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Interview: Tips & Advice

2016

"The firm's key recruitment tool is the summer vacation scheme. Ordinarily, candidates will have to come through an assessment day before being accepted onto the scheme. The assessment day consists of a range of activities from letter writing to group discussion. I would generally advise candidates to be attentive and keep contributing throughout the day, but be careful not to be overbearing. It's as important to listen as it is to contribute. On the summer scheme, I would advise getting involved in as much as you can manage, in terms of work and firm socials. It's important to demonstrate to the firm that you are capable in a range of areas and that you can handle multiple matters. However, it's also important to try to get to know your potential colleagues so I would advise trying out any of the sports teams that might be running while you're on the scheme if possible."
First year trainee, London
"Make sure to be aware of Bird & Bird's approach to sector work and the international collaboration between offices, which is becoming more and more important within the legal world."
First year trainee, London
"Bird & Bird place very great weight on the vacation scheme and it is almost a must if you want to succeed in your application for a training contract. The firm is looking for individuals – be yourself at interviews and on your CV. Research how the firm sees itself – everything is on the website so read all the newsletters and marketing materials, as they will give you a real feel for what makes the firm different."
First year trainee, London
"There's an online interview followed by competency tests and an assessment day at which you are asked to do a presentation, a group task, a writing task and an interview. My best advice would be to get to know the ethos of the firm. People here want to know that you want to work here for the right reasons. I know that sounds easier said than done but look into the sector-focus and our mission statement to find out what it is that makes us tick and use it to show you'd fit in."
First year trainee, London
"Think about how you fit into Bird & Bird. What are its unique selling points? Do your research about the firm and the sectors it works in. It's good to have experience outside of a law degree such as work experience at interesting companies and experience abroad etc."
First year trainee, London
"When I applied I submitted an application followed by a pre-recorded video interview. I was then selected for an assessment day, which consisted of a written task, a 15 minute interview during which I delivered a prepared presentation and then answered questions, and a group exercise in which we were allotted charities and had to discuss which charities should be awarded money. Then I had a final interview a few weeks later that lasted a little over an hour."
First year trainee, London
"Definitely do the vacation scheme as it will give you a better understanding of whether you actually like the firm and vice versa. Treat everyone with respect and courtesy and try to meet as many people as you can while you are on the vacation scheme. Don't be shy. Bird & Bird is strong in intellectual property but that is not all we are about. Come with an open mind and be honest."
First year trainee, London

2015

"The firm's application process is an online application, followed by a recorded video 'interview', then an assessment day. Interviews will then follow from this. Preparing for the interview isn't about cramming. Sector expertise is valued here, so start following developments in technology, media, telecoms and be prepared to talk about them. You needn't be an expert yet, but it's good to show that you're interested in becoming one."
Second year trainee, London
"My advice is to be yourself, and be a team player. Be thoughtful in your responses and don't say the first thing that comes to mind. Take an interest in the firm rather than just being a solicitor anywhere in the City."
Second year trainee, London
"Research the firm and have a genuine interest in the type of work they do, and show how your skills/experience would fit in nicely. Be up-to-date with current affairs, too."
First year trainee, London
"Look at the sectors that Bird & Bird works in and decide whether a sector-focused firm would suit you, and research some recent work done by Bird & Bird too. Be friendly and confident throughout the process."
First year trainee, London
"The interview process consists of a video interview followed by an assessment day and face-to-face interview with senior lawyers. Research, research, research - it's important to know what we do, what we're good at and impress upon the interviewer why you will fit in and what value you can bring to Bird & Bird."
Second year trainee, London
"Get to know the firm and definitely try to meet us at law fairs. In particular, applicants should be familiar with Bird & Bird's sector based approach."
Second year trainee, London
"Know the firm inside out: website, promotional material and recent deals/cases, etc. Remember that the firm is big on three things - client service, international reach and sector focus."
London
"Just try and relax and be yourself. The firm wants to see your personality and if that would be a match for its work."
Second year trainee, London

2014

"Know the firm and its clients well - take note of the key strategic messages on the firm's website. Be honest, and don't be afraid to let your personality shine through."
First year trainee, London
"Research the firm thoroughly and see how you are aligned with the firm's culture and values. Be yourself as the recruitment team will see past individuals who are being disingenuous."
Second year trainee, London
"The interview process is friendly and relaxed but it is important to remain professional and demonstrate a good commercial awareness and passion for the work that Bird & Bird does."
First year trainee, London
"The firm puts a big emphasis on its sector focus - in the interview make sure you show an interest in a particular sector."
Second year trainee, London
"Commercial awareness is key. The law can be taught and you are not expected to know everything in this respect. You ARE expected to know what's going on in the world and how this effects the legal industry. Also questions about your CV, why the firm etc. are standard and solid answers are expected."
First year trainee, London
"Know about Bird & Bird specifically - the firm's key strengths, how it stands out from other firms and how it's style of work differs from City law firms generally."
First year trainee, London
"Make sure you are honest. The firm is good at recognising people that will be a good fit with the culture."
First year trainee, London
"Commercial awareness is key. Make sure you know what is going on in the legal world and in the news generally. Be interesting - we want to work with interesting and dynamic people - it makes the late nights a lot more bearable! Know answers to the standard questions - why law, why Bird & Bird etc. They're simple questions that you should be able to have a solid answer to."
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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