Freshfields Interview 2022

Elizabeth K

Esteemed Member
TCLA Moderator
Gold Member
Premium Member
Jul 6, 2021
Please state the month/year you interviewed at the firm.

March 2022

Please specify what the interview was for.

Direct Training Contract

Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.

1) Written exercise (tbc 2 days before the AC)
2) Intro by grad recruitment (3 people on my AC)
3) General interview (1hr)
4) Meet with a trainee and the other AC candidates
5) Sent article for 30 mins
6) Article interview (1hr)

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

1) Written Exercise
This is a very simple task and is accurately reflected in a lot of the information found online i.e., on the website, glass door. You get a briefing email explaining the task then an email thread which you need to review and pick out SPAG responses and re-draft a small section of the email. You get around 45 minutes to do this and I think if you tackle it methodically then it is more than enough time! Attention to detail is the most important thing to do for this task and keep a calm head! No legal knowledge is needed for the task but the content of it is legal based which meant (having done the PGDL) I could understand the words used.

2) Article Interview
This is the interview I was most nervous for – you get 30 minutes to read and review an article (FT, Economist) and then you discuss this with a partner and a senior associate. I think they're focused on specific businesses/case studies rather than broader commercial trends.

In the actual interview I was asked to first present what I thought the crux of the article was and then potential issues were raised for business X. I was asked a broad range of questions from why ESG would affect company X, what international expansion would mean for the business, more technical questions about what investment markets companies use etc. I was also asked more reputational questions for the business and how I would tackle this. I also feel I got lucky on my article as it was around a topic I happen to LOVE and know a lot about and had studied the wider implications of what the business was doing in my politics degree – this helped me bring in A LOT of wider commercial knowledge and compare business X with others in the market. I think just brushing up on commercial knowledge e.g., FT / the Economist could help.

The partners who interviewed me were both SO nice and very encouraging throughout the whole interview. They were interested in my thoughts and guided me when I was a bit stuck on other questions – I don’t think they’re looking for ‘right’ answers as so much seeing your thought process. Also to note, a lot of the reviews online stated that it was a very discussion based interview however mine was very Q&A which made me very worried during the interview (therefore, I would say do not based on what someones else's interview is compared to yours). During it, they literally went and asked me questions paragraph by paragraph and said phrases such as ‘paragraph 14 finished lets move on’.

3) General Interview
This was a typical competency interview with nothing you can't find online! Prepare for why Freshfields, why law, why commercial law, why an international firm! I also got asked what challenges an international team could bring and how I would tackle them. The other questions focused around the experiences I have had such as my proudest achievement, when I've worked in a team. I also worked throughout COVID and got asked A LOT about what challenges that brought me. They also asked me a time when I failed, and then after said they liked my example (because I used a situation where I resolved the matter at the time) but wanted to know a time where I completely failed and couldn’t recover from it. I used a module grade and then they asked me what I learnt and how that would help me. They also focused a lot on time management and how I deal with stressful situations – three questions were based on this. At the end I was asked two situational judgement questions. Overall this felt a lot like a conversation as I was asking questions during the interview to them instead of at the end and I think they liked how I had a lot of non-law experience in a shop and volunteering etc as I could give a variety of examples of leadership, team work etc. I am a non-law student so I think the crux of this is knowing why law and actually how a firm works and what you can bring to the firm and what they can bring to you!

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.

1) Written Exercise
  • Get someone to write a badly written piece of text (or find one online) and practice going through them to brush up on your proof reading.
  • Brush up on SPAG understanding i.e., reading courses and semi colons, when to use apostrophes.

2) Article Interview
  • The case study mocks and M&A case studies on TCLA were fundamental to my success. These helped me gain a broad understanding of how businesses work and what things they may consider when planning their business model etc. Also the guide to commercial awareness by Jake Schogger was very helpful so recommend getting that as well!
  • Brush up on PESTLE & SWOT – I used this to make notes during the prep time and helped me think about points I could expand on in my interview.
  • Go through articles in detail on business news platforms (FT and The Economist). Go through these with a friend parent etc., I actually went through quite a few with my careers advisor so if you have this option I would really recommend!
  • Be calm and take a breath and a sip of water if stuck – the interviewers will guide you!

3) General Interview
  • Be calm – they are interested in you as a person!
  • Brush up on the typical questions – TCLA question bank practically had all of them covered. Additionally, have an honest and truthful reason why you want to go into law!
  • Know Freshfields place in the market and how it compares to other firms.

Were you successful?


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