Bristows Training Contract Interview 2020

Alice G

Legendary Member
Future Trainee
Forum Team
M&A Bootcamp
Nov 26, 2018
Please state the month/year you interviewed at the firm.

August 2020

Please specify what the interview was for.

Training Contract 2022

Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.


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

Video Interview
I had three questions, 15 seconds to think and 60 seconds to answer
1) Know why you want to apply to Bristows and what differentiates them from competitors
2) Know why you want to be a commercial lawyer and your goals for the career
3) Know how to sell your skills and attributes to the firm If you pass the video interview, you will be invited to a first stage interview.

First Stage Interview
I had very standard interview questions like:
1) Why law degree
2) Why commercial law
3) Where else have you applied?
4) Favourite and least favourite module
5) If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it in one day?

Other questions I was asked followed on from things I mentioned. For example, in my “why commercial law?” answer, I was asked five follow up questions from something I had mentioned. Therefore, it was more of a conversation and less of a Q&A interview.

Tip: I wasn’t asked “why Bristows?”, so make sure you answer this when they ask “where else have you applied?”. In my feedback call, I was told this was a strong approach which other candidates fell down on.

Written exercise
An exercise where I had to advise a client on how they can be GDPR compliant.
Tip: Skim the articles provided but don’t spend too long reading it! Also read up on data protection as some basic knowledge around this is useful If you pass both you are then invited to the next stage which is a second stage interview and another exercise

Second Stage Interview
Much more technical interview but don’t be alarmed, the partners are just as friendly as those in first stage interview and they want you to do well! They liked how I took time to think through some complex questions about patents and trademarks. You may be asked some of the same questions from the first stage interview so be prepared to answer why law and why the firm as this may be asked here. I was asked “why Bristows?” in my second interview but not the first.

Interpretation Exercise
Ten questions on a scenario about geographical indications in relation to whisky and rum. They give you a statute and you need to advise a client who has asked ten questions about their rights.

Tip: Use your time wisely!

Please don’t be alarmed by the jargon in the statute. Bristows is also kind enough to allow you read the statute before accessing the questions. The time limit only begins when you access the questions so make sure you understand the statute before starting the questions I believe the interview carries much more weighting than the interpretation exercise, as I scored 100% and was not offered a TC. So don’t panic if you think you did badly in the exercise. Just try your best in both!

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.

Speak slowly, be calm and ask to think before responding to challenging questions. Even if you believe you know the answer, it gives you time to think through and you will feel in control!

Were you successful?


About Us

The Corporate Law Academy (TCLA) was founded in 2018 because we wanted to improve the legal journey. We wanted more transparency and better training. We wanted to form a community of aspiring lawyers who care about becoming the best version of themselves.


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