Ask A Graduate Recruiter Anything!

M991

Distinguished Member
Premium Member
Mar 14, 2020
63
149
Hello @Jessica Booker! Hope you are well.

When answering a question like "Describe a current commercial issue that has interested you and explain why it interested you?", should I try to align my interests with what the firm does?

I am really interested in how PE firms have been increasingly investing in North Sea oil & gas assets and I have been following the news regarding this topic for a year now, so I have a lot to talk about. However, the firm asking this question is not very active in the energy sector, but still very strong in PE. I was wondering whether I should try to be more strategic and choose a commercial issue from the area of life sciences or financial regulation as I don't want them to think that I copied this answer from another application.

Thanks a lot!
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
9,080
13,521
Hello @Jessica Booker! Hope you are well.

When answering a question like "Describe a current commercial issue that has interested you and explain why it interested you?", should I try to align my interests with what the firm does?

I am really interested in how PE firms have been increasingly investing in North Sea oil & gas assets and I have been following the news regarding this topic for a year now, so I have a lot to talk about. However, the firm asking this question is not very active in the energy sector, but still very strong in PE. I was wondering whether I should try to be more strategic and choose a commercial issue from the area of life sciences or financial regulation as I don't want them to think that I copied this answer from another application.

Thanks a lot!
I think the interest in PE is enough here for there to be enough of an alignment for the firm. It is clearly something you are interested in and can talk about with interest/confidence, and so I think this is ok.
 
  • Love
Reactions: M991

futuretraineesolicitor

Legendary Member
Forum Winner
Dec 14, 2019
739
275
I think the interest in PE is enough here for there to be enough of an alignment for the firm. It is clearly something you are interested in and can talk about with interest/confidence, and so I think this is ok.
Other than the fact that the firm might actually have a strong PE practice and other than citing this as a reason behind why the firm might be interested in the news story, I fail to go deeper with establishing a link between a news story and the firm. Could you please help me out with this?

I was also eyeing a story on PE to answer "What recent news story interests you" for a firm that has a strong PE practice, but I think it's not specific enough because several firms will have a strong PE practice. Would really appreciate any help.

Thanks.
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
9,080
13,521
Other than the fact that the firm might actually have a strong PE practice and other than citing this as a reason behind why the firm might be interested in the news story, I fail to go deeper with establishing a link between a news story and the firm. Could you please help me out with this?

I was also eyeing a story on PE to answer "What recent news story interests you" for a firm that has a strong PE practice, but I think it's not specific enough because several firms will have a strong PE practice. Would really appreciate any help.

Thanks.
It doesn’t have to be specific to the firm, just aligned to it.
 

Rijul Shah

Distinguished Member
  • Mar 7, 2021
    50
    52
    20
    I struggled severely with my HFW Application. Therefore, I have submitted it ten days before the deadline.

    Would it be appropriate if I email this to graduate recruitment:

    "I have sent my application, but I don't know if all the spaces have filled up for the assessment centre. This would help me determine whether I have been rejected for my application, or just due to all the spaces being filled up."
     

    OB

    Legendary Member
    Premium Member
    2020 Community Winner
  • Feb 10, 2020
    762
    2,315
    I struggled severely with my HFW Application. Therefore, I have submitted it ten days before the deadline.

    Would it be appropriate if I email this to graduate recruitment:

    "I have sent my application, but I don't know if all the spaces have filled up for the assessment centre. This would help me determine whether I have been rejected for my application, or just due to all the spaces being filled up."
    They took almost a full year to reject me last cycle, honestly they will probably not respond
     

    Jessica Booker

    Legendary Member
    Graduate Recruitment
    Premium Member
    Forum Team
    Aug 1, 2019
    9,080
    13,521
    I struggled severely with my HFW Application. Therefore, I have submitted it ten days before the deadline.

    Would it be appropriate if I email this to graduate recruitment:

    "I have sent my application, but I don't know if all the spaces have filled up for the assessment centre. This would help me determine whether I have been rejected for my application, or just due to all the spaces being filled up."
    Have you heard back that you have been unsuccessful?
     

    Rijul Shah

    Distinguished Member
  • Mar 7, 2021
    50
    52
    20
    Have you heard back that you have been unsuccessful?
    No, I havent been unsuccessful yet. The firm does blind screening, where they cant see grades on the form. Therefore, if I am unsuccessful it is probably to do with my application or that AC spaces have filled up. If I ask graduate recruitment if they have already filled AC spaces now, and if I am unsuccessful I would know that there was probably nothing wrong with my writing skills.
     

    Jessica Booker

    Legendary Member
    Graduate Recruitment
    Premium Member
    Forum Team
    Aug 1, 2019
    9,080
    13,521
    No, I havent been unsuccessful yet. The firm does blind screening, where they cant see grades on the form. Therefore, if I am unsuccessful it is probably to do with my application or that AC spaces have filled up. If I ask graduate recruitment if they have already filled AC spaces now, and if I am unsuccessful I would know that there was probably nothing wrong with my writing skills.
    I don’t think it’s appropriate to contact them in this way in all honesty. There are other reasons why you could be unsuccessful - I don’t think you can assume it is your application or they have filled ACs.

    But you haven’t even been unsuccessful yet. So in my opinion, you are jumping the gun.

    I think asking such a question could be perceived in a negative way, and so would discourage you from doing this.
     

    Rijul Shah

    Distinguished Member
  • Mar 7, 2021
    50
    52
    20
    I don’t think it’s appropriate to contact them in this way in all honesty. There are other reasons why you could be unsuccessful - I don’t think you can assume it is your application or they have filled ACs.

    But you haven’t even been unsuccessful yet. So in my opinion, you are jumping the gun.

    I think asking such a question could be perceived in a negative way, and so would discourage you from doing this.
    Okay, thank you very much. I understand.
     

    hopefullawyer123

    Esteemed Member
    Nov 25, 2020
    78
    73
    Hi @Jessica Booker I hope you are well.

    I am working on the Ashurst TC Application question : 'Please use this section to tell us about yourself, your skills, achievements and why you want to train as a solicitor and work at Ashurst. (750 words max) '

    I am unsure as to whether they expect me to discuss my work experience in this section or whether the expected focus is on my extra curricular/positions of responsibilities/hobbies. There is a work experience section already so I don't want to repeat myself but should I still discuss my work experience briefly?

    Thanks in advance
     

    Rijul Shah

    Distinguished Member
  • Mar 7, 2021
    50
    52
    20
    Hi @Jessica Booker I hope you are well.

    I am working on the Ashurst TC Application question : 'Please use this section to tell us about yourself, your skills, achievements and why you want to train as a solicitor and work at Ashurst. (750 words max) '

    I am unsure as to whether they expect me to discuss my work experience in this section or whether the expected focus is on my extra curricular/positions of responsibilities/hobbies. There is a work experience section already so I don't want to repeat myself but should I still discuss my work experience briefly?

    Thanks in advance
    Hey,

    I’m rlly sorry for chipping in

    But a graduate recruiter once told me to never repeat yourself in an application form. So I would talk about your Extra Curriculars and stuff outside of work experience and academia.

    Best of Luck!
     
    • Like
    Reactions: hopefullawyer123

    Jessica Booker

    Legendary Member
    Graduate Recruitment
    Premium Member
    Forum Team
    Aug 1, 2019
    9,080
    13,521
    Hi @Jessica Booker I hope you are well.

    I am working on the Ashurst TC Application question : 'Please use this section to tell us about yourself, your skills, achievements and why you want to train as a solicitor and work at Ashurst. (750 words max) '

    I am unsure as to whether they expect me to discuss my work experience in this section or whether the expected focus is on my extra curricular/positions of responsibilities/hobbies. There is a work experience section already so I don't want to repeat myself but should I still discuss my work experience briefly?

    Thanks in advance
    You could explain how your work experience has shaped your motivations to train as a solicitor and at Ashurst, but there would be no need to repeat the detail of what you did in those work experiences to “sell” your abilities.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: hopefullawyer123

    Dwight

    Legendary Member
    Dec 21, 2019
    391
    194
    Hi @Jessica Booker,

    I hope this message finds you well.

    With regards to competency questions, specifically to the 'tell me about a time you overcame a challenge', can I talk about something more personal such as getting out of a no-motivation zone/rut during the initial lockdown? I am concerned that the partners may think I am weak or lazy or something of that sort. What is your perspective?
     

    Jessica Booker

    Legendary Member
    Graduate Recruitment
    Premium Member
    Forum Team
    Aug 1, 2019
    9,080
    13,521
    Hi @Jessica Booker,

    I hope this message finds you well.

    With regards to competency questions, specifically to the 'tell me about a time you overcame a challenge', can I talk about something more personal such as getting out of a no-motivation zone/rut during the initial lockdown? I am concerned that the partners may think I am weak or lazy or something of that sort. What is your perspective?
    I’d try to find something more unique. I think a lot of people can claim something this during lockdown so there is just a risk that it seems fairly common. However , if there are specific elements to your answer that you think make it more unique, then you could use it.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Dwight

    Dwight

    Legendary Member
    Dec 21, 2019
    391
    194
    I’d try to find something more unique. I think a lot of people can claim something this during lockdown so there is just a risk that it seems fairly common. However , if there are specific elements to your answer that you think make it more unique, then you could use it.
    I agree with you - not the best example to use. I am really struggling though to think about an example for this specific competency question. People sometimes talk about a crazy medical accident that they have had, for example Jacob's example in his fantastic interview article. However, I can't think of something. Can you please suggest any ideas for what can be talked about / what you have heard before? Or perhaps just tips on how to choose the most fitting examples.