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Interview Process

2014

"The recruitment process is done in multiple stages. This included a written application, a preliminary interview, an assessment centre and a final 'practice group partner Friday'. I know this year we included the video interview. Whilst the assessment process was lengthy, it was never drawn out and applicants get feedback promptly."
First year trainee, London
"The recruitment process is a rigorous as they come. For my vacation scheme I completed an online application form and attended an interview with a partner and a member of the HR team. Following this, I was invited to an assessment centre for the Training Contract. This comprised a panel interview with three partners, a group exercise, a written exercise and an unseen presentation. The final interview is called PGP Friday, which stands for Practice Group Partners. The trainees often refer to PGP Friday as "speed dating" the partners. You spend 20 minutes with around ten partners and have the opportunity to interview them and find out about their roles in the firm. At the same time they asses whether you are the right fit for DWF."
First year trainee, Newcastle upon Tyne
"There was an online application followed by an interview in person at the office I had applied to with a partner and member of graduate recruitment. (In addition, the firm has just rolled out video interviews after the online application stage). A half-day assessment centre then took place in the Manchester office with an in-tray exercise, group discussion, presentation and further interview with three partners. The following Friday, we were invited to meet the Practice Group Partners."
First year trainee, Leeds
"The managing partner of DWF is heavily involved in the trainee recruitment process - it's great to know how much effort the firm puts into finding the right trainees."
First year trainee, Birmingham
"I would say you are certainly put through your paces during the application process. The hardest thing to overcome is the sheer number of applications they receive and trying to get through the screening process."
First year trainee, Liverpool
"The interview process for trainees is a fairly lengthy one but I don’t believe it to be more onerous than that of other large commercial firms. There is an application form, video interview, face-to-face interview, and assessment day. The final stage is a group interview with the practice group partners. Applicants who successfully get onto the vacation scheme will attend this between the first interview and assessment day."
Second year trainee, London
"There is an online application, an automated video interview, an assessment day and PGP Friday. Whilst the video interview may be daunting, DWF is able to interview more people and should give you a better chance of getting through the process. I found the whole process nerve-racking (which is to be expected) but I also really enjoyed the process and met some fantastic friends along the way."
First year trainee, Liverpool

2013

"It is challenging. The recruitment process is hard; it includes presentations, group exercises and a three partner panel interview."
First year trainee, Leeds
"A series of intensive assessment, including interview and presentation. Questions were fairly standard, but you were expected to 'know your stuff' - can't get by on affability."
Second year trainee, Manchester
"When I applied, there was an assessment centre and interview to gain a place on the vacation scheme. You then had to be selected from the vacation scheme for a training contract assessment centre and then we were offered training contracts on 1st September. Competency based interviews with an element of legal questions."
Second year trainee, Birmingham
"Four rounds of assessment but very fair processes throughout. Plenty of opportunity to engage with assessors so even if conversation goes awry it is easy to get back on track."
Second year trainee, Leeds
"The interview process was very much based on personality and your skills. It wasn't a test of business or technical knowledge, which was refreshing."
First year trainee, Birmingham
"My first interview was for a vac scheme (though it would be the same format as a first round interview). This focused half on your CV/background and then the rest was the standard "Why us...", "Why law...", and a bit of general legal knowledge. They just want to get to know you better and see what you are like. Following that there is the assessment centre. This included an unseen presentation, a written exercise, group game and interview. Second interview questions much more focused on life at the firm, scenario type questions. If successful here, then you will meet the Managing Partner, the Board members, and Practice Group Partners for half a day and ask them questions about the firm, etc. This is your chance to ask good questions and show them that you can be a good asset to the firm as a trainee."
First year trainee, Liverpool
"DWF are picky - they won't take just anybody!"
First year trainee, London
"It's gruelling, but it's a competitive market and I think it's largely the same at other firms of its reputation and size. Round one: interview with a partner and a HR business partner Round two: assessment centre, consisting of a) panel interview with three partners; b) written exercise; c) presentation to two partners or a partner and a member of the HR team; and d) group exercise. Round three: PGP Super Friday - the Practice Group Partners meet all of the prospective trainees for a final 'vetting'."
Second year trainee, Manchester
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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