Covington & Burling Interview 2021


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M&A Bootcamp
Aug 26, 2020
Please state the month/year you interviewed at the firm.
February 2021

Please specify what the interview was for.

Summer Vacation Scheme 2021

Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.

9.45 - 10.00am: Welcome session with grad rec
10.00 - 10.20am: Trainee Q&A
10.20 - 10.30am: break
10.30 - 11.15am: Interview with two senior lawyers
11.15 - 11.30am: break
11.30am - 1.00pm: group assessment

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

  • Welcome session: grad rec provided an overview of the day, talked us through the schedule and answered any questions that we had regarding the day.
  • Trainee Q&A: I was put into a group of five with four other candidates. There were two trainees answering our questions and they were absolutely lovely. Grad rec wasn't there to monitor us so please feel free to ask any question that you have!
  • Actual interview: 45 minutes with two senior lawyers. They were, again, absolutely lovely and I really enjoyed my interview. It was a mixture of competency- and strength- based questions, and they asked some follow-up questions to my responses. The interviewers did not interrogate me or 'grill' me on my answers but were genuinely interested in my thought process.
  • Group Assessment: 45 minutes to prepare a 10-15 minutes group presentation (legal issues about a proposed M&A). There was a total of five of us. During the group discussion, grad rec was there to assess us. After the preparation time was over, we were joined by a partner, to whom we delivered our group presentation. After our presentation was over, we were asked follow-up questions based on what we had said. The questions were not directed to specific group members so please feel free to take them on if you know the answer.

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.

Actual interview: I would say know your application inside out. My interviewers asked me to further explain some of my experiences and extra-curricular activities. They were not necessarily interested in work experiences but life experiences that made me interesting as a candidate. So please do know your application and what you have written very well. My interviewers also mentioned that there was a set list of questions that they had to go through. So, to make the interview more like a conversation and less like a rigid Q&A session, I'd advise to really let your personality shine through and engage in the conversation.

Group assessment: as with any other group assessment, sometimes you're just paired with candidates that are less of a team-player. Yet, don't let this throw you off. Be nice, remain clam, and invite candidates who haven't spoken much to talk. Interrupt the dominating personality where appropriate. Otherwise, you risk being viewed as not having contributed enough.

Were you successful?