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4 Top Tips for Asking Questions at Assessment Centres

With any assessment centres looming you will be beginning to prepare for the intimidating prospect of a one-on-one interview. A key part of your preparation should be thinking about the questions you should ask at the end of your interview.

Remember that these questions will be the last impression that you leave with the interviewer, so you need to give as much attention to your final questions as you would to any other aspect of the interview. While every interview will be different, you can easily prepare a number of good questions and adjust them according to the specific interview.

Here are some tips on how you can make sure that you are prepared.


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Questions to Avoid at an Assessment Centre

It is not a good idea to ask questions about salary, annual leave or employment benefits during your interview. You run the risk of your interviewer thinking that you are not really passionate about a career in law or their particular firm, but are instead only interested in financial gain.

It is also worth remembering that most of this information will already be available to you online!

You should also avoid asking questions that demonstrate that you have not thoroughly researched the firm that you are applying to.

For example, questions about where their other offices are located, or their key competitors, will only serve to demonstrate that you have not invested very much time in getting to know the firm that you are applying to.

Consider Who is Interviewing You

You need to pitch your questions according to who is interviewing you: partners or members of the graduate recruitment team.

Partners are unlikely to know precise details about the structure of the training programme.

On the other hand, members of the graduate recruitment team will not have an in-depth knowledge of recent cases or deals that the firm has worked on.

It is therefore essential that you adapt your questions to the individual accordingly.


Still looking for more insight into what questions to ask? We have more blog posts that will be super useful for you:


Try and Demonstrate Commercial Awareness

Commercial awareness is a quality that all firms look for in their future trainees. In the legal context, commercial awareness can be summed up broadly as an active interest in business affairs and more specifically in the business interests of the legal industry and the law firm that you are applying to join.

Specific questions about recent business developments, the way that they will impact the law firm and how that law firm will ultimately respond is a key way of demonstrating commercial awareness.

However, make sure that you thoroughly research an area before you ask a question so as to ensure that you can keep up with the conversation!

>> Still unsure as to what we mean by commercial awareness? We have a free guide all about it here!

Questions about the Interviewer

Remember that an interview is also an opportunity to get to know the firm and gain an insight into its culture. A good question can therefore be what the interviewer likes best about working for the firm or their particular specialism.

It’s not every day that you get to have a one-on-one conversation with a senior partner, so make the most of it!

>> More interview help below!

Published: 09/04/18     Author: Hannah Capstick

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