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Baker McKenzie Interview 2019 - 2020


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  • Feb 17, 2018
    Please state the month/year you interviewed at the firm.

    March 2020

    Please specify what the interview was for.

    Summer Vacation Scheme 2020

    Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.

    09:30: Arrival for graduate recruitment introductions
    10:00: Group split into two to rotate through the day's exercises
    Individual motivational/competency-based interview with an associate
    11:00: Break
    11:15: Group exercise
    12:00: Lunch with trainees
    13:00: Document checking exercise
    13:30: Case study interview with two partners
    15:00: Depart

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

    Associate interview: This was mainly motivational and competency-based. Lasted for around an hour with 8 questions as well as general conversation.

    Group exercise: In groups of 4 or 5, we were given a case study about how a firm was reviewing tenders for a different charity partner. We were given 15 minutes of silent reading time then 30 minutes to discuss. Each candidate had different information to support a different potential charity. We were then asked to come to a unanimous decision, give recommendations on what events they may run, why they're most suitable and how much it may cost, based on a costings sheet provided.

    Document checking exercise: You are given 25 minutes to comb through a contract to spot any errors. You must highlight any spelling, punctuation or grammar errors, as well as any illogicalities or inconsistencies throughout.

    Partner case study: You are given 30 minutes to go through a case study based on a fictional business. There were terms and conditions of a contract, plus clauses of an employment contract annexed. There were then 5 questions based on the information in the case study and the annexes. The two partners start by introducing themselves, then ask for a succinct summary of the issue at hand. They then ask the set questions in order but also may probe at answers you give. They will also bounce ideas back and play devil's advocate, asking you what would be the case is x was different or y was different.

    Please list any interview questions you were asked.

    Why Baker McKenzie?
    Why commercial law?
    What makes us stand out (against another firm I had on my CV)?
    How do you balance your busy life schedule?
    Tell me about a time a situation made you feel emotional
    Tell me about a time when you've shown leadership skills
    Tell me about a time you've dealt with a complex task
    Tell me about a time when you've had to handle difficult people
    What other careers have you contemplated and why?
    How do you balance multiple pieces of work with tight deadlines?

    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.

    Associate interview: Know your CV and application form inside out. They use this to form the basis of any ad hoc questions they may have, but it also helps them have a genuine conversation with you. It's likely they'll talk about anything interesting or unusual in your application. Have competency examples for typical strengths ready. Try and make it as conversational as possible.

    Group exercise: Stick to the brief. Make every contribution valid and related to the task in hand. Don't overpower others - try and invite them to give their ideas if they're quiet. Keep a track of time and always try and bring the team back to the brief if they've diverged slightly.

    Document checking exercise: Aside from obvious spelling and grammar rules, look to make sure the bullet points are in numerical order. Likewise, page and paragraph numbering. Also, check to see if the cross-references in the document to another paragraph actually match up.

    Partner case study interview: Once again, try and build a rapport to make it as conversational as possible. Keep up to speed with ongoing commercial news. This can help relate the case to real life with some examples. When giving an answer, try and show the authority for that without being prompted i.e. which paragraph led you to that conclusion. One thing the partners really liked was talking step by step through the thought processes that were leading me to my answers. They said they could clearly see a logical trail of thought. When they're trying to pressure you for answers, pause and consider it without rushing in. Explain that you think the answer is x because of y and z but you're not 100% sure so you'd check. The biggest tests in the interview challenged you to think laterally - a partner would say what happened if this factor changed or this decision was made. Overall, I think it's important to show you can be calm under pressure and can still work through something methodically.

    Were you successful?