Allen & Overy Assessment Day, Graduate Recruitment and Interview Preparation

Are you applying for a job, graduate training contract or vacation scheme with Allen & Overy? The application process is designed to test you at every stage, and it will take some time before you receive that precious job offer. This article is designed to help you navigate successfully through each stage of the application process.
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The application process with Allen & Overy is designed to identify the best candidates to work with their firm. The application process is designed to test you the whole way through, but also provides a perfect opportunity for you to demonstrate just how good a candidate you are. This article will offer you tips and guidance on how to do this. We will focus on the graduate recruitment process for graduate training contracts or vacation schemes as it is the most exhaustive, but many elements of this article apply to other position recruitment as well.

There are three stages to the Allen & Overy graduate recruitment process:

Online Application Form

The online application form is your first opportunity to stand out, so it is important you use it wisely. The form will ask you about yourself, your main interests and pastimes, any positions of responsibility and so on. It will also ask you about challenges you have faced, why you are choosing to work in the law and why specifically you want to work with Allen & Overy. You are asked to write about a current issue or new article and implications it could have for Allen & Overy. Finally you are asked to list your weaknesses. The 250 words allocated to each answer is not a lot, so make them count. Be clear and only write about points that are relevant to your application. The application form asks you to list any specific questions you would like Allen & Overy to answer at interview- a real opportunity for you to shine.

Allen & Overy’s top tips for the application form:

  • Prepare your answers before you write them in the form.
  • Understand what we are looking for and use good examples that demonstrate those skills.
  • Pay attention to detail.
  • Make the most of your experience, use stories to show us what you have learnt from it.
  • Be commercial - show an interest in the legal industry and the wider world around it.
  • Tailor answers to Allen & Overy.

The core skills and values that Allen & Overy are looking for are:

  • A commitment to a career in international commercial law.
  • A commitment to and clear articulation of why you want to work at Allen & Overy.
  • Commercial awareness of both the law and business.
  • Team working skills.
  • Communication skills.
  • Planning and organisation skills.
  • Problem solving skills.

The application form is your only opportunity to present your career information as you would normally do in a CV. It is therefore important you ensure the form contains all the information you want it to. JobTestPrep’s CV builder package can help you fill in the form with your CV information showcasing your skills and talents in the best possible way. Work through each stage of your law firm application form with our series of blog posts covering every area of the form. 

Allen & Overy Assessment Day

The assessment day is held at the firm’s offices, at 1 Bishops Square, London. There is no written or online testing at the assessment day. The order of the day will run as follows:

  • Two interviews - one with a partner from the firm, the second with senior associate or HR
  • Tour given by current trainees

Don’t forget to take along the required documentation: A- level certificates; degree transcript; transcripts for postgraduate study (Law School).

Allen & Overy Interviews

You will have two interviews with Allen & Overy on the day, each with very different emphases.

The first interview you will have will be based on what you wrote in the application form. It will assess your skills and knowledge, reasons for applying to law firms and to Allen & Overy in particular and your commercial awareness. As you will be tested on what you wrote in your application form, revise what you have written. Stay up to date with current affairs and be prepared to be asked about your opinions on specific events. You are expected to illustrate all your answers in the interview with examples of your own experience, which is best done using the STAR method. See how JobTestPrep can help you answer questions with the STAR method.

The key to a successful interview is thorough preparation. Preparing answers to common questions in advance will help you, but it is also important to practice how you will deliver these answers. JobTestPrep offer Skype based interviews which can help you answer in interview conditions.

Allen & Overy Interview Questions

Some common and past interview questions with Allen & Overy include:

  • Why commercial law?
  • Why Allen & Overy
  • What would you do if you won the lottery?
  • Name one of your main achievements.
  • What are some of your weaknesses?
  • Who are our biggest competitors?
  • Where else did you apply?
  • What practice area do you see yourself qualifying into?
  • Tell me about a time you have worked in a team.
  • Tell me about a time when you took the lead.
  • Describe a recent commercial issue that interests you.

Case Study Interview

The second interview is based around a case study. You will be given 30 minutes time to prepare a presentation on the case study. You will then present your findings to your interviewer, and discuss with them the key points arising from the case study.

The interviewer will be looking for how you have identified and extracted any legal and commercial issues. Be aware that you will not be able to cover everything in the time you have been given, but expect to be challenged on what you do say, and even asked to justify why you have not included some other things. Past case studies have included appraising the merger and acquisition of two companies, or the public listing of an SME. Preparing information from a case study to answer questions at a later date uses a new set of skills. JobTestPrep’s case study practice pack can help you prepare for this part of the day.

Allen & Overy place heavy emphasis on interviews in their application process, making interview preparation essential. JobTestPrep’s interview preparation package will help you prepare strongly.

In summary

Allen & Overy are a major international law firm, one of the UK’s magic circle of law firms. They are looking for only the best of candidates, and they put in the face to face time to ensure that they get them. This article has set out the interview requirements that candidates at graduate level will be subjected to, and how we can help you practice. Vacation scheme attendees should also remember that they are put into the pool for a graduate training contract, and will be assessed throughout their internship whether their work demeanour is appropriate for working with Allen & Overy.

We hope that this article has helped you, and Good luck!

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