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Assessment Centre 101

Applying for a vacation scheme? Worried about assessment centres? Our writer, Shannon Aiken, interviewed a student from the University of Bristol, who recently undertook an assessment centre for a top London law firm, to find out all you need to know about the dreaded assessment centre.

What was the process leading up to the Assessment Centre?

The application process consisted of five contextual questions in an application pack and this was followed by a short video interview.

What did your day consist of?

I arrived at the office where I met four other students who would be part of my group for the day. The first task consisted of a group exercise where we were presented with a company and had to discuss options for their expansion. Secondly, I completed a drafting exercise that entailed writing a reply to a client and preparing for an initial meeting with them. This meeting was acted out between myself and two of the firm’s partners and was assessed. Finally, I completed an interview which focused on why I was attracted to their firm and what skills I could offer them.

How did you prepare?

I made sure I had a detailed understanding of the company as it is vital to know why their specific firm stands out to you. In addition, I prepared competency based answers by thinking about previous experiences and how they showcase various skills I have. It was difficult to prepare for the written commercial awareness tasks, but I suggest learning how each practice area within the firm could assist a business. Also, I stayed on top of the news in the weeks leading up to the assessment centre as having a wider understanding of how specific issues can affect law firms is always beneficial.

What skills did you gain from your experience?

What advice would you give to anyone going to an Assessment Centre?

Words: Shannon Aiken


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