How to Apply: Behavioural capabilities

During the recruitment process you might hear the phrase ‘Behavioural Capabilities’ a lot. These are the skills and behaviours that unite every person here at KPMG. We don’t just want to know how you act in certain situations – we want to see that you believe in the values that underpin our business.

We look at the nine key areas below. You should consider how you’ve demonstrated these behaviours in your life, using specific recent examples. These can be from hobbies and academia, to part-time jobs and extra-curricular activities. Remember what you did, the role you played and the challenges you faced.

1. Career Motivation

Deciding where to begin your career can be challenging. You might apply to a number of different organisations, but we want to see that you’ve thought about why you want to work for us in particular, and have thought carefully about your chosen field.

Have you:

  • Thought about why you’d enjoy working for KPMG?

  • Researched the work involved?

  • Reviewed our careers website (www.kpmgcareers.co.uk) thoroughly and looked for any further information?

  • Got an understanding of what you’ll be doing early on in your career?

2. Delivers Quality

To achieve exceptional results, you’ll need to be able to plan, prioritise and prepare in advance. 

Can you:

  • Take a structured approach to your work?

  • Keep track of your progress towards a goal?

  • Plan ahead and manage multiple tasks efficiently?

3. Drives Collaboration and Inclusion

Building deep relationships is a big part of success at KPMG. Ours is a diverse and inclusive culture so whichever area of our business you join, you’ll work as part of a team on a regular basis.  We’re looking for people who thrive working in a team and enjoy discussing ideas. Client contact is also a huge part of what we do, so being able to make lasting connections is crucial.

Do you:

  • Understand the needs of different audiences and adapt your communication style accordingly?

  • Engage with fellow team members in order to deliver an excellent outcome?

  • Avoid blaming others and help your team members to learn from any mistakes?

4. Strives for Continual Improvement

The opportunities available at KPMG are vast. If you want to develop both professionally and personally, we can offer you the tools to go far but you’ll drive a big part of that journey yourself.  We expect you to have the motivation to achieve your potential.

Do you:

  • Seek feedback on your performance and learn from your experiences?

  • Have an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses?

  • Look to others for guidance?

  • Search for ways to challenge yourself?

5. Exercises Professional Judgement

At KPMG, we’ll provide you with the autonomy to make decisions so we need to be sure you have the ability to analyse information and justify your approach with clarity and confidence.

Do you:

  • Enjoy researching and asking questions?

  • Love analysing numerical data to identify key information?

  • Substantiate your claims?

  • Grasp information quickly?

6. Makes an Impact

To make a positive lasting impression with colleagues and clients, you must be able to communicate passionately and professionally. It’s important that people are confident in what you have to say, and that you’re able to convey your point in an influential way.

Can you:

  • Communicate ideas persuasively both verbally and in writing?

  • Keep your ideas concise?

  • Cut through jargon to provide a clear message for your audience?

7. Seizes Business Opportunities

It’s vital that our people are genuinely passionate about the commercial world. Everyone here needs to understand the external marketplace and the issues our clients face. We know this behaviour is one you’ve perhaps got least experience in as a student, and so we’ve created a fun, interactive tool to help you practice your commercial awareness. You can play Future Ready:Business Ready here

Do you:

  • Have a knack for spotting an opportunity?

  • Enjoy expanding your network?

  • Keep up to date with business news?

  • Relish going the extra mile for clients?

8. Demonstrates Innovation and Curiosity

To solve problems in innovative ways, you must be able to think creatively.  We look for strong problem-solvers who can add value by embracing change and proposing creative and practical solutions.

  • Are you a disruptive thinker?

  • How do you cope when circumstances change? Are you happy to adapt?

  • Are you generally curious about why things happen in the way they do?

9. Resilience

We’ve all faced times when challenges must be overcome to achieve a goal. What’s important is how we react to these challenges and keep motivated whilst under pressure. 

  • Do you complete projects on time?
  • Can you think of setbacks, in education or work, that you've overcome?

  • Are you looking for an exciting career in a challenging, fast-paced environment?


Our People Stories

Hear the stories of current KPMG Graduate Trainees from across the business, and learn what a career at KPMG could really be like.


How to seize business opportunities

Develop your business thinking and knowledge with our Future Ready quiz

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