Reed Smith Interview 2021

Elizabeth K

Esteemed Member
Gold Member
Premium Member
Jul 6, 2021
Please state the month/year you interviewed at the firm.

February 2021

Please specify what the interview was for.

Spring vacation scheme

Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.

This was a virtual interview.

9:00. Log on, instructions and open case study
9:15. Around 45 minutes to read through the case study
10:00. Case study interview with a partner and a member of the Global Solutions centre
11:00. Strengths based interview with same two individuals

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

1) Case study preparation (around 45 minutes) - Presented with a contract to read and digest, and a proof reading exercise.
2) Case study interview (1 hour) - Asked a series of questions about the contract to test how well I had understood the contract, including the parties involved, the type of contract, the various terms etc. Asked about what mistakes I noticed in the marking up exercise.
3) Strengths based interview (30 minutes) - Asked a series of questions about what I would do in a certain scenario to identify what my natural strengths are and whether they align with what the firm is looking for. There is an opportunity to ask questions at the end and have a bit more of a general discussion following on from this.

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.

1) Case study preparation. Try to manage your time effectively as it is a relatively lengthy case study and therefore you want to get through it in time whilst also making sure that you really digest the information. Also make sure that you then leave around 10-15 minutes to do the mark up exercise. I would prepare by reading a variety of unfamiliar contracts/legal documents and ensuring that you understand what is going on in each clause. I found it helpful to highlight key parts and make diagrams to help visualise the information.
2) Case study interview. A lot of the questions will be quite common sense and therefore try not to overcomplicate them. When answering, try to explain what you think is going on in simple and concise terms.
3) Strengths based interview. It is hard to prepare for this style of interview as it is different to the more traditional competency based interview. Instead of being asked for 'tell me about a time when' type questions, you are presented with scenario-based questions and you should then explain how you would go about responding. But with each question they do want you to draw on an example (even if they don't explicitly say it every time) of when you have responded in a similar way from your experiences - I found this this often required creativity to make relevant connections. I prepared by finding the list of strengths that the firm looks for (can be found on the website) and thinking about all the various sub-strengths that might come under this umbrella and then connected my experiences with these various strengths. I also googled a variety of strengths-based questions and practised answering these to get used to having to think on the spot and drawing on experiences. Also, make sure that you know your experiences inside out and draw on a range of different experiences to show breadth. When asked about what you would do if your boss said 'X', I would refer to your boss as 'they/them' as my interviewer picked up on this and really appreciated it. When asking a question at the end, I would then follow-up with 'that's interesting because […]' or 'I agree because […]' to make it into more of a discussion rather than just a one-way Q&A. Don't be put off by the fact that your interviewers can't ask follow-up questions, just keep your composure and confidence!

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