Tips on your application
Applying for a Freshfields training contract or vacation scheme? Here’s what to expect – and how to make the best of your online application.
‘Tell us about your experiences and why commercial law at Freshfields appeals to you.’
The online application
Our online application form is our way of trying to find out as much information about you as we can – from your academic record to your work experience to your transferable skills.
It consists of several elements. Here are some tips on making the best of each.
- Your personal statement
We ask you to write up to 850 words as a personal statement. This should include your interests, achievements, experience (including work experience) and other qualities.Tips:
- Write your personal statement in prose, not in bullet-point format. That way we can see more of your personality, and get a sense of how you communicate in writing.
- Write as you would talk. Using simple English makes you appear more authentic.
- Explain why you’re attracted to us specifically.
- Check and double-check your personal statement to make sure it’s free from spelling and grammatical errors.
- Ensure you contact the graduate recruitment team if you require any adjustments to be made throughout the adjustment process.
- Your academic record
As part of your application, we’ll ask you for your academic results, including a breakdown of your available degree module grades.
The work we do is intellectually demanding and we expect to see a high level of academic achievement from our candidates. That doesn’t necessarily mean straight As at A-level and we will compare your grades against the average at your school or college. As for university grades, successful candidates tend to have at least a 2:1.
Tip: Be sure to let us know of any scholarships or academic prizes you’ve won.
- Mitigating circumstances
We don’t have a minimum level of academic achievement – we want to hire people with the best potential. So we include a space where you can explain anything that might have affected your application.
Tip: If you didn’t get the grades you wanted, make sure you tell us if there is a good reason why not.
- An academic reference
We ask for one academic reference as part of your application, which we’ll follow up if we make you an offer.
Tip: Make sure your referee is aware that you have forwarded their details to us.
What happens if you’re selected
If you’re selected, you’ll be invited to a half-day assessment at our London office. Find out how to prepare for the assessment.
Preparing for interview – top tips from Freshfields partner Andrew Austin
We encourage you to be open about what motivates you, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and why you want to work here.
A job interview can be pretty daunting, but remember that everyone you meet wants to be able to offer you a place, so think positively and don’t let nerves get the better of you.
A good lawyer at a firm like ours has various attributes: an interest in business; time management skills; the ability to work well in teams; and so on. Think of some examples that demonstrate these traits.
Finally, come prepared for an enjoyable conversation and a lively discussion of themes coming out of a recent business article. If you are enthusiastic, engaged and well-prepared, you will do very well.
Watson Glaser Test
From November 2017 we will be implementing the Watson Glaser critical thinking test. This is a challenging test that focuses on an individual’s ability to think critically when interpreting information and evaluating arguments. If you are successful at application stage, you will be invited to complete the Watson Glaser test. The test score combined with your application will form the basis of whether you are then invited through to the final interview stage.
Completion of the Watson Glaser test will only be required for our summer vacation scheme and training contract opportunities.