MBA Recruiter Interview with KPMG

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 1am

While KPMG is best known for its status as one of the Big Four accountancy firms, the company’s advisory organization allows MBAs to do consulting work outside of the accounting field. In addition, KPMG’s work-family balance programs, such as fully-paid maternity leave and back-up childcare, have secured the company a spot in Working Mother magazine’s top 100 list for over 15 years. In this interview, KPMG’s national director of campus recruiting, Malana White, discusses what the company looks for in its MBA hires.

Why do MBAs want to work for KPMG?

MBAs are attracted to KPMG because we provide an opportunity to put their business skills to the test, solving complex problems for some of the world’s most influential companies in a collaborative and team-oriented environment. KPMG’s growing advisory organization provides MBAs with exposure to a wide breadth of consulting services and opportunities to customize their experiences and career with KPMG.

Many MBAs are looking for opportunities to continue building their business acumen and apply what they have learned throughout their career in a fast-paced, challenging and rewarding environment and that’s exactly what we offer.

Could you please give an overview of KPMG’s recruitment and interview process?

We actively recruit MBAs from the top US business schools. KPMG professionals are on campus throughout the year to tell students who we are, what we do and to get to know every candidate as best we can. We host a wide variety of events, from group presentations to one-on-one coffee chats, which allows students the opportunity to learn more about KPMG in the setting that suits them best.

At a minimum, a candidate can expect two first-round case interviews, two second-round case interviews and a third interview with one of our partners.

What do you look for when evaluating a candidate’s résumé and experience?

Our clients expect us to bring bright, talented professionals to our projects and so we not only assess our interactions with each candidate but also look for résumés or experiences that tell a story as to why a candidate has what it takes to meet our clients’ high expectations of excellence. We’re looking for a track record of academic and professional success, and put a strong emphasis on analytical skills and experience in solving complex problems. We are also looking for candidates with a well-rounded, diverse background that can be demonstrated in any number of ways, from extracurricular activities to work experience.

What steps should students take in order to make a good impression during the interview process?

Take the time to attend events or meet with us before the application deadline. This will help students to be more comfortable in an interview setting. Students should also be well spoken and have a clear idea of what they’ve learned from business school and past experiences. It’s also equally important to have thoughtful questions and know where they want to take their career in the future.

In your experience, what are the most common mistakes MBA graduates make when applying for jobs?

First, not knowing exactly what they want from a prospective employer or not taking the time to get to know them throughout the recruiting process. During the interview stage, candidates that are too rigid, unable to adapt or that want to stick to a specific script, have a much harder time getting through the interview process. Structure is good, but candidates are going to be thrown curveballs, both in the interview process and in their careers, and should therefore be able to adapt to anything that is thrown their way.

What does KPMG expect from its new MBA hires? What can they do to increase their chances for advancement down the road?

We expect our MBAs to be able to settle into their role and begin making a contribution to our engagements quickly. First impressions do count, so jumping in and delivering excellent work right out of the gate helps to build personal brand and increase opportunities for advancement down the road. Additionally, MBAs that actively seek mentors, remain intellectually curious and have a commitment to team and firm success, tend to position themselves well for future success.

KPMG has been on Working Mother magazine’s top 100 company list for over 15 years. Why is KPMG a good employer for working mothers?

We truly value the importance and perspectives working mothers bring to the firm and it’s critical that we support them before, during and after they become a parent. The firm has a variety of programs, such as fully-paid maternity or adoption leave, transition coaching for new parents, paid sabbaticals, summer weekend hours, back-up child care and flexible work arrangements, among many others. KPMG also recognizes the importance of a spouse or partner’s role in a growing family and offers these caregivers paid leave and support following the birth or adoption of a child.

How do you think KPMG’s MBA hiring needs will change in the future?

KPMG understands and recognizes the importance of MBAs to our firm and to our clients. As we continue to position ourselves as a leader in the marketplace, we can anticipate that the demand for MBAs will only continue to increase.

Is there anything I didn’t ask about that MBAs should know before applying to jobs at KPMG?

While KPMG is most commonly recognized as a Big Four accounting firm, we provide MBAs with exceptional consulting opportunities outside of the accounting field within our advisory organization. Working for a member of the Big Four in the consulting space provides the best of both worlds as we offer exposure to consulting engagements and opportunities similar to those available at other consulting firms as well as the ability to tap into the client base, organizational expertise, and vast resources of a multi-functional and international firm.

Written by Nicole Wilson

Nicole is the SEO manager of, as well as a contributing author. She holds a BA in history and sociology, and a master's in library science. Aside from her work for QS, Nicole is a long-time contributing editor and administrator for WikiHow.

Originally posted on www.topmba

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