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Ashurst Interview 2019 - 2020

Jaysen

Founder, TCLA
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  • Feb 17, 2018
    4,195
    7,206
    Please state the month/year you interviewed at the firm.

    November 2019

    Please specify what the interview was for.

    Winter Vacation Scheme 2019

    Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.

    9.15am Arrival, 9.30am welcome from a member of Graduate Recruitment, 9.40am Written Exercise, 10.45am Interview with a member of Graduate Recruitment, 12pm Tour with Trainees

    Please provide a summary of each assessment on the day with approximate timings.

    Written Exercise - All of the AC attendees were sat in one room together and we were each given instructions and a stack of paper. I have heard that they circulate two different exercises and mine was on renewable energy, but the person next to you may have the other one. We had one hour to read through the documents and complete the exercise, following a brief. The exercise is done by hand. I found the instructions were very clear and you have to answer a set of questions; acting as if you are advising a fictitious council on your decision about a renewable energy project. I had no problem completing it in the time, but I am a fast writer. Make sure you read through all the documents, and there are a fair few of them (but not too many) and I found it helpful to highlight as I went through. Remember to give yourself enough time to write it. I stuck to 5-10 minutes reading/planning and the rest writing. Stick to a clear structure from the brief, be concise and where you can include relevant information from your own commercial knowledge. I enjoyed this exercise and did not find it too difficult at all.

    Interview with Graduate Recruitment - The AC attendees were split into two groups, with some having their interviews first and some having their trainee tour first. I was the former and I was interviewed with a member of Graduate Recruitment. This was the most straightforward interview I had out of all the firms I interviewed at and I did not have any unexpected questions. The questions were a blend of motivational and competency. A lot of questions seemed to allow you to link in to 'why Ashurst' - I would do a lot of firm research beforehand. I was given the opportunity to ask questions at the end and I found my interviewer very friendly. It was overall an enjoyable experience.

    Tour/Chat with Trainees - This was very informal. A few trainees took a group of us around the office and answered any questions we had.

    Please list any interview questions you were asked.

    - Why Ashurst?
    - Why law?
    - Why did you apply to our vacation scheme?
    - If you attended the scheme, which practice area would you like to sit in?
    - Tell us about a time you had to work in a team and any challenges that arose
    - Would you say you prefer to work in a team or be a leader?
    - What skills do you think a trainee needs to have?
    - Which other firms did you apply to?
    - What has been your application strategy?
    - Tell us about a time you had feedback. What was the feedback?
    - What would you say is a weakness of yours?

    What is your best advice for each aspect of the assessment on the day? Please break this down for each assessment. This can include advice for preparation, as well as tips for the day.

    Written Exercise - If you are not used to writing in exam-style conditions, practise writing a lot by hand. Be aware of what is going on currently that could affect the business world. Write quickly, skim through everything and have a good structure. If you have the time, read through at the end to check you have used good spelling and grammar.

    Interview - Be friendly and personable. Brush up on your motivational answers. Be expected to justify which other firms you have applied to and what your application strategy was - I think this is quite important to them. Do thorough firm research from different sources. Prepare three questions for the end.

    Tour - Ask lots of questions.

    Were you successful?

    Yes
     
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    Jaysen

    Founder, TCLA
    Staff member
    TCLA Moderator
    Premium Member
    M&A Bootcamp
  • Feb 17, 2018
    4,195
    7,206
    Please state the month/year you interviewed at the firm.

    February 2020

    Please specify what the interview was for.

    Summer Vacation Scheme 2020

    Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.

    9:30am Arrival, Talk from Graduate Recruitment, Business Case Study (60min), Break, Interview with Graduate Recruitment & Senior Associate (45min), Tour of the Office by Trainees and opportunity to ask them any questions, Finished at 12:30pm

    Please provide a summary of each assessment on the day with approximate timings.

    1. Business Case Study - there were two case studies, which were randomly allocated amongst candidates (a, b, a, b system); 60 minutes to read through material bundle (cca 5 pieces of material including newspaper articles, e-mails, research etc.) and hand-write a business report.
    2. Interview with GR and Senior Associate - I believe this was 45 minutes long, asked about my motivations for law & Ashurst, was asked to talk about things I mentioned in my cover letter and then tested on different competencies based on that.

    Please list any interview questions you were asked.

    1. What makes Ashurst different?
    2. Why law?
    3. What challenges are facing the legal sector and Ashurst in particular?
    4. What area of law are you interested in? Do you know what you would want to practice in in the future?
    5. What was your dissertation about? (even though I already graduated the year before)
    6. General competency questions based on my cover letter
    7. Scenario question - It was a scenario from trainee-life, can't remember exactly but something about taking a client meeting when my supervisor had to leave unexpectedly

    What is your best advice for each aspect of the assessment on the day? Please break this down for each assessment. This can include advice for preparation, as well as tips for the day.

    1. Business Case Study
    - USE YOUR TIME WISELY: I spent too much time analysing the resources & planning and then run out of time when writing (which was ultimately the reason why I didn’t get the VS) so plan your time accordingly. If you tend to struggle with timing as I do, I recommend practicing in advance.
    - STRUCTURE OF BUSINESS REPORT: I looked up structure of business report in advance and this was appreciated in my feedback. I also think it gives your written piece a clear structure and allows you to make sure you didn’t miss any important points.
    - BUSINESS TRENDS & GENERAL COMM AWARENESS: This is not essential, but having general commercial awareness will help you make good recommendations in the business report & understand the material provided. So that you imagine where you would use this, there were two case studies one advising on the strategy of health food & dips business and the other advising on whether offshore windfarm should be built, and while a lot of info was provided in the texts, it was a great opportunity to show your commercial awareness and extra knowledge.

    2. Interview
    - MENTION ONLY THINGS YOU KNOW: This may sound obvious but don't mention anything that you don't know that much about just to name drop it. I heard about this before so I always kept it in mind, but during this interview I mentioned Ashurst Advance and then was asked to explain what I understand Ashurst Advance to be about (luckily I looked it up in detail the day before).
    - ANSWER QUESTIONS FULLY: Make sure that you provide enough detail in your answers. In my feedback, I was told that when answering competency questions, I could have provided more detail as to how my experiences demonstrate the competencies required.
    - RELAX: Everyone is very friendly so don't get thrown off if you are something that you have not prepared! just sit back, relax and try to answer the best you can :)
    - ASK FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS: This is especially for the scenario question, don't worry to ask follow-up questions to help you better understand the situation you are in. I think it is expected & appreciated!

    Were you successful?

    No
     

    Jaysen

    Founder, TCLA
    Staff member
    TCLA Moderator
    Premium Member
    M&A Bootcamp
  • Feb 17, 2018
    4,195
    7,206
    Please state the month/year you interviewed at the firm.

    March 2020

    Please specify what the interview was for.

    Training Contract (Direct)

    Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.

    1-hour phone call with Graduate Recruitment (1st stage – if you are successful, you have a Partner interview)

    Please provide a summary of each assessment on the day with approximate timings.

    [N/A]

    Please list any interview questions you were asked.

    1) Competency questions
    - When did you have to deal with a difficult situation?
    - When did you have to explain a difficult concept to someone?
    - When did you work towards a goal?
    - How do you manage your time?
    - When did you work as part of a team?

    2) Motivation
    - Why do you want to do commercial law?
    - Why do you want to work for Ashurst?
    - What were your main takeaways from the Ahead with Ashurst scheme?
    - Which deals that Ashurst is working on are you interested in?

    What is your best advice for each aspect of the assessment on the day? Please break this down for each assessment. This can include advice for preparation, as well as tips for the day.

    If you have gotten to the interview stage with Ashurst, chances are you are amazing. The firm probably wants you, you just have to convince them. Therefore, the first thing you should do is know exactly why you are applying and why you want to do this job. Take some time to write it down and say it out loud. Try to be as specific as possible – mention the people you have talked to, deals the firm is working on, initiatives that you are excited about, etc. Anticipate common competency questions. Ashurst places a lot of importance on examples, so make sure you can back up all of your answers with practical experience. Get comfortable with the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method for answering questions. Go into depth with your answers but keep your answers short and to the point. From my experience, Ashurst Grad Rec will interrupt you and ask different / follow-up questions often. That's not a bad thing, as long as you are giving nice and concise answers – my interviews with Ashurst comprised of a lot of questions in a short amount of time, so don't let the fast pace stress you out. Before you go into the interview, I would recommend writing down 2-3 things you want to convey about yourself (example stories, qualities). You will get a lot of different questions and as long as you keep your 2-3 main points in mind, you should be able to come up with answers that somehow let the interviewer know how great you are.

    Were you successful?

    No
     
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