Training Contract Interviews – Some Common Questions

There are certain questions that are often asked in some form or another in interviews for trainee solicitor positions.


Essential Preparation

Spending some time considering your answers to these common questions will clearly help you answer them if they are specifically asked in your interview.

However, the benefit of thinking through these questions goes further. It will also help you prepare some vital information about yourself and your decisions, reasons and motivations, that you will want to ensure you tell the interviewers if given the opportunity.

Don’t Prepare To Fail

In the fiercely competitive market for training contracts every applicant would be wise to paste the following phrase in large letters on their wall:  Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail!  Cheesy I know but it’s never been more applicable than to wannabe trainee solicitors.

Your Personal Pitch

By thinking through these questions and preparing skeleton answers you will be effectively preparing your own personal pitch, ie the thing that can set you apart from others.

During an interview you can utilise these answers (or part thereof) when answering a wide variety of questions which are different to the ones you prepared them for.

Project A Positive Image

Your aim as an interviewee should always be to project a positive image of yourself over to your interviewers.

Therefore, the more you have thought through and built up this positive image in your own mind before the interview, and the more of this you can get across during the interview, the better.

Questions To Consider

There are literally hundreds of interview questions you could consider and prepare for. However, we do not recommend you do this.

Instead, think about the types of things the interviewers are going to be most interested in at the headline level.

In essence, you will find that most firms have two main questions in their mind: Why them? and Why you?

If you think about any potential question that you know might be asked, they will all sit under those two main questions in some way.

It is therefore your job to be thinking about the following when it comes to interview questions:

  • Why do they ask each type of question?
  • How should you approach each type of question?
  • What examples can you use from your experiences to back up your answer to each type of question?

Some broad but common questions you will want to have considered as part of your interview prep are as follows (and there are many variations to these where your answers will be more or less the same):

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What do you know about this firm/organisation?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • Why should we offer you the job?
  • What are your strengths/weaknesses?
  • Why did you decide to pursue a career in law?
  • Where do you see yourself in 3/5/10 years?
  • Why do you want to be a solicitor?
  • What do you do in your spare time?
  • What do you consider one of your biggest achievements in your life so far?  Why?

Being prepared is half the battle!  Good luck!!

Assessment Centres

If you are facing an Assessment Centre as part of the interview process then you must know what to expect and practice some of the styles of tests and exercises you may be given.

For everything you need to know to succeed at law firm Assessment Centres check out our blog post series forming the TSS Assessment Centre Clinic.

One To One Help With Your Search For A Training Contract

If you are struggling to succeed with your training contract applications, interviews or assessment centres in the current market one to one help is available.

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