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Interview: Tips & Advice

2016

"Know the three main sectors that the firm operates in, know the competitors and know why you want to train here specifically."
First year trainee, London
"A straight training contract application generally involves two interviews. The first is with HR and a senior associate or counsel, the second is with HR and two partners. In terms of preparation: research the firm thoroughly and prepare a couple of questions to ask at the end of the interview."
First year trainee, London
"There's an online application form with some competency questions and a cover letter. The interviews that follow are not to test technical skills, but a chance for the firm to find out about you. Know your application form and be prepared to discuss some current affairs. There is a short assessment testing how you would draw out legal issues in a fictional scenario."
Second year trainee, London
"Make sure you read up about the work that we do. We have a particular focus on tech, energy and infrastructure – having an understanding of the kind of work done is key. If you are coming on the open day, have lots of questions prepared. You can look up the people who are likely to be at the lunches and drinks etc so you can think about what you would say. There are lots of chances for conversation so it's good to be prepared. Also, be honest about what makes you different and interesting as a candidate – if you're really interested in horse-riding or gymnastics, talk about it."
First year trainee, London
"The firm does not run vacation schemes but rather selects interview candidates from their open day or from direct applications. I would recommend the open day as it allows you to get a real feel for the culture of the firm and will allow you to more convincingly explain why you are attracted to the firm at the final interview."
First year trainee, London
"There's an application form to start with, which is quite long with many questions and a covering letter. Two open days then take place in the spring and I would definitely recommend applying to attend one as it's a great opportunity to meet lots of people at the firm and find out lots of information to help you in your interview. The day is really relaxed and very enjoyable. If you attend an open day and impress, there is then one final interview with two partners. If you do not attend an open day, you will have two interviews: one with HR and an associate and one with two partners. My advice for candidates applying to the firm would be to try and be yourself on the open day and to be enthusiastic about Orrick and the work it does. Prepare for the interview by keeping on top of current affairs and by knowing your application inside out."
Second year trainee, London
"The application process consists of an online application and a covering letter. There is then a first round interview with a senior associate and representative from HR. At this interview you are also asked to complete a case study. Following this there is a final interview, which is with two partners and an HR representative. Before this interview you are asked to consider two scenarios, which are then discussed at length in the interview."

2015

"The firm hosts open days, as opposed to Vac Schemes, and they are treated as a first interview. Or you can do two interviews. All candidates with a hope of getting a training contract in a City firm will be bright and diligent, knowing what Orrick does will therefore set you apart."
Second year trainee, London
"I attended an open day and then had one further partner interview. The open day is not at all scary and is a really great way to meet a wealth of people at the firm. It consisted of presentations from all the departments, a business game, an in-tray exercise and drinks at the end. I would prepare for the interview by keeping up to date with the news and knowing your application inside out."
First year trainee, London
"There is an online application form which contains questions regarding grades, several open-ended questions and a covering letter. This is followed by either an Open Day and a partner interview or two interviews, one with graduate recruitment and one partner interview."
First year trainee, London
"A cover letter application, followed by a first stage interview with HR and a lawyer, and a second and final stage interview with two partners. I was required to perform a written assessment during the second stage. The best tip I would give is to know your CV! As obvious as it sounds, it is important to be clear on what you have learnt and skills obtained from all your experiences, whether legal or not. Additionally, being up to date on current issues is always helpful, and don't be afraid to form your own views on such issues which may form the base of discussions in interviews."
First year trainee, London
"After the usual lengthy application form, there are two stages of interviews, the final interview being with two partners. The firm certainly looks beyond academics and CV credentials, and expects interviewees to be confident (but not arrogant) speakers, have varied backgrounds and be aware of current affairs and business news. My main tip would be to think before answering a question and be prepared to justify everything you say. If you can, your interview will be a success."
First year trainee, London

2014

"My best advice is to try to get on the open day, as that way you can also figure out if the firm is right for you."
Second year trainee, London
"Make sure you're really clear about what makes you different from other applicants and don't feel that you need to agree with everything that the interviewer says. Also, don't panic if you get a question wrong - they're looking for someone to train, not someone who already knows everything."
First year trainee, London
"I think that commercial awareness is key to interview success."
First year trainee, London
"Candidates should thoroughly research the firm and come prepared to think on their feet in the interview."
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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