Osborne Clarke Interview 2019 - 2020

Discussion in 'Interview Experiences 2019 - 2020 Cycle' started by Jaysen, Mar 19, 2020.

  1. Jaysen

    Jaysen Legendary Member
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    Please state the month/year you interviewed at the firm.

    February 2020

    Please specify what the interview was for.

    Summer Vacation Scheme 2020

    Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.

    10am - Arrival
    10.25 - Group exercise
    11.30 - Lunch
    12.30pm - Watson Glaser
    1.00 - Break
    2.00 - Interview

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

    Group exercise - given an hour to discuss a case study in a group of 4. a 5 minute presentation and 15 minutes of questions afterwards.

    Watson Glaser - standard Pearson WG that was 30 minutes long

    Interview - only half an hour, standard interview with a partner and member of grad rec

    Please list any interview questions you were asked.

    Why Osborne Clarke?
    Why the London office?
    What other firms have you applied to?
    What country should we open an office in?
    What are the problems with opening an office in [said country]?
    What legal and social issues would we have to deal with if we adopted driverless cars in the UK?

    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.

    Group exercise - extremely time pressured, there was no clock in the room so ensure you carry a watch and nominate yourself to be time-keeper. the case study was quite lengthy, and was based on an M&A deal with a tech company looking to acquire 5 other companies. there was also a kind-of irrelevant article which was a red herring. as a group, you are meant to come to a consensus as to which businesses to invest in. the presentation is also straightforward, make sure you also keep to the time as the grad rec will cut you short if you run over.

    Watson Glaser - quite straightforward, try and do as much practice as possible

    Interview - also straightforward, very short but make sure you give extensive answers but avoid waffling. the partners will push you if you mention something interesting, so stick to your convictions if they ask you to consider an alternative stance (eg in relation to the driverless cars scenario)

    Were you successful?

    Yes
     
  2. Jaysen

    Jaysen Legendary Member
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    Messages:
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    Please state the month/year you interviewed at the firm.

    January 2020

    Please specify what the interview was for.

    Summer Vacation Scheme 2020

    Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.

    9:30 arrival, followed by a Watson Glaser test, a 30 minute interview with two partners, a trainee tour and a group exercise (mine was with 3 other people) - food and drink was provided throughout the day. The order of your assessments will vary.

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

    Watson Glaser: a standard test; just practice to make sure you receive a strong mark. You can find out your mark if you request feedback. The questions are often identical to the one in WG tests used by many Magic Circle firms.

    Group Exercise: make sure you either do not dominate the group, or allow a dominant figure to take control. Be collaborative and conscious of the time. We had to pick a company for a mock client to acquire/merge with. They provided five options for the four of us, so it is essential to work effectively. Make suggestions to demonstrate that you are directing the group towards a decision, rather than bulldozing other opinions. You will be asked to present your decision to assessors posing as mock-clients, who will then ask you questions about your decision. They will also ask you a question about your performance at the end.

    Partner Interview: Your motivation and commercial awareness will be scrutinised here. Make sure you have a compelling career narrative and trajectory to demonstrate why you want to become a commercial lawyer, and why it is you have applied to Osborne Clarke. Supplement your answer with detailed case studies of work OC has completed. Know about their sector-based approach - you will be asked about it! You will be asked two 'surprise questions'. Mine related to setting up an office abroad and driverless cars. As long as you take the time to think your answers through, these should not pose a problem. As a general rule, you should make sure you have a basic understanding of how law firms structure themselves as businesses. Shearman & Sterling's YouTube channel has a useful explainer for this.

    The trainee tour, as far as I know, is not assessed. Make sure you keep an eye on the time, as some trainees can forget that you are on a very tight schedule and overrun.

    Please list any interview questions you were asked.

    See Above.

    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.


    Know about OC, their work, business model and sectoral approach. Read widely when completing your commercial awareness preparation. This will help you to answer the surprise questions thoughtfully, and perhaps even allow you to bring in something relevant you know about. Practice the Watson Glaser test, its the only way to prepare. Attend a mock group exercise if you can since a practice-run really helps you understand how to succeed.

    Were you successful?

    Other - I secured schemes during the OC dates before they responded to me.
     
  3. Jaysen

    Jaysen Legendary Member
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,399
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    204
    TCLA Credits:
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    Please state the month/year you interviewed at the firm.

    February 2020

    Please specify what the interview was for.

    Summer Vacation Scheme 2020

    Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.

    10 am arrival and talk from graduate recruitment; 10:30 trainee tour and chat; 11am interview with two partners; 11:45 Watson Glaser Test; 12:30 to 13:30 Lunch with a few trainees and other candidates; 13:30 to 15:00 group interview (four of us) with two assessors sat at the table

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

    Interview with two partners for 30 minutes, though it ran over, no competency questions, more like a general chat. Watson Glaser Test - 30 minutes, exactly the same format as the usual one with Pearson. Group exercise - 1 hour to discuss the acquisition options of five companies for a client - M&A exercise... then 15 minutes to present between the four of us, and then 15 minutes for discussion and questions about our presentation with the assessors.

    Please list any interview questions you were asked.

    Why Osborne Clarke?

    Why Reading/Thames Valley office?

    Who else have you applied to?

    What would your advice be to Boris Johnson on automated vehicles - identify political, legal and practical issues?

    If we were to open a new office anywhere in the world, where would you open it?

    Do you think we should change our strategy regarding Brexit, such as closing an UK or European offices?

    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.

    with the partners, it was very clear they were interested in me as a person, asking personal questions and telling me about themselves. It was very important to be yourself and friendly and enthusiastic. I prepared by knowing small details about Osborne Clarke such as where all their offices were which came in very useful when they asked questions about offices. Being very commercially aware with Brexit and new technology - I read all of the OC tech 2020 news beforehand.

    Watson Glaser test - practice the online free Pearson test multiple times as I recognised a lot of the questions that came up.

    Group exercise - they said they assessing team work and commercial awareness with communication - prepare by knowing what the firm does for its clients (commercially aware) and see if you can recognise if the client was a copy of one of OC's actual clients. Be friendly and consist with chatting. I would advise to ask other people who are slightly quieter if they agree with the plans. Just being yourself was key.

    Were you successful?

    Yes
     

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