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KPMG New Zealand Interview
Questions

27 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published May 2nd, 2019 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Question 1 of 27
If you were to join KPMG New Zealand in this role, you will be counted on to lead projects. Talk about a time you had to lead a team of individuals. What leadership skills do you have that you will bring to the table here?
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How to Answer
The ability to lead others in project work or any other aspect of a business comes down to the fine details and traits of being a great leader. The experience you have can come from many different areas and can include project management, supervising/managing or even mentoring others. When you answer this question, be sure to demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively, bring unity, lead by example and empower/teach others and talk about how you will use these skills if hired at KPMG New Zealand.
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Top 25 KPMG New Zealand Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
If you were to join KPMG New Zealand in this role, you will be counted on to lead projects. Talk about a time you had to lead a team of individuals. What leadership skills do you have that you will bring to the table here?
The ability to lead others in project work or any other aspect of a business comes down to the fine details and traits of being a great leader. The experience you have can come from many different areas and can include project management, supervising/managing or even mentoring others. When you answer this question, be sure to demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively, bring unity, lead by example and empower/teach others and talk about how you will use these skills if hired at KPMG New Zealand.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my current role, I've been asked on numerous occasions to lead finance projects for my organization and I always do so with open arms and an open mind. On a recent project, I pulled together a team that included members of sales, production and upper management. to make this project successful, it was up to me to know each team member's area of expertise and delegate tasks based on their knowledge. A great part of the teams success was due to my ability to lead in a manner that promoted communication among individuals who never had the chance to work together and I accomplished this through fun ice breaking activities with the team and regular email communications outside of our in-person meetings."
Ryan's Answer #2
"As you can see from my background, I have extensive experience as a Sales Manager and Director and I know that the skills I honed in these roles will transfer nicely to this position. I have always found that leading teams is best accomplished by leading by example and walking the talk that I put out to my staff. I feel that I've also developed great skills in mentoring and coaching my staff and I've been commended on these skills by both sales leadership peers and my team. In this role, I would bring this same approach when working with clients."
2.
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 #1
"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 #2
"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."
3.
How do you stay organized and on track when working on a long-term project?
Working for KPMG New Zealand 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 #1
"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 New Zealand and your clients."
Ryan's Answer #2
"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."
4.
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 #1
"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 New Zealand."
Ryan's Answer #2
"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 New Zealand, my clients would greatly benefit from my ability to both set and achieve goals with them."
5.
What two to three traits do you have that will lead to success in a consulting role with KPMG New Zealand?
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 #1
"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 New Zealand 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 #2
"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 New Zealand 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."
6.
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 #1
"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 #2
"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."
7.
Being successful in consulting and working here at KPMG New Zealand 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 #1
"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 #2
"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."
8.
If you are hired for this position here at KPMG New Zealand, what do you think the biggest hurdle for you would be from the start?
For this question, you can showcase your research that you've done on both KPMG New Zealand and the role you are interviewing for by being upfront and honest about what you feel would be the biggest learning curve for you if hired for the position and giving your plan for how you would approach this hurdle. In your answer, make sure that you highlight your skills and abilities in making a molehill out of a mountain on your way to success in this role.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As you can see from my resume, most of my career experience is in the food industry. If fortunate enough to be hired for this position, the biggest area for learning for me would be the finance side of other industries like technology, telecommunications and healthcare. From day one, I would begin by thoroughly research the clients here at KPMG New Zealand and speaking with as many industry experts that I know through business networking. While learning the ins and outs of other industries is the biggest learning curve for me, I see it as a great opportunity for me to become more proficient and effective in the work that I'd be doing for you."
Ryan's Answer #2
"While this may sound funny to you at first, I think the biggest challenge for me from the start will be adapting to the great corporate lifestyle and culture here at KPMG New Zealand. When I saw this position being open for applicants and I did my research, I was extremely excited to hear about the flexibility and openness to the ideas of your staff members. I've been working for six years in an environment that is very opposite of an open culture for new ideas and for me personally, it will feel foreign for me to bring new ideas to the team here and have them be accepted."
9.
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?
KPMG New Zealand contracts with businesses in different industries for their services and it is likely that your job would require you to learn the fine details of each business that you would work with. Demonstrate your ability to be flexible by giving examples of times you've had to do this during your career. As well, describe the approach that you would take to get the know the businesses you would be working with so you can apply your knowledge and expertise toward helping them.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As you can see from my resume, I've been in corporate training and education for over ten years. In my current role, I have to use similar techniques working with different departments to try and tailor programs that meet their specific needs. I feel that my current approach of hosting an intake meeting with leaders would be effective in a consulting role with external customers. The current intake meetings that I lead are an opportunity for me to ask questions and learn as much as I can about my customers. In turn, it is an opportunity for me to lay the groundwork for the project and set expectations. Do you see this as an effective approach for this role?"
Ryan's Answer #2
"Having worked in quality roles for most of my career in both the private and public sectors, I think my career experiences have shaped me well for this role. Transitioning to a consultative role would definitely be a transition for me and the biggest transition will be this need to work in many different industries. For me, researching clients, their business and their industry will be the first step to my approach in learning about them. I want to make a great first impression when I am face to face with a new client and that first impression starts with my knowledge. Then, my openness and ability to communicate would take over when I am working directly with clients. I know the right questions to ask for laying out quality initiative projects and I know the right things to educate clients on."
10.
A key component to success here at KPMG New Zealand 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 New Zealand and I'd love the opportunity to bring these skills to the table for you."
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