Breakdown of Hogan Lovells' interview process

The assessment days for training contracts take place in August for law students and January for non-law students. The assessment days for vacation schemes are scheduled for January and February for law students and October and November for non-law students.

Hogan Lovells assessment day

The itinerary of the day typically runs as follows:

  • Introduction to the firm from a partner and associates
  • The Watson-Glaser critical thinking test
  • Informal buffet lunch with trainees and guided tour of Atlantic House, the firm’s main London office
  • Commercial business exercise (training contracts assessment day only)
  • Interview with two partners
  • Interview with a senior associate and member of the graduate recruitment team

The introduction to the firm is designed to give interviewees an overview of the latest goings-on – new clients, deals of note and so on. The critical thinking test that follows is similar to the one candidates submitted along with their written application. You can also practise an online version of this test on the firm’s website. The commercial exercise that follows lunch is a group exercise with other candidates to assess team skills. A past exercise posted on graduate forums was in the form of a collaborative activity where candidates were given a hypothetical deal or legal topic to discuss. Remember to maintain a balance between contributing ideas and listening to other members of your group. It’s important that you show you can fit well into a team. Follow our advice on how to be your best self in group exercises.

Hogan Lovells interview

After the rigors of the commercial exercise comes the partner interview which is said to be fairly relaxed and informal. Previous questions posted on graduate forums include:

  • Tell me about a recent transaction in the news. What departments would it involve?
  • Can you explain the difference between contract and tort?
  • Why do you want to be a solicitor?
  • What steps have you taken to research becoming a solicitor?
  • Why commercial law?
  • Why do you want to practise at Hogan Lovells?
  • What other law firms have you applied to?
  • Why did Hogan Lovells merge?

Candidates should consider their academic achievements and work experience, including vacation schemes and open days, and match the skills and qualities they've developed to those required of a trainee solicitor. Make sure you know why you want to be a City lawyer and what makes a successful lawyer. On the day of the interview, it's important to project calm and confidence because this is what lawyers must inspire in their clients.

Many past interview questions have been focused on commercial awareness. Make sure you know the issues facing the legal industry and be up to date on current affairs. The firm’s website advises candidates to follow the news from a number of different publications to get the complete picture, as well as read the Financial Times or the finance and business pages of The Economist. It’s also a good idea to choose stories that interest you so that it’s easier to talk about in an interview situation – you will come across as more enthusiastic if you are genuinely interested. Read our advice on commercial awareness and how to achieve it.

The firm usually reaches a decision within five working days.

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