Clifford Chance Assessment Day, Verbal Reasoning Test, Watson-Glaser and Interview Practice

Headquartered in London, magic circle law firm Clifford Chance is one of the ten largest law firms in the world. Here JobTestPrep outlines the recruitment process, including what happens at a Clifford Chance Assessment Day and we suggest how to be fully prepared for this competitive selection process.
 
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Each year Clifford Chance receive around 2,000 applicants but recruit less than 100 trainee lawyers and 130 attendees of vacation schemes and workshops. Candidates applying for vacation schemes and training contracts are assessed through the same four-stage process detailed below. Clifford Chance emphasises that they do not disadvantage non-law students; rather they look for your motivation to become a top lawyer.

The stages of the Clifford Chance application process are:


Clifford Chance are looking for future employees with the following competencies. You should use every stage of the application process to demonstrate how you have these competencies:

  • Business awareness
  • Problem solving with commercial insight
  • Communication
  • Leading and managing
  • Relationship building and networking

Clifford Chance Application Form

Apart from your basic details, education and work experience, you will be asked some competency based questions. Remember to give examples of your own experience to back up your claim to these skills. You will also be asked to describe your motivation for applying.

Your application form will only be assessed once you have passed the verbal reasoning test. It is assessed against the competencies that Clifford Chance look for in all of their employees. The application form is an opportunity to sell yourself to Clifford Chance. Make sure you take it. For more advice on how to approach the different stages of the application form, read our guide to law firm applications blog. 

Clifford Chance Online Verbal Reasoning Test

As soon as you have submitted your application form, you will be sent an SHL online verbal reasoning test to complete. This is a 15 minute test and is pass or fail. Questions are of the format True/ False/ Cannot say. Candidates successful at this stage will have their application form reviewed.

Clifford Chance recommend that you practice for the test in advance in order to improve your score, and your chances of being sent through to the next stage. JobTestPrep have created SHL style practice packs to help you improve your verbal reasoning test taking skills.

Clifford Chance Assessment Day

The Clifford Chance assessment day takes place at their offices in London. There are three parts to the Clifford Chance Assessment Day, and you do not need to have any prior legal knowledge. There are also tours of the offices by trainee solicitors, and lunch with the other candidates.

The three main stages of the Clifford Chance Assessment Day are:

Competency Based Interview

The interview will take place with up to two partners or senior associates, who will interview you for 45 minutes. Questions will be asked about yourself, your motivation for studying law and working with Clifford Chance, and some competency based questions designed to test your skills against the competencies listed above. You have time at the end of the interview to ask your own questions - don’t forget to prepare some in advance.

Some of the questions you can expect to be asked include:

  • What other firms have you applied to?
  • What is your biggest disappointment?
  • What other careers have you considered?
  • Do you enjoy working in a group/ alone?
  • Have you ever had to overcome a significant barrier to achieve an objective?
  • What do you see as the bad points of joining Clifford Chance?
  • Do you follow the business press? What’s caught your eye recently?
  • What deals are Clifford Chance currently working on?
  • What was your role in a particular extra-curricular activity?
  • What are your three weaknesses?

The interviewers will not read your application form ahead of the interview, so you have the opportunity to set the tone of the interview. Don’t forget to review your application ahead of the interview however, as you need to ensure that the information you give them in interview matches what you wrote on the form.

It is vital that you make a good impression in the interview, as this is the first time that you are meeting people from Clifford Chance face to face. Many employers recommend that you sit a mock interview ahead of the real thing. JobTestPrep offer a Skype based interview service through which you can get real time interview practice, with the added benefit of feedback on your performance. Find out more about the service here.

Case Study Interview

Ahead of this interview, you are given 15 minutes to prepare a short presentation on a commercial question usually on how you would advise a certain business legally and commercially, which you will present to interviewers. Your discussion of this topic will last for around 15 minutes. The information you are given could be very short- for example a paragraph explaining that a client has called in for commercial advice about setting up a new business. There is a distinct emphasis on commercial awareness in this interview. In addition, the interviewers are not looking for specific legal knowledge, rather how you think and solve problems. The interviewers will be looking at your organisation skills- how you gather your thoughts on a piece of information in a limited time frame.

In this interview you need to put yourself in the mindset of working for a law firm, and consider the client’s and the firm’s needs and priorities when making your recommendations. This involves some preparation ahead of time about the firm, but also on your approach to the case study interview. See JobTestPrep’s case study pages to learn more.

Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Test

The final test at the assessment day is a Watson-Glaser critical thinking test. The Watson-Glaser test is designed to test your ability to think critically about a piece of information in front of you. You are assessed on five areas: drawing inferences, recognising assumptions, deductive reasoning, logical interpretation, and argument evaluation. The Watson-Glaser test is different to any other test you will take, and as it is the final step in your recruitment process with Clifford Chance, it is your last opportunity to impress the team. Practising the tests ahead of the day will ensure that you improve your score. JobTestPrep have developed Watson-Glaser practice tests based on the tests you will sit at the Clifford Chance assessment day. See how these tests can help you prepare.

In Summary

The recruitment process for Clifford Chance is very competitive with several testing stages. You will need to impress at each stage in order to progress to the next stage. Preparation is key to helping you create this good impression, and JobTestPrep is here to help. This article has gone through each stage of the application process giving you tips and information about what they entail. We hope you have found this article useful, and good luck.

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