I’m interested in Ashurst Interviews, Training Contract interviews. Can anyone help?
First of all, take a look at our wiki profile on this, here - Ashurst | WikiJob.
There are reports from candidates that the interview process has been one stage (two interviews on the same day, and then a guided tour) and two stages (single interviews on different days), so do bear this in mind.
The first interview will almost certainly be with the head of Graduate Recruitment, Stephen Trowbridge who seems to be both a highly organised and very friendly person who will certainly put you at ease during your interview. I should also add, from my own dealings with them and from feedback I’ve heard from graduates, that Ashurst generally appear to be one of the friendliest law firms in London.
Your first interview is likely to include a discussion about your CV, why you want a career in Law and why you want to work for Ashurst specifically. Be prepared to explain why you made the choices you’ve made throughout your education, and how you think your choices will be of benefit to you as a lawyer and of benefit to Ashurst. You should be prepared to talk about other firms you’ve made applications to, which firms specifically interest you and why… if they really want to test you they may try to find out if you’ve been rejected from any firms and then ask you why you think this has happened, i.e. why weren’t you good enough for them!
The second interview is commonly held with two partners, or occasionally with partner and associate depending on who is available at the time. Some people seem to find this interview particularly tough, to the point where interviewers have come across as quite confrontational, whereas others find it much more straightforward, easy to handle and relaxed. The style of interview at Ashurst seems largely dependent on the specific interviewers you are given on the day.
Be prepared for a psychological element to this interview. Interviewers are recruiting suitable personalities (as well as intellects) for the firms and want to see confidence and positive general body language, even under pressure. This makes sense - lawyers at top firms regularly get a grilling from their clients. If you can’t handle two partners in an interview room, how can you handle a bullying group of executives from a large retail firm? The key it seems is to be prepared for anything, and to take things as they come. Try to keep your cool and more than anything else your confidence, as it does seem like this is an important characteristic that Ashurst look for in candidates. Do your preparation, but don’t get worried if you don’t get asked anything complicated whatsoever… interviewers know that well prepared candidates find interviews that concentrate on less taxing topics as hard as under prepared candidates being interviewed with highly taxing questions.
Because the style of interview here could go in a few different directions, you should prepare general questions about why you have applied to Ashurst and what you like about the firm. Expect to be grilled as to why you have chosen law as a career. At this stage it is almost certain there will be a few commercial awareness questions and an ethics question too.
Be prepared to have all of your answers challenged and to stand up for yourself and your views. You don’t want to be slamming your fists down on the table arguing with these guys(!) but you need to be prepared to respectfully argue your case. You can certainly disagree with them, but you need to back up everything you say with a logical, sensible and intelligent argument - just like every lawyer should be able to do!
There may also be a few current affairs questions thrown in here and there, particularly if you haven’t studied law at University and are planning to do the GDL (in this instance your interview will have less law specific questions).
Study your application again and again before your interviews as partners at law firms (and interviewers more generally, too) always pick up on the strangest, most irrelevant hobby or interest that you put down and have long since forgotten about. If you don’t know your application like the back of your hand it really doesn’t look good, so make sure that you do :).
Some candidates are given a “commercial case” in the second interview. The situation here is that a client is coming to see you with a specific business situation and you have to assess all the associated risk. Expect to be challenged if this question comes up but like all of the second Ashurst interview, remember that it is more important to keep cool and calm, be confident and stand up for yourself, than it is to produce 100% accurate answers. After all, you are a trainee, and you can’t be expected to know everything about the law until after your training.
If anyone can add anything, or has any information regarding the exact structure of this TC interview it would be greatly appreciated. It might be that Ashurst have recently changed the way they do things (hence different reports on the single day interview process and separate day process) - if anyone could offer some info, it would be greatly appreciated as always!
Good luck Lawboy, please ask any further questions and if you do get an interview please do post your experiences!