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Interview: Tips & Advice

2016

"There's a CV-based application followed by online tests, an HR interview and an assessment day (comprising of an interview with a partner and senior associate, written exercise and a commercial awareness discussion with a senior associate)."
Second year trainee, London
"Do plenty of research on the firm and the law and be up to date on the business/current affairs news of the time."
First year trainee, London
"I would advise applying for a vacation scheme rather than a straight training contract. To prepare for interviews, be knowledgeable about the firm's work, its clients and its prospective clients."
First year trainee, London
"Read the Financial Times regularly."
First year trainee, London
"The vac scheme is probably the best way to get in. Look on the website for recent deals and the key words we use like collaboration and innovation. Also, put an emphasis on the fact that we are a full-service law firm – not just media."
First year trainee, London
"When applying here, don't just focus on Olswang's reputation in media and intellectual property. HR are looking for something a bit different, not just 'I really like Olswang's cool clients like Microsoft and the BBC'. My usual advice for interviews is to be as relaxed as you can and be yourself, but also be commercially aware beforehand. Read up on politics and the economy before you go in (and don't underestimate how long it takes to do this if you are unfamiliar) because partners prefer to keep things interesting by throwing in a few commercial/political questions. If that happens, give your honest opinion! Don't try to say what you think the partners want to hear."
First year trainee, London

2015

"In your interview you must be able to speak well about your background and experiences you've had."
First year trainee, London
"For a training contract, part of the process is often the vacation scheme, (and amongst existing trainees), the pet peeve is arrogance. Be yourself and be friendly, but remember that if you are trying to impress everyone every second of the two weeks it can come across as self-important."
Second year trainee, London
"You have to submit your CV and covering letter, take online inductive reasoning tests, have an interview with HR and an assessment day (which consists of a partner interview and various exercises)."
Second year trainee, London
"Be yourself. Don't learn answers to common questions off by heart - in the interview aim to have a normal conversation."
First year trainee, London
"Know what is going on in the Media and Tech world, both legally and commercially. I don't think you need any practical experience, but companies in these areas make up Olswang's client base and it will look good if you know something about them."
First year trainee, London
"When I applied I went through an online application and two rounds of interviews. My advice is to understand the firm's values and to be friendly and open-minded."
First year trainee, London

2014

"Be yourself and be genuine. Prepare for the interview by knowing your CV and what you have said in the covering letter and tracking corporate transactions and commercial legal issues in the press."
Second year trainee, London
"I think the interview process has become more stringent recently - much better commercial awareness is required."
First year trainee, London
"Don't focus too heavily on wanting to be a media lawyer - whilst a number of our clients work in the media space, Olswang is looking for candidates with a broader interest."
Second year trainee, London
"I would advise candidates to have a really good knowledge of their own CV and covering letter, and to be able to answer questions in depth on any aspect of it. Also they should be able to explain their motivations for choosing law as a career, and have some idea of how they want their career to develop in the profession."
First year trainee, Reading
"Ensure that Olswang is a firm that you are genuinely interested in working at; then you will appear naturally enthusiastic."
Second year trainee, London
"Be yourself and don't worry if you're not choosing the firm for its brilliance in the media sector. The firm is full-service. For the interview: don't swallow yesterday's FT; better to know a bit about the firm's big clients."
Second year trainee, London
"Be prepared to stand your ground. Don't be afraid to be yourself - individuality is encouraged."
First year trainee, London

2013

"Wide range of people from all backgrounds and a variety of degree subjects. Stand out - be academically excellent but have other selling points too."
First year trainee, London
"Enthusiastic people. Intelligent people who are willing to work hard and try various departments."
First year trainee, London
"The firm seems to like increasingly corporate focused trainees. Many trainees assume working at Olswang involves constant lunches with execs from Google and the music and film industries. It does not. Candidates should be honest and be themselves, and be willing to think on their feet and work hard."
Property, 1 yr PQE, London
"Be interesting and interested; a common mistake amongst candidates is to refer to issues they think the partners want to hear rather than what really interests them (we're sick of the Legal Services Act!). What actually stands out is a genuine interest in a particular area."
Newly qualified solicitor, London
"Olswang feels it is a firm set apart from other firms and seeks to hire candidates that it feels match its particular values - opportunistic, outgoing and forward-thinking. Candidates need to know both themselves and the firm VERY well before applying."
Second 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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