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Interview: Tips & Advice

2016

"Know the firm. Commercial awareness is important. Be proactive and think beyond what you can find in research."
First year trainee, Bristol
"Research the firm thoroughly and make sure you know why you want to work here."
First year trainee, Bristol
"Find out about some legal and commercial issues that interest you and be prepared to talk about them in some depth. Don't worry if you find the interviewers asking some difficult and searching questions about them. They're not trying to catch you out – they just want to see how you think and approach problems. At some point you'll probably find that you don't know an answer to a question. Get comfortable with admitting that and then talking through what your best guess would be."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"Get to know the firm and be clear as to why you want to work here. Understand the business plan and strategy and how the firm sees itself."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"I would recommend researching the firm properly and getting involved with the culture of the firm by attending open days or a vacation scheme."
First year trainee, Bristol
"There are a few straightforward questions on the application form – nothing to trip you up. Then an assessment day consisting of a verbal reasoning test, an interview and a group exercise (usually negotiation). My key tip is to really think about why you want to join this firm. You can never do too much research. Look on the website, look at Chambers and similar sources and find specific features that appeal to you."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"Be yourself. This firm wants you to have a personality, interests and hobbies."
First year trainee, Bristol
"The firm's interview was the nicest interview I experienced when I was applying for training contracts. It is, of course, challenging at times and the partners will test how you deal with difficult questions (usually using the situational judgement questions) but they are not trying to catch you out. The firm looks for like-minded individuals so the best advice for an interview at Burges Salmon is to be yourself."
First year trainee, Bristol

2015

"My advice is to know the firm and its sectors (as opposed to practice areas). Common sense and a practical approach are valued above in-depth, technical knowledge when answering interview questions."
First year trainee, Bristol
"The application process consists of a fairly standard application form, followed by an assessment day and then an interview. My best tip would be this: you can never do enough research. Preparation is key. Find out as much as you can about the firm and be prepared to justify your decision for coming here. But overall, it comes down to this: will people want to work with you? And that is simply a matter of being personable, showing an interest and a dose of enthusiasm!"
First year trainee, Bristol
"Research the firm thoroughly and understand what it does and where it is going. Understand that a law firm is a business and that being good at the law is not enough - clients expect a lot more than just good legal advice!"
First year trainee, Bristol
"The firm's hiring process takes in assessment days, vacation schemes and formal interviews. The best preparation is to tailor your application to the firm and really do your research. Generic applications will be rejected very quickly."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"Do research the firm to appreciate its key branding (such as the fact that we are all based in one office and the lock-step basis of the pay) and appreciate how these features shape the firm's culture and client service."
First year trainee, Bristol
"If you apply for the training contract directly, there is an application form, an assessment day, then a final interview with a partner and a member of HR. Be prepared to answer standard interview questions, but also be yourself and show your personality if possible."
First year trainee, Bristol
"You should research the firm."
First year trainee, Bristol

2014

"My advice is that applicants research the firm thoroughly! If you don't know about the firm, how could you possibly explain convincingly why you want to work there?!"
Second year trainee, Bristol
"Make sure you are clear why you want a career in law, and why particularly in this firm. It's important to be able to demonstrate that you understand what the firm is looking for and can use your experiences to show that you fit in to that position. For the interview, make sure you are up-to-date with the legal market and the firm's position within it."
First year trainee, Bristol
"Remember what you did on your vacation scheme. They will ask you what you enjoyed and what you did so it's definitely important to write down what you do and who you do it for."
First year trainee, Bristol
"Do lots of research about the firm. Know why the firm suits you and why you suit the firm. Know why you want to work in Bristol and not London. Don't refer to it as a 'regional firm' - this proves you have not done your homework. Be aware of current commercial issues which are relevant to the firm and its clients."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"Research the firm, the client we have and how we do business. The best thing a candidate can show is commercial awareness. They have to understand that law firms are competing for work as well."
Second year trainee, Bristol
"Be yourself. There's no 'type' at Burges Salmon so don't feel you should conform to what other candidates are doing/saying. All the interviewers are friendly so you don't need to be overly worried!"
First year trainee, Bristol
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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