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Interview: Tips & Advice

2016

"Personality. Make sure you have things on your application that will stand out: something a bit unusual. Then relax in the interview and go for it in the mock client interview."
First year trainee, Bristol
"The firm is looking for individuals. All of the trainees have different characters and personalities so I would suggest just being yourself instead of trying to be a stereotypical trainee."
Second year trainee, Newcastle upon Tyne
"I believe there is a big focus on team work and how you function as part of a team. My best advice would be to be yourself. There isn't a standard Bond Dickinson trainee and they definitely focus on getting a mix of personalities and backgrounds. Therefore, you can perform the same as someone else but you might not both get a training contract because they want different attributes in the intake. If you are not yourself, it will come across."
Second year trainee, Newcastle
"Be aware of current commercial issues and be prepared to talk in depth about your application form."
First year trainee, Bristol
"Know the firm's culture, ambition and structure. Do not use buzz words. Imply you have commercial awareness but don't say it outright."
First year trainee, Newcastle
"There's an online application, video interview and assessment centre. The vacation scheme is a great way to gain visibility in the firm as you will sit in at least two departments and all of the team are encouraged to give feedback. Just be yourself for the interview – the firm is very keen on personality and finding a good fit."
First year trainee, Newcastle
"Bond Dickinson is committed to its 2020 vision – look into this. The firm, particularly the London office, is expanding so think of ways in which you can help its marketability."
First year trainee, London

2015

"For the interview you should find out as much about the firm as you can, and be genuine about what you are saying, so don't try to put on an act."
Second year trainee, Newcastle
"Definitely be yourself: it sounds like a cliché but the firm doesn't have a set type of person it looks for, or a set number of spaces to fill. If they like you, and you impress the assessors on the assessment day, then that's the best way to be successful with your application."
Second year trainee, Southampton
"You should know the firm and know your CV! The interviewers are not out to trick you, they have a genuine interest in you, your experience and why you think that the firm is the right place for you."
Second year trainee, Newcastle
"There is an assessment day to get onto the vacation scheme. There is a negotiation exercise, presentation and interview to get a training contract. That said, the interview is informal and friendly. Know your current affairs and don't be afraid to show your personality."
First year trainee, Bristol
"For the interview you should really make sure you know where the firm is going, what its future business plan is, and how you would fit into that."
First year trainee, Newcastle
"You need to have a good knowledge of the firm and their sector specific focus when you are applying. The application process involves an online application, online tests, assessment days, vacation scheme and final interview with a presentation."
First year trainee, Newcastle

2014

"Be yourself in the interview, and ensure you keep up-to-date with developments that are not just in the legal world but also the business world."
First year trainee, Newcastle
"The firm like well-rounded individuals with interests in lots of different areas - if you are applying to a particular office they like you to have links to the region. The assessment days often involve group work where you have to prepare a presentation about a commercial issue and then present it to everyone on the assessment day, so it can be nerve-racking and, therefore, helpful if you have an idea of interesting current commercial issues."
First year trainee, Newcastle
"Before the interview get to know the firm inside out. Culture and values are at the heart of our firm and we need to see that people have bought into these. Don't go for the obvious commercial issues, they will have heard it already! Be different and get them interested. Also, make sure the commercial point is relevant to our firm."
First year trainee, Bristol
"If possible, try and paralegal before the interview as a lot of questions are based on experience."
First year trainee, Newcastle
"I'd advise you to gain commercial awareness and talk about something other than fracking because they've have heard it a million times!"
Second year trainee, Bristol
"I would actually try to find ways to relax before the interview. The firm is not uptight or stuffy, and take trainees from a wide range of backgrounds, so having a different route into law is not a negative. Be ready to justify your route, but don't worry that it will be prohibitive to acceptance."
First year trainee, Southampton
"Research the firm, and be enthusiastic and confident as these are attributes you need to be able to display before beginning your training contract."
Second year trainee, Newcastle
"My advice is to know why you want to work in a national firm that's not a City firm. If you want to work in London, this firm is not for you, albeit the level of work is on a par with London."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"Before the interview attend talks that the firm hold, as these will give you an insight into the firm."
First year trainee, Southampton
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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