Stephenson Harwood 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.

    February 2020

    Please specify what the interview was for.

    Training Contract 2022

    Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.

    First round: 45 minute HR interview. (The second round is an assessment centre which I cannot comment on because I have accepted a TC elsewhere.)

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

    Interview with one member of HR. Very tailored to your application and although they have a set list of questions they do tailor them to your previous answer.

    Please list any interview questions you were asked.

    1) Why SH?
    2) Why law?
    3) Would you be interested in doing an international secondment, if so where?
    4) How do you stay up to date with the news?
    5) What has taken your interest in the news?
    6) How does this impact the firm and its clients?
    7) What was your favourite subject at university?
    8) What was your least favourite subject at university?
    9) Why have you applied for a TC and not a VS?

    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.

    Make sure to know how the firm is different from its competitors (i.e. practice areas), and what will be concerning their clients at the moment. Its a very relaxed interview, just know your application and experiences well, and don't bring something up that you aren't prepared to answer further questions on. For example I mentioned coronavirus during my answer to how do I stay up to date with the news, and the next few questions were based on this answer and I had to provide in-depth comments on the impact of the coronavirus.

    Don't be afraid to say you aren't sure about something, just be honest. For example I said I couldn't comment on the long term impact of the coronavirus because it is very uncertain. Again I said I would have to do more research into the firms international offices in order to decide where I would want to go on to secondment - but made it obvious I knew where the offices were by saying - perhaps X or Y.

    Were you successful?

    Yes
     
  2. Jaysen

    Jaysen Legendary Member
    Staff Member

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

    April 2019

    Please specify what the interview was for.

    Summer Vacation Scheme 2019

    Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.

    I arrived for a 2.30pm start. I had a 45 minute interview with one graduate recruitment member.

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

    I believe the only assessment to get onto the vacation scheme is the 45 minute interview with graduate recruitment. I was the only one on my time slot so did not get to meet any other candidates. The interview is split into 3 parts (although they don't make this explicitly clear) - questions about why law/commercial law, competency questions, and questions about the firm.

    Please list any interview questions you were asked.

    Why commercial law?
    Have you considered any other career paths and how did you rule them out?
    Tell me about a specific piece of legal work experience (interviewer had my application form in front of her)
    Why do you want to work in London?
    Why did you choose your university?
    Why did you choose to study law at university?
    What were your favourite/least favourite modules at university and why?

    A time you worked well in a team
    A time you worked under pressure
    A time you showed commercial awareness
    (There were at least 2-3 more competency questions as well)

    Why Stephenson Harwood?
    Tell me about a deal SH have been involved in and why it interests you
    What practice area(s) are you interested in?
    How does SH stand out from its competitors?

    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.

    I did not receive any technical questions. There are no exercises to test this knowledge (I believe they have more assessments on the actual vacation scheme) so there is no need to prepare for these extensively.

    I was asked about my least favourite module of my law degree and why, and my feedback was that I should not have been so negative in my answer. I said that jurisprudence was my least favourite because I disliked the lack of structure and certainty, but this was the wrong approach. It probably isn't a good idea to say your least favourite is contract/tort/commercial/company law either!

    The interviewer has your application form in front of them, so make sure you know your work experiences very well, especially how they have shaped your journey to commercial City law so far - ie why not any other careers.

    You will receive 5-6 competency questions so make sure you prepare for a range. I like to have a table of the competency on one side and my STAR technique example on the other, and learn this off by heart. Make sure you don't repeat any examples! Practise your answers out loud, because they did pick up on some of my 'waffling'.

    When speaking about activities you did in a team, they want to know YOUR role or how YOU made impact so use 'I' instead of 'we'.

    Due to the style of the interview (one graduate recruitment member who kept taking notes throughout), I unfortunately found it quite difficult to build rapport. It was also difficult to show personality, because the questions were obviously pre-set and I received few follow-up questions. You could perhaps overcome this by preparing a few stand-out questions for them at the end!

    Were you successful?

    No
     

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