Interview experiences for vacation schemes and training contracts. Law firms are sorted alphabetically.

Eversheds Sutherland Interview

When was your Eversheds Sutherland interview? 

March 2018

What was it for? 

Vacation scheme

Please describe the interview process at Eversheds Sutherland.

You start off with the in tray exercise, which is the hardest part of the entire day in my opinion. You get one and a half hours to manage an inbox. During this time you have a core piece of work to do, which is to draft a document and you have to read multiple documents for this. Whilst doing this task you have emails coming with other pieces of work to do. Keep an eye on the time!

The interview and recruitment process in general had completely changed having previously interviewed here for a training contract. The interview is solely strengths based. Nothing commercial at all and nothing about the firm. It’s all focused on your motivations, what you enjoy doing, how you would feel in a particular situation. The interviewers are very friendly and interested in you as an individual. Next is a role play exercise. You get documents to read and then attend an internal meeting with a lawyer from another department to discuss the issues in the documents.

Finally throughout the day you will be taken away by a member of the HR or the recruitment team for “reflections.” This consists of a series of questions about the activity that you just did, what you enjoyed, what you didn’t enjoy etc.

What advice would you give to future applicants about the Eversheds Sutherland interview?

Go through all your work experiences and extra curriculars and make sure you have examples of what you particularly enjoyed. Other than that there isn’t anyway you can prepare for the interview. Just be yourself and highlight your strengths where you can.

When was your Eversheds Sutherland interview? 

February 2017

What was it for? 

Vacation scheme

Please describe the interview process at Eversheds Sutherland.

1. Interview. 45-60 minutes.

2. In-tray exercises. 90 minutes.

What advice would you give to future applicants about the Eversheds Sutherland interview?

1. The interview is mostly competency-based. Make sure you can demonstrate general competencies (i.e. teamwork, communication skills, etc.) with examples from your work history/positions of responsibility. My interviewer asked me if I knew of any recent cases that the firm was involved in, so I’d keep an eye on their website/social media.

2. There were two in-tray exercises. The first is designed to simulate the life of an employee. In addition to managing an inbox and dealing with any tasks that come your way, you’ll have to draft a letter to a barrister. You’ll need to gauge the time sensitivity of each task in order to devise a plan of action. For the second task, you’ll be given a contract that’s riddled with errors (mostly spelling and grammar, but some will relate to the information you were dealing with during the first exercise), and you’ll have to correct them as quickly as you can. Keep an eye on the time.

When was your Eversheds Sutherland interview? 

March 2018

What was it for? 

Vacation scheme (Notthingham)

Please describe the interview process at Eversheds Sutherland.

It was a strengths-based assessment day, so after each activity we would be questioned on what we liked/disliked about it, what we felt we could have done better, how we would change our approach in the future etc.

The first assessment was a computer exercise, which consisted of an email simulation, as well as a report that we had to finish in the given timeframe. Following this was a negotiation exercise, and thirdly, an interview with a partner and an associate before the day ended.

The entire day was really enjoyable to be honest- the people were extremely friendly, and we even had an ice-breaker session before the first assessment began.

What advice would you give to future applicants about the Eversheds Sutherland interview?

This was the first time the firm had chosen a strengths-based approach, and I’m not sure if they will continue to do so in the future; nevertheless, there honestly isn’t much one can prepare for- you just need to reflect on how you performed after each activity and to be honest with them. (I guess the only “practice” you’d need before this is framing your answers, how you would structure them to best show your strengths etc.)

The partner/associate interview was a skills-based interview, so it wasn’t a commercial-focused one where you would need to read up on any commercial news beforehand.

The “commercial awareness” exercise was mostly pertinent in the computer exercise, as they gave you a bunch of documents and asked you to draft a report whilst replying emails from “colleagues” pertaining to those documents. As most of the information is within those documents, there isn’t much you can do to prepare beforehand- what I would suggest is to be familiar with a couple of the firm’s clients, and see if you can weave them in anywhere (where appropriate, of course- if the instructions don’t ask you to do so, then don’t do it!)

The negotiation exercise was (for me) the hardest part of the day- there was a lot of information to digest in and only a limited time to read everything and come up with a plan on how to approach it. It’s a solo exercise, and you’ll be negotiating with another associate of the firm. Sound confident when negotiating, acknowledge the other party’s concerns and talk about how you could potentially address their concerns with your plan.

Finally, have fun and talk to others- the staff members were extremely friendly, and the same goes for the other candidates who were at the assessment centre. All the activities are done individually (i.e. there are no group exercises), so there really isn’t any point in trying to put others down (not that anyone should be doing so anyway even if there was a group exercise!)

When was your Eversheds Sutherland interview? 

2018

What was it for? 

Vacation scheme

Please describe the interview process at Eversheds Sutherland.

In-tray exercise (About 1.5 hrs), Interview (About 1.5 hrs), Internal Meeting Simulation (About 1.5 hrs)- Activity 2 and Activity 3 are interchangeable depending on the group you are in. At the end of every activity, HR does a feedback session with you asking you to rate your performance.

What advice would you give to future applicants about the Eversheds Sutherland interview?

1. In-tray exercise
Essentially it involves you simulating a trainee’s job. You have been sent some emails with various tasks – eg. due to a recent news development, your boss has tasked you to write a report to be circulated to the firm’s clients. Just be ORGANISED and PRIORITISE the emails. (If it helps- I actually created folders on my email so that it would be easier to see all the related email in one folder and the miscellaneous tasks in another folder) Even if you don’t manage to finish all the tasks given to you, make sure you finish the task that the firm has specifically instructed you have to.

2. Interview
This is an interview with a partner with a focus on your strengths. Before the AC, a checklist will be sent to you for you to narrow down your strengths. When preparing, I had actually identified my strengths and weaknesses and made sure I had examples to back up my claims (Work experience, school, experiences with friends, family etc) It helps to show that you show some reflection about these experiences (eg. Tutoring – Why I decided to do this & what did I realise about myself through the process) Don’t be afraid to talk about your flaws- the firm is not looking for a perfect individual and your flaws make you relatable as long as you show a desire to learn and improve. (At least that was what I felt for my interview as I was being very honest with my interviewer)

3. Internal Meeting Simulation
You are given a fact pack with a task that will affect the firm. For my task, I was representing a particular portion of the firm in making a decision. After the preparation period, you go to the meeting with your “colleague” (a Partner) and amicably argue your case, whilst protecting the interests of the side you support. Be tactful, be organised and be willing to compromise where necessary.

After each activity, there is a feedback session where HR will ask you to grade your performance. Be honest about your performance and remember to talk about anything you could have done better on hindsight!