Allen & Overy Training Contract Interview Questions

Training Contract Interview Process

The Training Contract interview procedure at Allen & Overy is as follows:

See Allen & Overy Training Contract Application Process for detail about the online application.

Partner / Associate Interview

This is based on your application form. You will be interviewed by a partner or an associate who will assess your skills and knowledge, as well as your reasons for applying to Allen and Overy and your general commercial awareness.

You will be asked a series of difficult to answer interview questions and competency based questions. Previous questions include:

  • Why commercial law?
  • Why Allen & Overy
  • What would you do if you won the lottery?
  • Name one of your main achievements
  • What are some of your weaknesses?
  • Who are our biggest competitors?
  • Where else did you apply?
  • What practice area do you see yourself qualifying into?
  • Tell me about a time you have worked in a team.
  • Tell me about a time when you took the lead.

TIP:You can also certainly expect to be asked to talk about a recent commercial issue that interests you, or perhaps one of your interviewer's choosing. Read newspapers and news websites everyday. Keep up to date with current affairs, global politics and economics. Make sure you develop your own opinions about issues and can stand up for yourself if questioned in debate.

Tip: Candidates need to show that they are absolutely committed to a career in law and that a career with Allen & Overy would be one of their top (if not very top) choice.

Tip: At the end of the interview don't be afraid to return to a previous question and revisit it - "Earlier I said X, Y and Z: I'd like to add something to that answer..."

Case Study Interview

This involves working with a case study. You will have 30 minutes to read through a package of about 15 pages of documents, and prepare a 10-minute presentation to deliver to your interviewer. The presentation is followed by a discussion with your interviewer about key points from your case study. You will be under extreme time pressure to get through all of the material provided, so be sure to focus only on the key points. The case study will likely deal with a merger or acquisition of two companies, and you will need to read through the document as if you were advising a client and should pick out the points most relevant to them. Your interviewers will likely bring up any points you have missed, and question you on various aspects of your presentation and the issue. Present your case and defend your reasoning, but you should be aware that, as you have not been given sufficient time to prepare, you will have made a few oversights. You must be receptive to new information and open to revising your conclusion, if you see fit.

After both interviews, you will be given the chance to spend some time with a current trainee who will give you a tour of the offices (and a coffee), introduce you to other trainees and generally be available to answer any questions which you may be too scared to ask the partners! The trainees are not debriefed, though it is always a good idea to remain professional.


Allen & Overy give feedback to candidates who arrange this with the Graduate Recruitment team only after interview and not after the application stage.


Successful candidates with be contacted 7-10 working days after their interview by a member of the Allen & Overy Graduate Recruitment team who will congratulate them and explain the terms of their contract.

Candidates will not have to accept immediately, but will be given twenty-eight days to make a choice.


Unsuccessful candidates will be emailed after their interview. A member of the HR team will explain where you went wrong in interview via telephone and will be able to tell you how to improve in future interviews if you ask them.