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King & Spalding 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.
Direct Training Contract 2022

Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.
9:30am – Introduction from Partner and Grad Rec
9:50am-10:20am – Trainee Meet & Greet 1
0:30am-11:00am – Presentation and Interview with 2 partners
11:10am-12:15pm – Negotiation Exercise
12:20pm-1:10pm – Letter Writing Exercise
1:15pm- 1: 55pm – Q&A session with other interviewees, trainees, partners etc

Please provide a summary of each assessment on the day with approximate timings.
*NB* all of this happened over Microsoft Teams so things like the presentation will be slightly different in person

– 5 minute presentation with 2 partners on a commercial story that interests you
– 10 minutes questions on the presentation
– 15 minutes general question with motivation questions and some competency questions

Negotiation Exercise:
– 5 minutes for the partner to read out the scenario and assign roles
– 10 minutes prep time for your role
– 40 minutes for the actual negotiation with a round table for 2 mins per person to pitch our project
– 5 minutes to feedback to the partners about the group's decision

Letter Writing Exercise
– 10 minutes for the partner to read out the scenario and distribute copies to everyone
– 40 minutes to write the exercise

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.

Presentation & Interview:
– make sure to really explicitly link the presentation to King & Spalding because just because you know a topic really well, doesn't mean it will translate to a firm really well. Also this is a really great place to demonstrate your commercial awareness so pick something you can talk about and are comfortable answering questions if probed on it.
– really learn your timings when you practice before hand (had some technical issues which threw me off and the partners didn't like how rushed my presentation felt)
– make sure you know your presentation off by heart because the partners instead of sharing the screen, they have printouts so you can't rely on having the slides in front of you
– Questions were general about my experience and academics so just being able to talk about them more generally was helpful

– It was not a legal negotiation so you don't need to know anything! we were a town council with a budget trying to decide what 3 projects we wanted to build with a certain budget, everyone was allocated a project and had 10 minutes to prep our position and 2 minutes to pitch it to the group. It was then an open discussion for about ~30 minutes and then we had to feedback to the 2 partners watching about what our final decision was.
– generally be respectful, don't talk over people, 'actively' listen (like nod or engage), make sure to advocate for your position but don't aggressively push it (ie know when to concede), consider what other people have to say
– your 2 minute short pitch should be well structured, concise and argumentative

Letter Writing
– Again not legal orientated at all. We were a charity with a PR issue about a charity cricket match
– know your basis letter writing skills (headings, format, structure etc) – there are major points for this
– have a strong introduction and use headings to give your letter a structure. Overall structure should be the issue at hand, the obligations (of the charity you were meant to be), then solutions
– make a side bar of notes from the task, note the issues and the solutions
– be professional in your writing style

Were you successful?