• Applications for Willkie Farr & Gallagher's vacation schemes close on the 20th December. Apply now!
  • Applications for Shearman & Sterling's vacation schemes are now open! Apply now.
  • Common application pitfalls to avoid over the coming months. Read Now!

Hogan Lovells Interview 2021

BK

Legendary Member
Staff member
Future Trainee
Gold Member
Premium Member
M&A Bootcamp
Aug 26, 2020
194
87
Please state the month/year you interviewed at the firm.
January 2021

Please specify what the interview was for.
Summer vacation scheme 2021

Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.
9.30 to 10am - (virtual) arrival. Introduction from graduate recruitment, includes ice breaker with other students, chat with trainees.
10.15 to 10.45am - Watson Glaser.
10.45 to 11.30am - scenario interview with one senior associate/partner and member of graduate recruitment.
11.35am to 12.25pm - general interview with one partner and member of grad rec.

Please provide a summary of each assessment on the day with approximate timings.
Scenario interview: they ask 10 to 12 questions. They have a bank of questions they use every year and rotate between different ACs. You are asked the question by the interviewer and you are also given a handout so you can see the question yourself.

General interview: the amount of questions they ask depend on each individual. I was only asked a few and they left over 25 min for questions (I think this also depends on your experience/familiarity with the firm).

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.
Non-assessed sessions (intro, trainee Q&A): Even though this is not assessed, I would not recommend slacking in these sessions because they are really important. Firstly, it eases you into the AC and keeps you from stressing about your interviews, grad rec are also present and they are certainly taking note of candidates who seem distracted. You do not have to ask many questions, don’t stress about this, I only asked one. But do make sure you are not hogging the space and asking too many questions, I could tell that annoyed grad rec.

Case study: Commercial awareness and an understanding of Hogan Lovells as a business is key. They do not expect you to know much about M&A, JV, or PE, they do guide you when you stall, but they observe your reasoning for presenting X idea. As long as you can rationalise your decisions you are going to be fine. To prepare, keep abreast of current affairs, clarify commercial/economic jargon beforehand.

General interview: Know your application inside out. Research the firm well and have a good answer for why Hogan Lovells (it needs to be unique). But don’t sound too scripted, they do notice. My interview was more conversational, but it does really depend on your interviewer. For my interview they left over 30 minutes for questions, it does depend, so make sure you have a bank of questions for the partner and member of grad rec.

Situational interview: The resources of TCLA are fantastic. Do try and talk to someone who has recently completed the AC as that can give you a good idea of what type of issues are likely to come up.

Biggest tip: In both interviews, unlike other firms, there is a member of grad rec present. They may not ask many questions, but do not ignore them. I have heard that candidates focus all their attention on the partners/associates and that keeps them from succeeding.

Were you successful?
Yes
 

amjeow

New Member
Premium Member
Nov 15, 2021
1
0
Please state the month/year you interviewed at the firm.
October 2021

Please specify what the interview was for.
Winter Vacation Scheme 2021

Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.
9.30 to 10am - (virtual) arrival on Zoom. Introduction from graduate recruitment, includes ice breaker with other students, chat with trainees.
10 to 10:15 - Case study materials published on TopScore platform. Time to read and make notes.
10:15 to 11:15 - General interview with two partners (one was in employment, the other in infrastructure) for the majority and 10 minutes to go over the case study at the end.
11:30 to 12:30 - Situational interview with graduate recruitment and associate.

Please provide a summary of each assessment on the day with approximate timings.
Chat with trainees: We had a while to ask questions to them and get a feel of what life is like at the firm, why they chose the firms themselves, etc.

General interview/case study: They started off by asking me what University was like during the pandemic. Then they asked me about the positive and negatives based on the answer I gave, and how I felt the university could have changed their approach. Then the other partner didn't really follow the flow of the conversation and changed to asking why Hogan Lovells stands out to me and asked me to compare it to other firms. Then they changed the conversation again to asking me stuff about Jurisprudence, Astrology and Employment law. The case study questions were really brief, they didn't cover the questions that were actually on the sheet so be prepared for that.

Situational interview: No surprises here. They just give you hypothetical scenarios about how you would conduct yourself at the firm. And then whatever answer you give they will try make you either elaborate or add a new element into the question.

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.
Chat with trainees: This was really interesting. Definitely listen to what they have to say because it does help, and note that not all the questions have to be technical! Almost everyone seemed to ask them really technical questions, which you could see they were rehearsed but also the trainees sort of looked bored responding to them. It is important that you are genuinely interested in the response not just asking a question for the sake of it because Grad Recruitment are there watching how you interact. Probably the most important thing I took away from this part was try not to compare yourself to others. I was the only person (out of both the interviewees and trainees) who had not graduated yet nor studied at Oxford or Cambridge. Be yourself and use that to your advantage.

General interview: This part was unsurprisingly the hardest and it was my first ever application to a law firm, so my first AC too. I didn't know what to expect so I was really nervous. As I said before, they asked questions that didn't really follow the flow of the conversation to try and see how you act on your feet. They knew they were asking hard questions because before some of the questions they said "This is going to be a bit mean, but...". If you study Law like me, definitely brush up on your legal knowledge of all your modules, not just anything related to contract/commercial/property, because they asked me what module I enjoyed the least so far (Jurisprudence) and why, and then proceeded to ask me questions about Jurisprudence mixed with Astrology because one of the partners was interested in it, even though I knew absolutely nothing about Astrology. They didn't ask me any questions about what I wrote on my application, only about University, why Hogan Lovells, my 'must-haves' in a firm and what initially got me interested in commercial law. Make sure you are certain on these, give facts to back it up, case they've worked on and don't give generic answers like "the culture of the firm is unique". Focus on their sectors and opportunities.

Case study: We didn't spend a lot of time on the case study compared to other experiences I've heard about. It was quite brief. My case study was on the collapse of a high-street retailer, why it collapsed, what they can do to prevent it from collapsing, etc. It was analogous to the collapse of Debenhams which I was well-versed in, so be sure to improve your commercial awareness beforehand. They don't expect you to know EVERYTHING, they will help you if you're unsure, but definitely read definitions on Investopedia and research about asset sale, indemnities, loans, warranties, etc.

Situational interview: This was quite straightforward, questions about managing deadlines, client dinners, using your initiative, etc. Just use your common sense and remember that it is client first and team second. If you're always focusing on the clients needs and expectations you'll be fine.

Were you successful?
No, but it was a great learning experience.