Herbert Smith Freehills Practice Tests & Graduate Recruitment Process (2024)

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) is one of the most elite and renowned law firms globally. Headquartered in the UK and Australia, HSF advises a broad spectrum of clients from the Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 Index, consistently earning its place among the most prestigious law firms worldwide and in the legal industry.

If you aspire to build your career at HSF, prepare yourself for a rigorous application process demanding your best at every step. Joining this elite firm requires strategic preparation. But no worries, our experts have meticulously crafted the HSF Test PrepPack™ to guide you through the HSF recruitment online test process.

What Our HSF Tests PrepPack™ Includes:

  • Verbal Reasoning: Sharpen your verbal skills with our comprehensive practice questions tailored to HSF's testing standards.
  • Situational Judgment Tests: Master the art of decision-making with our simulations, aligning with the challenges you'll face in the HSF recruitment process.
  • Personality Profiling & Interview Preparation: Understand and showcase your strengths effectively through personalized study guides and video tutorials.
  • Video Tutorials & Study Guides: Access a wealth of resources targeting each assessment section, providing step-by-step guidance to ace the test.
  • Expert Advice: Benefit from valuable insights, tips, and expert advice to maximize your chances of securing a position at Herbert Smith Freehills.

At HSF, excellence isn't just a standard; it's a way of life. Are you ready to take the first step towards a fulfilling career at Herbert Smith Freehills?

HSF Tests
  • 11 Verbal Practice Questions
  • 5 SJT practice tests
  • 2 Guides and Tutorials
  • Personality and Interview Preparation

When purchasing this product, you will also receive to your account the Watson Glaser PrepPack™


What is the Herbert Smith Freehills Assessment?

Every Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) applicant undergoes a series of psychometric tests developed by SOVA, a leading provider of aptitude tests tailored to the legal industry's requirements. The HSF assessment is a pivotal step in the recruitment process that offers valuable insights into a candidate's skills and potential via challenging questions and fictional scenarios. Excelling in these tests showcases a candidate's knowledge of diverse competencies and their ability to thrive in a fast-paced and dynamic environment, guaranteeing a potentially more successful hire at the firm.

You can expect three general aptitude test questions: SJT (situational judgment), verbal reasoning, and personality/behavioural. Our expert test developers meticulously designed our HSF practice test following SOVA methodology, including answers and constructive feedback to provide invaluable insights for candidates navigating and excelling in the Herbert Smith Freehills Assessment.

The HSF Test in Focus:

  • Situational Judgment Test: Face 12 questions involving workplace-simulated scenarios where you rank several responses according to the most adequate course of action in each scenario. Demonstrate prioritization, ethics, client-facing, and time-management skills.
  • Verbal Reasoning Test: Evaluate and interpret 11 questions with complex written paragraphs to draw conclusions and differentiate opinions from facts – an essential skill for a successful career in law. Ultimately, you should be able to handle time-limited pressure effectively.
  • Personality Test: Expect to answer 26 behavioral questions to provide HSF with an understanding of your fit within their work culture. Your responses gauge your predominant personality traits.

Ready to get started? You can also take a complimentary Sova Assessment Practice Test or have a look at the practice tests we have developed for diverse Law Employers.

Relevant Information:

  • The HSF aptitude tests have no specific time limit. On average, it takes approximately 35 minutes to complete.
  • The time you take is a relevant factor in obtaining a high score.
  • Your scores, combined with your application form, influence the decision to invite you to progress to partake in the assessment day.

Note: The Herbert Smith Freehills assessment day involves a whole day exercise at the firm's London offices, allowing the graduate recruitment team to assess your skills and abilities face to face.

Herbert Smith Freehills Tests Sample Questions

Situational Judgment Sample Questions

Consider the following fictional work-related scenario:

Upon recently joining a new team, you've noticed that your colleagues complete their tasks more efficiently than you, even though you've diligently followed the standard processes your manager taught you. Thus, the cause remains unclear.

What would be the most effective response in this scenario?

  1. Inquire if any colleagues have the time to assist with some of your workload.
  2. Attempt to tackle more simple tasks first to alleviate the backlog.
  3. Persist in applying the established processes as per your training.
  4. Seek guidance from a more seasoned colleague regarding any differences in their approach.
View Explanation

There is no perfect correct answer to this question.

Take a moment to fully comprehend the scenario presented in the question. Pay attention to the context, setting, and any specific details provided.

Ultimately you need to attempt to select the response that best addresses the needs of the stakeholders involded and that aligns with ethical standards, while maximizing positive outcomes.

💡Tip: Determine who the key stakeholders are in the scenario. Avoid selecting responses to scenarios that may compromise integrity or negatively impact the business strategy or relationships.

Verbal Reasoning Sample Questions

Since 2008, there has been a significant increase in the use of tablet devices, particularly in the last six months. Some researchers attribute this surge to the widespread availability of these devices and the access to numerous high-quality brands. You can buy a smartphone or tablet from various high street stores and online platforms. A large number of Gen Z individuals (2000s+) report using their tablet devices almost daily. On the contrary, only a small number of Gen Y individuals (1980s-2000s) mention using their tablets daily, showing a preference for their smartphones.

Statement: A limited number of Gen Z individuals frequently use their tablet device.

Please choose the correct answer from the provided options.

  • TRUE


View Explanation

The correct response is FALSE.

The statement indicates that 'the majority of Gen Z individuals mention using their tablet device almost daily.'

Consequently, the answer is false, given that the question asserts 'a limited number of Gen Z individuals frequently use their tablet device.'

💡Tip: Focus on the precise wording and nuances to make an accurate assessment. In other words, pay close attention to specific details, and avoid assuming information beyond what is given. 

Personality Sample Questions

Which statement do you agree with more?

It takes a lot to make me lose my temper

I'm not afraid to express my opinion, even if it's unpopular when I feel strongly about something

Strongly Agree

Slightly Agree

Slightly Agree

Strongly Agree

Which statement do you agree with more?

I enjoy creating new ways of doing things, even if the current methods are already effective

I am better at executing ideas than generating them

View Explanation

💡Tip: When responding to these types of questions, consider your natural tendencies and preferences. Reflect on your typical behavior rather than an idealized version. 

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HSF Recruitment Process in Detail

As previously mentioned, Herbert Smith Freehills is one of the UK's leading law firms, with an application process befitting such a firm.

Working at Herbert Smith Freehills is no easy feat. Besides being a highly prestigious place of employment, the firm provides employees with numerous benefits: a competitive salary, flexible working configurations, and a supportive atmosphere. The firm also offers various services to employees, including professional growth programs, mental health aid, and access to wellness programs. Moreover, HSF is also committed to diversity and inclusion, winning the “Most Inclusive Firm for LGBT+ Lawyers” award at the 2020 Chambers Diversity & Inclusion Awards.

Accordingly, you can be sure you will face plenty of avid test-takers aiming for only the best scores that guarantee a way inside the prestigious firm. Thus, we are serious when we say preparation is vital, and we want to provide you with enough tips and information on how to do just that. 

Herbert Smith Freehills Application Form

Herbert Smith Freehills receives over 2,000 application forms each year. You have to make yourself shine to get an invitation to the assessment centre. The Herbert Smith Freehills form is straightforward: it asks for your academic details, language skills and work experience. The only open-ended question in the application form includes your extracurricular activities, where you need to make an impact. 

Herbert Smith Freehills is looking for applicants who are more than just a lawyer, so make sure to include your interests and all things interesting you have done. Show that you have had a broad range of experiences.

Herbert Smith Freehills Assessment Day

Group Exercise

The purpose of the group exercise is to allow the recruitment team to observe how you interact in a group setting, which may mimic a real-life situation. For this exercise, you receive a brief and a role to play within your group. You have a short period to revise your role, make notes, and ask any questions for clarification before the discussion begins.
During this exercise, your behaviour and contributions, and how you work within the team, will be assessed, including quieter participants. You must show evidence of the desired skills, particularly your commercial skills. Note that the group exercise is not a competition with the other candidates or members of your team, and you do not need to make the most comments. They are more interested in the quality of your contributions.

Getting the balance right in a group setting can be challenging; see how JobTestPrep's group exercises practice can provide you with tips to take with you.

Case Study Presentation

In this exercise, you have 45 minutes to analyze a case study, answer questions on what you have read, and prepare a ten-minute presentation to deliver to two partners at the start of your interview. Your interviewers will ask you questions about what you have read, but not necessarily based on your presentation or the questions you have already answered. 

The case study exercise contains several key elements. First, there is the topic of the case study itself, which cannot be predicted ahead of time. A good tactic involves focusing on the key issues the case study tackles while preparing concise answers to questions on all the documents you have read.

Through the case study exercise, Herbert Smith Freehills is looking to test your ability to absorb and present information, as well as your commercial dexterities. The topic of the case study will be business-related. An example of a common topic was a UK-based legal services firm struggling at home but exploring options for expanding into Europe.

HSF recommends you build up and develop your commercial knowledge and understanding thoroughly. The next element of the case study is how to deal with the case study itself. And finally, there is the presentation on the case study.


The Herbert Smith Freehills interview is the last part of the assessment day. You can expect two partners to interview you, and that it lasts approximately an hour, covering three main sections. The first ten minutes of the interview involve answering questions about the previous case study, focusing on its commercial aspects. The next section of the interview is competency-based, where the interviewers are interested in how you solve problems and structure your answers. In the final 30 minutes of the interview, the partners will discuss your CV and motivations for a career in law. This section aims to help the partners learn more about you and the activities you enjoy.

Herbert Smith Freehills' advice to candidates:

  • Think in advance about the type of questions you may face.
  • Research the firm and articulate why you want to join, including any famous deals or matters they have participated in.
  • Reflect on why you have chosen a career in law.
  • Prepare questions in advance to ask the interviewers, showing genuine interest in the firm's work.
  • Consider having a mock interview.
  • Prepare examples to use when answering questions.

Some questions and topics asked in previous interviews include:

  • Why not a barrister?
  • What would you do if you were an advisor to a national leader for the day?
  • Tell me about a commercial issue that has interested you.
  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Interview preparation is vital! Even Herbert Smith Freehills advises you to partake in a mock interview to improve your interview technique.

Why Choose Our Herbert Smith Freehills Tests Preparation?

  • Tailored to Sova Methodology: Our practice tests are in alignment with Sova's assessment methodology.
  • Comprehensive Feedback: Receive answers and constructive feedback to enhance your understanding and performance.
  • Real Test Simulation: Practice in conditions that mirror the actual test environment.
  • Strategic Preparation: Equip yourself to excel in both the verbal and behavioural tests.

Don't just aim to pass, rather aim to excel!