From a Skadden future trainee
The AC is structured into 3 parts: an interview with a partner + associate, a group exercise, and a panel discussion (consisting of graduate recruitment, a trainee, an associate and a partner).
Nothing out of the ordinary here. The partner and associate will have the candidate’s application form and CV with them and it will typically just be a discussion of things from these. Most interviews tend to revolve around the candidate’s interests, extra curriculars, achievements, leadership roles, motivation behind why Skadden, etc. The interviews tend to be very organic and evolve naturally through the answers given by the candidate and what is on their application form, rather than Skadden having a prescribed set of questions to get through. The main advice I have is to come across enthusiastic, confident and relaxed. Nail those three things along with articulate answers and the candidate should come across very well.
This varies year on year but will likely consist of working in a pair, having to discuss together an issue/scenario, coming up with an articulate answer and discussing it with the room (all the other candidates plus a few Skadden associates/graduate recruitment). If working in pairs make sure neither dominates and that both of you participate. If discussing something with the rest of the room be receptive to counter arguments and views; try not to take too hard line approach and be open to discussion. The firm is not trying to test your technical knowledge of a particular area in this assessment. Rather, it is the soft skills, the ability to think on your feet, to craft an argument and to persuade eloquently to a group of others. Again, my main advice here is to come across confident, relaxed and articulate.
Very simple – ask questions! I don’t know how Skadden evaluates candidates here, but I think it’s simply a case of demonstrating that you are interested in learning more about the firm, its people and their stories. To excel here I would recommend doing basic research beforehand, such as reading the Skadden Chambers Student feature, and asking questions about the firm / the people on the panel. Things like asking about future firm strategy, office expansion, any new big areas for development within the London office, why X associate chose to qualify into Y practice area following their TC at the firm, etc. are the kind of things I would be thinking about here. It is a case of taking an interest in the firm and showing that by asking a few questions that are interesting and useful.
Whan was your Skadden interview?
What can you tell us about the Skadden assessment centre?
- Meet and greet
Upon entering 40 Bank Street, all the applicants will wait at the ground floor before being called up. After that, we will enter a pretty big meeting room where all candidates will sit and get to know each other before the grad recruitment team enters. I would suggest that you should mingle around and get to know everyone’s name for the group exercise later.
- Group tour/partner-associate interview
The group will be split into two, one half goes for the office tour with 2 trainees whilst the other goes for their respective interviews.
Group tour tips:
- Ask questions to both trainees along the way
- Make friends with all other team members, will prove useful for the group exercise
- Interview – 30 mins interview with 2 lawyers
- Very random, asked about anything
- Why study in London?
- What do you like/not like about London?
- Why Skadden?
- What do you think of pro-bono?
- What do you do in your spare time?
- Why Skadden over other US firms?
- Which other firms you applied to?
- What do you think of long hours?
- Went through my app and asked random stuff here and there, so do know your app thoroughly!
- Group exercise
So here, we sat in the same meeting room where we initially gathered.
Each of us are given a card with different roles within society (lawyer, banker, teacher etc…) then we are asked to [redacted]/
Thereafter, we are then asked to discuss in a group for 20 minutes on ranking all 10 members within society from rank 1 -10.
- Be mindful of the time. Keep track of time.
- Be clear and concise when pitching. Since you can use fictitious characters/names/age, it might be good to be a little creative and add some humour but be confident and concise when pitching as an individual.
- Also, when others are doing their respective pitchers, write those facts down cause it will be handy for the group discussion.
- During the group discussion, try and refer to the members by their names also and be respectful and try and reiterate their ideas. (Eg: As X has argued or as Y has mentioned in his pitch, it would be beneficial for…)
- Don’t interrupt when other members are speaking.
- Remember to write the list from 1-10 and tell the grad recruitment team BEFORE THE TIME ENDS!
- This consists a Q&A session with a panel of 4-5 lawyers and the HR
- Come prepared with (2) questions
ALL THE BEST! Do your best and have faith!