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Interview: Tips & Advice

2019

"Know the values of the firm because they are followed in day-to-day work. Make sure that you get your personality across in the application and what you do outside of law because Shoosmiths looks for individuals, not clones. I would recommend taking a look at the work Shoosmiths does because it's such a big firm that it covers almost every practice area, so trying to know it all won't work. Just choose one or two areas you're particularly interested in and show that you're excited by the work Shoosmiths is doing and why. However, you shouldn't have a set idea about exactly what seats you will do and where you will qualify as you need to keep an open mind."
First year trainee, Birmingham
"I believe the firm is looking for people with the same beliefs as it has and a good work ethic. The most important thing is to be yourself and be honest about what you know and don't know. Shoosmiths is not looking for trainees who know everything as it will train you, but it wants to know that you will fit in and work well with the teams. Another tip is to read the news and keep up to date with current affairs as you need to be commercially aware."
First year trainee, Southampton
"If you are looking to apply to Shoosmiths, I would definitely look to engage with the firm on social media. It's better if the recruitment team can put a face to a name, rather than only seeing your application. To prepare for an interview, try to think of examples of when you have displayed the values that Shoosmiths instils. This will show your interviewer that you are potentially a good fit for the firm."
First year trainee, Birmingham
"The best way to prepare for the interview is to go to the firm and meet the people. Find out what it will really be like to work here and whether it would suit you. The application consisted of answering questions online."
First year trainee, Milton Keynes
"There's an online application and an assessment day that includes a group task, a presentation, an interview and a written task."
First year trainee, Nottingham
"Try to attend as many events held by Shoosmiths as possible to get your name out there and known so you can show your eagerness to be at the firm from an early stage. Attend law fairs and insight evenings and watch the live videos put out by graduate recruitment. For the interview, be familiar with the firm and its culture. Have knowledge of the firm's departments and key clients and the strategy that Shoosmiths has and align your answers with this. Show the firm your skills and qualities that reflect Shoosmiths' values."
First year trainee, Reading

2018

"There's an online application, a (non-essential) vacation placement and an assessment centre. It goes without saying but do your research on the firm. Our four core values resonate throughout the business and aren't merely a vapid attempt at a marketing soundbite."
First year trainee, Nottingham
"I would encourage candidates to research the firm thoroughly and to ensure they attend as many events as possible to get to know our culture and our people."
First year trainee, Manchester
"Make sure to let your personality come across in your application. Be personable on the assessment day and make sure to research the firm as much as possible beforehand so you can ask appropriate questions."
First year trainee, Whiteley, Southampton
"Always be yourself and make sure you do your research on what the firm's values are as a lot of importance is placed on them."
First year trainee, Northampton
"The application process consists of an online application form and an assessment day. The firm also holds insight evenings in January and February each year, which are designed to be informal events where applicants can find out more about the firm and the application process, and network with the grad recruitment team and people from the office. I would strongly encourage anyone wanting to apply to the firm to attend one of these evenings."
First year trainee, Solent

2016

"I completed an application form and attended an assessment centre where there was a group exercise, written exercise, and interview with a presentation. My main tip would be to really research the firm and the kind of work they are involved in. Shoosmiths have a certain set of values they adhere to and expect their trainees to adhere to as well. I would recommend researching as much as possible to make sure you are the right fit."
First year trainee, Edinburgh
"Stand out and be yourself. Show some of your individual personality."
Second year trainee, Milton Keynes
"Online application then assessment day. It is beneficial to secure a vacation scheme placement to allow you to observe the firm. It's like a week-long interview."
First year trainee, Nottingham
"Mixture of group exercise, individual written exercise, interview and individual presentation. How best to prepare: know the firm and know yourself – be very clear on your career goals and how the firm fits that, and how you fit the firm."
First year trainee, Milton Keynes
"Tailor your application to the firm. Do your research; attend law fairs/open days and ask relevant questions. Take time to understand the firm's culture and what it does."
Second year trainee, Southampton
"Assessment day based around a group exercise, written exercise and interview, with a presentation that you prepare in advance of the day. I would suggest making sure that you consider the commercial implications of all your ideas throughout the group task and ensure that you get involved."
First year trainee, Manchester
"Understand client expectations and that, although we are lawyers, we are also running a business. We should add value for our clients."
Second year trainee, Solent

2015

"I have seen that trainees at the firm tend to be down to earth but confident, with a bit of character/interest outside of the office. Interviews are competency based and CV blind - interviewers will not have seen CVs, so be sure to tell them everything important."
Second year trainee, Reading
"Be yourself. The firm (like any other) are looking for specific traits which are easily shown in people who suit the firm, but you should always be yourself throughout the process."
Second year trainee, Southampton
"When applying there is an assessment centre with a variety of activities e.g. partner interview, written exercise and a group exercise."
First year trainee, Southampton
"There is an assessment day in the application process, consisting of tasks and a formal interview."
First year trainee, Southampton
"Applicants should definitely have a plan on what they want to get across about themselves and make sure they get all that across at the right times. Don't be shy either and applicants should just be themselves."
First year trainee, Reading

2014

"Use as many different life experiences to back up what you are saying about yourself, each time you make statement about yourself."
Second year trainee, Reading
"Be able to show your reasoning behind decisions. Be pro-active in group activities and demonstrate that you are thinking commercially."
First year trainee, Manchester
"Candidates should become familiar with the firm's culture/strategy, and identify how you would fit and contribute towards its goals/strategy."
First year trainee, Birmingham
"Make sure that your personality comes across in your application form and during the assessment day. I would recommend that you carry out research about the firm before applying, in particular be sure to use sources other than the firm's website to find out more."
First year trainee, Manchester
"Prepare for the interview by learning about the firm and by gaining relevant experience; it is useful if you can demonstrate when you have worked with clients, as this is a key-focus for the firm."
First year trainee, Southampton
"Shoosmiths is very much a people firm that values individuals and what they can bring to their company, i.e. they are not looking for clones, a personality will get you noticed."
Second year trainee, Manchester
"Really think about the culture of the firm and what makes us different and show that you are a great fit for us."
First year trainee, Reading
"Candidates should do thorough research on the firm, practice interview techniques and be themselves. You want the firm to be the right fit for you as well as you being the right fit for the firm."
First year trainee, Nottingham

2013

"The firm looks to hire commercially aware, confident individuals. My tip would be to be yourself. To prepare don't just spend time reading the FT, etc. Think carefully about the skills you have and experience you have gained and be able to talk confidently about them."
First year trainee, Southampton
"Shoosmiths generally seems to hire friendly, proactive, clearly intelligent but not ruthless ladder climbers. Candidates should aim to speak to as many people as possible on the assessment day, (especially from the office they are applying to), to ensure they are remembered at the end of the day."
Second year trainee, Reading
"Well-rounded individuals with enthusiasm to get involved."
First year trainee, Milton Keynes
"Down to earth, pragmatic and intelligent people with a sense of humour. Candidates should be familiar with their CV and have a number of examples for different competencies. Remember to relax and try to have fun!"
Second year trainee, Manchester
"Think about what will set you apart from other good candidates and research the firm culture."
Second year trainee, Nottingham
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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