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

TLT Interview

When was your TLT interview? 

April 2018

What was it for? 

Vacation scheme & TC

Please describe the interview process at TLT.

Assessment Day:

  1. Commercial letter writing exercise (45 mins)
  2. three person team exercise (20-30 minutes pitching a law firm you created with your team with some cards to assist their values, budget and staffing structure)
  3. Presentation (10 minutes on ‘anything you want’ – but this is the only way you get to demonstrate commercial awareness so best to do something commercial)
  4. Short interview (30 minutes, only four scripted questions i) why law ii) why TLT iii) why bristol iv) what skills do you think a commercial lawyer should have and why? and a general chat about you and your experience

Vac Scheme:

Standard fare of some work, some socials, some events and lunches to go to. No assessments on the week. Big focus on getting yourself known by the team/department/rest of the firm (e.g. emailing partners in other departments for 15 minute topical chats). Ask lots of questions and do chat to your team.

Final TC Interview

20 quickfire scripted strength based questions, with an estimated time of 45 minutes. Every single person on the vacation scheme went over by at least 15 minutes, mine lasted about 80-90 minutes. Interview is ‘top and tailed’ with general chit chat that you are told is not assessed to make you feel comfortable and give you a chance to ask questions at the end. Intense and you can’t prepare for it other than knowing the type of questions and examples you will use when discussing your strengths/weaknesses/tendencies.

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

Do not over prepare. I cannot stress this enough. They made very clear rehearsed answers where they don’t see enthusiasm in your eyes are picked up on. They do care about what you say, but they care more about how you say it and whether you would enjoy the job, rather than your capability to do it.

Do have a commercial news story or two to explain and think about how you can work your commercial awareness into everyday examples (e.g. if they ask if people trust you, perhaps use an example that relates to business as ultimately the trust they’re looking for is the trust a client will need to place in you).

The best advice is to broadly know your CV, what examples to use (just because it is strengths based, doesn’t mean you can get away not backing things up!) and have a good think about how you ‘FEEL’ about things as the questions are more about your emotional responses to things than what you CAN/are capable of doing.

You need to be genuine and show individuality. If you want to say something silly like ‘i just love a list’ (as i did!) then say it, it gives you a personality! Try to think ‘360 degrees’ i.e. your personality, what your answers says to the firm, what it might offer a client, and what it might offer your training/development.

Do not talk at length for minutes at a time, the idea is they are quickfire questions and you are demonstrating how concise you can communicate things. Try to keep answers at around 2 minutes per question, but some will require shorter/longer as appropriate (e.g. ‘do you enjoy being organised?’ vs ‘discuss a commercial news story you have been following recently?’ will naturally be difference – don’t feel obliged to talk forever just because you have 45 minutes for 20 questions)

The interviewers warn you they will not respond to you at all during the interview, so don’t be put off by the silence but for the questions. They write lots of notes and you very much command how things go, so if you find them switching off, they’re not going to tell you to stop, so watch for their expressions and gauge accordingly.

When was your TLT interview? 

June 2017

What was it for? 

Training Contract

Please describe the interview process at TLT.

Video interview if successful at critical reasoning test, followed by assessment centre.

It was nice, the firm is relatively small and you can feel it from the first second. I personally like this aspect.

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

Video interview: the questions were typical but are very random from what I gather. Mine included why TLT, a number of competency questions including on past experiences, and a commercial question at the end.

Assessment centre:
-Presentation
-Group exercise
-Written exercise
-Interview

-Pretty long and intense I would say.

-Presentation: you are given a topic in advance which is commercially focused. The term ‘grilling’ does not quite describe what followed it. They will apply maximum pressure on you to see how you respond. I do not think it is unreasonable to say this has been the most intense exercise I have ever had, especially since presentation are naturally challenging in their own right. Make sure you prepare well for whatever topic you are presenting.

-Group exercise: placed in one group, we were given a scenario with some issues that needed resolving and were tasked to find the most suitable solutions. The key thing here is that the exercise was designed to create conflict within the group, and the main aspect here was not simply to find a solution that was logical, but more so to reaching a conclusion together despite the issues posited in the task. It is extremely important to be respectful here, seeing as by design the task tried to uncover any potentially obnoxious behaviour.

-Written exercise: this is a letter to the client. We were given a pretty detailed case study and had to translate its contents into the letter. You are given hints as to what the advice should be, so unlike others firms the stress of finding solutions yourself is less. The focus, instead, was much more into discerning how well you could grasp the information on the pack and transform it into plausible advise to a regular person with no legal background.

-Interview: this is done by a member of HR and a partner. The firm has, famously for those who have researched it, switched to a ‘strength-based’ interview mode, with does in fact differ from the typical competency-based interview. In essence, it is more scenario focused and tries to discern what you would do in such scenarios. Hence, they will not be asking you to give generic examples as in competency-based interviews, but will lead on the discussion and then you might use examples to back your answer. It also included a commercial question and of course the typical ‘why TLT’ questions.

When was your TLT interview? 

February 2018

What was it for? 

Training Contract

Please describe the interview process at TLT.

The assessment day consist of a strength-based interview conducted by a partner and a member of the management team. This type of interview is designed to determine your natural strengths and weaknesses – what drives you and what you find challenging. This is to identify people with the best potential to succeed. This is followed by a presentation to two assessors. Here, they look for evidence of commercial awareness and strong research skills. Then there is the written test to explore your business and common sense and examine how you structure a written argument and present your findings. Finally, there is a group exercise in which we want to see how well you can communicate, interact and solve problems as part of a team.

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

The day is designed to challenge you and give the firm a good idea of your potential but it also offers plenty of opportunity to determine whether TLT is right for you. Be yourself and do not worry. The firm is friendly.