Herbert Smith Freehills Graduate Recruitment & Test


About HSF and Its Hiring

Herbert Smith Freehills, also known as HSF, is one of the UK’s leading law firms, with an application process befitting such a firm. Preparation is vital and this page is designed to give you tips on how to do just that. The focus is on the recruitment process for the graduate training contract and the vacation scheme, as they are the most comprehensive. Experienced hire applicants will also find this page useful.

Herbert Smith Freehills graduate recruitment has a three-part application process. Running throughout these three stages are the key criteria they are looking for in you. These are more qualities than competencies and they include: Common sense; Intelligence to make your way in a big firm; Assurance; Perceptiveness; Ambition; Attention to detail; All round people skills; Ability to think creatively; and Commercial nous.


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Herbert Smith Freehills Application Form

Herbert Smith Freehills receives over 2,000 application forms each year. You have to make yours shine in order to be invited 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 is about your extracurricular activities; this is where you need to make the biggest 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 have provided some tips for the application form:

  • Look for the specified criteria.
  • Identify what the firm are looking for and develop your own examples of you meet these criteria. Use examples from academia, work and extracurricular activities.
  • Follow the instructions.
  • Answer the question asked on the form.
  • Tailor your application form to the company and the job you are applying for.
  • Check your form for spelling mistakes.
  • Keep it simple and specific - use examples that fit.
  • Be concise.
  • Keep a copy of your form - you will be asked about it at later stages.
  • Keep the information you provide on the form truthful.

Gain more tips with the PrepPack™'s guide to law firm application forms. 

HSF Online Aptitude Tests

Everyone who submits an application form to Herbert Smith Freehills is invited to take online tests. All the tests in the recruitment process are provided by Sova, one of the largest providers of psychometric tests. There is a set of practice tests based on Sova methodology, along with answers and feedback, to really help you understand what you need to do to get a good score in the test. Two of the most significant tests are:

Verbal Reasoning Test

The Verbal Reasoning test measures your ability to evaluate and interpret the written word - key qualities that every good lawyer should possess. Verbal Reasoning tests are time-limited, meaning that as well as the pressure of reading and processing information to answer questions, the verbal reasoning packs can help you prepare.

Logical Reasoning Test

The Logical Reasoning test assesses the way you understand problems and draw out logical solutions. These tests contain sequences of pictures and you have to use logic to pick out the next picture in the sequence. In order to be successful in a logical reasoning test, you need to be able to understand how to identify the logic in patterns. This can only be achieved through practising tests of this type. See the logical practice packs to understand how these tests work. 

In Summary

The scores that you receive in all three tests are then combined with your application form to inform the decision to invite you to the assessment day. Don’t forget to practise the tests to ensure that you achieve a good enough score to come back and really show them how good you are face to face. 



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