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Interview: Tips & Advice

2016

"Keep up with current affairs and read the news. It is not essential that you know everything but a basic grasp of current affairs will help. In the first-round interview, partners will often discuss a current topic from the media (usually from a legal perspective), plus it demonstrates commercial awareness from interviewees."
First year trainee, London
"The process is very straightforward. I followed the vac scheme route so I had one half-hour interview with a partner followed by the vac scheme. They don't re-interview following the scheme, which is a huge positive as it shows that they pay attention to you during your time on the vac scheme and have seen all they need to. The main thing is to be yourself and not to worry about taking yourself too seriously. They really want to get to know you as a person and love to see what you're interested in and how you work."
Second year trainee, Travers Smith
"You can either apply via a vacation scheme or for a straight training contract. I went for the latter option. When applying, know what differentiates Travers Smith from the rest and be yourself. For a Travers Smith interview, there will undoubtedly be questions you haven't prepared for. The whole point is to see how you think on your feet. Most of the time there is no right answer but they want to see your justifications and if you will back down when it's reasonable."
First year trainee, London
"It's a very simple application process: cover letter and CV, one shorter interview with a single partner then a longer interview with two partners. I would suggest being well read on the news and being able to respond on-the-fly to partners repeatedly attempting to deconstruct your arguments. I would also advise having a good narrative of 'why law' and 'why Travers Smith'."
First year trainee, London
"Read up on current topics in the news and be prepared to answer some interesting debate-worthy questions that tend to have a moral theme."
Second year trainee, London
"Simple and straightforward application procedure: CV and cover letter. No psychometric test nonsense. Interviews are with partners so there are no awkward Skype interviews. Top tip: be prepared for the unexpected. You will be asked questions that you won't have prepared for – these are to really make you think and challenge your viewpoints. Don't be scared by these. Enjoy the intellectual debate with the partners and use your time to show them what makes you tick."
Second year trainee, London
"Be prepared to think on your feet. Non-law grads shouldn't focus too much on learning pieces of black letter law but be prepared to demonstrate a thought process when answering questions."
First year trainee, London
"Two interviews if you're applying straight for a training contract, one interview if you do a vacation scheme. The interviews are meant to test how you think and how you articulate your ideas rather than looking for specific legal knowledge. That said, a solid grounding in current events (especially recent financial and political news) often helps. Don't worry about having the 'right' answer as long as you can explain why you think as you do."
Second year trainee, London

2015

"There are two interviews in the application process, or an interview plus the vacation scheme. You should brush up on current affairs, and be prepared to be challenged on your answers to questions."
First year trainee, London
"The application process is straightforward: a CV and cover letter, and then two interviews. The interviews at Travers Smith are about getting to know you as a person, so do not expect the standard competency questions. They want to test you, and ask you questions that you can't really prepare for. Be yourself in the interview: it is as much about you deciding if the firm is the right fit for you as it is for the partner interviewing to decide if you are right for the firm."
Second year trainee, London
"Of course you should do your homework on the firm, but that is only part of the process - having an interest in the world around you, and the world in which your future clients live, is arguably more important."
First year trainee, London
"There are two interviews in the application process, and they are each with partners in the firm. You should know what you want to achieve as a lawyer, and the type of firm you want to work in."
Second year trainee, London
"I would recommend doing the usual research into the firm, but especially focus on what makes the firm unique in the marketplace."
First year trainee, London

2014

"Read the news beforehand. Be prepared to think on your feet. Stand up for your views as you will be challenged."
Second year trainee, London
"There is no real way to prepare as you have to think on your feet and be prepared to discuss anything. It is helpful to have a good grasp of current affairs and not just have read the FT in the week leading up to interview."
Second year trainee, London
"Be yourself! If you are not playing a role you will be more confident and the partners will see straight through you if you are anyway. People here like original people as long as they are serious and very strong academically. Because the interview is slightly informal, try to direct the conversation to an area where you know a lot."
First year trainee, London
"Take the time to try to understand the identity of the firm. Be prepared to answer questions on why the firm is the right one for you."
Second year trainee, London
"Don't just prepare for the obvious questions, but also read the news, including business sections, to begin developing commercial awareness."
Second year trainee, London
"Have a good knowledge of current affairs and be prepared to answer questions for which you haven't prepared, e.g. ethical questions."
Second year trainee, London
"Although we are smaller than many of our competitors, the level of work and responsibility we are given mirrors that of a Magic Circle firm trainee. If you approach the process with this in mind, the application and interview give you every opportunity to justify why you deserve a training contract at Travers Smith."
Second year trainee, London

2013

"It's a proper conversation designed to get an idea of how you would fit in and contribute to the firm, so your best bet is to try to relax and be yourself. There's very little point preparing anything beyond a couple of questions to ask the interviewer at the end - just go in with an open mind and be prepared to fight your corner."
Second year trainee, London
"People who take their work but not themselves seriously; articulate and quick on your feet; always game for a challenge."
Second year trainee, London
"Bright, confident people. The interview is designed to see how you think and react when you are pressed past what you know. Make sure you get the basics right and know about the firm's practice, etc. and try to be up-to-date with topical issues."
Second year trainee, London
"The firm looks to hire candidates who are clever enough to the job and will be able to fit in in the firm. Tips: read everything on the graduate recruitment and main website. Best way to prepare for the interview is to relax, and be prepared to talk about anything on your CV."
First year trainee, London
"Have a clear understanding as to why you actually want to work for Travers Smith in particular. Read up on current affairs."
First year trainee, London
"Academically proficient, well-rounded and confident individuals. Expect challenging questions (not necessarily law-related) that require you to give and argue your opinion."
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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