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Interview: Tips & Advice

2015

"There is a written application and one half day interview (which is actually two interviews and one written test). For the interview, I would recommend reading up on commercial and legal news to gain a better understanding of the industry and your interest in it."
First year trainee, London
"You should make sure you have clear reasons why you wish to come to Freshfields and practice commercial law."
First year trainee, London
"Be honest and confident in both the application form and the interview. Read The Economist, The Financial Times and the firm's website. You should also brush up on your knowledge about the City."
First year trainee, London
"You shouldn't focus too much on commercial awareness type questions, so you should have an understanding of the world the firm operates in, but your understanding of the article you will be given to read is more important."
Second year trainee, London
"You should be yourself and know why you want to become a lawyer."
Second year trainee, London
"You should really reflect on yourself and your skill set, and emphasise certain parts to the firm. Think critically about everything that you've done, and what can tie it all together. You don't necessarily need to tick all the boxes, as you are better off focusing on one or two key things."
First year trainee, London
"You should be yourself, but emphasise the side of you that is personable, responsible and confident. You should show how you will be able to deliver to the firm while at work: can you convince those in the room that you can be left alone with a client, or deliver on a project? Prepare by reading business news - editorials are helpful - and cover the big questions (e.g. "Why law?")."
Second year trainee, Washington
"Know and be able to articulate why you want to practice commercial law and why at Freshfields in particular. I recommend that you meet the people at recruitment events so you can say that you feel you would fit in well."
First year trainee, London
"The application process has two interviews: one general and one analytical. The general interview is more relaxed and based on your CV, application form and interests. The analytical interview is based on an article from The Financial Times or The Economist and they ask you more business-related questions, looking for logical and commercial answers."
Second year trainee, London

2014

"Read the FT and the Economist and be prepared to discuss general macroeconomic issues and sector-specific trends."
Second year trainee, London
"Read your application form and know it back-to-front. Prepare answers to competency questions."
Second year trainee, London
"In the interview try to remain calm and don't over-think your answers. Your interviewers aren't trying to catch you out."
Second year trainee, Singapore
"Be yourself. The firm wants to get an understanding of what you're like from the form. Make sure you know why law and why Freshfields and be prepared to justify those decisions."
First year trainee, London
"Read up on the business news, you're not expected to know and understand everything, but if you can show an interest it will help. I found the BBC Business site to be very helpful as it summarises stories in an easy to understand way."
First year trainee, London
"Try to make yourself stand out by doing something interesting aside from just having good grades and legal work experience. To prepare for an interview: know your CV/cover letter inside out and have an idea of how you would answer the usual legal interview questions (don't over-prepare). Also remember to be confident and be yourself as an interview is mostly about being liked rather than being a perfect answer-spitting robot."
First year trainee, London
"Don't over prepare, read around the news but focus on the things that generally interest you as it will be easier to talk about those during the interview."
Second year trainee, London / Singapore
"Read the financial press, be prepared to have an opinion and to justify your answers. Don't be afraid of being pushed. Be yourself."
First year trainee, London
"Do your homework so that you can know what sets the firm apart from the rest. Think of five key things which none of the competitors have and see how you can add to that or what you could gain from it."
First year trainee, London
"Do not get bogged down in learning the past three months' issues of the Economist and FT. Train yourself to think sensibly and commercially about issues a business might face."
Second year trainee, London

2013

"People with excellent English skills, (verbal and written), enthusiasm, willing to take the initiative and sociable."
Second year trainee, London
"People who are open minded, have excelled in everything they have done, academic (a significant number have First Class degrees, despite the expectation being a 2.1) and adaptable."
First year trainee, London
"Read current affairs, think about why you enjoy your degree, what sets FBD apart from other Magic/Silver Circle firms."
First year trainee, London
"I've always believed that being commercially aware is a very good strategy - that's what worked for me I think (especially during the FT article part of the interview)."
First year trainee, London
"Enthusiastic, confident and not afraid to have an opinion. Good communication and writing skills are essential."
First year trainee, London
"I think my firm is unique in that it is genuinely interested in the individual as opposed to just the lawyer. I felt that they were really keen on my sporting background and that I had come to law in a slightly unorthodox way. If you are worried that you don't have the right background or that your academic record hasn't always been perfect, don't be, because that's not all they're interested in. I read a book called 'All You Need To Know About Commercial Awareness' because this part of the interview concerned me the most, but actually I think it was unnecessary."
First year trainee, London
"Freshfields looks for clever, sociable people. Not just clever people. All the trainees are pretty sociable and straightforward. You can be exceptionally bright, but if you're socially awkward you probably won't make it through."
First year trainee, London
"All rounders - people who are smart but who can relax and have a non-law/work-related chat at lunch or on a Friday. Sense of humour is especially valued."
First year trainee, London
"People here are bright and generally fairly outgoing. I think the firm hires people they would like to work with, so just be yourself."
Newly qualified solicitor, London
"Organised, ambitious candidates who can be flexible and are willing to work hard."
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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