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

Watson Farley & Williams Interview

When was your Watson Farley & Williams interview?
February 2019

What was it for?
Vacation scheme

Please describe the interview process at Watson Farley & Williams.
Prior to the assessment centre, there is a video interview which consisted of two questions. If successful at this stage, you are then invited to select an AC date.

There was a total of eight applicants on the day. You spend the duration of the day in one room and complete all AC tasks at the same time as other candidates.

The day consists of numerous group tasks and two written tasks. Perhaps unusually, there is no interview component (trainees informed us there is an interview whilst on the vacation scheme for the training contract). A client scenario laid out in the first activity forms the basis of the other tasks completed, both group and individual.

The first group task is a discussion between all group members to decide which investment opportunity a fictional client should go with, on the basis of information provided on each potential target.

The second group task is a preparation to a potential client on what the firm could offer them (effectively a pitch for business by WFW). This involves working through a large amount of material to put together a 10 minute presentation.

The first written task is producing an email to a client. This is based on the first group task discussion, as you are answering the same question.

The second written task is a proof-reading exercise in which you are given a contract to review for grammar, spelling, formatting and any other errors.

No decisions are made by the firm regarding your application until all the ACs have been completed – this can make for a rather long wait to hear back from the firm.

What advice would you give to future applicants for the Watson Farley & Williams assessment centre?
Be sure to jot down the exact instructions provided by graduate recruitment at the beginning of each exercise, including the skills they are assessing in each activity and to ensure you can refer back to and check they have done exactly as stated, as instructions are not written down and given to you at any point. Time each of the activities – both group and individual.

Ensure your group discussion during the first task is structured – this seemed important when graduate recruitment gave group feedback at the end of the AC. Also, although this is not a formal negotiation, however many of the same skills are relevant, perhaps bear this in mind throughout. Keep notes throughout this task, as they are relevant to the individual written task which immediately follows (I thoroughly regretted this and I know others on the AC felt the same). Keep a close eye on the time during this written activity (writing an email to a client) as this is fairly time pressured. The proof reading exercise is less time pressured, but be sure to read back a few times checking for different errors.

When was your Watson Farley & Williams interview? 

August 2017

What was it for? 

Training Contract

Please describe the interview process at Watson Farley & Williams.

There is a group exercise, a written advice task, another group exercise and a proof reading exercise.

What advice would you give to future applicants for the Watson Farley & Williams interview?

For the group exercises, make sure you contribute and don’t only address one person when speaking. For the written advice use clear language and have a logical structure with an introduction and a conclusion. When completing the proof reading, read the document at least twice.

When was your Watson Farley & Williams interview? 

February 2018

What was it for? 

Vacation Scheme

Please describe the interview process at Watson Farley & Williams.

There had already been a video interview. There were seven applicants on this day, six hours overall. Written exercise, proofreading exercise, office tour, lucnh with two trainees, group exercise discussing which company would be the best investment, second group exercise making a presentation about WFW. No individual interview.

What advice would you give to future applicants for the Watson Farley & Williams interview?

There is no individual interview and two group exercises for a reason: they really want to see how you work together with people. Working in a group of seven made it hard to reach consensus (everyone kept agreeing with the last point made!) but at some point you need to reach a decision. Make the most of the initial reading time to pick out crucial points, and share anything important with the group as soon as possible. Try to keep the group discussion as structured as possible (bring it back to the key points), speak up but don’t dominate. It’s a long day and you’ll get to know the rest of the group well! The written exercise is straightforward if you keep an eye on the time and a tight structure. The proofreading is quite long, but also straightforward if you read carefully.