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Interview: Tips & Advice

2015

"It involved a group interview, case study and a competency interview. The case study was challenging but they give you sufficient time to read the documents and digest the information."
First year trainee, London
"The firm's process involves a short application form (with a few longer form questions), followed by a number of online tests and then finally an assessment day in the office."
Second year trainee, London
"My key tip would be to be yourself - it's important that you find yourself to be a good fit with a firm, and if you haven't been yourself at interview you might find yourself a bit at sea once you start."
Second year trainee, London
"Be yourself as there is nothing worse than putting on a 'show'. You should show the right attitude and common-sense: prepare well and know about firm/current affairs."
First year trainee, Tokyo
"The firm has an online application form, verbal and logical reasoning tests then an interview day consisting of a group exercise, case study interview and competency interview. Practise the reasoning tests well and ensure that you have an understanding of the big picture issues affecting the legal sector. Try to go in with an understanding of how a law firm works. Most of all, be friendly and supportive to the other applicants - the interviewers are ultimately looking for people they feel that they could work with."
First year trainee, London
"I believe that the firm values commercial awareness above all else - so get cultivating your commercial awareness."
Second year trainee, London

2014

"Get to know the firm well and find out what differentiates it for you: a vacation scheme can be a very useful way of doing this."
Second year trainee, London
"Demonstrate that you have researched the firm - this means beyond the usual website and legal press. Seek to contact members of the firm and talk about examples they have shared with you. Find out about our key clients, which areas we excel in, what awards do we have, etc. Ensure your application is tailored - it is very clear when a student is simply applying to any firm with a strong brand."
First year trainee, London
"Understand how a full service law firm operates - find out what the different departments do. Prepare to speak up. Students should be prepared to discuss subjects and areas they have been studying in detail."
First year trainee, London
"Try to think logically and with a business mind, especially if you don't have any legal experience."
First year trainee, London
"Research, research, research! This means the firm, recent deals and its strengths. Make sure you know what's going on in the market, what grad rec are looking for (check the website). Make sure your 'commercial awareness' is up to date and at the interview try and strike up a conversation with your interviewers before the interview starts - it will relax you."
Second year trainee, London
"Know about yourself and your experiences. Try to understand what a global law firm does and what sets Herbert Smith Freehills apart (e.g. strength in dispute, energy, Africa and the Asia-Pacific)."
Second year trainee, London
"Read around a commercial area that interests you and be generally aware of news/developments. Otherwise be as relaxed as possible and try to be yourself at the interviews."
Second year trainee, London
"Take the initiative and think like a business when approaching the case study. This is especially useful when coming from a non-law background, as they are looking for aptitude rather than knowledge."
First year trainee, London

2013

"Being very intelligent should be a given. Other than that, a real keen interest in the work, including the business-side of law, and a friendly personality."
First year trainee, London
"My advice for the application stage would be to show that you've had a broad range of experiences; academic, sporting, work and other. I would prepare for the interview by researching the firm as much as possible, being eager and showing that you are commercially aware."
First year trainee, London
"Be very clued up on business and be able to think about things from a client's point of view."
First year trainee, London
"The firm seems to like people with broad experience and skills. Academic ability is necessary, but not sufficient. Prepare for interviews by researching the firm and its current direction and projects."
Second year trainee, London
"Smart, personable, diverse. Don't be afraid to disagree with the partner during the case study."
First year trainee, London
"Usually outgoing and outspoken people. Try to relax as much as possible for the interview, but do prepare your basic legal knowledge as they will try to stretch you."
First year trainee, Abu Dhabi
"There is no specific type of candidate. Trainees tend to be from all parts of the country/world, having attended a variety of universities, some of whom will be fresh out of uni, others will have had other careers first. My tip would be to work out what makes you stand out from the crowd and draw on that so that you will be remembered. I would also say, don't be intimidated, the people who are interviewing you are just you a few years down the line so be confident in your own ability and enjoy yourself both in the interview and on the vacation scheme."
Second year trainee, London
"As far as any trend can be identified beyond the usual brainboxes, HSF trainees seem to be slightly eccentric, at least compared to others on the BPP consortium GDL/LPC."
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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