of income.

  • Income from salary
  • Income from house property
  • Income from profits and gain of business or profession
  • Income from capital gains
  • Income from other sources

24. What is capital gain? Explain long-term capital gains and how it is different from short-term capital gains? 

Capital gain, for income tax purposes, is the gain realized from the sale of capital assets. The difference between the original purchase price and the sale price is the gain realized. Profits you make from selling assets you've held for a year or less are called short-term capital gains. Alternatively, gains from assets you've held for longer than a year are known as long-term capital gains.

25. Who are residents but not ordinary residents? 

From FY 2020-21, a citizen of India or a person of Indian origin who leaves India for employment outside India during the year will be a resident and ordinarily resident if he stays in India for an aggregate period of 182 days or more.

26. What is a tax refund? 

A tax refund is a reimbursement to a taxpayer for any excess amount paid to the federal government or a state government. While taxpayers tend to look at a refund as a bonus or a stroke of luck, it often represents what is essentially an interest-free loan that the taxpayer made to the government. It’s often possible to avoid overpaying your taxes so you can keep more money in your pocket each paycheck—and avoid a refund when you file your tax return.

27. Why is DML provided?

DML is the short name for Data Manipulation Language, which deals with data manipulation and includes the most common SQL statements such as SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, etc., and it is used to store, modify, retrieve, delete and update data in a database.

28. What is an alternative minimum tax (AMT)? 

An alternative minimum tax (AMT) places a floor on the percentage of taxes that a filer must pay to the government, no matter how many deductions or credits the filer may claim.

The United States currently has an alternative minimum tax for taxpayers who earn above certain thresholds.

The AMT recalculates income tax after adding certain tax preference items back into adjusted gross income. AMT uses a separate set of rules to calculate taxable income after allowed deductions. Preferential deductions are added back into the taxpayer's income to calculate his or her alternative minimum taxable income (AMTI), and then the AMT  exemption is subtracted to determine the final taxable figure.

29. How do you think technology will impact KPMG’s business in the next few years? 

Sample Answer: “Technology is already creating a transformative impact on the audit industry. From artificial intelligence (AI) tools for big data analytics, blockchain technology for secure data storage, and augmented reality (AR) for the digital workplace—there’s so much that KPMG can do with technology in the next few years. These emerging technologies will not only change how businesses operate in the future but also have a huge impact on KPMG’s business model. As I said earlier, many firms are looking at automating manual tasks through AI-powered platforms; others are exploring AR to improve employee efficiency by enabling remote collaboration across multiple time zones. I expect these trends to continue over the next decade as these technologies mature”.

30. Do you understand the work that would be involved in the role? 

KPMG generally has a 10-week training period for graduate trainees, so it is important that you understand what your job would involve. During your interview, make sure you can explain in detail what a typical day would be like in that position. Be prepared to answer questions about how you spent your day at your previous workplace or any relevant internships. Remember it is not just down to what you know or can do but also how well you fit into their company culture.

31. Tell us what interests you about the business area you have applied for. 

When you are applying for a job at KPMG, you must be able to explain your interest in their specific business area. What makes it unique? What do you think is exciting about working in an audit environment instead of consulting or tax? It is also important that you are ready with a few examples of topics you have developed opinions on. Prepare yourself by researching KPMG’s website and checking out some of its popular press releases, as well as related news articles.

Some Additional Interview Questions to Help You Further in Your Preparation: 

HR Interview 

1. State the difference between hard work and smart work. 

Hard work is putting a great deal of effort into getting a job done. Smart work is focusing your time and efforts on high-impact activities and doing them exceptionally well. While they may seem similar, they’re two very different things. The great thing about smart work is that you don’t have to spend long hours doing it, but you will still achieve maximum results. One of the KPMG interview questions asked candidates to discuss some of their most productive habits. 

2. What makes KPMG different from the rest of the Big Four? Why do you want to work here? 

KPMG genuinely cares about your career path and offers great growth opportunities. At any level, there are always programs in place that help employees elevate their careers. 

They provide an environment where you are encouraged to fulfil your sense of purpose and drive lasting change. This shared belief and their culture of gratitude will see you get recognized for your talents and be appreciated for the perspective you bring to your teams and clients.

3. Tell me about your greatest professional accomplishment? 

The interviewer wants you to tell them about a recent accomplishment in your career. Remember, when interviewing for a job, you are expected to sell yourself. The best way to do that is with a great example of an accomplishment in your past or present job history. This can be anything from coming up with a new product idea at work, making a project run more smoothly than before, or helping another colleague in trouble.

4. Tell me about a stressful situation and how you dealt with it? 

This question is used to assess your problem-solving skills, attitude toward work, level of stress tolerance, decisiveness, good judgment under pressure, etc. There are no right or wrong answers. The interviewer just wants to hear how you respond in a tough situation. Don’t be vague! Be specific and give details about what happened, why it was stressful for you, what actions you took to deal with it, what results were achieved, etc. Don’t be afraid to admit that other options were available but that your choice was based on sound reasoning.

5. What are your long-term goals?

Sample Answer: “My long-term goals are to gain as much experience in my field as possible. In addition, I plan on using what I have learned from my previous work experiences over the next several years in order to move into a senior position. This way, I will be better equipped for promotion opportunities when they arise. As such, having a long-term focus is incredibly important for me at this point in my career”.

6. Do you prefer working in a team or working alone? 

During an interview with KPMG, it could mean a few different things. Generally speaking, interviewers ask about working preferences to determine whether candidates can cooperate well with others. If you tend to be self-centred or aren’t a team player, your answer will matter. A lot of people enjoy being part of a team, but there are many reasons why some people might choose to work on their own. Perhaps they’re more introverted, or like getting things done without distractions.

7. Why did you choose your major/degree subject?

If you major in something that’s directly related to your job or if you have a degree in a highly specialized field, you should explain how it fits into your long-term career plans. One way or another, you must do more than demonstrate knowledge of your subject. If accounting is your major, tell them how that training can help you manage operations at a firm like KPMG. The interviewers are looking for self-starters who can succeed within their respective roles regardless of what field they majored in. Bring some life and personality into your answer by addressing how a certain class forced you out of your comfort zone or encouraged professional networking among classmates and instructors.

8. Tell me about a time you had a poorly performing team member?

Sample Answer: “I once led a team of sales associates where I tried to establish KPIs, such as those you measure on a weekly and monthly basis. It soon became clear to me that some of the members were inferior when contrasted with the rest of the team. In my one-on-one discussion with them, I tried to come to an understanding of their central point. After just a short while on the job, I knew it wasn't laziness or a bad attitude-they just weren't a fit for the job. All salespeople are not born equal; however, I didn't give up on them. I gave them individualized coaching, practiced different scenarios with them, and tried to help them improve their sales skills. To some extent, it worked- their results improved, but they still did not perform as well as the others on the team. According to me, we can still work with a poor performer, but we need to set expectations from the beginning, as no one can achieve exemplary performance consistently”.

9. Tell me about a time you had a conflict at work. How did you handle it, and what have you learned? 

This is a typical interview question to ask candidates when they are applying for an entry-level position. The interviewer wants to know how you would handle conflicts and problems in a professional manner. It’s important to show them that you can deal with difficult people and stressful situations and that you learn from your mistakes. They want to know that you are able to handle pressure. When answering, don’t forget to provide specific examples and make sure your examples demonstrate your capabilities.

10. What’s the difference between an internal auditor and an external auditor? 

Internal auditors work within an organization and report to its audit committee and/or directors. They design company organization systems and develop specific risk management policies. In addition, they ensure that all risk management policies are operational. Work by an internal auditor is, more often than not, ongoing and usually an integral part of a company's day-to-day life. External auditors are neutral when conducting audits on a company. They report to the company's investors. They provide their experienced opinion on the truthfulness of the company’s financial statements and perform work on a test basis to monitor systems in place.

11. Talk about a time you’ve managed multiple tasks to finish a project for a deadline. 

The best way to answer these questions is to be specific about your work and what you’ve been asked to do. Explain, for example, that your department is going through a rebranding process and that, in addition to writing copy for an upcoming webinar and making edits on a marketing document, you’re expected to help come up with three new team names by next week.

12. What’s good about you? What’s not? What do you need to learn? 

This question is designed to get you talking about your accomplishments, what you feel are your shortcomings, and what areas you’d like to develop going forward. This can be a tricky question because you don’t want to come across as arrogant or defensive, but at the same time, you want to highlight your best qualities. A good response will also indicate an interest in self-awareness and learning more about yourself. Think about how you can frame your answer to highlight both humility and ambition. For example, I know I need to improve my presentation skills, which is why I’m taking public speaking classes right now. But I think my strongest skill is my attention to detail—I pay very close attention to every project I work on so that I can deliver great results for clients.

13. Can you give an example of a time when you had to communicate an idea persuasively in writing? 

Sample Answer: “When a company approached me with a new idea, I was given the task of persuading upper management to develop and implement it. In order to convince my supervisors, I had to write an argumentative essay that clearly showed how our organization would benefit from these changes. It turned out that it was very convincing – we ended up implementing it and now have improved productivity by almost five percent. Not only did I persuade my superiors, but I also helped save my company money in the process!”

14. Can you tell me something interesting you’ve read about KPMG in the news?

Like any other public or private company, KPMG is frequently involved in the news. You’ll want to make sure you’re up-to-date on anything that could come up in an interview, from scandals and corruption to new business developments. If a current event has particularly piqued your interest – recent restructuring, new business direction, etc.–you must mention it during the interview as something you read about recently and think would be great for the firm.

15. Can you tell me about a time when circumstances changed? How did you adapt? 

If you’re interviewing for a job, it’s likely that your interviewer will try to catch you off guard by asking about a time when things didn’t go according to plan. This is just as much an interview question as asking a candidate to tell the interviewer about themself. While you don’t want to give too much information, an honest answer shows that you can admit when something has gone wrong and that you can correct your actions and learn from them. The best way to respond is with a specific example. For example, if you arrived late for work one day because of traffic, then you could say, “I once had an issue with traffic on my commute home from work which caused me to be late for work one day. I learned that I wouldn't have these issues if I left earlier in the morning or worked closer to home”.

16. Can you tell me about a time when you’ve had to overcome a setback? How did you overcome it?

It’s inevitable that you’ll run into a setback or two in your career. This is where explaining how you overcame a setback can help you stand out from other candidates. KPMG interviewers want to know how you think and work, so it’s important to tell them about a time when your ability to overcome adversity was called upon. And if it was truly a setback? How did you overcome it?

While many setbacks are personal, there are also professional ones that come with working for any company. If you have been laid off or fired (or even had a bad performance review), don’t hide it—share what happened and why. How did you deal with these things professionally? What lessons did you learn? Did they ultimately benefit your professional development?

17. Which opportunities can you see now for KPMG to develop new business? 

KPMG is a very large and diverse firm with nearly 100 offices worldwide. Given that diversity, there are opportunities everywhere. If you’re just starting out, ask yourself which industry your practice (or prospective clients) is in. Research what kinds of new business might be coming down that pipeline in 12 months or two years. What do you think will change? What trends can you track? Use these opportunities to jump-start a business development program for your team.

18. Which skills do you think you’ll need in the role you’re applying for at KPMG? 

The skills you’ll need for the role will depend on the department you join. For example, in KPMG’s IT Risk Advisory practice, you’ll need advanced skills in cyber security. If your business involves making recommendations about how to manage and mitigate risk across technology departments (it’s a big one at KPMG!), then it’s essential that you demonstrate a level of experience with data security and confidentiality regulations.

19. Can you tell me about a time you felt bored at work? How did you make the job more interesting? 

This is a hypothetical question that KPMG interviewers may ask you. It was primarily created to assess the individual’s approach to problem-solving and prioritizing tasks. The fact that boredom can strike in any profession (and any situation) means employers want to know how you respond and cope with it.

20. Can you talk us through the way you evaluated a challenging situation in the past? 

Job interviews are your chance to demonstrate to your potential employer what it’s like to work with you. Many interviews focus on how you would solve a problem as part of a team, so explain how you approached or solved a problem in a clear and concise way—and that may inspire confidence that you could do something similar on their behalf. If you don’t have any examples from your past experience, think about a time when you challenged yourself to complete an unfamiliar task. How did you approach it? What obstacles did you encounter? What was successful about your efforts? And what didn’t go according to plan? In other words, demonstrate that you can think creatively and take the initiative when necessary.

21. A company wants to relocate overseas. Talk us through the problems it faces? 

The company faces multiple problems when it wants to relocate overseas. It has to set up a new production unit in another country, which is difficult in terms of both capital and manpower. In addition, there are other issues that need to be taken into account, such as language barriers and cultural differences. This can lead to communication breakdowns and so on. Also, if you want to succeed overseas, you have to take into consideration how your product will fit with local market needs. For example, if you sell toys in China, you should consider what Chinese people think about your products. 

22. How do you manage your time?

The best way to answer how you manage your time is by providing a specific example from work or school. For instance, “I make a calendar with my deadlines every week, and I check it daily. I always keep my boss in mind when scheduling meetings and other important appointments”. This approach should give you a chance to talk about your ability to schedule and execute your priorities.


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