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futuretraineesolicitor

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You can quantify something without facts and figures. You can use your thinking, analysis and opinions to back up your claims.

Context is great (for instance how many days you had for a deadline, how many people worked in your team, how much budget you had to manage) and often facts and figures can help to bring that context to life. But the interviewer is really looking for what YOU did - your decision making/your efforts/your input rather than the numbers that surround the circumstances. That is actually what is important.

With questions like when you failed or when you were in a difficult situation, the facts/figures for context can still be used. You still need to provide the context of why you failed or why the situation was challenging. But the interviewer is far more interested in what you did. How you overcame the challenge/How you dealt with the failure.
Thank you, it all makes sense now.
 

futuretraineesolicitor

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Dec 14, 2019
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Hello, guys. It's me again. Hope you are doing well and sorry for pestering you every now and then. Could you please help me figure out what "A time you failed?" is trying to assess? I have failed a lot, but I'm not always sure about the reason why I failed. For example, I've tried thrice to secure an internship at a firm and each time, I've considerably improved my application to the best of my abilities but I never got the internship. Now there could be a thousand reasons why I didn't get the role but because there is no way to find that out, I have no clue how I could use this internship application failure for my "A time you failed?" question. To be honest, I think I never got the internship because I was not good enough but I fail to understand how this will help me answer the question better. If I knew that I wasn't good enough, failing should have never been a big deal in the first place? Plus, there was nothing that I learnt from failing to get an internship because IMO I had already put in my best application and had improved it every time. I think I'm probably overthinking this but I would be grateful for your help.

Thanks.
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
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Aug 1, 2019
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Hello, guys. It's me again. Hope you are doing well and sorry for pestering you every now and then. Could you please help me figure out what "A time you failed?" is trying to assess? I have failed a lot, but I'm not always sure about the reason why I failed. For example, I've tried thrice to secure an internship at a firm and each time, I've considerably improved my application to the best of my abilities but I never got the internship. Now there could be a thousand reasons why I didn't get the role but because there is no way to find that out, I have no clue how I could use this internship application failure for my "A time you failed?" question. To be honest, I think I never got the internship because I was not good enough but I fail to understand how this will help me answer the question better. If I knew that I wasn't good enough, failing should have never been a big deal in the first place? Plus, there was nothing that I learnt from failing to get an internship because IMO I had already put in my best application and had improved it every time. I think I'm probably overthinking this but I would be grateful for your help.

Thanks.
It is trying to assess how you deal with failure. You will fail a lot in a law firm. You’ll lose clients, you’ll fail in negotiations, you’ll lose cases in court. You need resilience and an ability to bounce back after failure. Firms are checking you have this ability - without it you are a major risk to any law firm.

The firm is also looking for self-drive and self-development. You’ll also need to be someone who drives their own self development forward. They will be looking for how you have not only picked yourself back up from failure but whether you have had the drive/initiative to improve yourself so you don’t fail in the same way again.

I personally wouldn’t use recruitment as an example of failure. Pretty much every candidate could claim the same. Try to show something that is more unique to you.
 

futuretraineesolicitor

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Dec 14, 2019
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It is trying to assess how you deal with failure. You will fail a lot in a law firm. You’ll lose clients, you’ll fail in negotiations, you’ll lose cases in court. You need resilience and an ability to bounce back after failure. Firms are checking you have this ability - without it you are a major risk to any law firm.

The firm is also looking for self-drive and self-development. You’ll also need to be someone who drives their own self development forward. They will be looking for how you have not only picked yourself back up from failure but whether you have had the drive/initiative to improve yourself so you don’t fail in the same way again.

I personally wouldn’t use recruitment as an example of failure. Pretty much every candidate could claim the same. Try to show something that is more unique to you.
Thank you so much, Jessica.
 

futuretraineesolicitor

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Dec 14, 2019
642
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Hello, guys. I hope you all are doing well. My apologies for another question around competency questions (I'm sure I'm overthinking these but I just want to be sure) but could you please help me in understanding what "When have you displayed teamwork?" is asking for? I think there are 2 interpretations to this.

One is that the firm is looking for an instance wherein I was working with a team of let's say 5 members and we were all shooting for the same goal- just that all the 5 members had different roles and the goal required them to work with each other- think of maybe a due diligence section specifically on the finance issues of a company where all 5 members belong to the finance department and are working on different points that go into the DD section "Finance"

My second interpretation is that you are a person whose job is to go around and work with different teams as a solo player. What I mean is, let's say you are in the M&A department and your role is to co-ordinate the deal - so one day you ask for progress from the Finance team, another day you ask for cost estimates from another team etc. (basically you liaise across all the different teams that are out there)

Just wanted to ask, which one of these interpretations is correct? Or is either fine because it's just about collaboration at the end of the day?

Thanks.
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
7,992
11,150
Hello, guys. I hope you all are doing well. My apologies for another question around competency questions (I'm sure I'm overthinking these but I just want to be sure) but could you please help me in understanding what "When have you displayed teamwork?" is asking for? I think there are 2 interpretations to this.

One is that the firm is looking for an instance wherein I was working with a team of let's say 5 members and we were all shooting for the same goal- just that all the 5 members had different roles and the goal required them to work with each other- think of maybe a due diligence section specifically on the finance issues of a company where all 5 members belong to the finance department and are working on different points that go into the DD section "Finance"

My second interpretation is that you are a person whose job is to go around and work with different teams as a solo player. What I mean is, let's say you are in the M&A department and your role is to co-ordinate the deal - so one day you ask for progress from the Finance team, another day you ask for cost estimates from another team etc. (basically you liaise across all the different teams that are out there)

Just wanted to ask, which one of these interpretations is correct? Or is either fine because it's just about collaboration at the end of the day?

Thanks.
I feel like I have to be brutally honest here.

You are over thinking this and you are thinking too rigidly by trying to “perfect” your answers. A question as broad as “when have you displayed team work” is just looking for that - it’s looking for examples of you working in a team - they are not looking for either of the specific scenarios you have mentioned above. It is nothing more narrow or specific than evidence of you working well with other people.

The reality is teamworking questions tend to be much more specific. It will often include phrasing like “when did you lead a team” or “when did you work with a diverse group” or “when did you have to persuade a group of people to your thinking” (there are 100s of variations of this, these are just some examples). In those instances, certain scenarios will be better than others.
 

futuretraineesolicitor

Legendary Member
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Dec 14, 2019
642
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I feel like I have to be brutally honest here.

You are over thinking this and you are thinking too rigidly by trying to “perfect” your answers. A question as broad as “when have you displayed team work” is just looking for that - it’s looking for examples of you working in a team - they are not looking for either of the specific scenarios you have mentioned above. It is nothing more narrow or specific than evidence of you working well with other people.

The reality is teamworking questions tend to be much more specific. It will often include phrasing like “when did you lead a team” or “when did you work with a diverse group” or “when did you have to persuade a group of people to your thinking” (there are 100s of variations of this, these are just some examples). In those instances, certain scenarios will be better than others.
I feel like I needed to hear this. Thank you for the honesty, I think I should stop preparing for such questions now.
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
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I feel like I needed to hear this. Thank you for the honesty, I think I should stop preparing for such questions now.
My advice is just not to over engineer your answers. Preparation is important, but 1) I think you can prepare when you know you have interviews coming up and 2) you can prepare based on more of the specific of the role/firm you are applying to.

What you can do is think about the examples you have from your experiences more broadly (which I suspect you have already done to some level).

Trying to nail your specific answers now could be a lot of wasted effort. You don’t know what the specifics are yet. Once you know more about what type of interview you are going for and the firm it is with, you will know more of the specifics and then you can then tailor your broader examples into a more refined and specific answer for that particular opportunity.
 

futuretraineesolicitor

Legendary Member
Forum Winner
Dec 14, 2019
642
215
My advice is just not to over engineer your answers. Preparation is important, but 1) I think you can prepare when you know you have interviews coming up and 2) you can prepare based on more of the specific of the role/firm you are applying to.

What you can do is think about the examples you have from your experiences more broadly (which I suspect you have already done to some level).

Trying to nail your specific answers now could be a lot of wasted effort. You don’t know what the specifics are yet. Once you know more about what type of interview you are going for and the firm it is with, you will know more of the specifics and then you can then tailor your broader examples into a more refined and specific answer for that particular opportunity.
Thank you so much, Jessica.
 

futuretraineesolicitor

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Dec 14, 2019
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Hello, guys. I hope you are doing well. Could you please tell me what the 'reflection' is for in the STARR framework? I mean does it only have to include potential areas where you could have improved or can it also include bits that you were proud of or is it a mix of both? I have found conflicting answers to this and even though the reflection bit is not a requirement, I think it's a great way to end your answers.

Thanks.
 

AvniD

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Staff member
TCLA Moderator
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Oct 25, 2021
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Hello, guys. I hope you are doing well. Could you please tell me what the 'reflection' is for in the STARR framework? I mean does it only have to include potential areas where you could have improved or can it also include bits that you were proud of or is it a mix of both? I have found conflicting answers to this and even though the reflection bit is not a requirement, I think it's a great way to end your answers.

Thanks.
I think you can do either or both, although doing both may yield a more accurate, big picture reflection. In any case, reflection is a broad term and will include any retrospective analysis of the things mentioned in your STAR structure.
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
7,992
11,150
Hello, guys. I hope you are doing well. Could you please tell me what the 'reflection' is for in the STARR framework? I mean does it only have to include potential areas where you could have improved or can it also include bits that you were proud of or is it a mix of both? I have found conflicting answers to this and even though the reflection bit is not a requirement, I think it's a great way to end your answers.

Thanks.
Reflection can include:

- what you learnt
- recognising what you enjoyed
- recognising what was difficult

It doesn’t necessarily need a “how could I have improved it” unless the question is asking for this.