The interview

We believe that the qualities we are looking for in trainees are best assessed through an interview.

Our interviews take the following format:

  • a written exercise
  • an interview with two partners
  • a chat and tour of the office with a current trainee
  • a short HR interview

Written exercise

On arrival at our offices on the day of your interview you will be given a written exercise. You are given one hour to complete this exercise and have the option of writing or typing your answer. You will not receive the exercise until you arrive for the interview, so will not be expected to prepare in advance.


Once the written exercise has been completed, candidates will be given a short current affairs article to read for approximately 15 minutes. This article will then form part of the discussion in the interview, along with questions relating to your CV. The partners will be looking to you to summarise the main points of the article, to form an opinion on the subject matter and to have a sensible debate on the issues raised. You should expect to be challenged on your views and should not be afraid to defend them.

The interview is structured to allow us to get to know you, what motivates you, how insightful and articulate you are, and how well you can think on your feet. Our approach reflects the kind of firm we are and the value we place on personal judgement.

Chat and tour with a current trainee

The interview with the partners will last approximately 40-60 minutes and, following this, one of our current trainees will give you a tour of the office.

We believe that the interview should be a two-way process. It is important for you to ensure that we are the right firm for you. The trainee will not have been prepped on what to say and they will not be reporting to us, so you should take advantage of this opportunity to question them about life as a trainee at the firm.

HR interview

Our interview process ends with a short chat with a member of the Trainee Recruitment Team. It provides an opportunity for you to ask questions about practical matters, for example, funding/timings for the GDL/LPC.

We normally find that the whole exercise takes approximately three hours. You will be required to bring with you a valid form of photo ID (passport or driving licence.)

Slaughter and May is committed to ensuring that our recruitment processes are barrier-free and as inclusive as possible to everyone. This includes making adjustments for people who have a disability or long-term condition. If you have any questions, or would like to discuss any adjustments you may need to any part of the process described above or for your visit to the office please contact Janine Arnold, Trainee Recruitment Manager, via email or on 020 7090 5049.

For all other application, interview or general queries, please contact the Trainee Recruitment Team via email or on 020 7090 4454.

Sarah Lee and Robert Byk on the interview

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