Eversheds Training Contract Interview Questions
The Eversheds' Training Contract selection process consists of:
- Online Application
- Online Situational Judgement Test
- Telephone Interview
- Face-to-Face Interview
- Assessment Centre
This interview is typically about 30 minutes long and is conducted by an independent industry expert who specialises in telephone interviews.
They are looking for individuals who have commerciality, passion for law, ‘can do’ practicality, a services attitude, and a big picture attitude.
You can almost certainly expect the following questions:
- Why law?
- Why Eversheds?
- What makes us different?
- Tell me about a recent news story, what are the implications for Eversheds?
- What is good client care to you?
Though the interview will be a mix of competency-based questions and industry knowledge, the balance between these varies.
Some candidates are asked a number competency-based questions such as:
- Tell me about when you went the extra mile.
- Tell me about a time when you worked in a team.
- What are your greatest achievements?
- Tell me about a time when you have to make a difficult decision.
- What skills do you have that would make you a good lawyer?
- Give an example of when you have worked with others to achieve a goal.
You may be asked to choose between two industries and identify the main challenges facing the industry you have chosen, as well as the challenges it may face in the future. Other follow-up questions will likely also be asked, such as 'How can Eversheds work closely with its key stakeholders?'
TIP: Eversheds highly values commercial knowledge, and the first interview is much more industry-based than most other firms. You should always be prepared for typical competency-based questions, however you should focus your energy on strengthening your commercial awareness and knowledge of Eversheds.
This interview will take place in the office to which you have applied, and is conducted by a lawyer from the firm.
It will last 45 minutes to an hour and though Eversheds refers to it as competency-based, it will mainly test your knowledge of the firm, its clients, and the industry.
Below are some examples of questions that you may be asked:
- Name two issues that you think are affecting the business world right now.
- How are they affecting Eversheds?
- Which one do you think is the greater issue?
- If you were acting for company X, what initiatives could you put in place to help them be greener?
- Environmental issues and Corporate Social Responsibility are increasingly important to our clients, why?
- What makes a business successful?
- Give an example of a business you consider to be successful.
- What does this business need to do to continue its success?
- What advice would you give to a potential competitor?
- How have you researched the firm?
- Why have you decided to pursue a career in law and more specifically, why Eversheds?
- What would the effect on the economy be if interest rates were increased/decreased?
- What makes a good trainee? What would make YOU a good trainee?
The dress code for the Eversheds' assessment centre is smart business dress.
The firm assumes candidates have no knowledge of the law during the application and assessment process. Consequently all candidates are on an equal footing.
Knowledge of the law is not required, although commercial knowledge is very important for the Eversheds interview and furthermore, your career at the firm.
You will be interviewed at whichever office you have applied for.
The Eversheds' assessment centre consists of:
Typically you will be given a selection of documents and emails in paper or electronic format, which somebody doing the job might find in their in-tray or email inbox first thing in the morning. You have to read each item and complete related tasks such as drafting a letter, proof-reading a document or replying to an email. Tight time constraints are usually applied.
Tip: Read the instructions carefully and make sure you manage your time effectively. Focus only on the relevant information and keep the level of formality appropriate to the situation.
Eversheds may use several situations to assess candidates, but it is likely you will either:
- Need to provide advice for a client (based on business information only), or:
- You will be asked to pretend to be a trainee, who must write a report to a partner regarding a potential client.
You may have a set of financial figures as well as memos, letters and magazine articles in the material you receive to write your report. Try to use and refer to all of it., and most of all: stay calm.
Candidates will be split into small groups and given an information package regarding a number of commercial issues. You will have to discuss the issue as a group and reach some sort of conclusion by the end of the time period.
It is essential to contribute intelligent input to this exercise. Unfortunately, almost all candidates will realise this and it can consequently be hard to make your contributions without interrupting others. Try to contribute as much as possible, but make sure you remain polite at all times, as assessors will be watching and evaluating individuals throughout this group exercise.
If other candidates make commercially incorrect points make sure they (and your assessors) know you do not agree.
Following the group exercise, candidates will present their findings individually to a Partner from the firm. The partner will then ask questions regarding the issue and your presentation, and you will be expected to defend your reasoning, but be flexible enough to accept valid criticism.
Make sure your presentation has a logical order to it, and that you speak clearly and concisely.
Following your presentation, you may also be asked to reflect upon your performance in the group exercise, the outcome the group has chosen, what could have been improved upon, etc. This interview is not very long, but you may also be asked additional commercial awareness or competency-based questions.
TIP: Preparation is key for the Eversheds interview. Research the firm and its recent projects, its clients, its values, and the position you are applying for. Brush up on your commercial awareness by reading the Financial Times or other business publications in the weeks prior to your interviews. Develop an opinion on several key current issues, and an understanding of how these issues affect other industries.