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Interview: Tips & Advice

2018

"If you're applying for a vacation scheme then an interview is conducted around March. During the second week of the scheme, an interview is conducted and training contracts are offered to those who impress. If you're not applying for a vacation scheme then two interviews are conducted in the late summer. The interviews tend to be relaxed and based on getting to know the candidate and whether they would fit in with the culture of the firm. It is best to be yourself and to have a genuine interest in the firm's key practice areas."
Second year trainee, London
"I was hired through the vacation scheme. There was an initial (quite long) application form with multiple long-form questions on your personal achievements, motivations, experience and interest in law. There was then a very friendly first-round interview. The vacation scheme is two weeks long and gives you a real flavour of the firm. The social events are really fun and have included ping-pong and dinner at the Savoy. Since I was from a non-law background, the tasks given to me were achievable and didn't require in-depth legal knowledge. I felt very welcome."
First year trainee, London
"The application process for the vacation scheme is an online form followed by a 45-minute interview with a partner and senior associate. This is then followed by mingling with lawyers from the firm at a lunch. If you make it onto the vacation scheme there is a written research memo assessment, a mock negotiation exercise and an exit interview with the recruiting partners. My tip would be to try to come across as relaxed and confident throughout the process. It is important to be diligent with the tasks and work you're given during the vacation scheme. That said, people are also evaluating whether you are a person they could get along with and spend 12-hour days in the office with."
First year trainee, London
"Be honest and be yourself! You need to be a good fit for the firm and so the best way to prepare is to make sure that you know the firm's core practices and the commercial news within that context."
First year trainee, London
"Try to understand the work of the firm and bring that out in your application. It can be difficult to prepare fully given the abstract nature of some of the questions that can be asked at the interview so get used to thinking on your feet."
Second year trainee, London/Brussels
"You have to fill in a similar application form to many other firms and attend two sets of interviews. My tips are to know your application form, know your CV and read the news in the period prior to your interviews."
First year trainee, London

2017

"It's an online application followed by a first-stage interview. There is then a longer assessment comprising of a written piece, a presentation and another interview."
Second year trainee, London
"I recommend that the candidates check the latest information on the firm's website for up-to-date details on the application process."
Other - NQ, London
"The application process includes a first interview, a written exercise, a negotiation exercise and a final interview with a case study. The interview at Covington is much more relaxed than at other firms. The interviewers encourage open discussion and debate rather than a typical interview. I did not feel that I was being put on the spot or interrogated as I had done at some of my other interviews."
London
"It is very detailed and will force you to honestly reflect about your own life, it definitely stood out from other application forms. You have to be a strong academic candidate but you also have to fit into the firm's general culture. Every candidate is considered in detail and you will be exposed to a handful of lawyers throughout the process."
First year trainee, London
"There's an application form, an interview for a vacation scheme and a subsequent training contract interview. The best way to prepare for the interview is to have some background knowledge of the firm and what it does. Covington has a regulatory focus in tech and life sciences that makes it a slightly different option."
First year trainee, London
"There's a written application followed by two rounds of interviews. The main advice I would give any candidate is to not take themselves too seriously."
First year trainee, London

2016

"Research the firm, the industries it serves and the practices in London."
Entry level, London
"There's an online application form followed by two rounds of interviews. My tips would be to know the firm well and be enthusiastic about your career as a lawyer."
Graduate, London
"The interview process has two rounds. The first involves a single 30–45 minute interview with two partners or senior lawyers. Candidates will also be invited to go on a tour of the London office as well as attend an informal lunch where they can meet other Covington lawyers. The second-round selection process lasts half a day and involves a written task, a presentation/discussion exercise and a panel interview. My advice for applicants is to know your application form very well and be prepared to answer any questions that the interviewers may have on it. Be ready to elaborate on your work experience and out-of-school activities. Be ready to explain in detail why you are applying to Covington and what your motivations are to become a lawyer in a US firm."
Graduate, London
"Be prepared to think on your feet and show who you really are."
Entry level, London

2015

"For the vacation scheme there is an application form, interview and a week-long vacation scheme, followed by a final round interview. For direct training contract applications there is an application form followed by two interviews. The website has the most up-to-date information."
First year trainee, London
"The firm is moving away from being known just as life sciences specialists, so don't oversell that point. We operate in a number of industries from luxury brands, media, energy, technology and more."
First year trainee, London
"You should be very thorough in your research: when they ask you why you're applying to the firm, make sure you've really spent some time thinking about that. Learning about the firm from its promotional materials and website is a good start, but being able to apply what it offers to your own aims is more important."
Second year trainee, London

2014

"Come prepared for a thoughtful, intelligent discussion. Be comfortable and confident expressing your ideas in an articulate manner, without being arrogant or too pushy."
First year trainee, London
"I would recommend that applicants take the time to really learn about the firm, its partners, and the work that it does. Check announcements of recent deals to show awareness of recent events in the offices."
First year trainee, London
"Be confident about your achievements and think about how you could add to Covington. Be prepared to tackle more abstract questions or questions about subject matters you are not well versed in, by thinking things through rationally."
First year trainee, London
"Have a genuine reason for why you want to work at Covington. It will be noticeable if you are simply providing a standard/generic application or interview."
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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