Allen AND Overy Interview!!!!

#1

…also need help with an interview at Allen and Overy for the training contract. Has anyone ben through this process before? Can anyone give me any pointers?

Thanks peeps!!

#2

I’ve heard that graduate level interviews at Allen & Overy can be very tough. My sister has one there for a vacation placement and said that she was practically bullied by her interviewer (she was interviewed by one person - woman - only).

Testing questions, law industry questions, personal questions, questions about why you want to do law, questions aout why A&O. You better get prepared!

#3

Ok A+O graduate Training Contract interview - let’s face it they will certainly make attempts to rattle you. If you are clever enough to say something that is right they will still challenge you on it so you need to be prepared to stand your ground. Use your conviction!

HR interview - This is a lot more straight forward. It’s usually before the other interview at A+O and all about you. Most people know about themselves (!) so just keep control of your nerves and talk abotu yourself and you will be fine. The HR team are pretty good (or at least seem to be) here. Friendly - and they’ll keep you informed and feedbacked regularly.

Be enthusiastic and try to show off your personality at this interview. Make sure you clearly demonstrate you Understand how your experience is relevant and or useful to A+O. Also bear in mind your future aspirations and that they will try to answer the questions you asked on your application form, so be prepared for an answer and possible discussion on these questions. If you’re enthusiastic and show that you’ve really understood what they’ve said you’ll do well in this interview.

Second Interview - very tough (but not impossible). Includes a Case Study - where you are asked to give an opinion to the interviewing partner as though you are presenting to a client. This is generally about an investment decision; keep in mind that the decision has to be an informed decision. You’ll be better off giving both the pros and the cons instead of being one-dimensional in your answer. Its unlikely you’ll have time to go through the entire case study so make sure whatever you decide at the end of it that you structure your answer, have a clear introduction, understand where you are going/what you want to discuss, the positives, the negatives and your decision on the facts given.

After your interview a trainee will take you on a tour of the office. you may be tired and even distraught (!) but just try to be enthusiastic again and ask some questions as you go along.

#4

Don’t forget to read the wikijob profile on allen and overy here:

http://www.wikijob.co.uk/wiki/Allen_%26_Overy

#5

Well it seems like the interviews vary a lot - my first interview with a partner was very tough, 50% about me and 50% commercial issue.

The commercial questions were very economics based, only one question was about what was in the papers (the partner asked me to talk about a business issue that I was interested in) and then the rest were economics questions like, “what effect does increasing interest rates have on sterling?”

My second interview was a lot more relaxed because the partner pretended to be a client (so they generally behave like attentive clients and dont judge answers). My case was about an international aquisition… they only gave me about 30mins to look at it, such a short time that they don’t expect you to answer all their questions, although obviously the more you can answer the better! I was asked “can you tell me the french legal position?” …I couldn’t - but they want to see that you are willing to admit you dont know and say you will find out for them…

The best thing is to give them as much detail and explanation as possible in the ten minutes, but also speaking clearly at the same time.

Its nothing to worry about, they will try and challenge you, but in a reasonable way. I think they want to see that you can formulate arguments and have an opinion, and back up your opinion even when challenged, but also admit it when your wrong.

Other questions were:
-what are your weaknesses / strengths?
-what has been your greatest achievement?
-why have you chosen A&O rather than other firms and other types of law firms (high street etc) (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!!)

#6

The first interview for a Training Contract at Allen & Overy varies depending on who interviews you but is, in the main, straightforward. Be prepared to explain your personal history, background and your reasons for choosing to study law, go to the particular University you went to, take your particular A Levels, etc.

At this stage you may/may not be given questions on your commercial awareness. Some candidates are asked fairly easy to handle questions, such as ‘what is the biggest news story in business today’ or ‘tell me what your views are about (insert topical news story here)’. Other candidates have horror stories about a string of heavy going questions about various commercial issues and their relation to the legal world. Prepare for the worst case scenario, of course. Make sure you read WikiJob news, the FT and as many relevant law magazines as you can.

Cross you fingers and there’s a good chance you’ll find some common ground to talk about with your interviewer, should they ask about your hobbies, interests and travelling. Similarly to Slaughter & May, it seems that this first stage interview is particularly focused on finding out about you as a person. Relax and try to be confident. When it comes down to it this stage of the interview process is really just about being yourself!

The case study which comes subsequently will put both academic and time pressure on you to a much greater extent. You will find yourself short on time for reading the material and explaining each point to the ‘client’ (member of A&O, pretending).

Make sure you give your personal opinions each time you explain anything-don’t just start reeling the issues off. Everyone else does, and it won’t set you apart.

You need to make a decision and state whether it is a deal breaker, of no consequence, or a point for concern. Don’t be afraid to say you would need to investigate further or carry out research. You can’t really practise for this one-just keep a clear head and don’t panic. If you’re smart enough and motivated enough to do law, you’ll be fine.

The best thing to prepare with is the mock exam on the McKinsey UK website. Read the info carefully and get a friend to ask you questions about it… but do bear in mind that the A&O case-study is much much harder!

Good luck!

#7

I have a question about the A&O interview regarding the type of questions asked during the case study… Do the questions look at more of the legal implications, or do they ask questions from a business consultancy angle, such as looking at synergies (looking at another body and seeing how you can interact to create something better) of acquiring a company or how much money a company would need to make in x amount of years to double their market share?

#8

Can’t really say Babyl, could be either!!

One more thing to bear in mind - life at the firm. The majority of partners at A&O are very smooth, and HR are lovely but if you get a job here the hours will not be pretty. The firm is very banking focused, but is also very innovative. Make sure you do your research and you know exactly what you’re getting yourself in to. Some people will love it here, others will not!

GL!!

#9

Anyone know the chances of getting an interview if you get an email from HR saying that they are impressed by your CV and that it has gone out to the departments who are recruting?

Thanks!

#10

[QUOTE=RebeccaGT;440]Anyone know the chances of getting an interview if you get an email from HR saying that they are impressed by your CV and that it has gone out to the departments who are recruiting?

Thanks![/QUOTE]

Hey Rebecca,

If a top London Magic Circle Law firm say they’re impressed by your CV, then they are definitely impressed by your CV! This is certainly a good sign… if they didn’t like the sound of you they’d send you an email saying “thanks, but no thanks”.

This sounds like it’s a matter of they like you, and they are passing on your CV to see if there are any vacant roles to fill within the company.

Can you tell me a little more, are you applying for a TC, Vac placement or a job? What is your CV like (you can be general, if you want to remain anonymous!)

#11

[QUOTE=Redsuperted;446]Hey Rebecca,

If a top London Magic Circle Law firm say they’re impressed by your CV, then they are definitely impressed by your CV! This is certainly a good sign… if they didn’t like the sound of you they’d send you an email saying “thanks, but no thanks”.

This sounds like it’s a matter of they like you, and they are passing on your CV to see if there are any vacant roles to fill within the company.

Can you tell me a little more, are you applying for a TC, Vac placement or a job? What is your CV like (you can be general, if you want to remain anonymous!)[/QUOTE]

HI! Thanks for your reply.

I’m applying for a paralegal job. I am going through ILEX at the mo, third year. It came as quite a shock to get that email from them as I am not a straight A student, but I have three years of practical experience in a niche area with lots of High Court experience, maybe that is what they liked? I’m very new at this stuff (with magic circle firms) but I am so excited. Its just I dont want to get my hopes up and then not hear from them! My firm is quite small you see, but I have always dreamed of working for A&O and now its a possibility, I just I hope hear from them a again!

My CV is OK, I’ve got a few A-levels and third year through ILEX with a few distinctions to my name, I think the experience was good though with High Court applications here and there and some complicated work. But by no means have been to Oxford etc.

So do you think I’ll here from them again, I really hope so!?

#12

That’s great Becca. It’s tough to get in somewhere like Allen & Overy, but it’s quite doable. The only thing that counts for graduates is their grades. If you have experience, your grades are much less relevant. Recruiters know that good grades does not equal good lawyer, so I would just keep getting all the experience you can, and you might find yourself entering the bracket of the magic circle.

#13

Waiting for these firms to reply seems like waiting an eternity and I’ve got my fingers crossed so hard for A&O!!

#14

Hey again Rebecca,

If Allen & Overy is the only firm you’ve applied to so far you should certainly make some more applications. Even if A&O do like your CV, you are not guaranteed a job from this! Even if you do get a job offer from A&O somewhere down the line (and fingers crossed you do!) other applicationss may lead to other offers allowing you to pick and chose the perfect firm for you.

…why not try applying to the other magic circle firms? Slaughter and May (http://www.wikijob.co.uk/wiki/Slaughter_and_May) have an incredible reputation in the city and an equally impressive pay packet. You’ll get to travel, some amazing training and be totally employable if you ever want to switch to another firm. Slaughter and May don’t do modern style interviews. Instead you meet partners/associates one-on-one and have a talk through why you want to work for them (at least, that’s what happens for Training Contract applicants). Personally, I think this is a much more professional and better way of doing things than at other firms - old school certainly, but better. You must know the firm, the law and yourself inside out if you want to get a jo here though. They expect the very best legal minds in the UK.

I’ve heard good things about Lovells too (http://www.wikijob.co.uk/wiki/Lovells), but again they are a hard to get in to and you need to be academically first rate at the interview. Pay is, again, very good.

Two smaller size firms I personally recommend are Olswang (London - http://www.wikijob.co.uk/wiki/Olswang) and Bird and Bird (Bristol - http://www.wikijob.co.uk/wiki/Bird_%26_Bird). Neither of these are Magic Circle firms, but are rapidly growing mid-sizers, both doing very well, with good pay, prospects and high quality training. If you miss out on the Magic Circle I would go for these. Despite their size however you still shouldn’t count on getting a job from these smaller firms. Although far less people apply to these firms, the firms have far less jobs to offer! As with all good law firms, you will need to work VERY hard to get in here, unless quite frankly you’re a genius! Even then, some firms decide to look for specific qualities or personality traits in applicants which sometimes don’t make much sense at all!

Good luck with your applications. Feel free to ask any more questions and please do let me know how you are doing regularly. If I can help, I will!

=Superted=

#15

Thank you, I will let you know how I get on!

Rebecca

#16

Wow! An interview with both Allen AND Overy? Most of us only manage an interview with one or the other! You must be REALLY REALLY SPECIAL.

#17

Hello there!

I am curious how long should I wait for the answer from A&O after the 1st interview …
Anybody knows? …