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Interview: Tips & Advice

2016

"The application process consisted of a group exercise, verbal/numerical reasoning tests and a partner interview, rounded off with a tour of the office you have applied for. Be honest and demonstrate a clear commitment to the law. Make sure you know why you have applied to M&R. You should know your application form inside out and be aware of current commercial issues."
First year trainee, Cambridge
"Get to know M&R and its culture."
First year trainee, Cambridge
"The assessment day comprises three main parts: the group exercise, the aptitude tests, and the interview itself. I would advise practising aptitude tests (which are easy to find online). These are timed and many candidates arrive unprepared for them, which is often where they fall down at the assessment day stage."
Second year trainee, Norwich
"The majority of trainees are taken from the internal vac scheme. Half-day assessment centres are held for vac scheme places including tests, group activity and individual interview."
Second year trainee, Norwich
"Know your application inside-out and just be yourself on the day. Mills & Reeve interviews seem to be about getting to know the person that will become a member of the team, not about tripping people up with bizarre questions."
First year trainee, Cambridge
"I really enjoyed my interview. It lasted for around an hour and was based around my application form. This meant it was very personal and interesting. The main thing is that they want to get you talking to see if you are someone they could work with and spend all day with."
Second year trainee, Birmingham
"Research the firm's vision and values and really think about why you want to work for the firm and what you can contribute. Above all, be yourself!"
Second year trainee, Birmingham
"Standard procedure of application, assessment day, vac scheme. The firm likes to recruit mainly from the vac scheme, so applying for that will increase your chances of a training contract."
Second year trainee, Cambridge

2015

"Highlight an area of the firm that genuinely interests you. Mills & Reeve does work for lots of big names in interesting sectors, so picking one shouldn't be too hard!"
Second year trainee, Cambridge
"Be genuine. My interview involved a number of questions about why I had chosen the A-levels, or degree subject, I had. Honest answers and my being relaxed seem to be appreciated here. Have a handle on the main issues in the legal sector at the moment, along with those involving the firm."
First year trainee, Cambridge
"When I applied, the application process consisted of a group task, a partner interview and cognitive tests. My advice is to be yourself and to be honest - the partners won't appreciate falseness."
First year trainee, Cambridge
"There is a group exercise, verbal/numerical reasoning tests and a partner interview. Be clear about why you want a career in law and what appeals to you about Mills & Reeve in particular."
Second year trainee, Cambridge
"Know your application inside out. What can you genuinely offer to the firm? Languages are always good. Research the firm - don't apply because we're a good firm, apply because we do the work you like and this excites you."
Second year trainee, Birmingham
"Traditional application process (application form, assessment day and interview with partner). The interview is a conversation about yourself and motivation, rather than simply a series of questions about the latest news in the Financial Times. I advise applying for the vacation scheme as most trainees are recruited directly from there (without the need for any further interviews/assessments)."
Second year trainee, Birmingham
"Target your application to the firm. Really read about the firm and understand why is this is the firm that is right for you."
Second year trainee, Cambridge
"During the interview be enthusiastic and demonstrate what you are like as a person, your interests and hobbies outside of work, not just what you would be like as a trainee."
Second year trainee, Cambridge
"Apply for the vacation scheme - the majority of trainees are recruited this way. Know your application inside out and know why you are applying to Mills & Reeve in particular."
Second year trainee, Norwich

2014

"Know the firm inside out. Research what our aims our and who the partners, fee earners are and what sort of reputation they have. Identify what you personally can bring to the firm. What makes you stand out from the crowd and why is it important?"
First year trainee, Birmingham
"Show you have researched the work our firm does, for example: recent cases or transactions we were involved in. It shows when you have chosen Mills & Reeve for a reason and really want to be here rather than just at any firm that will give you a job."
Second year trainee, Cambridge
"Be familiar with your application form and be clear about your reasons for making certain choices. It's okay to show that you changed your mind about things e.g. you were previously interested in another career choice instead of law, as long as you can show good reasons for why you have changed your mind, what you learnt from your experiences and what you would do differently if you had to go through the same experience(s) again."
First year trainee, Cambridge
"Know the firm's ambitions on expanding/recent history of growth/show commitment to getting involved in the life of the firm outside of the office, (charity events, marketing, client entertainment, sport)."
First year trainee, Norwich
"Research the firm and make sure the firm's ambitions match your own. If it is something offered by your careers service, it is good preparation to have a mock interview - this may also help calm your nerves on the day. Try to gain as much experience as you can, both legal and commercial, to speak about at interview and set yourself apart from other candidates."
First year trainee, Birmingham
"Candidates should let their attributes come through at interview and at the assessment day as a whole. The best way to prepare for an interview is to practise the questions they might ask you."
First year trainee, Norwich
"Apply for the summer scheme - around 75% of training contracts go to people who've done one. Show the firm that you are able to take responsibility (including client contact) from day one."
First year trainee, Cambridge
"Be able to show that you are a strong team worker, are committed to a career in the law, that you are suited to early responsibility and that you know a bit about the firm. I would also strongly recommend the vacation scheme - the majority of my intake were recruited via the scheme, and it is structured like a mini training contract, with typical trainee-type tasks."
First year trainee, Cambridge

2013

"The intake of trainees seems to be consistently high. Academic ability and attention to detail is a must, although the most important thing is to have a down to earth and good natured personality."
Second year trainee, Cambridge
"I think Mills & Reeve look for someone who is intelligent, practical, friendly and works hard. Although that sounds generic, I have noticed these qualities in everyone I have met at the firm! I think potential candidates need to have really good attention to detail, make sure that they show that they are interested in the firm and really - just be themselves as being genuine really shows through. The best way to prepare for an interview is to do a lot of research - not just on the firm, but also on its competitors. Know the firm's short term and long term goals for the future. Make sure you understand 'commercial awareness' and how to demonstrate it. Read the news regularly. Remember that during an interview, the interviewers will be considering if they could work with you - so bring some personality into it!"
First year trainee, Norwich
"Candidates who are keen to learn, personable and are willing to go the extra mile. Tips: achieve the appropriate grades at university and get involved in plenty of extra-curriculum activities. Preparation for interview: research the firm, be aware of current affairs and be able to explain clearly and succinctly why you are interested in a legal career."
First year trainee, Birmingham
"Commercial awareness was emphasised during the assessment. Make sure there are no spelling mistakes in the application, a tip would be to complete the application and come back to it with fresh eyes."
First year trainee, Cambridge
"Approachable candidates that will fit in with the social culture and that show a real interest in the firm and the firm's main sectors. You should show some commitment to the city you are applying to."
Second year trainee, Cambridge
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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