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Gowling WLG Training Contract Interview 2021


Legendary Member
Future Trainee
Gold Member
Premium Member
M&A Bootcamp
Aug 26, 2020
Please state the month/year you interviewed at the firm.
April 2021

Please specify what the interview was for.
Training Contract 2023

Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.

Join the zoom link at 9am for a 10-min Graduate Recruitment team induction, 1 hour for group discussion, 30 minutes for group presentation, 40 minutes interview with a Partner and 40 minutes written task. The whole assessment centre finished at around 1pm.

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

  1. Group Discussion: It involved a client pitch to a potential automotive client on behalf of the firm. No specific details of the company e.g. location, size were given therefore it was open to our own interpretation and assumption on what the potential client would look for. It was essentially an opportunity to demonstrate commercial awareness about this major industry that Gowling specialises in and the knowledge of Gowling's competitive edge. Assessors were present in the first 30 minutes of the group discussion to observe the discussion. Candidates would be discussing on our own without the assessors in the next 30 minutes, where we could spend the time on further research and discuss the presentation format etc.
  2. Group Presentation: Following the 1-hour group discussion, the group of 6 participants were given 20 minutes to present. The assessors then asked questions directing to each candidate. The questions were challenging that looked for further elaboration on what the candidates presented, e.g. what challenges facing the industry and how the firm can support.
  3. Partner Interview: The partner asker four competency-based questions e.g. example of team work, resilience.
  4. Written Task: The main written task was about a scenario in planning approval for a property. The task involved summarising the requirements of the planning rules and advising the clients the next actions. The task was straight-forward but time pressured. There was also a separate, relatively smaller task of proof-reading.

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.
  • Research: The is the final TC interview/assessment centre following the vacation scheme (whilst the AC for the VS was in similar format), therefore it would be crucial to research and understand the firm's strengths such as its sector-focused approach. Research the sectors / industries that the firm specialised to enhance commercial awareness that is relevant to the firm's work. Doing a SWOT analysis on the sector would be helpful to understand the challenges facing the companies / firm.
  • Presentation: Be clear and concise in the presentation as the time given was really short. The follow-up questions could be challenging, take some time to think before answering may help to form a better / structured answer and stay calm. Interview: The interview involved standard competency-based questions, therefore it was fairly easy to prepare for this part. Research what competencies the firm looks for in their trainees e.g. resilience, creative thinking and think about the most suitable examples. Answer with the STAR approach with more specific details especially in "Action".
  • Written task: Plan the use of time on the written task, e.g. 10 minutes to skim through the documents, 15 minutes to write the advice note and 5 minutes to proof-read. As the task did not require prior legal knowledge, there was not much preparation required, however, it would be helpful to look at how a client advice not is structured e.g. with an executive summary and conclusion.

Were you successful?