Advertise here
City scape

Interview: Tips & Advice

2016

"The assessment day consists of in-tray exercises and a mock client interview. After the vac scheme, there is a final interview. Be open, friendly and show a genuine interest in the firm and its practice areas. Ultimately, the firm is looking to keep its trainees on qualification so they are looking for people they would want to work with."
First year trainee, London
"There's an assessment centre and an interview. Prepare for the interview by knowing your CV inside out because the interviewers really focus on your achievements."
Second year trainee, London
"There's an interview and presentation. Work hard on your presentation and make it something you are genuinely passionate about."
Second year trainee, Surrey
"They recruit heavily from the vacation scheme so try to get on one of them."
First year trainee, London
"Really know your CV and why you want to apply to the firm and why you are a particularly good fit. Try to make your experience fit the core practice areas of the firm."
First year trainee, Cambridge
"Make sure you know where the firm falls within the legal market, which firms are its key competitors and who its key clients are. It's also good to know about the sectors that this firm is particularly strong in and the sort of work that you will be involved in as a trainee. As cliched as it sounds, my main tip is just to be yourself – the interview process is as much designed to help you to work out if you like the firm as it is for the firm to decide if it likes you."
First year trainee, Oxford
"I completed an application form and a half-day assessment for the vacation scheme followed by the scheme itself. Then there was an interview with a couple of tasks attached (presentation and drafting). I would advise researching the firm and trying to do a vacation scheme, information day or similar if you can. Be honest in the interview and be prepared to talk about yourself as a person."
First year trainee, Basingstoke

2015

"The firm runs assessment days for candidates who get past the initial application form stage. This includes a partner and HR interview, a client interview exercise, a written exercise and a presentation. Candidates would usually be given information ahead of the day to enable them to prepare, but I would suggest doing research into the firm, its clients and the type of work it does. I would also suggest brushing up on commercial awareness, and having some good questions to ask the HR team, partners and trainees throughout the process."
First year trainee, Basingstoke
"I had two interviews and a short written test with the firm. My advice would be to relax as I felt building a rapport with the interviewers was more important than any specific knowledge."
First year trainee, Oxford
"I completed the vacation scheme. On the last day of this there was an in-tray exercise, client interviewing and team exercise. You should know why you want to work here and try to get some up-to-date inside information if you can."
First year trainee, Surrey
"The firm now employs an assessment day format. I recommend that you learn about the main departments in the firm and what sectors/industries they specialise in. You should find a particular area of law in which you are interested, but remain open to other areas. If you know who may be interviewing you, learn a bit about them and what they do or have done at the firm. Most importantly, though, learn about yourself and show this knowledge throughout the process."
First year trainee, London
"I found that the firm tends to like candidates with some work experience; even if it is not within law. A high proportion of the current trainees have several years of work experience post-university."
First year trainee, London
"After assisting with the vacation scheme interviews I have seen both points of view in the recruitment process. You should be sure of why you would like to work for Penningtons Manches: just reeling off a list of things you saw on the website always comes off as insincere."
First year trainee, Guildford
"You should read up as much as you can on publications written by partners in the departments that interest you."
Second year trainee, Oxford

2014

"I'd advise you to research the firm well before the interview. Relax and be yourself because there isn't a Penningtons Manches 'type'."
First year trainee, London
"Before the interview, research the firm and their entry requirements thoroughly. Try to get interview practise and, where possible, attend an information day to gain a better insight into Penningtons Manches, or undertake a work placement."
First year trainee, Reading
"My advice would be to research! You need to know the firm you are applying to, and you need to know it well, and you need to ensure that this comes across in the interview."
Second year trainee, Basingstoke
"My advice would be to prepare decent answers to the standard interview questions. Think hard about the weaknesses in your CV and have good answers for why you were not so good in these places. Try to relax: they are not trying to catch you out but are genuinely interested in your abilities. I got the impression that a big effort was made to keep the interview friendly."
Second year trainee, Guildford
"The interview focused on whether I would be a good match for Penningtons Manches, and not on the basis of the questions on commercial awareness."
Second year trainee, London
"I would advise you to learn as much as possible about the firm, its clients and in particular about the people conducting the interview. Know your strengths and weaknesses!"
Second year trainee, Oxford
"Try and let your personality show through in your application and interviews."
Second year trainee, Guildford
"In the interview ask good questions about the firm in order to show that you are well researched and know about mergers, etc."
First year trainee, Guildford

2013

"Research thoroughly. Do not attempt to get an interview with a generic application, because Penningtons is not a generic firm."
First year trainee, Guildford
"The firm looks for people who are going to fit in well with the working culture of the firm. They look for trainees who are hard working and diligent but at the same time are friendly and they know will get on well with their colleagues."
Second year trainee, Basingstoke
"Candidates should display enthusiasm for the firm, work and clients."
First year trainee, London
"Well-rounded candidates with a clear passion for the firm's ethos and quality of work. Best to be enthusiastic but also be yourself."
Second year trainee, Basingstoke
"I feel that the firm are looking for people who are prepared to be upfront about their characters and are prepared to learn. My advice to candidates is to be prepared to talk about yourself, read about the firm and see if you are a 'match'."
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.
Top