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HSF Spring 2022 VS AC Experience

jajammie

New Member
Junior Lawyer
  • Jan 31, 2022
    4
    19
    Hi everyone,

    I’m going to reply y’all altogether since the questions were similar, I hope you don’t mind. I thought it might be helpful for other people as well. So I applied for the HSF Spring 2022 VS early Dec 21, received the online assessment a couple days later and an invitation to the AC mid Jan 22. I’m a non-law, non-UK applicant that did the PGDL already.

    My AC was entirely virtual, so no case study for me (thank goodness), the structure was as follows (note that the order of interviews might be different for you), all the interviews are 35mins long:
    • Welcome talk from GR and a partner
    • Competency interview with a senior assoc
    • Personal scenario interview 1 with a partner
    • Personal scenario interview 2 with a partner
    For the welcome talk, it was pretty basic. GR will welcome you to the virtual room and the partner will do a small talk about their work and HSF in general. You do get small windows to ask questions to the GR and partner, so that was nice. I think the partner might also be doing interviews that day, so it’s worth it to note their names and practice area.

    The competency interview was the most nerve wrecking for me. The associate interviewing me asked a lot of questions but they were all questions you’d have expected while preparing for an AC.
    • Why city commercial law
    • Why HSF
    • Why did you study your degree and do you think that puts you at an advantage or disadvantage (I did a non-law degree)
    • Tell me about a time where you held a leadership position and how you led the team to overcome challenges and the results
    • Tell me about a time where you had multiple deadlines and what you did
    • Tell me about a time where you had to work with someone with a different opinion
    • Tell me about a time where you were part of team and something went wrong
    • What challenges do you think you will face during your VS/TC
    • How do you think your second language can help as a commercial solicitor
    She emphasised that it was important to give examples, preferably within the last three years. I don’t think I gave enough examples and some were definitely way past the three year period. But she was really really nice and patient with me. I definitely waffled a little. I think it’s important to have a good structure and use signposting language.

    I’ve read that the personal scenario interview is hard to prepare for. And tbh, a little. Both partners were extremely nice and tried to put me at ease, plus they do say that they aren’t looking for the right answers, there might not even be any, they just want to know your thought process. My interviewers introduced themselves and then I introduced myself. They then gave me a fictional scenario, I asked to take notes, which I think really helped to collect my thoughts and structure my answer. The first interview was about a small business wanting to expand [redacted]. It’s really not as scary as it sounds because the partner does go into detail about the scenario and drop hints here and there.

    The second interview was tougher, it was about drafting X and he was quite specific in the sense that he wanted to know how I would actually write it, the wording and definitions etc. Which I knew nothing about so I just gave pretty basic definitions in my own words. I talked about tax at some point and was questioned how I would actually go about doing it.

    To prepare for the scenario interviews, I strongly recommend watching A&O anatomy of a deal on youtube, like that basically structured my answer for the first scenario. For the second one, I had to think on the spot and it really does help to walk them through your process. Like I literally went, “okay, I have no idea how to draft X but I think the first thing to consider is what problem we are trying to address with X” and then I reiterated his question. I didn’t give the answer that he was looking for AT ALL, but he seemed okay with that and then at the end we had a short discussion on what he would have done. Both interviewers were keen to listen to what I had to say and I did raise questions as well, so it was more of a discussion than a presentation. At the end you do get some time to ask them any questions you want. The 35 mins went by really quickly actually.

    In general, I prepared by writing down answers for expected competency questions and then writing them on post-its and plastered it on my wall in front of me. I also made sure to have the details of all the cases that I mentioned in my application and answers, in case they asked but they didn’t. I read up on basic contract terms as well. Overall, it was honestly enjoyable, I like having the discussions and thinking on my feet.

    They also got back to me super quickly, in the evening and told me I was successful so I can’t freaking wait for the VS!!!

    @ee300 @iamJW @pizzamalia @JSM123 @YUKI1201 @User1726 @Inaya
     

    YUKI1201

    Valued Member
  • Mar 3, 2021
    124
    515
    Hi everyone,

    I’m going to reply y’all altogether since the questions were similar, I hope you don’t mind. I thought it might be helpful for other people as well. So I applied for the HSF Spring 2022 VS early Dec 21, received the online assessment a couple days later and an invitation to the AC mid Jan 22. I’m a non-law, non-UK applicant that did the PGDL already.

    My AC was entirely virtual, so no case study for me (thank goodness), the structure was as follows (note that the order of interviews might be different for you), all the interviews are 35mins long:
    • Welcome talk from GR and a partner
    • Competency interview with a senior assoc
    • Personal scenario interview 1 with a partner
    • Personal scenario interview 2 with a partner
    For the welcome talk, it was pretty basic. GR will welcome you to the virtual room and the partner will do a small talk about their work and HSF in general. You do get small windows to ask questions to the GR and partner, so that was nice. I think the partner might also be doing interviews that day, so it’s worth it to note their names and practice area.

    The competency interview was the most nerve wrecking for me. The associate interviewing me asked a lot of questions but they were all questions you’d have expected while preparing for an AC.
    • Why city commercial law
    • Why HSF
    • Why did you study your degree and do you think that puts you at an advantage or disadvantage (I did a non-law degree)
    • Tell me about a time where you held a leadership position and how you led the team to overcome challenges and the results
    • Tell me about a time where you had multiple deadlines and what you did
    • Tell me about a time where you had to work with someone with a different opinion
    • Tell me about a time where you were part of team and something went wrong
    • What challenges do you think you will face during your VS/TC
    • How do you think your second language can help as a commercial solicitor
    She emphasised that it was important to give examples, preferably within the last three years. I don’t think I gave enough examples and some were definitely way past the three year period. But she was really really nice and patient with me. I definitely waffled a little. I think it’s important to have a good structure and use signposting language.

    I’ve read that the personal scenario interview is hard to prepare for. And tbh, a little. Both partners were extremely nice and tried to put me at ease, plus they do say that they aren’t looking for the right answers, there might not even be any, they just want to know your thought process. My interviewers introduced themselves and then I introduced myself. They then gave me a fictional scenario, I asked to take notes, which I think really helped to collect my thoughts and structure my answer. The first interview was about a small business wanting to expand and they have come to HSF for help, they don’t know anything and need you to talk through the process with them. You have to discuss what lawyers you think will be involved at each stage, what government departments or organisations might be involved. It’s really not as scary as it sounds because the partner does go into detail about the scenario and drop hints here and there.

    The second interview was tougher, it was about drafting a piece of legislation and he was quite specific in the sense that he wanted to know how I would actually write it, the wording and definitions etc. Which I knew nothing about so I just gave pretty basic definitions in my own words. I talked about tax at some point and was questioned how I would actually go about doing it.

    To prepare for the scenario interviews, I strongly recommend watching A&O anatomy of a deal on youtube, like that basically structured my answer for the first scenario. For the second one, I had to think on the spot and it really does help to walk them through your process. Like I literally went, “okay, I have no idea how to draft a legislation but I think the first thing to consider is what problem we are trying to address with this piece of legislation” and then I reiterated his question. I didn’t give the answer that he was looking for AT ALL, but he seemed okay with that and then at the end we had a short discussion on what he would have done. Both interviewers were keen to listen to what I had to say and I did raise questions as well, so it was more of a discussion than a presentation. At the end you do get some time to ask them any questions you want. The 35 mins went by really quickly actually.

    In general, I prepared by writing down answers for expected competency questions and then writing them on post-its and plastered it on my wall in front of me. I also made sure to have the details of all the cases that I mentioned in my application and answers, in case they asked but they didn’t. I read up on basic contract terms as well. Overall, it was honestly enjoyable, I like having the discussions and thinking on my feet.

    They also got back to me super quickly, in the evening and told me I was successful so I can’t freaking wait for the VS!!!

    @ee300 @iamJW @pizzamalia @JSM123 @YUKI1201 @User1726 @Inaya
    Hello and thank you SO much for your detailed insights and advice, this is honestly invaluable! It is also reassuring that the interviewers were friendly and eager to help. Congratulations on your offer - fabulous achievement as the HSF AC is notoriously difficult!
     

    Mani28

    New Member
    Jun 27, 2022
    2
    0
    Hi everyone,

    I’m going to reply y’all altogether since the questions were similar, I hope you don’t mind. I thought it might be helpful for other people as well. So I applied for the HSF Spring 2022 VS early Dec 21, received the online assessment a couple days later and an invitation to the AC mid Jan 22. I’m a non-law, non-UK applicant that did the PGDL already.

    My AC was entirely virtual, so no case study for me (thank goodness), the structure was as follows (note that the order of interviews might be different for you), all the interviews are 35mins long:
    • Welcome talk from GR and a partner
    • Competency interview with a senior assoc
    • Personal scenario interview 1 with a partner
    • Personal scenario interview 2 with a partner
    For the welcome talk, it was pretty basic. GR will welcome you to the virtual room and the partner will do a small talk about their work and HSF in general. You do get small windows to ask questions to the GR and partner, so that was nice. I think the partner might also be doing interviews that day, so it’s worth it to note their names and practice area.

    The competency interview was the most nerve wrecking for me. The associate interviewing me asked a lot of questions but they were all questions you’d have expected while preparing for an AC.
    • Why city commercial law
    • Why HSF
    • Why did you study your degree and do you think that puts you at an advantage or disadvantage (I did a non-law degree)
    • Tell me about a time where you held a leadership position and how you led the team to overcome challenges and the results
    • Tell me about a time where you had multiple deadlines and what you did
    • Tell me about a time where you had to work with someone with a different opinion
    • Tell me about a time where you were part of team and something went wrong
    • What challenges do you think you will face during your VS/TC
    • How do you think your second language can help as a commercial solicitor
    She emphasised that it was important to give examples, preferably within the last three years. I don’t think I gave enough examples and some were definitely way past the three year period. But she was really really nice and patient with me. I definitely waffled a little. I think it’s important to have a good structure and use signposting language.

    I’ve read that the personal scenario interview is hard to prepare for. And tbh, a little. Both partners were extremely nice and tried to put me at ease, plus they do say that they aren’t looking for the right answers, there might not even be any, they just want to know your thought process. My interviewers introduced themselves and then I introduced myself. They then gave me a fictional scenario, I asked to take notes, which I think really helped to collect my thoughts and structure my answer. The first interview was about a small business wanting to expand [redacted]. It’s really not as scary as it sounds because the partner does go into detail about the scenario and drop hints here and there.

    The second interview was tougher, it was about drafting X and he was quite specific in the sense that he wanted to know how I would actually write it, the wording and definitions etc. Which I knew nothing about so I just gave pretty basic definitions in my own words. I talked about tax at some point and was questioned how I would actually go about doing it.

    To prepare for the scenario interviews, I strongly recommend watching A&O anatomy of a deal on youtube, like that basically structured my answer for the first scenario. For the second one, I had to think on the spot and it really does help to walk them through your process. Like I literally went, “okay, I have no idea how to draft X but I think the first thing to consider is what problem we are trying to address with X” and then I reiterated his question. I didn’t give the answer that he was looking for AT ALL, but he seemed okay with that and then at the end we had a short discussion on what he would have done. Both interviewers were keen to listen to what I had to say and I did raise questions as well, so it was more of a discussion than a presentation. At the end you do get some time to ask them any questions you want. The 35 mins went by really quickly actually.

    In general, I prepared by writing down answers for expected competency questions and then writing them on post-its and plastered it on my wall in front of me. I also made sure to have the details of all the cases that I mentioned in my application and answers, in case they asked but they didn’t. I read up on basic contract terms as well. Overall, it was honestly enjoyable, I like having the discussions and thinking on my feet.

    They also got back to me super quickly, in the evening and told me I was successful so I can’t freaking wait for the VS!!!

    @ee300 @iamJW @pizzamalia @JSM123 @YUKI1201 @User1726 @Inaya
    For anyone who’s had interview for the legal analyst position, how long did HSF take to get back to you?
     

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