I have an interview with Clifford Chance for a training contract in a couple of weeks time. Any advice would be great as I am sooo nervous!
First things first, relax - stay calm! If you’ve been invited for interview you obviously have what it takes to get a job at Clifford’s. All you need to do now is approach the interview and the assessment day in a confident, intelligent and thoughtful manner.
When thinking about the interview, don’t think about yourself as a student/graduate approaching a huge scary firm in an attempt to get a job. Instead, try to visualise yourself few years into the future. Imagine yourself as a trainee or a trained solicitor. Imagine how you would think, how you would act and how proud you would be of yourself at this stage in your career. You need to approach the interview in this confident and professional state of mind and if you do, you will do very well. Similarly to the old advice “you need to dress for the job you want, not the job you have” the same can be said for your mindset. You adopt the characteristics of a lawyer to ace the interview, and drop the mindset of a nervous student. Easier said than done (and a little Paul McKenna/Derren Brown!) …but useful advice none the less.
I imagine the interview you are set to do is the assessment day? …if so, prepare for commercial questions/scenarios to be asked during the group stages as well as individual stages.
I’ve heard candidates are given a difficult paper test at one point too. You will probably be given some commercial information for 15 minutes and asked to write a response to this. Stay on top of the press (FT, Times, Economist) in the build up to your interview, and in particular pay attention to commercial issues such as Sarbanes-Oxley Act | WikiJob and Credit crunch effect on audit | WikiJob and you should find dealing with questions like this more straightforward. Apparently this test is a lot harder than online/application tests. Timing yourself properly is key - don’t spend too long on any one question, pace yourself and your work according to time restrictions.
I’ll try to find some further information for you in the next few days. Good luck with your preparation and interview, I’ll be very interested to find out how it goes for you.