Our Recruitment Process
The assessment centre
The second stage of our recruitment process for vacation schemes and training contracts is an assessment centre at our London office.
The assessment centres typically last for 5 hours and we invite up to 8 candidates to each assessment centre. During the assessment centre you will take part in the following:
- A written exercise:In the written exercise, we test your communication skills and your analytical skills. You are given a short document to analyse, and are tasked with writing a short letter of advice to a fictitious client. We are not testing your legal knowledge in this exercise, rather we are looking at your skills of comprehension, close reading and at your attention to detail and your clarity of expression. There is no specific preparation required for this exercise.
- A group exercise:In this exercise, we are looking at your ability to build rapport with your colleagues, at your oral communication skills, teamwork and at your listening skills. The group exercise is a commercial scenario, with a problem to solve. As a group, it is your job to work together to discuss ideas and suggestions and to come up with a solution that you all agree with. In the group exercise you should try to contribute evenly throughout, to listen and take on board others' ideas and also to come up with your own ideas and opinions. Naturally different people have different style and we completely recognise this. You should aim to be yourself.
- An online ability test – We use a test called the Watson Glaser because this is test that is shown to have "predictive validity"; that means that there is evidence to show that applicants that perform well in the test also perform well in an on-the-job environment.
- A 45 minute competency-based interview– either with 2 Associates, or a member of HR and an Associate. We use your application form as the basis for this interview. You should expect to answer questions about your interest in commercial law, why you have applied to HFW and your transferable skills and interests. We will ask some competency-based questions – these are questions where we ask you to draw on your previous experiences to provide examples of how you dealt with a situation in the past or displayed a particular skill/ competency. This is because evidence shows that past behaviour is the best predictor of future performance. We will also ask some questions around your understanding of the commercial environment/ current affairs. We're not trying to trip you up so we're looking for an interest and enthusiasm for the commercial world rather than a technical understanding of our sectors. We're definitely not expecting you to quote the latest share prices to us, or to have a deep understanding of the financial markets! Prepare by reviewing your application form, keeping up to date on current affairs, and have plenty of examples to hand for the competency-based questions. Also ensure that you research the firm in detail and think about why you would be suited to us and our sectors.
On the day try to be yourself. Listen to the questions you are actually being asked and not the questions you might have prepared for and want to hear. Have questions to ask the interviewers too – it's a two way process.
Can I obtain feedback on my performance?
We are happy to provide feedback to all assessment centre attendees, and ask that you email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a suitable time for a feedback call. We are unable to provide written feedback.