Linklaters Interview Questions

Last Updated: 20 February 2020

Training Contract Interview and Application Process

Linklaters hire 130 trainee solicitors and offer experience to 100 vacation scheme students at the London office every year.

You will begin your application by filling out the online application form available on Linklaters' website. To make your application stand out, you will have to really think about what sets you apart from other applicants, and why you want this job. Come up with a number of examples from experiences in your life that demonstrate your aptitudes, and make sure you have had someone read it over for grammar and punctuation errors. If your application passes the rigorous screening, you will be invited to take the Watson Glaser test online, which will test your critical and logical thinking skills.

If you are successful at this stage, you will be invited for an Interview Day which will last 4 hours, consisting of:

Before your assessment begins, you will be given a tour of the offices by a current trainee, who can tell you what their job is like and answer any questions you may have. This may seem very informal, however it is important not to let your guard down too much, as trainees will likely be asked for their opinion of you afterwards.

Critical Reasoning Test

At your Interview day you will once again write the Watson Glaser critical thinking test, to confirm the results of your online test. The test involves fairly short passages followed by a series of statements which you must determine to be true of false based on the information given in the passage. This test is difficult, and quite unlike those used by other firms. There is a short practice version available on Linklaters' website.

Work Simulation

The first part of the work simulation is an E-tray exercise, which will simulate an email inbox based on a fictitious Linklaters scenario. You will have to choose a response to the emails from multiple choice answers, quickly extract information from data, and make judgement calls similar to those you would face ordinarily in your role at Linklaters.

The second part will follow from one of the issues you dealt with in the previous part of the exercise, and will require you to write an email response to a client or colleague. Remember to keep a profession tone and double-check your grammar.

An example work simulation exercise is available on Linklaters' website.

HR Interview

The first interview is predominantly application and competency based, and will be taken by a member of the Human Resources team. Make sure you know your CV and online application very well and be ready to elaborate and explain your role in any activities you may have cited. Prepare answers to typical competency questions, particularly ones that highlight the following Linklaters key competencies:

  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Motivation
  • Time management
  • Commercial thinking

Expect general questions such as:

  • Why law?
  • Why Linklaters?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years time?
  • Which practice areas are you most interested in, and why?
  • What did you enjoy most on your degree, and why?
  • What do you think about the long working hours associated with law?
  • A moment you are proud of?
  • A moment where you solved a problem in an imaginative way?
  • How do you go about starting a new project?
  • What is important for you about the people you work with?
  • Tell me about a time when you worked in a team lead by someone else?
  • A difficult situation you managed by yourself?
  • What would I see if you were stressed out?
  • What types of situations put you under pressure?
  • Describe a good week.
  • What is your greatest weakness/strength?
  • What has been the greatest challenge you have faced?
  • How do you evaluate your own process?

The interview is not too formal, and you should be prepared to do most of the talking as it is likely you will be given a lot of space in which to do so.

Interview with Partner

This second interview will be with a Partner from the firm. Following a discussion of your performance on the work simulation (what you found difficult, what you think you did well, what you could have improved, any questions your may have), you will talk more about your application, education, knowledge of the law and commercial awareness. You should be prepared for more specific questions such as:

  • If you had x amount of money how would you invest it?
  • In which country should the next office be opened?
  • What do you do if your boss gives you too much work?
  • What do you do if you have an issue with a colleague which you can't resolve?
  • What are your 5 worst qualities for a career in law?

Interviews vary depending on your specific interviewer. Some candidates may find their interview is entirely application based. Others may be asked more taxing commercial awareness style questions. You should be prepared for both types of interview.

Linklaters deal with a lot of the big investment banks so you should find out about the work they do in preparation for this interview. You might find it useful to read the WikiJob Investment Banking section as part of your research.

Tip: Research the firm thoroughly. Make sure you can justify why you have chosen to apply to Linklaters, why you want to work there and what unique abilities you are able to offer the firm.

Tip: Make sure you know about some recent big cases and deals the firm have been involved in. Questions on this topic are likely to come up at interiew, and your knowledge of the firm's work will be tested.