I applied for Freshfield Bruckhaus Deringer and interview for a TC a year or so ago. It’s tough but it’s straight-forward.
I had two interviews each with a partner and an associate. One female and one male in each interview. They varied from being in corporate to IP.
I was asked questions such as:
- Why Qualify in England?
- Why London?
- What skills sets I possessed to be a good lawyer.
- [[Commercial awareness]] questions and interests in business questions, etc.
- Fit to the firm culture questions.
- Strengths and weakness [[competency based questions]].
I can say with complete confidence that an applicant who is up to date on basic Finance and current market issues is well poised to make a stronger impression at interview. Ability to read and comprehend the Economist and Financial Times thoroughly will be a distinct advantage as they will be most likely sources for the analysis interview. You guys should also make sure you know everything there is to know about the firm when you are interviewed, silly things such as not knowing the seat rotation system, or what work is done in what offices will be looked upon poorly. Do not ask questions to interviewers that you can find on the website.
during the interview they try to find out if you have the motivation to do hard, long work that may be tedious. They definitely tried to find out if I had a sense of commercial/business awareness and interest, my motivations to work for the firm. They wanted to find if I had the right personality/mentality for the firm.
The interviewers were extremely friendly - and quite genuinely so. However if you stay on a tangent on a question then they definitely reel you back in. They do not like sidetracking a question. Interviewers were relaxed and insightful. The offices are exceptionally attractive.
My interview went well. I knew I did well because I walked out of the interview feeling that I had addressed all the issues they raised, and showed a good fit for the firm’s culture. There was not much I could have done to do better. I got lucky and in my analysis interview they asked me about the US bond markets and Chinese currency pegging, which is what I worked on in investment banking.
I was offered a TC but turned it down, but that’s another story. Good luck guys. Let me know how you get on.