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Interview: Tips & Advice

2016

"My advice is to research the firm and make an effort to get to know it. That may consist of going to firm events, getting a vac scheme etc. It is also important to have a good understanding of the corporate legal industry, as well as of the business world in general."
First year trainee, London
"The application process consists of an interview with HR, a short written case study on commercial awareness, and an interview with two partners. As for advice, be aware of the news and current affairs (my understanding is the interview always involves a discussion on a current news story) and make sure you can answer all the usual questions well (eg why do you want to be a solicitor? Why Ashurst?). Be friendly (which should go without saying). Think about something that makes you stand out (eg an interesting experience you have had, this does not have to be law related)."
First year trainee, London
"Consists of an online application, telephone interview, and face-to-face interview. Candidates should prepare thoroughly based on research into the firm and some of the work it has conducted. Good idea to read the financial papers in the week before the interview. Should show enthusiasm and passion during interview and be prepared to say 'I don't know', but still give an idea as to how you would approach answering the question."
First year trainee, London
"Interviews with HR and partners. I would highly recommend applying for a vacation scheme to spend time at the firm beforehand, this gives you the best insight."
First year trainee, London
"Get to know the firm and its strategy, prepare potential commercial scenarios, be yourself."
First year trainee, London
"I would recommend that interview candidates consider Ashurst's core values and remember that you could be the smartest person in the room but if you are arrogant or rude, people won't want to work with you."
Second year trainee, London
"I would recommend research into the recent work of key departments at the firm and relevant news regarding the industries with which Ashurst works. I also found it helpful to establish the key skills sought from the graduate recruitment website and prepare examples of when I had displayed them."
First year trainee, London

2015

"When applying for my training contract, I filled in an application form and then had two interviews (one with HR and another which was a partner interview)."
Second year trainee, London
"You should research the firm and know it inside out. Also know why you want to work at Ashurst and be prepared to explain."
First year trainee, London
"When I applied I had to do a written case study, and had two interviews. Understand the strategy and vision of the firm as this is very important."
First year trainee, London
"Read the FT and keep up-to-date with current affairs: focus on business, finance and economics."
First year trainee, London
"I had a very friendly graduate recruitment interview and then a partner interview based on a commercial scenario. Partners wanted to hear that I could defend my opinions even in the face of opposition. I would recommend reading The Lawyer and having good awareness of major developments in the legal market and in Ashurst specifically."
First year trainee, London
"Stay up-to-date on current affairs and recent big changes in the legal industry. Be really sure why it is you want to be a solicitor and why you are applying to the particular firm."
First year trainee, London
"When you are applying read the news, know what the role of a corporate law firm is and try to know what sets this firm apart."
Second year trainee, London
"Read up on the firm's strengths, goals and position in the market when you are applying. Be yourself in interview, and try to relax (easier said than done!) do not be afraid to show some personality, either."
Second year trainee, London
"When applying there is an application form, interview, case study and written test. Just be yourself in the interview. Ensure that you have done lots of extra-curricular activities, as everyone applying has good academics so you need something that makes you stand out from the crowd. In short, be interesting! Be concise and not too wordy in the written assessment. Try not to write how you think a lawyer 'should' write (i.e. highbrow, flowery language) and instead focus on structure and clarity."
First year trainee, London

2014

"Bright all rounders who have a genuine interest in corporate work. It is pretty obvious when your interests lie elsewhere and you are just after the decent salary that comes with a corporate firm."
First year trainee, London
"I think the firm looks for academic excellence, commercial awareness, confidence, relevant work experience and enthusiasm."
First year trainee, London
"The firm looks for candidates with an international outlook, good academics and a strong work ethic. Personality and punctuality are important. Try to do a summer placement, and read up on both commercial affairs and the legal market in which Ashurst operates before interview."
First year trainee, Londn
"Excellent academics are taken as read so anything candidates can do outside of their studies in respect of challenges, positions of responsibility, sports and other interests are good to demonstrate they are a well-rounded candidate. Candidates should be prepared to demonstrate how the skills gained from work experience and other interests have prepared them for the skills they will need as a lawyer."
First year trainee, London
"Someone bright and lively, full of energy and enthusiasm. Most of my contemporaries at the firm are warm, funny, engaging people who are a pleasure to be around. You obviously need to be smart and know your stuff, but you also need to be someone that everyone can get on with; I think that carries more weight here than elsewhere, or at least I hope it still does. Prepare by learning as much as you can about the world around you; corporate, financial, social and political. Also try and figure out why you chose law (this took me months to work out), and why you would be suited to Ashurst specifically - this is key."
Second year trainee, London

2013

"Hard workers, intelligent, sociable. The partners like people who are a little bit different and show they think in an interesting and unusual way."
Second year trainee, London
"Very bright, engaging and lacking in pretension. Tips: come on a tour of the offices to look around the place - it's easy to sort and you get a good insight."
First year trainee, London
"Outgoing, friendly, ability to think commercially and express oneself clearly and concisely."
Second year trainee, London
"Good grades, languages, hard-working, positive, understands the role and what is expected of them and realise that it is going to be hard work and likes a good challenge."
Second year trainee, London
"Historically Ashurst has always gone for outgoing, sociable people, keen to get involved in what ever is thrown at them, inside or outside the office. Intelligence, interest and capability are a given."
Second year trainee, Madrid
"Know the firm well - have a good answer to why this firm and not Magic Circle - work on your commercial awareness."
First year trainee, London
"People who are friendly and will work hard. Basically someone who will fit in with our culture. I would recommend knowing about the firm, for example the firm's strategy and having a real think about why you want to be a part of it. I think it's good to be honest too - if you really don't know something say so rather than bluffing your way to the wrong answer."
First year trainee, London
"Strong academic background but the client and colleague care aspect is very important, so need to be a friendly people person. Candidates also need to have done thorough research about the firm - the merger, its clients and practice areas etc."
Second year trainee, London
"Confident, smart and generally someone nice to wok with. Stand your ground in the interview and feel free to take time to formulate an answer. Read the FT and make sure you are on top of the latest financial and business developments. Think commercial if you get a client scenario and feel free to think out of the box and mention things that are not strictly legal but business orientated."
First year trainee, London
Our 'Inside Buzz' reviews are the comments and views of recent graduate recruits, giving you a view of what it may be like to work for an organisation. Copyright of all TARGETjobs Inside Buzz material lies solely with GTI Media.
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