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Interview: Tips & Advice

2019

"Be yourself and be genuine. You are far more interesting as yourself than if you try to be what you think the firm is looking for. People are also wary of anyone that seems contrived and prepared."
First year trainee, London
"It consists of an application form, online testing, a video interview and an assessment centre. I think candidates can best prepare for the interview by practicing saying their answers to standard competency questions out loud. For the commercial aspects of the interview, I would highly recommend the book 'Know the City'."
Second year trainee, London
"I had an application, online tests, video interview and then an assessment centre. The best way to prepare is to get comfortable with yourself. I've found that people who are genuine and open at their assessment centres tend to get it and those who try too hard to fit a particular mould don't."
First year trainee, London
"The best candidates have thought about what makes them tick and why a commercial law firm would enjoy that sort of personality and skill. Bakers is a firm that recruits people, not robots. When it comes to any psychometric testing the key is always to keep practicing."
First year trainee, London
"It consists of an online application, a video interview and an assessment centre (two individual interviews and one group interview). I believe the best way to prepare is to understand your past experiences and what you have learned from them, but not to prepare a script. The interviews here are not grilling sessions, but a chance to see if the interviewer thinks the candidate is a right fit for the firm and likewise for the candidate to see if the firm is the right fit for them."
First year trainee, London
"I attended an assessment centre and had interviews and tests. The best preparation is to know the firm and why you want to work here and to be yourself. We want to hire people who will fit in with our culture, so showing that you would fit here is half the battle."
Second year trainee, London

2018

"There's a video interview and an assessment centre, followed by two more interviews. One is a personal interview with an associate and the other is a legal interview with partners. Make sure you know the firm well (more than just reading what is on the website)."
First year trainee, London
"There's an application form, some online tests, a video interview and then an assessment centre. The assessment centre consists of a group activity, a competency-based interview with an associate and then a case study with partners. It's important to be yourself as part of the process is seeing how you will fit in with the firm."
First year trainee, London
"Be honest about your other applications and don't worry about not knowing all the answers in all of the activities. The firm is looking for people who want to learn and not necessarily people who think they're already top of the pile."
First year trainee, London
"Take the process step by step and always start with a strong application that accurately answers the questions asked."
Second year trainee, London

2017

"There's an online application, online tests, a video interview and an assessment centre."
Second year trainee, London
"Show them that you are someone who people will want to work with."
Second year trainee, London
"You go through an application, an online test, a phone interview and an assessment day. Be prepared and know your competencies inside out."
First year trainee, London
"Be able to show that you have commercial awareness but make the interview a two-way street. Do not be scared to ask the partner questions and turn it into a friendly discussion."
First year trainee, London
"It's good to know your CV and academic record well as there are questions on this at all stages. In general, being up to date on current news and being commercially aware will aid any application process."
First year trainee, London
"Have a mature and thoughtful perspective of what diversity means to you. Don't be arrogant or cocky."
First year trainee, London

2015

"Your grades show that you are intelligent, and this should shine through during the interview, but definitely show who you are throughout as well: the interviewer is more concerned about you as a person, and what you would be like to work with."
Second year trainee, London
"Definitely read your CV and application and know it inside out. You should get a feel of some of the departments at Baker & McKenzie so you can discuss them if an opportunity arises. The interviewers are looking for future team members, so it pays to be a nice person and a team player!"
Second year trainee, London
"The application consists of an online application, telephone interview and an assessment day. When applying to Baker & McKenzie you need to know how it differs from other City/American firms, and why the culture here suits you. It's also useful to know about the work the firm does, and what is going on in the wider world at the moment."
First year trainee, London
"I found that a lot the interview was about a culture fit. They assume that most people who make it to their interviews are all intelligent enough, but the firm only really hires sociable, friendly people. You need to be able to work with these people day in day out."
Second year trainee, London

2014

"Stay calm! Think about you key skills and how they will be of benefit to Baker and McKenzie, as well as your progression as a solicitor."
First year trainee, London
"Relax, and be yourself. You're committing a minimum of two years of your life to a firm so you want to make sure the offers you get are the best fit for your personality and outlook."
First year trainee, London
"I don't think you need to do as much of the commercial awareness revision (e.g. reading the FT, etc.) as you do for other firms. Make sure you have good answers for competencies, and go to a negotiation/commercial workshop so you have an understanding of what big law firms do."
Second year trainee, London
"Ensure you know about the firm, your strengths and weaknesses and how you would fit in here."
First year trainee, London
"Baker & McKenzie are the only firm I've come across that have a section regarding how 'nice a person' you are in evaluation forms. I think that says a lot about the firm!"
Second year trainee, London
"You're not expected to know every answer for the case study - it is key to stay calm and to display clarity of thought under pressure."
Second year trainee, London
"Attend graduate recruitment events, open days, etc. and speak to as many people as possible who are at the firm. This is the best way of getting to know what it is like and whether it's the right place for you."
First year trainee, London
"Understand what makes the firm different to other firms. We are very international and you will regularly work with other international offices. We also have very strong departments across the firm, and these do not just operate as 'corporate support'."
Second year trainee, London
"You must be up-to-date with current affairs; be able to explain why you are applying to a global commercial law firm; be able to justify/explain any statements made on your CV as to why they are important or will benefit your career/the firm; and be sure to have a wide range of extra-curricular activities on your CV."
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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