Ask A Graduate Recruiter Anything!

Discussion in 'Applications Discussion' started by Jaysen, Aug 1, 2019.

  1. B1806

    B1806 Active Member

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    Hi Jessica,

    First of all thanks so much for taking the time to answer all of these questions!

    I just had three queries:
    1. Several firms require that you provide module breakdowns even if you're applying for a first-year scheme. Now, as it happens, I don't have any formal grades yet (since I'm in first year), but I did get a lot of firsts in my formative exams. Do you think I could perhaps mention that? So instead of entering NA into the "result" box, could I enter NA but then include in the brackets that I got a first in the formative exam for that subject? Should I just leave it as NA and not include the extra bracket?

    2. In terms of work experience, what should I include? I've heard some grad rec people recommend putting open days and the sort on there. Thus far I've just included open days and conferences that I've applied for and successfully got into. Should I include this in future applications or not? Where would you say is the boundary? I've applied to some other competitive events, but some of them only lasted a few hours, so I'm very reticent to include those.

    3. This is a bit of a specific one that I'm not sure you can really answer, as it pertains to one particular firm (Latham & Watkins), but I'm assuming all grad rec approach things from a similar angle. In a first-year open day application, they basically asked me to provide two referees. One academic (which I have) and one "previous or current" employer. Unfortunately, I've never been in an employment relationship nor done informal work experience. I have an extensive extracurricular record, but no work experience. In the boxes where they asked me to provide this referee I just put NA. I'm a bit concerned that this will sink my application. The deadline for this application has already passed and I have already submitted the application. Did I do the right thing here or is this a damning factor?

    Thanks again, I hope my questions aren't too long or cumbersome!

    Kind regards,

    B
     
  2. Jessica Booker

    Jessica Booker Legendary Member
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    Yes - I think that is fine.

    just explain you have a limited window in the U.K. and that if your application is successful it would be incredibly convenient for any face to face assessments to be conducted while you are here, if they can provide that flexibility with timings and decisions.

    keep the email as brief/concise as you can!
     
  3. Jessica Booker

    Jessica Booker Legendary Member
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    1) Yes - your first year grades/marks may not count for your degree, but they count for law firms. You’ll need to provide any grades you have achieved for completed modules. If you don’t have any yet, instead of N/A you should try to provide something like TBC - June 2020 or something like that to show you will get some form of marks at the end of the academic year.

    2) anything. Part time work, volunteer work, open days, internships, self/employment. Any work experience. To me an event is not employment though, so personally I would t include this.

    3) yes - unfortunately it could be an issue. It would have been better to provide another form of referee (personal/academic) if you have absolutely no work experience.
     
  4. Brandon93

    Brandon93 Star Member
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    Thanks Jessica!
     
  5. A friendly human

    A friendly human New Member

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    Hello! I'm an applicant from Bosnia (international student). I've sat the GDL and will complete the LPC (self-funded) this summer. I'm currently looking for any paralegal opportunities in the UK at commercial law firms, large companies, etc. for the period after I finish the LPC (i.e. August onwards). I won't be applying as someone who isn't resident in the UK (which, from what I can understand, is important).

    I was wondering if, in your experience, it is possible for internationals to get paralegal jobs in the UK. Are there any visa issues? Do employers, in practice, even consider internationals when they have lots of UK/EU LPC graduates applying to these positions? I'm just trying to get a foothold in the UK before I have to leave due to my visa expiring

    Thank you
     
  6. Jessica Booker

    Jessica Booker Legendary Member
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    visas are very tricky for paralegal roles. It would be difficult given the salary requirements for a visa, but even if you did get over that hurdle, then passing a RLMT to get the visa would also be almost impossible for the majority of paralegal roles.

    there are exceptions though. Typically if you have specific knowledge/skills that won’t be found in the general population, your chances of getting a visa are better - eg fluency in languages, knowledge of specific non U.K. jurisdictions, technical skills etc. So I would always advise people to look for paralegal roles where they are looking for fluency in your native (or other fluent) languages.
     
  7. A friendly human

    A friendly human New Member

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    Thank you for your reply and help :)
     
  8. Selma J

    Selma J New Member

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    Hi Jessica,

    I would like to ask whether my unspectacular first year results( average of 2:2 but with a couple of firsts) will prevent me to land a TC in the City?

    Putting this into context:
    I achieved such a low overall grade mainly because I was working full time to pay for my education as I am an EU student and therefore I don't receive a student loan. However I am aware that this does not count as mitigating circumstances.
    At the moment I am a final year language student on target of achieving a solid first degree in a Russell Group University. I have marks from last year as high as 92 .
    Do you think that City law firms will spot my improvement or they are definitely looking for "a strong academic record" ?

    Thank you in advance!
     
  9. Jessica Booker

    Jessica Booker Legendary Member
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    They are mitigating circumstances but working full time and studying full time will be looked upon favourably if you explain that.

    What are your second year grades like?
     
  10. Selma J

    Selma J New Member

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    Thank you for your reply!

    Second year grades: 64,66,67,70,79,92
    However first year(as miserable as): 44, 47, 55, 70, 75, 30, 59
    Final year grades(prediction): 4 firsts and 2x 2:1.

    I know it is bad.

    Some more context : I was originally doing Arabic and Chinese than I realized that I can't afford the mandatory year abroad and procede to do only Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies which I enjoyed much more. However now it looks like I just got bad marks in Chinese and I dropped it. (Unfortunately the main reason to drop it was the lack of financial funds.)

    I don't know how to show my drive and potential without looking like bunch of excuses.
     
  11. Jessica Booker

    Jessica Booker Legendary Member
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    I wouldn’t see the dropping Chinese as an issue. There’s loads of people who apply who change degrees in their first year.

    I’d just focus on the fact you were balancing full time work and studies.
     
  12. Selma J

    Selma J New Member

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    Thank you for your advice! I really appreciate it. :)
     
  13. Lumree

    Lumree Legendary Member

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    Hi Jessica,

    What are some of the ways that grad recruitment handle the volume of applications they receive? For example, is it really just a case of going through them in date order, or do some ‘group’ them into yes/no/maybes and then send out invites to the next stage in batches?
     
  14. Changes

    Changes Active Member

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    Hi Jessica,

    Any advice for a situational judgement test?

    Thanks.
     
  15. Jessica Booker

    Jessica Booker Legendary Member
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    no set answer on this.

    depends on whether it is rolling recruitment or not.

    depends on how many people are screening

    depends on the process (how many stages before screening/how many stages afterwards).

    depends on how thoroughly they screen (linked to the above).

    They could also do both things you are suggesting.

    There’s little point trying to second guess the process though!
     
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  16. B320

    B320 Esteemed Member

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    Hi Jessica!

    Would it be possible that Freshfields provides a positive response post-AC which is longer than 2 working days? (Vac scheme)

    If it is possible, may I kindly ask - why would it take longer than a person who have heard back the next day, or even the day itself.

    PS: This question is motivated by pure anxiety, fear and paranoia due to a one-day response being seen as quite common these days.

    Thank you so much! :D
     
  17. Jessica Booker

    Jessica Booker Legendary Member
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    yes - it’s actually quite reasonable that it takes more than two working days.

    out of the 101 reasons why:

    1) one of your interviewers works part time
    2) one of your interviewers is off sick
    3) the are waiting for a reference before making a decision
    4) interview notes haven’t got back to the GR team yet (multitude of reasons why this can happen in itself)
    5) they need to arrange a call with all of your assessors to discuss (and getting time with all of them is difficult)
    6) they aren’t in a rush to make a decision

    just because some people hear back the same or next day, does not mean it’s common nor normal.
     
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  18. Jessica Booker

    Jessica Booker Legendary Member
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  19. B320

    B320 Esteemed Member

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    Hi Jessica!!

    Could you advice on how do I structure my answer to a strength-based question during an interview?

    Is it STAR format?

    Thank you so much
     
  20. Jessica Booker

    Jessica Booker Legendary Member
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    No...

    STAR/CAR format is only appropriate for competency based questions - e.g. "tell me about a time you have worked in a team/tell me about a time you have developed your communication skills".

    Strengths based questions are a whole range of questions, so there isn't a set format of answering them.
     

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