A huge congratulations to Ali for securing a graduate role at KPMG. Here he shares his experience with the application process and offers some great advice for future.
Why did you choose this firm and this role?
Why I really wanted to join KPMG was due to how they differentiate themselves from their competitors. Firstly their commitment to diversity. I believe the fact that KPMG have multiple diversity networks such as “Islamic Society” not only improves the quality of service of KPMG but also leads to a more positive working environment. Another reason is their innovation in technology. Technology is one of the fastest growing sectors within KPMG, More specific to Audit, technology is vital as clients expect information quickly therefore tools such as, KPMG Clara allow them to stay ahead of, not only their client’s needs but their competitors in providing innovative solutions quickly. This allows KPMG to remain robust, evolving as clients evolve and remaining one step ahead.
I chose Audit because I felt the strengths required to succeed within this industry aligned with the strengths I possess, for example, my ability to adapt in a short period of time. This is extremely important due to the ever changing nature of the business area coupled with being exposed to a variety of different clients especially in external audit. Furthermore, something that is often overlooked in Assurance is the demand for communication skills. This is vital in the industry, as auditors need to be able to communicate effectively to be able to obtain deliverables from clients promptly and to prevent misinterpretation, this is because a large amount of work, especially in external audit is client focused.
What was the most challenging part of the application process? And your favourite part?
The most challenging part of the process would definitely be having my interview in the same room as around sixty other people. It was difficult because you had to maintain concentration despite how loud it was, whilst ensuring you remain confident and engaging for your interviewer.
My favourite part of the process was actually the periods in between assessments during the assessment centre. KPMG set up presentations giving us an insight on what life would be like as an employee. I got a real impression that the demand wasn't one sided, I felt like they were as enthusiastic at the idea of employing us as we were about wanting to work for them.
Were you surprised by anything in the process?
Yeah, definitely the presentations during the assessment centre. I have attended other assessment centres which felt very robotic almost like exams, KPMG was the first time I left an assessment centre thinking; "Wow, I need to work for them."
What three top tips would you give your fellow Bright Network members?
- Practise your interview prep with friends and family, it helps to actually speak to someone whilst maintaining good eye contact
- Don't be too disheartened if you get a rejection, I have failed countless times in my life; but you learn from those experiences and become a better candidate/potential employee because of it. I personally like to see failure as a lesson learnt, you rarely learn anything from success so failure shouldn't be viewed so negatively
- BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, many candidates at my assessment centre despite making it so far, came across nervous and tentative during the day. You have to remember there is a reason you have gotten this far, you have to go into, not only assessment centres or interviews, but everything in life with the intention and belief that you will come away successful.
And finally... do you have a lucky charm or pre-interview ritual?
I don't have a pre-interview ritual, but one piece of advice for interviews which always eases my nerves is, the interviewer might be just as nervous or find it just as awkward as you. Therefore you should want the interview to be as smooth and conversational as possible. For this reason prepare questions before hand so once the interviewer has asked you their questions, you can strike up a conversation about the industry or life as an employee.