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Interview: Tips & Advice

2016

"The best interview process of any firm I went to, part of the reason that I chose to pick it for my training contract. It was very friendly, they really want to find out about what makes you an interesting person and what you will bring to the job."
First year trainee, London
"Read up properly about commercial news. Have interesting items prepared that you would like to talk about and that you have a good understanding of."
Second year trainee, London
"Be yourself, carefully check everything for spelling, know your strengths and know why you want to join the firm."
Second year trainee, London
"Assessment day (including partner interview, group exercise, written exercise) as well as a written application. In terms of tips and preparation: choose a key commercial issue to discuss, try to find something the firm has worked on which you have an interest in and some knowledge or experience of, and be prepared to address and identify your weaknesses as well as your strengths."
Second year trainee, London
"Research the firm as much as possible. Be aware of the transactions that we do and understand why we pick that type of deal."
First year trainee, London

2015

"The best way to prepare would be to do some practice interviews first (maybe with graduate office at university) to reduce chances of nerves, and to ask questions/demonstrate an interest in the specific work the firm specialises in."
First year trainee, London
"Make sure you are up-to-date with world events and what is going on in the market. Also make sure you know how you see your career progressing and that you know your goals."
Second year trainee, London
"Make sure you know exactly why you want to work at Shearman in particular, as well as why you want to become a corporate lawyer. Bear in mind that the firm prides itself on its transactional prowess, particularly its Finance department. Build and maintain your commercial awareness in the run up to the interview - read things like the FT, the Economist, The Lawyer and be prepared to discuss particular topics that interest you."
First year trainee, London
"Commercial awareness is critical. Applicants should try and learn as much as possible about global finance and the basics of the work that goes on in the City generally. Be yourself in the interview as there isn't a focus at Shearman on recruiting one "type" of person."
First year trainee, London
"Make sure you know why you want to work for Shearman & Sterling in particular - if your answers could apply to any firm then you need to think about them a bit more."
Second year trainee, London
"Read around the deals the firm has worked on and the type of work they do."
Second year trainee, London
"Research the firm very carefully and know its strengths in the market. Being able to distinguish Shearman (and the work it does) from its competitors."
First year trainee, London

2014

"Read up on what Shearman are famous for - Finance, Project Finance and M&A. Don't apply here if you want to do Employment or Property, for example."
Second year trainee, London
"Think about your aspirations and who you are as a person. Research the firm and be aware of current events. Show enthusiasm for the job and a career in law."
First year trainee, London
"My advice would be to apply for a vacation scheme. The interviews are relatively informal so don't read that as a sign that they aren't interested. The focus at interview stage seems to be on whether the person is a good personality fit for the firm."
Second year trainee, London
"Understand the firm is a transactional firm first and foremost. Know the kinds of deals it does and the kind of people it is looking for."
Second year trainee, London
"Be yourself - the interview process is much easier if you don't seek to conform to some perceived expectation of a candidate. The candidate should have researched the firm well and thought about how they might be well placed to embark on a career at a firm with the specifications and work profile the firm has."
First year trainee, London
"Read about the firm, understand what we specialise in and how we want to be identified in the market and be able to talk about these and make sure they're of interest to you."
First year trainee, London
"Commercial awareness, enthusiasm and commitment are key. It is always a good idea to research clients of the firm/past deals we have done."
First year trainee, London
"Research the firm, apply for a vacation scheme as it is the best way to know if the firm suits you and vice versa as the culture here is quite unique."
Second year trainee, London
"Do a vacation scheme or open day, meet us - this will help you make up your mind and will give you interesting things to talk about in interview."
First year trainee, London

2013

"Know why you want to work at a predominantly transactional firm."
First year trainee, London
"Looking for enthusiastic, spunky, fun, intelligent, commercial, innovative people."
1 yr PQE,
"There is no one type of candidate, and there is certainly no Oxbridge preference. Be yourself at interview and be proactive at university - academics not enough, well-rounded individual important."
Property, Newly qualified solicitor,
"Our graduate recruitment team is very open-minded, so there is no clear 'type' that they are looking for. Aside from consistently good academics (averaging a 2:1 or above), they mostly care about your motivation for joining Shearman & Sterling - knowing current/past deals is a massive bonus in your interview."
First year trainee, London
"They like to know that you have done your research on the firm so make sure you can talk about the strengths of the firm, overseas opportunities, etc."
First year trainee, London
"Candidates who can demonstrate understanding of commercial factors i.e. the effect of the law on clients. Stay up to date with the news before the interview! It's also important to know about the firm - recent deals, awards, structure, practice areas, etc."
First year trainee, London
"People who are hard working but team players who can work well with others - the job involves so much time with your team it is essential. Be specific on your application as to which unique qualities the firm has that draw you to it - particularly if these are qualities the firm is proud to have. Research what the firm has done recently and general commercial news, but most importantly think through why exactly you want to join the firm and why you want to be a solicitor. If you have not thought through your own reasons, your interviewer will not be convinced."
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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