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

Hogan Lovells Interview

Hogan Lovells Vacation Scheme Interview 2018

When was your Hogan Lovells interview?
November 2018

What was it for?

Winter Vacation Scheme

Please describe the interview process at Hogan Lovells.
There were two interviews during the day.
The first interview was a partner interview, they began by introducing themselves, then asked me some questions about why I studied history. The questions then went on to my motivations for a career in law.
Some of the questions included:

  • Why law?
  • Why commercial law?
  • Why HL?
  • Who else have you applied to and why them? Are they similar to HL?
  • Where would I open a new office and why?

In the last 10 minutes we briefly discussed the case study that I had been given earlier in the day. One of the questions was- what kind of practice areas would be involved to deal with the issues that may arise.

My second interview was the situational interview and was with HR and a senior associate. They both explained that the purpose of the interview was to assess how I would react to everyday situations trainees may find themselves in. They said that there were no right or wrong answers and that it was more about seeing how I approached different situations. I was then given a few seconds to consider the situation and discuss how I would respond. I was then asked further questions stemming from my answers. Questions included ‘You are staying late in the office tonight because you are leaving work early tomorrow to go away for the weekend. A partner invites you to a client dinner. How would you respond?’ and ‘A first seat trainee is being quite rude to support staff and this is beginning to rub off on you and other trainees. You hear support staff complaining about the “trainee attitude”. How would you respond?’

Then we were taken on a tour of the office followed by lunch.

What advice would you give to future applicants for the Hogan Lovells interview?
Make sure you have an understanding of HL’s international strategy, as this came into particular use when I answered the question about a new office.

Try and be flexible during the partner interview. Especially, if you do not know the answers to certain questions asked by partners, be honest to them and ask for further guidance.

For the situational judgement questions make sure you explain why you chose your answer, and also tell them why you didn’t choose the other answers.

Hogan Lovells Vacation Scheme Interview 2018

When was your Hogan Lovells interview?
4 November 2018

What was it for?

Winter Vacation Scheme

Please describe the interview process at Hogan Lovells.
Situational Judgment HR & Associate 1 hr interview/ Watson glaser/ Partner Interview/ case study

What advice would you give to future applicants for the Hogan Lovells interview?
Fairly smooth process, did not “grill” – a nice interview. It went through very standard Qs – why law/ why commercial law/ what is a commercial issue you’ve been following. What are key issues in case study and what would you do as a lawyer. Clearly testing things like resilience and what you believe a role of a trainee is. Why Hogan Lovells was emphasised upon – wanted me to differentiate from other law firms I’ve applied to.

Hogan Lovells AC (January 2019, for Summer Vacation Scheme)

Watson Glaser Test –
***I would recommend people buy the how2become ‘critical thinking test’ book from Amazon which has a green cover. This has really helped me and I have passed every test I have sat so far and really think this book has enabled me to do that.***

There were eight people on my AC in total and, firstly, we were all led to a meeting room to retake a Watson Glaser test. Before the test was handed out, we all shared a fun fact or a celebrity encounter to break the ice and the lady presiding over the AC was really warm and friendly.

The Watson Glaser was slightly more difficult than the online generated test in my opinion but do not let it phase you – you have passed it once to get to the AC and you will be fine with this one. I would make sure to return to your first few answers at the end to be sure you read them well enough though because it did feel quite formal and exam-like. The test is in a paper format and the answer sheet is a typical exam-style multiple choice one where you have to put a cross in your answer. Make sure you are definitely matching the questions correctly on the answer sheet- seems a simple thing to point out but apparently people have slipped up here before.

After the Watson Glaser we were given a case study which we had 15 mins to make notes on. I skipped straight to the back to look at the three questions we needed to keep in mind. Then I ripped three separate sheets from the notepad provided and wrote the three questions upon them. I read the case study through once and then proceeded to re-read and made notes on the respective sheets to help guide my thoughts. I personally think this worked well given the time pressure.

Situational Judgement Test –
This is hard to prepare for but keep the firm’s values in mind. Be sure to demonstrate you are a team player and show an awareness that the firm is renowned for being very open and friendly; it really prides itself upon this and rightfully so. Bear in mind that most firms want you to take ownership of your work and own up to your mistakes too! This section is very much common sense and try to be as honest as you can – they are really just trying to see how you think here so be sure to support your answers. The interviewer will also develop the situation and make it more difficult just to test you a bit further – they will do this for everyone so don’t panic with this. There was one situation which had been developed by my interviewer and I was unsure how to respond because I was unclear as to where the line is drawn with what trainees can do in difficult scenarios. I was actually praised for this in my feedback because I showed an awareness and appreciation for rules. I thought this might have been a terrible response from me so have confidence in your thoughts! I really enjoyed this part of the day.

Partner Interview –
I found this to be really quite tough. I was guided to the room by one of the partners who I was quick to establish a conversation with and he was really nice. A senior associate was already in the room and he was equally friendly as well. I sat down, and they asked me why I was interested in law and, given my application, they asked why not the civil service. This threw me a bit so really make sure you have thought about many careers and why they are different to law and commercial law especially. They didn’t at any stage ask me why commercial law and there was no further opportunity to naturally state this. With this interview, therefore, I would be keen to note business and the commercial world early on; even if not explicitly prompted. They also asked me why Hogan Lovells too.

They asked me about what I think lawyers and trainees do. They also asked me which practice groups would be involved in an M&A deal. The case study I thought was ok by and large. I just effectively answered the three questions we prepared for and this was quite a short aspect of the interview for me, but this varies between candidates. I did not get any competency questions personally, probably because of the nature of their online form.

I really got the impression that the questions I was asked would not have been the same for other people – they really improvised, looked at my application and asked me things pertinent to previous questions and answers too. I also really tried to remain calm and to keep smiling even though I knew the interview was going less well than I had hoped. I was truly myself in the interview and tried my best and that is all you can ever ask of yourself at the end of the day! Do be charismatic because I think this goes a long way and even more so if you can maintain your charisma despite difficulty.

Feedback –

I passed the Watson Glaser again and my SJT was apparently without fault and I really impressed my interviewer. My downfall was the partner interview, as I expected. They said they were unsure of my motivations so really nail ‘why law’ and why not other paths. They said my desire to work in commercial law and my passion for business was also unclear (like I said – discuss this even if not prompted to and make sure business formulates part of your ‘why not xxxx career path?’ They also said that the overriding motivation for why HL was culture and I needed something better to really put forwards my desire to work at the firm. They did say that I came across very well within myself in terms of my charisma and personable nature (why I think this is really important, especially for a firm with a great culture like theirs).

I personally wish I had done a HL open day prior to my AC because I think it would have given me more to discuss in terms of the firm itself. I also feel indebted to HL and this experience as it has helped me to better my responses.

The firm really is so incredibly friendly and I entreat anybody to submit an application if they are thinking about it.

Hogan Lovells Winter Vacation scheme AC
1. Watson Glaser
2. Case Study concerning project finance
3. Situational Test
4. Partner Interview

a. Why law at university?
b. Why commercial law?
c. What other firms have you applied to?
d. Project finance

i. What are the issues
ii. How can you think we can structure this deal
iii. Why is it a problem that they do not have any substantial assets​

e. Why did you not get Cleary? How was the scheme
f. Why did you not get a vacation scheme in your second year of studies​

5. What is a commercial issue you have been following

When was your Hogan Lovells interview? 

November 2017

What was it for? 

Winter Vacation Scheme

Please describe the interview process at Hogan Lovells.

The assessment centre consisted of a situational judgment test to confirm the scores achieved online- followed by a case study being handed out to prepare for the Partner interview. The case study was about the Saudi Aramco IPO and about the controversy surrounding a potential listing in London. The interview lasted an hour and was with two partners. For the first half hour it felt like a general interview, covering why I wanted to work for Hogan Lovells. This did not go well for me at all as this was my third round of applications and they knew I had never applied to the firm before and I had not prepared a good enough answer for why I was only applying to them now. Also i don’t think I was clear enough on why I wanted to work for them in terms of their specialisms. The case study carried the second half of the interview (lasting another 30mins with the same people) and was fairly straightforward- discussing the pros and cons of a listing in London versus Saudi Arabia, what lawyers were doing, what the controversy was about.

What advice would you give to future applicants for the Hogan Lovells interview?

If you are an older/more experienced candidate have a good answer for why you are only just applying to Hogan lovells (particularly if you have experience at ‘better’ firms)

TC interviewee for Birmingham office (now future trainee at Hogan Lovells):

Was for the Birmingham office. 6 candidates! Still haven’t heard back from last Wednesday. If I don’t get it, I don’t exactly know what they were looking for – the other candidates were very different. SJT with HR and Sen. Associate. was tough, but I expect everyone finds that. Partner interview was with a tough corporate partner. He didn’t ask about much I had prepared for, focusing instead on my previous education (I’m a career-changer). We spoke about my dissertation at undergrad. Completely inscrutable; but I thought I handled most questions well. Case study was on investor issues ahead of Saudi Aramco’s proposed IPO – followed PEST etc. Could see that that would be challenging to anyone with limited prior knowledge (not that I had a great deal, but had followed the story).

Group exercise – split into two groups of three, and asked to assess three potential clients each. Tried to follow SWOT, PEST. Tough to know how to act. Again, tried to be collegiate and insightful.

Hogan Lovells vac scheme interviewee (2018):

Hey, so the day starts with the Watson Glazer.

You then get given the case study which is a short article with a few bullet points at the end. You can’t take your notes with you to the interview but you’re not expected to give a presentation; you’ll just have a discussion of the bullet points. Reading up a bit on shares and financial markets (and recent events in this area) will be helpful (although they’ll probably change the case study for future years). There are also the standard questions – why law, why commercial law, why Hogan Lovells etc. I was then given a few more off-the-wall questions e.g. I needed to discuss an area of academic law which interested me with them. They also picked up on a few things on my CV e.g my interest in access work.

The second interview is a ‘situational’ one. You’re given scenarios and need to talk through how you would react. I think that it’s just about showing you’re a team player and client-focused. So, for example, one of them was about handling a fellow trainee who was acting superior to the paralegals. Another concerned whether you would still go on a client secondment if other trainees had told you that it was bad. Another was about a Partner inviting you to a client dinner at the last minute but you have a lot of work to get through.

A Hogan Lovells future trainee for the vacation scheme:

Basically, just go over your app and make sure you can talk about stuff at length. As you’re a law student they might quiz you on current legal/business issues e.g. cryptocurrency. Then there’s the situational judgment test. Basically they go over scenarios and you say what you would do. Just basically say you would always consult your supervisor if possible but if not you would just use common sense. They usually revolve around work deadlines conflicting or time management. Just basically show that you can prioritise properly and show awareness of the legal work environment. Also think of a couple of interesting questions to ask at the end. If in doubt just ask the interviewer about what challengers are facing them in their particular area of work.

When was your Hogan Lovells interview? 

March 2016

What was it for? 

Vacation Scheme

Please describe the interview process at Hogan Lovells.

Once we arrived, we were taken to a room and had the day explained to us. We did some ice-breakers, sharing an interesting fact about ourselves, saying where we studied or what we are currently doing, etc. Then we re-took the Watson Glaser test, presumably just to verify that we hadn’t cheated when we did it as part of the application.

Then there were two interviews. The first was with an associate and a member of HR. This was a situational judgement interview, where they read out a card – and you could read it as well – explaining scenario and then asked you how you would respond.

The final interview started with a case study, a short piece on a commercial issue that we then had to discuss with two partners. After we discussed that, they asked the usual questions on motivation for a career in law, why Hogan Lovells etc., and then some competency questions.

What advice would you give to future applicants for the Hogan Lovells interview?

For the Watson Glaser test, if you’re fine with the test the first time round, then you should be fine on the day. In any case, if you’re there for interview then you did well enough on the test the first time round, so it’s just a case of doing it again and you’ll probably be completely fine.

The situational judgement interview is something you cannot really prepare for well. They discussed whether my answer really was the best thing to do, even if I got it exactly right the first time, and often told me what was the ideal response if I hadn’t quite said that myself. There were some more questions to see if I understood the roles of trainees, the benefits of secondments to other offices and clients, how much they would charge for a trainee’s time. So just make sure you’re familiar with what you would be doing as a trainee, your roles, the departments, and understanding about commercial law.

Try to build up commercial awareness generally to approach the case study. It would be helpful to think about how it would affect Hogan Lovells specifically, thinking about the different departments, emerging markets, maybe how key clients will be affected, what potential new areas there will be for development etc. Be confident in your motivation answers, and really think about it. Try to be unique and personal in why you want to go to the firm, as otherwise you are just repeating the generic answers they hear every interview.

Hogan Lovells Vacation Scheme Interview 2018

When was your Hogan Lovells interview? 

November 2018

What was it for? 

Winter Vacation Scheme

Please describe the interview process at Hogan Lovells.

There were two interviews during the day.
The first interview was a partner interview, they began by introducing themselves, then asked me some questions about why I studied history. The questions then went on to my motivations for a career in law.
Some of the questions included:

  • Why law?
  • Why commercial law?
  • Why HL?
  • Who else have you applied to and why them? Are they similar to HL?
  • Where would I open a new office and why?

In the last 10 minutes we briefly discussed the case study that I had been given earlier in the day. One of the questions was- what kind of practice areas would be involved to deal with the issues that may arise.

My second interview was the situational interview and was with HR and a senior associate. They both explained that the purpose of the interview was to assess how I would react to everyday situations trainees may find themselves in. They said that there were no right or wrong answers and that it was more about seeing how I approached different situations. I was then given a few seconds to consider the situation and discuss how I would respond. I was then asked further questions stemming from my answers. Questions included ‘You are staying late in the office tonight because you are leaving work early tomorrow to go away for the weekend. A partner invites you to a client dinner. How would you respond?’ and ‘A first seat trainee is being quite rude to support staff and this is beginning to rub off on you and other trainees. You hear support staff complaining about the “trainee attitude”. How would you respond?’

Then we were taken on a tour of the office followed by lunch.

What advice would you give to future applicants for the Hogan Lovells interview?

Make sure you have an understanding of HL’s international strategy, as this came into particular use when I answered the question about a new office.

Try and be flexible during the partner interview. Especially, if you do not know the answers to certain questions asked by partners, be honest to them and ask for further guidance.

For the situational judgement questions make sure you explain why you chose your answer, and also tell them why you didn’t choose the other answers.

When was your Hogan Lovells interview? 

4 November 2018

What was it for? 

Winter Vacation Scheme

Please describe the interview process at Hogan Lovells.

Situational Judgment HR & Associate 1 hr interview/ Watson glaser/ Partner Interview/ case study

What advice would you give to future applicants for the Hogan Lovells interview?

Fairly smooth process, did not “grill” – a nice interview. It went through very standard Qs – why law/ why commercial law/ what is a commercial issue you’ve been following. What are key issues in case study and what would you do as a lawyer. Clearly testing things like resilience and what you believe a role of a trainee is. Why Hogan Lovells was emphasised upon – wanted me to differentiate from other law firms I’ve applied to.