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KPMG Australia Interview
Questions

29 Questions and Answers by
| Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.

Question 1 of 29

An often difficult part about working for KPMG Australia and our clients is the need to be fluent and adaptable to the cultures of our clients. Why would you say that you'd be able to handle this aspect of the job with ease?

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KPMG Australia Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    An often difficult part about working for KPMG Australia and our clients is the need to be fluent and adaptable to the cultures of our clients. Why would you say that you'd be able to handle this aspect of the job with ease?

      In the business consulting world, organizations work with clients that all have different backgrounds, leadership styles, cultures, industries and motivating factors. Consultants hired to come in to these organizations have to possess a chameleon-like ability to ingrain themselves in a new company's culture. For you to be successful in the role that you are interviewing for, you must possess this same ability. In your answer to this question, be sure to point out your fluidity to adapt to new situation in your work by giving an example or two of a time you had to do this to give your interviewer a sense of your ability to be flexible with clients.

      Ryan's Answer

      "During my career to this point, I've been very fortunate to say that I've worked for one employer for over ten years and the experience that I've gained with them is a huge asset to me personally. But even though all of my relevant work experience is with the same employer, I've worked under six different department managers during my time there and each person had their own unique management style and expectations of me. As well, my organization has undergone three mergers in my time there and each merger brought a new and bigger organization to light with new values and culture. Whether it was a manager change or an organization change, I always prioritized openness and asking questions to get to know new processes better. I would bring this approach with each and every new client that I would work with in this role."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I would liken this role as a Client Manager to working with my customers in my current job. I approach each new customer with an open slated mind while getting to know their motivations, their needs and their expectations of me to help me get a better understanding of how I can best suit them. If hired for this position working with your clients here at KPMG Australia, this approach would be vital because of the variety of businesses and industries that I would be working with."

  2. 2.

    What tools and programs are you comfortable and experienced working on that would help you in this role with KPMG Australia?

      As business technology has increased over time, the business analytics field has flourished with great tools becoming more easily available. Your interviewer is looking to get a sense of what programs you have familiarity working with and, on top of that, how fluent and efficient you are in using those tools. Be sure to touch on programs/tools that touch effective communication, project management and modelling/visualization and highlight the fact that you are proficient in and open to learning new programs if needed.

      Ryan's Answer

      "As a proficient user and fan of the Microsoft Office Suite, I am very proficient using all of the pieces of the suite. I rely on Outlook for email communications, calendar appointments and managing daily and weekly tasks. I regularly use the Visio tool for diagramming and Excel for tracking purposes. In preparation for this interview, I've been researching common requirements management tools like Rational Requisite Pro and I feel confident in my technical abilities to learn and utilize a new business analyst program."

      Ryan's Answer

      "As a trained IT professional looking to breakthrough into the analytics field, you can be assured that I have a wide breadth of experience working with many different programs and tools. On top of the normal Microsoft Office programs, I've worked on email programs like Zimbra and Mailbird for communications and am comfortable learning any new system. I think one unique aspect I can bring to KPMG Australia is my experience working with SQL database management and queries."

  3. 3.

    We have a wide range of services at KPMG Australia. Have you ever used any of our services?

      The interviewer wants to know that you are well aware of the services offered at KPMG Australia. Have you used them previously? Discuss with the interviewer any exposure you have had to the company. Keep your response positive and lighthearted.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I have not personally used your commercial services; however, I have friends who have used KPMG Australia for their business needs and their reviews were always positive!"

      Ryan's Answer

      "I have been a customer of KPMG Australia before, yes! The services I used were A, B, and C. My experience here was very comfortable, and everyone was professional. This experience is one of the reasons why I applied for this role. I want to work for a company that has high standards, and I know first hand that you do!"

  4. 4.

    What roles are you comfortable assuming in working as part of a larger team?

      Coming to work for a consulting business requires the ability to work as part of a larger team on the projects you will be heading. Teamwork in this setting requires versatility and your interviewer will be looking to hear that you have that versatility in your answer to this question. Many times, you will be taking the bull by the horns and leading the way. Other times, you will be the worker bee researching behind the scenes. You may be tasked with being the organizer of projects behind the scenes as well. Make sure that you highlight your ability to be flexible when working as part of a team here.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I am really comfortable working in any role within a team and I think my experiences throughout my career demonstrate this well. At many times in my career, I've been the legwork of team operations and have easily taken direction on projects and been able to hit pre-established deadlines. As well, I've lead many projects and have shown my ability to lead others in a team effort and the ability to delegate tasks and set milestones for projects. If hired for this position, you can be rest assured that I have the ability to be a key team players with your clients in helping better their business."

      Ryan's Answer

      "From a very young age in my career, I've always been a natural leader in a team based environment. My excellent communication skills, honesty, critical thinking and decision making skills have proven time and time again that I can lead others in the most effective way possible. And while being a leader comes naturally to me, I can easily let others take the lead on projects."

  5. 5.

    In our world here at KPMG Australia, our clients rely on real world analytical data versus assumptions and guesswork. What analytical skills would you bring to the table here for our clients?

      In the business consulting world, an organization like KPMG Australia is contracted to come in and help a business where they have usually failed in the past. With past failures comes the need for critical analysis of a business and/or process and your job will be to help facilitate this process. Prior to your interview, think about your experiences in data analysis you've had so far up to this point in your career and translate those experiences to helping the clients of KPMG Australia. Be sure to talk about the importance of different programs you have used to assist in data analysis and talk about the importance of communication in the data collection process.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Working as a Financial Manager over the past 10 years, I have become very experienced and thorough in my use of KPI's to demonstrate key areas like gross profit margin, liquidity ratio and days in accounts receivables. For the clients I'd be working with here at KPMG Australia, I'd be able to use real data from their organization to help provide solutions that are customized to their needs. On top of KPI analyses, I'm very willing and open to using any other unique tools of the trade that the team here at KPMG Australia uses."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Coming from a software background, being analytical about implementing new systems and processes was vital to receive buy-in from other department that I worked with and my analytical skills in my current world would translate nicely into the consulting world. I have always had a creative mind in demonstrating how new and improved systems can impact workflow and production. I am very proficient in creating and presenting wireframing models, which are extremely analytical and important in this world here at KPMG Australia."

  6. 6.

    How do you stay organized and on track when working on a long-term project?

      Working for KPMG Australia in the role you are interviewing for will require an innate ability to manage projects from conception to final implementation. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you have the ability to maintain organization to meet deadlines and customer expectations. Talk about your personal methods for organizing project work and give any examples that you have of your methods being successful. In the consulting and advisory industry, customer satisfaction and word of mouth are integral to success and growth of a business and effective project management is key in satisfaction.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I really pride myself on my ability to multitask and my ability to stay organized in key in multitasking. For me personally, organization starts with using technology to my advantage and I do this through the use of my Outlook calendar and tasks functions. I take time each day to update my tasks and project work and use my ability to prioritize tasks to ensure that the right things are being worked on. In looking to bring these skills to long-term project work with your clients, staying organized and on task will be extremely important for the success of both KPMG Australia and your clients."

      Ryan's Answer

      "In my work, the ability to stay organized and on track comes down to having a plan of attack for each project and keeping track of the plan as milestones are hit. If you are familiar with the program Trello, it really helps me organize all of the components of the projects that I work on and give me the ability to track who is doing what, what deadlines are coming and what milestones have been hit. But even with a great program like this, I always have the ability to re-prioritize due dates and new tasks as needed with any project."

  7. 7.

    Have you ever worked in a cross-functional environment?

      If you work for a larger company, you may have been asked to work on a project with teams from another department. Your ability to work with cross-functional teams will be a significant asset to your potential employer, especially if they are a larger organization.

      Maybe you headed a project which required you to collaborate with the members of the engineering and sales teams. You may have had the opportunity to organize a volunteer activity or team building exercise, company-wide. Share any challenges that came up and what you learned from the experience.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I have worked in a cross-functional setting for many years. Primarily with the digital security department and the engineering department. Clear communication is key when collaborating with different teams. Clarity in expectations is of huge importance."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I determine priorities based on project value and receptiveness of my client. The most engaged clients generally get my attention and the fastest turnaround."

  8. 8.

    A key component to success here at KPMG Australia is building solid relationships with new clients. How do you effectively get to know new people and lay the groundwork for a long lasting relationship?

      The fast paced world of business consulting requires the ability to build relationship after relationship with all of the clients that you will potentially be working with. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to gain insight into how you build relationships with new people from the first time you interact with them. In your answer, talk about how you gain and build trust with new people and explain how the little things in your initial interactions go a long way toward building long lasting working relationships.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I am a firm believer that success in any role I've played in my career was due in part to the relationships that I've built in those roles. Whenever I have the chance to work with a new colleague or a new customer, my approach is to create an initial connection with them to build trust. After that point, my interpersonal skills take over through active listening. I use my listening skills to learn about the motivating factors and needs of the person that I will be working with and this helps mold that respect and trust between us even more. I think this approach would be very critical in working with new clients on a regular basis here at KPMG Australia and I'd love the opportunity to bring these skills to the table for you."

  9. 9.

    Give an example of a finance project that you worked on during your career. What was the project, what role did you play on the project team and what was the outcome of the project?

      For this question, your interviewer is looking to find out a couple different things about you and your work style based on how you answer this question. First, they'll be looking to gauge your ability to work as part of a larger team. Make sure your example involved an aspect of teamwork. Next, they'll be looking to gain insight on your ability to manage a project from start to finish so make sure that you example provides a sense of that ability.

      Ryan's Answer

      "With my current organization, my Analyst role finds me working on some great projects and I'd love to bring that experience to the consulting world here at KPMG Australia. Recently, I lead a project that revamped my organization's forecasting out to ten years. Appointed as the lead on this project, my first task was to gather relevant team members from engineering, sales, production and leadership. From there, I spent a good amount of time and effort education the newly assemble project team on the importance of and the process for accurate forecasting. As the project concluded, we now have numbers forecasted out that far and it is helping our budgeting and planning immensely."

  10. 10.

    Being successful in consulting and working here at KPMG Australia requires the ability to work effectively with Type A personalities. What are your experiences in working with this personality and how did you make the relationships a success?

      To first understand this question, it is important that you know that Type A personalities are exemplified by being competitive, motivated, organized and goal driven, among many other traits. These traits often lead to success in high level roles within organizations and your chances of working with this personality type are high. Think of a time you worked with a typical Type A personality and explain the methods you used to ensure that you had a sound and successful working relationship. Make sure that your interview walks away knowing that you can work effectively with difficultly driven individuals with high expectations.

      Ryan's Answer

      "For the last six years, I have worked under your prototypical type A personality as my director. Being a self admitted type B, being under my new director was difficult at first. For me to be successful under her and for our relationship to flourish, I learned quickly that she liked me to regularly communicate timelines for projects and give updates when necessary as she was very time driven. As well, small talk and getting to know me personally wasn't a priority so our communications to this day are pretty succinct and to the point. In this role, I would feel very comfortable with working with high level type A's because of my firsthand experience."

      Ryan's Answer

      "If you haven't been able to tell during my interview so far, I am a type A personality myself. My personality has helped me become very successful as a Financial Analyst. Having had formal training in the different personality types, I know that I need to take a meticulous approach when working with other type A personalities. My current team is loaded with type A's and regular communication is key in ensuring that expectations are clear and timelines are being met. If hired for this position, I would know my place in working with leaders from clients and I can easily be both cognizant of my approach and have the ability to put my desire to be in the lead aside with them when needed."

  11. 11.

    Talk about a time you had to work with a very difficult person. What was the situation and how did you handle it?

      At some point in any person's career, they have to work with a colleague or customer who is extremely difficult. Rather than looking to hear the fine details as to why this person was difficult, your interviewer will be looking to gain insight into how you personally handled the situation and others like it to ensure that a sound relationship was fostered even when you faced difficult circumstances. In your answer, some key things to focus on are your ability to be tolerant, understanding and a great communicator in these situations.

      Ryan's Answer

      "In my current role, I have a customer that flies off the handle very easily if things don't happen just right and I learned this from my first interactions with him. In seeing this happen from the start, I have always maintained a calm demeanor when he was upset and showed empathy by asking questions about his expectations and how to fix situations for him. To this day, I expect difficulty from him when we work together and the years we've had a working relationship together have better prepared me for more clients like him in the future."

      Ryan's Answer

      "A couple of years ago, a close colleague of mine had a very abrupt turnaround in her attitude and performance on the job. She was very curt and abrasive in conversations when she was normally very talkative and friendly on the job. After noticing some concerns in her work, I approached her with an open mind and asked her what was going on to cause these things to change. I showed concern and approached her as a friend and this approach prompted her to tell me about some issues happening in her personal life. By taking this approach, rather than getting upset or even made with her, I showed her that I cared and valued her as a person and my approach helped her open up and turn her life at work back around to the positive side."

  12. 12.

    What is the riskiest decision you have ever made in your career?

      Most companies want to hire go-getters and bold individuals. With being bold can often come calculated risk. The interviewer wants to know how you handle making risky decisions. As a successful professional, you know to calculate risk in your industry, and career. Tell the interviewer about a work-related risk you have taken and what the outcome was.

      Ryan's Answer

      "The riskiest career choice I have made was asking for a reduction in hours, from full time to part time employment, to pursue my degree in Digital Marketing. My boss could have let me go, but he didn't. Rather, he openly supported my pursuit of higher education."

  13. 13.

    In what ways would our clients here at KPMG Australia benefit from your knowledge and services?

      This question is your chance to talk about the unique skills and knowledge that you would bring to KPMG Australia and that is exactly what your interviewer is looking to hear. In your answer, keep your focus centered on how clients of the organization will benefit from the things that you bring to their table because KPMG Australia is client focused in all that they do. To be effective with this answer, be sure to do your research on the clients at KPMG Australia and think about how your experience will be beneficial for them.

      Ryan's Answer

      "As you can see from my resume, I have extensive experience in risk management in the healthcare industry. Having worked with some major players in the industry, your healthcare clients would benefit the most from the experience and solutions I could help provide them. Not to leave other industries out, I think my experience in the healthcare realm will also translate nicely to your clients in other areas of the private sector."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Having worked in accounting and tax law in a few different industries during my career to this point, I also have the unique experience of creating new organizational policies and procedures in my current role. In hearing more about this role, I think this experience would be very beneficial for your clients as I would be helping advise them in their practices and creating new policy would be crucial in that process."

  14. 14.

    Would you say that you are a goal oriented person on the job? Why would you say that?

      Success in business consulting is most often measured in the achievement of goals for clients and for this question, your interviewer will ideally be looking to hear that you are driven by goals and that you have the ability to set them as well. In your answer, give your interviewer the sense that you are goal oriented by giving an example or two of a time where you set and worked towards a goal as part of a team effort. Explain your part in the achievement of the goals and your ability to stay focused on the end result.

      Ryan's Answer

      "If hired for this position, one of the first things that you'll learn about me is that I am very driven to succeed in all that I do on the job. For me, personal drive definitely centers around goals and my desire to achieve them. I have the focus to set goals myself and to work towards goals that are set by my organization, my leaders or my customers and I would bring this ability with each client that I work with here at KPMG Australia."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I would definitely say that I am goal oriented in the work that I do on a daily basis. In project management, I work off of both time related goals and production related goals and these really drive my daily tasks and my delegation of responsibilities to other team members. If given the opportunity to come work for KPMG Australia, my clients would greatly benefit from my ability to both set and achieve goals with them."

  15. 15.

    What two to three traits do you have that will lead to success in a consulting role with KPMG Australia?

      Your interviewer will be able to gain a very solid sense of your technical abilities as a financial advisor in the consulting world based off of your work history. What they are trying to dig deeper into with this question are your interpersonal skills and personality traits that will make you trusted, respected and effective with clients of their organization. Prior to your interviewer, be prepared to speak to your abilities in communicating effectively, relationship building and any other personality traits you feel make you the right fit for this job.

      Ryan's Answer

      "To be honest, one of my motivations to branch out and seek a position in the business consulting world is my desire to work with others. My ability to relate to people and build strong relationships has been emphasized throughout my career to this point, but I don't get enough of that interaction in the private business world right now. If hired for this position, your clients here at KPMG Australia will not only benefit from my skills as a Financial Analyst, but also through the relationships we build and my ability to relate quickly with them."

      Ryan's Answer

      "As you can see from my resume, I bring a strong breadth on knowledge and experience in the accounting and finance fields. But what I really think will set me apart from other candidates you are interviewing are my work ethic, my wide range of experiences in the field and my ability to take an empathetic approach with clients. I'm a very motivated person in the work that I perform and I'd love to bring this motivation here to KPMG Australia to help your clients. On top of that, I know I will be working with some clients that are facing financial hardship and my ability to show empathy and put myself in the client's shoes would be very beneficial to them."

  16. 16.

    Working with our clients here at KPMG Australia often involves some initial conflict with our clients. How would you rate your ability to handle conflict or disagreements in the workplace?

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  17. 17.

    Talk about a time you had to use conflict resolution skills in a business setting. What was the situation and the outcome and how did you positively influence that outcome?

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  18. 18.

    In this role with KPMG Australia, how would you evaluate a new client's financial position?

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  19. 19.

    How do you prevent burnout and remain highly motivated?

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  20. 20.

    How do you ensure accuracy and completeness in accounting records?

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  21. 21.

    Strong time management is important at KPMG Australia. How do you manage your time, even on the busiest days?

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  22. 22.

    What interests you in joining the business consulting world here at KPMG Australia?

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  23. 23.

    KPMG Australia often introduces new tools. Have you ever helped to implement a new tool or program?

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  24. 24.

    As a consultant with KPMG Australia, you will be relied upon to build trust with our clients as you work with them on financial stability and well-being. What would be your tactics to build trust from the start with a new client?

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  25. 25.

    Tell me about a time where you had to analyze a set of data and then make a recommendation.

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  26. 26.

    If you are hired for this position here at KPMG Australia, what do you think the biggest hurdle for you would be from the start?

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  27. 27.

    Being successful in the consulting industry requires adaptability and the ability to learn a business fast. What would be your approach to help you learn the ins and outs of a new client?

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  28. 28.

    At KPMG Australia, you will have the opportunity to work with high level executives and leaders from the companies we contract with. What experience do you have in working with people at these levels?

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  29. 29.

    Talk about a time that you successfully educated another individual or group in your area of expertise. What made your educational experience effective?

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