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Interview: Tips & Advice


"The firm tries to recruit as much as possible through the vacation scheme (though in recent years only 1/3 of trainees have actually come through the scheme). The vacation scheme and training contract assessment days come in the same format. The morning consists of a group exercise (usually discussion of a business problem), followed by some written tests and a meet and greet session. After lunch, a proportion of the applicants are 'culled' and those left go through to interview in the afternoon. Whilst this seems harsh, I actually appreciated only having to attend the firm, and prepare, once. My best advice for the interview is to really focus on Cooley itself, and be yourself and relax."
Second year trainee, London
"You are invited to an assessment day at Cooley if your online application is successful; where you participate in a group activity that tests a wide range of skills, and some candidates are chosen to stay on for a two-partner interview in the afternoon. You also complete verbal and numerical reasoning tests on the day. Even if you aren't successful during the day the firm makes a great effort to give detailed feedback. My advice would be to focus on the skills you have developed through your work experience or other activities and how these will make you a great trainee. Skills are far more important to someone reading your application than the detailed particulars of what your job was. Preparation for the interview is absolutely key so think of as many answers to competency style questions as you can, know your CV inside out and make sure you're up to date with major news topics. Also be prepared to think creatively as you may have some unexpected questions that challenge you!"
First year trainee, London
"Following the application form there is an assessment day. The morning consists of a group exercise (usually discussing a non-legal business problem) and some numerical and verbal reasoning tests. There is a 'cull' halfway through the day, and those who have impressed the most go through to an interview with partners in the afternoon. Although that all sounds quite tough for one day, I really appreciated having it all over and done with, and only having to prepare, once. My tips would be to relax, be confident but not aggressive and be clear why you want to work at Cooley in particular."
Second year trainee, London
"There is an assessment day involving individual tests, a group exercise and a partner interview."
Second year trainee, London
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