Training Contract Interview Questions
Wondering what you may be asked in your training contract interview? You’ve come to the right place! This page details common training contract interview questions as well as top tips on how to answer them, written by Izzy, who secured a training contract at a top London law firm.
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Typical Training Contract Interview Questions
Application processes at law firms are notoriously complicated, and are usually made up of many stages and tasks to complete. This means that you are guaranteed to have at least one interview along the way to bagging a training contract – and it will play in your favour if you are well prepared for the questions in advance. In light of this, here are some examples of training contract interview questions.
- Tell us a bit about yourself.
- Why do you want to be a [commercial] lawyer? (certain to be asked to non-law applicants)
- Why do you want to work for us? Why do you want to train with us over our competitors?
- Where else have you applied? How are your other applications going?
- I can see from your application that you… [worked at your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau/volunteered abroad this summer/have a part time job at a supermarket]. Can you tell us about some of the challenges you faced when working here?
- I can see from your application that you completed a placement at [X law firm]. Can you tell us a bit more about the work you were involved in there?
- Can you tell us a bit more about your undergraduate degree and why you chose to study [X]?
Law Firm Questions
- What do you know about the ways in which we engage our clients?
- Who are our main clients?
- What do you know about the opportunities we offer to our trainees?
- If you were a trainee here, how would you get involved in the firm? How would you make yourself stand out as a good trainee?
- What skills do you have that will make you a successful [commercial] lawyer?
- Tell us about a time when you showed team-working skills/communication skills/attention to detail/integrity etc….
- Tells us about a time when you overcame a difficult situation, and what actions you took to do so.
- Who do you see as our main competitors?
- What do you see as the main challenges facing city law firms today?
- Tell us about a story you’ve read in newspaper recently, and something you found interesting about it.
- What are your main ways of following the news?
- Tell me about a recent legal story that you’ve been keeping up to date with, and how it has progressed.
Read more about commercial awareness topics that might come up with our Legal News – Hot Topics 2018 page!
Legal News - Hot Topics 2018
Training Contract Interview Questions: Top Tips
- Research the firm. Some firms have a reputation for a particular interview style, and you don’t want to be caught out by a slightly strange question (for example, if you could meet three people dead or alive who would they be? If you were an animal what would you be?). Best to be prepared for those in advance!
- Ask your friends applying to similar firms about their experiences, what questions they were asked, and if there were any difficult ones to look out for.
- Know your application inside out. Talking about relevant things you’ve done articulately is an easy way to impress and take control of the interview from the outset.
- Structure your answers. You could think of two or three points for common questions and remember one word for each point. Then, as you respond to the questions, your answers will have a natural structure to them as you reel off the words in your head.
- Have a list of questions to ask at the end. You want to show you’re interested in the firm and particularly in the training contract itself, so training-based questions are probably the safest bet.
- Practice makes perfect, so get as many mock interviews in before as you can!
Finally, remember that interviews are a really good way for you to get to know a firm better too. For example, if you’re feeling uncomfortable and unable to answer questions, this might mean that the firm isn’t a very good match for you. Conversely, the interviews in which you feel the most comfortable may be a good indicator that the firm is right for you.
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