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Interview: Tips & Advice

2019

"There's a general competencies interview and a commercial awareness interview with the latter being based on a case study. It's a good idea to try and attend an open day or similar at the firm as there'll be a case study session, which is a really good insight into the questions you'll be expected to grapple with on the day."
First year trainee, London
"I had an assessment day, a case study and a competency interview. I read about the firm a lot and I learned how to explain my skills as well as my experience."
First year trainee, London
"There was a long application form including a number of essay questions and a Watson Glaser test. If successful, you'll receive an invitation to attend an assessment day. The assessment day consisted of a competency interview followed by a partner interview based around a presentation assessment."
Second year trainee, London
"Be a genuine person and be yourself. The firm looks for people it thinks will fit in and have enough energy to still be human at 3.00 am at the coffee machine. Don't under-estimate the value in describing skills picked up in roles such as catering shifts and summer work."
First year trainee, London
"Just be relaxed and confident and show that you are passionate about a career in law. Talk about things you really enjoy when asked to give examples because it's important to get your enthusiasm across. Don't worry about everything being commercial law related when giving examples of experience. Think more broadly about the skills you've gained from societies at university, holidays with friends and events you've attended."
First year trainee, London
"I would recommend that trainees prepare some good behavioural examples of real situations in which they solved problems (the STAR format is useful). Besides that, my advice would just be to listen as well as talk, respond to the questions you are asked and try as much as possible to find some area of common interest between you and your interviewer."
Second year trainee, London

2015

"When applying do as much preparation on the firm as possible. Prepare answers to typical questions in advance (i.e. why the firm should choose you, why you want to work for Clifford Chance, and what do you have that makes you stand out, etc.). You can never be too prepared!"
Second year trainee, London
"Apply with the application form, and then if you are successful there is an online test and assessment day. Focus on the international element and take all opportunities to meet firm personnel to help your application stand out. To prepare: practise, practise and practise interviews so that when the real thing comes, you are more relaxed and able to answer naturally. Smile, take your time and be yourself."
Second year trainee, London
"There are two interviews and online tests in the application process. I would advise any prospective applicant to practise the online tests as much as possible, and to make sure that they possess enough knowledge about the firm before applying."
First year trainee, London
"Definitely think about how your experiences and skills will contribute to you being a good trainee, and why you would be a good fit with the firm."
First year trainee, London
"At the time I applied I had to complete an online application and tests before attending an assessment day. I would advise applicants to work hard on their applications and think about the skills required to become a lawyer, and how these can be demonstrated in real life scenarios. I would also advise approaching the assessment day with confidence."
Second year trainee, London
"Do not just list all of your extra-curricular activities when you are applying: list the skills you acquired during these activities, and show how these skills will help you be a good trainee."
Second year trainee, Paris

2014

"Read the FT and be generally aware of what is going on in the world and what the firm is doing. Be interesting, enthusiastic and engaging."
First year trainee, London
"Appear enthusiastic and engaged. Generally be yourself. Interviewers are not looking to 'catch people out' and are generally very nice. If difficult questions are asked, stay calm and think about your response. If unsure, do not make things up - give a reasoned response and ask the interviewers the correct answer."
Second year trainee, London
"Only apply to the firm if you have a genuine interest in the corporate and finance world. Read around - be interested in developments in the economy. The firm wants engaged trainees who are responsible, dynamic and flexible. You will be put in situations in which you feel out of your depth as a trainee and during interview they will want to see how you react and cope when under pressure."
Second year trainee, Frankfurt
"Stay on top of financial news. Have a unique reason for going in to law, rather than a generic response. Adopt the STAR approach to answering interview questions."
Second year trainee, London
"Think about everything that is on your CV. Have a convincing answer ready for why Clifford Chance is your top choice."
Second year trainee, London
"Be very up to speed with current affairs, and show the ability to approach issues from different perspectives in order to find solutions."
Second year trainee, London
"Learn about the firm and what makes it different to other MC firms. Best way to do this is to attend open days and to speak to employees."
Second year trainee, London
"Try and talk to trainees to get a feel for what Clifford Chance is. I think the innovative and hands-on culture is something that is key to Clifford Chance's business development and you can feel it in the office too. You need to imagine yourself working here for the next two years, so being able to get on well with the diverse array of personalities here would be helpful."
First year trainee, London

2013

"People with a genuine interest in the business world and upcoming developments. You should also be specifically interested in CC and have looked at what distinguishes it. If you are non-law - this is equally valued, but you should be prepared to justify "Why law?""
Second year trainee, London
"Someone bright, adaptable, singular, committed, organised and responsible. Read the FT, Economist and research CC."
Second year trainee, London
"Our firm looks to hire well rounded 'individuals' therefore it is important to be yourself. Make sure you emphasise all the activities (work and non-work related) that you do and any relevant hobbies. It is important to show that you have a life outside of your work and studies."
First year trainee, London
"Self motivated, highly academic and commercially savvy. The firm expects that all of its trainees will have outstanding and blemish-free academic records, so it is crucial that you demonstrate other skills to make you stand out - commercial awareness, pro bono work or non-law based extra-curricular activities."
Second year trainee, London
"Candidates needs to be team players and diligent workers. Try to research the firm as far as possible and thinking about the reasons why you have chosen it."
Second year trainee, London
"CC likes active, engaged people. I would recommend applicants to get involved in something outside of university: a job, a sport, a club, etc. Anything that will demonstrate your 'get up and go' is ideal."
Second year trainee, London
"Read the newspaper and have a basic understanding of how businesses work and what their commercial motivations are. Try to relax and be friendly and yourself- they hire very friendly rounded people, not pushy/arrogant/nervous/overly competitive people."
First year trainee, London
"CC are looking for highly motivated, hard-working and intelligent graduates. You need to show a passion for the type of law that we do and an interest in the clients and markets that we service. Research and understand the firm's work and future inside out, and demonstrate your soft skills in the interview."
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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