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Interview: Tips & Advice

2016

"Eversheds take on trainees either through their vacation scheme placement or through their formal application process. When I applied, the formal process consisted of a very short application form (which I appreciated after having already submitted several others!) followed by a short telephone interview. Successful applicants were then invited to a face-to-face interview. The last stage was an assessment centre of approximately 12 – 15 candidates. Other firms I had applied to put the assessment centre at the start of their process. I found that having it at the end, with fewer candidates, made it much easier to demonstrate your abilities while working as part of a team, rather than competing with a large crowd. It also provided more time for assessors to get to know you on a personal level. Current trainees also attend the assessment centre lunch, giving candidates a great opportunity to get the 'low down' on working at Eversheds. In terms of preparation, and apart from the usual advice given, just be yourself. Assessors are looking for someone who will fit in with the Eversheds team and culture, in addition to showing potential to become a technically excellent lawyer. So relax a little!"
First year trainee, Cardiff
"Know the firm inside out. We are always looking to be innovative and set ourselves apart from our competition: know how we are doing that. Other than that, be confident, be yourself. My biggest tip for interviewing is interviewers are asking themselves 'can I sit this person next to a client on a long haul flight?' If the answer is yes, then the firm can give you the knowledge and skills required to be a lawyer. Additionally, this means you are going to be a good fit within the team in which you are working as a trainee."
Second year trainee, Leeds
"Talk to the current trainees through Twitter, or find someone on LinkedIn. People are really happy to help if they can. Particularly look out for alumni connections."
First year trainee, London
"The process involved an online application form with a verbal reasoning test at the end that you had to pass. After that there was a telephone interview followed by a face-to-face interview in the office. If you passed this you were invited to an assessment centre day. This consisted of two written tests, a group exercise (with a presentation delivered individually afterwards) and then an interview with two partners at the end of the day. Overall it was a very intense experience but not unreasonable or aggressive. Preparation is key. Research the firm inside and out and you can't go wrong."
First year trainee, London
"Practice. Research Eversheds. Find out the unique selling points and ensure this is included in any application forms. Know where we sit in the market, what we are particularly strong at and where we want to go over the next couple of years."
First year trainee, Nottingham
"The process involves an online application providing information about your academic and work history. This includes two long form questions concerning the firm, why you want to apply, why you should be selected, and the current commercial legal market and the firm's place within it."
Second year trainee, Birmingham
"Commercial knowledge is their primary focus. I don't think I was asked one legal question in my interview process."
Second year trainee, Cambridge
"I was offered my training contract as a result of the vacation scheme. It is very competitive and preparation is definitely necessary. I think, due to the nature and culture of the people in the firm, it is really important to allow your personality to come across in the interview. If you have made it to the interview stage, your intellectual ability has already been assessed and the interviewer will now want to know that you are a well-rounded person who can work well with others. The best preparation is to make sure that you have come up with a number of different examples of experiences that you have had that make you a good candidate. These don't need to be academic experiences (and in fact I think it will make you stand out more if they aren't). Remember that the interviewers will be speaking to lots of people that have all got degrees. They don't want to hear about that, but rather about you."
First year trainee, Cardiff

2015

"You should research the firm - specifically have understanding of the difference between practice groups and sector specialisms."
First year trainee, Nottingham
"It is a competency based interview – prepare example situations in which you have shown the key skills that they are looking for, and practice delivering answers based on them."
Second year trainee, Leeds
"The application process is multi-staged with online tests followed by interviews and assessment centres. When preparing for an interview, really research the firm and understand what they are looking for and if this lines up with what you want, consider how and why you will fit in here."
Second year trainee, Manchester
"I think it is important that you watch or listen to the news every morning while you're getting ready to look out for news pieces that involve or affect the firm's clients in a particular sector, e.g. retail, financial institutions."
First year trainee, Manchester
"I found that competency based questions are the majority of the interview, but you should be ready for some commercial awareness questions too."
Second year trainee, Cardiff
"You should read up on commercial awareness and be prepared to talk about yourself, your CV and examples of where you have demonstrated competencies."
First year trainee, Birmingham
"You should read up on the firm, know how law firms operate as a business and how they measure/control profit/loss and have a wider understanding of the economy and business news."
Second year trainee, Leeds
"Throughout the interview process you should be yourself. Make sure that when you leave the room the interviewers know how much you want the job. Think hard about why you want to work in law and also why for Eversheds in particular. Read about the firm and speak to as many people as possible to gain a solid understanding of how they operate."
Second year trainee, London
"The process includes an online application, a telephone interview and face-to-face interview and an assessment day. There is also the opportunity to do a vacation scheme. I would advise candidates to keep up-to-date with current events, and to be prepared to demonstrate commercial awareness."
First year trainee, Birmingham

2014

"My advice is to be commercial and become familiar with a particular commercial topic inside out. I was surprised by the lack of legal questions asked at interview as it was very commercially heavy. Read the Economist or listen to the podcasts which are great for 'commercial awareness'. Look at scenarios from the view of an Eversheds client, and understand the impact of the matter on their sector - this should give you a good grounding when you are questioned on this at the interview."
First year trainee, Cambridge
"Make sure you are aware of current affairs and don't be afraid to put your own opinion on things. It is not enough to just read the news - you need to have an understanding of it. Also, confidence and honesty is key; you must believe in yourself, but also have the courage to honestly say when you do not know enough about something."
First year trainee, Leeds
"Take a look at the firms' values and qualities. Also, think up a series of suitable examples to recount which will demonstrate those qualities."
Second year trainee, London
"Be very commercial in the interview. Read up on current issues regarding energy, retail, and finance, etc. Think about how these issues affect our clients, and how they affect the firm, and what the firm should be doing to react to the changes."
Second year trainee, Newcastle
"Do not be generic with answers in your interview. If you want to do law beacuse it's challenging then how do you know? Or how have you been challenged in a similar way and what happened? Be very specific."
First year trainee, London
"Research the firm thoroughly and know it inside out. Keep abreast of the news and what is happening in the business world. My firm place a great emphasis on their trainees having excellent commercial awareness, so really brush up on this."
First year trainee, Cambridge
"Go to open evenings, learn about the firm, and make contacts inside. Don't be afraid to ask if you can email someone to discuss your applications - the worst they can say is no. Use the careers service. For Eversheds, focus on times when you've innovated or thought commercially and make sure you can give examples of teamwork."
First year trainee, Leeds
"Read the newspaper, the Economist, and look at big businesses; being aware of what it is that makes their firm successful is an important factor."
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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