How to impress your interviewers at Norton Rose Fulbright
This section provides advice on how to answer the questions that are likely to come up in your Norton Rose Fulbright training contract partner interview (which takes place on the assessment day).
Norton Rose Fulbright interview question: Why are you interested in Norton Rose Fulbright?
- Talk about your interest in becoming a lawyer in general – this can form a very brief part of your answer, but you need to keep things specific to Norton Rose Fulbright.
- Use clichéd phrases such as ‘Norton Rose Fulbright is one of the world’s largest law firms’ – this doesn’t tell the recruiters anything about you, except maybe that you haven’t done enough research.
- Talk about the seats you will be expected to undertake and explain why they interest you. Why would a seat in banking and finance appeal to you? Do you have any previous experience in that area that sparked your interest? Or perhaps you’ve done vacation schemes at different kinds of law firms and those experiences have made you realise that you would be best suited to working at Norton Rose Fulbright. If so, how?
- It’s a good idea to be enthusiastic about the international placement – Norton Rose Fulbright states that it expects trainees to consider this the ‘highlight’ of the training contract. Why do you want to work at an international law firm? Which aspects of international business interest you? Don’t just say ‘I am interested in other cultures’.
- Think about Norton Rose Fulbright’s business principles: quality, integrity and unity. Why do these appeal to you? Why do you think you would fit in well with this sort of working environment?
Why do you want a career in law?
- Be vague – an answer like ‘I want to be challenged’ is not quite enough, because you could find challenging jobs in any sector. You need to show that you’ve really thought about your career options.
Take on board that law is a form of business. Norton Rose Fulbright says it’s strong in the following areas of the economy:
- financial institutions
- infrastructure, mining and commodities
- technology and innovation
- pharmaceuticals and life sciences.
Refer to any recent legal cases you have researched that relate to any of the business areas. Explain why you would be interested in working on cases.
For example, many older medicines that are going off patent in the biggest round of drug patent expiries ever. So when GlaxoSmithKline looks like it is going to buy US biotech firm Human Genome Sciences for about $2.8 billion, it’s spending serious money to lock itself in to new medicinal growth areas and lock out competitors. What legal issues are relevant in such a potential deal? What skills and strengths are required? Why? Do you have those skills? If so, how have you acquired them?
You can mention any interest you have in doing pro bono work, but don’t make too much of this – Norton Rose Fulbright permits 14 hours of pro bono work during office hours per year, which not particularly high compared to some of its competitors.
Why are you a suitable employee for Norton Rose Fulbright?
- Just list your skills – you need to demonstrate your suitability through specific examples.
- Ramble on – you should loosely rehearse your answer to this question so that you’re able to say everything you need to say in a short space of time. Don’t over-rehearse, though: you should still sound natural.
- It’s quite likely that you will already have covered this in answers to previous questions, but if this question does come up you should think of it as an opportunity to make a pitch for yourself. Norton Rose Fulbright's recruiters want to see that you’re persuasive.
- Think about the skills that Norton Rose Fulbright looks for from candidates. Give examples of when you have demonstrated these skills, elaborating on experiences listed on your CV or application.
- Refer to Norton Rose Fulbright’s business principles – when have you demonstrated unity, integrity and quality?
- Think about the specific seats you will be doing and explain how you would be suited to these – for example, if you’re good at solving complex problems and dealing with numbers, you would likely do well on a seat in tax. If you have any language skills it’s a very good idea to highlight them – other languages are particularly useful given Norton Rose Fulbright’s ongoing global expansion. Don’t exaggerate your skill level though, as this may well be tested.