Tips on improving 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.
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 want to give you the freedom to portray yourself in the best light. So we ask you to write up to 850 words as a personal statement, to include your interests, achievements, experience (including work experience) and other qualities. We also ask you to include your motive in applying to us.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. If you use simple English, it comes across as more authentic than if you use lots of long words.
- Consider why you’re attracted to us. Is it our global work, our reputation, or the atmosphere of our firm? We want to know.
- Check and double-check your personal statement to ensure it’s free from typos and grammatical errors.
- Your academic record
As part of your application form, we’ll ask you to tell us 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. We will compare your grades against the average at your school or college. As for university grades, most candidates will have a 2:1 or above.
Tip: Be sure to let us know of any scholarships or academic prizes you’ve won.
- Mitigating circumstances
There is a space on our application form for you to explain any mitigating factors that might have affected any element of your application.
Unlike many firms, we don’t insist on straight As at A-Level or particular grades on your degree; 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, please 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.
We implemented the Watson Glaser critical thinking test since February 2018. 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.
Preparing for interview
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: a desire to be constantly learning and improving; an interest in business; the ability to make a valuable contribution to teams; and so on.
Think of some examples that demonstrate these traits. Most importantly be yourself. Don’t try to second guess what we want to hear - but rather be genuine about what you will bring to the firm.
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.