Shearman & Sterling Interview 2019 - 2020

Discussion in 'Interview Experiences 2019 - 2020 Cycle' started by Jaysen, Mar 27, 2020.

  1. Jaysen

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

    October 2019

    Please specify what the interview was for.


    Winter Vacation Scheme 2019

    Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.

    11.50am Arrival, 12pm Competency Interview

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

    Competency Interview - The interview lasted one hour and it was with an Associate and a member of Graduate Recruitment. I was informed it would be a competency-based interview, but I was asked a mix of motivational, competency and commercial questions. Even though the firm states it interviews on a fixed basis, I was informed that I was being interviewed before the application deadline as my application form had really impressed them. The interviewers started by asking basic motivational questions surrounding why I had applied to the firm and where I was in my life currently. I was not asked 'why law' or 'why Shearman' directly. Then there was a blend of competency and commercial questions, but I was only asked two of the latter with a follow up question based on what I had said. I found the questions to be fairly straightforward and nothing unexpected. After the interview there was the opportunity to ask questions. I was told I would hear the outcome after the deadline had passed.

    Please list any interview questions you were asked.

    - Tell us about where you are in your life and how you have ended up here today
    - Tell us about a time you faced a challenge and how you overcame it
    - Tell us about a time you worked in a team
    - Tell us about a news story that caught your attention recently. I spoke about Thomas Cook and was then asked how I would have advised Thomas Cook if they had approached the firm 18 months prior to their insolvency
    - Tell us about three weaknesses
    - Tell us about a time you had to make a difficult decision and would you have done anything differently
    - What do you think a trainee solicitor does day to day? I was asked a follow up question based on what I had said
    - What skills do you need to be a trainee solicitor?

    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.

    As there is only one element for the vacation scheme assessment, my best advice would be to research the firm thoroughly. A lot of questions seemed to be asking 'Why Shearman' indirectly, so if you can link your knowledge of the firm to specific examples your answers will be stronger. As with every interview it is important to be personable, polite and punctual. Listen clearly to what they are asking and do not feel you need to answer straight away.

    Were you successful?

    No
     
  2. Jaysen

    Jaysen Legendary Member
    Staff Member

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

    November 2019

    Please specify what the interview was for.


    Winter Vacation Scheme 2019

    Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.

    I arrived fifteen minutes before my interview slot; the interview lasted one hour.

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

    The interview will focus on testing your motivation for applying to Shearman, your knowledge of the firm (to some extent, this is a test of your commercial and legal awareness), and your competencies. I was interviewed by one member of the GR team and an associate.

    Make sure you can explain why you have decided on a career in commercial law as opposed to any other sector, and why you applied to them. To succeed in the latter part of this criteria, have case studies of Shearman's work to hand to justify your interest, as well as an understanding of the training they offer and the advantages of their small intake. Show them you understand how the firm works as a business, too, to impress further. A considerable amount of detail is expected for this section in particular!

    The competency questions are quite standard: prepare to be asked about teamwork, disagreements, negotiation, analytical skills and other conventional scenarios/skills. Have a broad range of examples, too. I used examples from my studies, my work experience and extra-curricular, and was still informed that I did not provide diverse enough examples!

    You should also say everything you wish to say in one go, so think carefully before you answer. I expected that the interview would be more conversational, and so did not say everything I had prepared in advance straight away. Follow up questions were few and far between, however. Do not waffle, but say everything you want the firm to know in your initial answer. It seemed as though my interviewers had not read my form either, so do not be afraid to refer to it, or build on things you have said in it.

    Have some questions to hand to ask your interviewers. You may not be told the names of your interviewers in advance, or they may change, so make sure they are suitably flexible.

    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.


    See above.

    Were you successful?

    No
     

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