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Interview Questions

2019

"Tell us something we may not know about you. What are your hobbies? Do you regret any career choices you've made and why?"
First year trainee, Cambridge
"There was an informal and friendly atmosphere. Most of the questions were about me and my aspirations and the direction I wanted to take in my career."
First year trainee, London
"I was asked a variety of competency questions as well as why I was interested in Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, in particular and what I could bring to the firm. I was also asked about my current awareness and any initiatives I felt the firm could adopt."
Second year trainee, Guildford, Surrey
"I was given various scenarios and asked how I would deal with them. For example: a client calls and is incredibly pushy and wants information now but none of your supervisors are available, what would you do? I was asked what I would consider to be my biggest weakness as well as other questions about me personally."
Second year trainee,
"There were competency questions and general questions about commercial awareness and the legal industry."
First year trainee, London
"Tell us something about you that we wouldn't know from your application form and cover letter."
Second year trainee, Oxford

2017

"Describe yourself in three words. What would you find difficult about law/being a trainee? Why this firm and why law?"
Basingstoke
"I was asked a variety of competency questions as well as why I was interested in Penningtons Manches in particular and what I could bring to the firm."
London
"I was asked about previous job roles, my strengths and weaknesses, my current awareness, any initiatives I felt the firm should adopt and where I thought the legal landscape was going in the future."
Basingstoke
"I had to describe a situation where I had been a team player and tell the interviewer what qualities I thought they were looking for."
Basingstoke
"Why do you want to be a lawyer? How would your friends describe you? Tell us about a time you demonstrated commercial awareness. Where do you think the firm's direction is headed?"
London

2016

"There were skills-based questions as well as questions about my background, the firm and its structure."
First year trainee, Cambridge
"Why law? Why this firm? Why this location?"
Second year trainee, Surrey
"I was asked some commercial awareness questions."
First year trainee, Guildford
"All the general questions like: why did I pick the firm? What areas was I interested in? What did I enjoy during my vacation scheme and what type of work did I do? Why did I want to be a lawyer? I also did a presentation on a hobby of mine that we then discussed. It really felt like they wanted to get to know me in the interview rather than grill me with horrible questions."
First year trainee, London
"Why this firm specifically? What ties do you have to the area? Where do you see yourself in five years' time? Those sorts of questions."
Second year trainee, Reading
"I was asked about the content of my presentation (on a subject of my choice), about my background coming into law and why Penningtons was my first choice."
First year trainee, Guildford
"Tell me about your previous experiences. What pressures do you think Penningtons Manches will face over the next 12 months?"
First year trainee, Cambridge
"How would your partner or friends describe you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What was your proudest moment? What would you find hard about being a trainee?"
First year trainee, Basingstoke

2015

"The questions in my interview focused on my personal attributes and experiences, and why these matched the firm, rather than commercial or legal awareness."
Second year trainee, London
"I was asked the usual questions that most law firms ask: why law? why Penningtons? why did you choose to study certain subjects? Then there were some general commercial awareness questions."
First year trainee, Basingstoke
"The interview was very friendly, and with the expected questions on why this firm and why I chose law. You should be prepared to explain why you are applying to a particular office. I had a previous career so that was explored in a bit more depth."
Second year trainee, Guildford
"I was asked: Will you find it difficult working for a firm based in the UK when you clearly enjoy travelling so much?"
Second year trainee, Oxford
Our 'Insider 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 Insider Reviews material lies solely with GTI Media.
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