Having submitted your traineeship applications, next comes the seemingly never-ending wait to hear back if you have made it to the next stage. It is an overwhelming time and we have all been there!

You are frantically refreshing your email inbox and finally receive an exciting yet dreaded invite to an 'assessment centre'.

I remember the feeling well, and how much time I spent preparing for my assessment centre at Brodies.

I would like to offer you the following tips which should assist in your preparation:

Be organised

It is likely that you will attend several assessment centres and/or interviews, so ensure you have enough time to prepare for them all. I spent a couple of hours preparing each night in the week leading up to the assessment day.

Print off your application and think about what points you could expand on - your interviewers will have read it thoroughly.

If you do have multiple assessment centres to attend, think about how you can save yourself time by separating information into:-

  • Examples you can use at all firms, as it is likely that your competencies can be tailored to all in different ways.
  • What examples will be more specific to the firm itself.

Look at the competencies on the Brodies website

The competencies are:

  • Conduct and communication skills
  • Teamwork and adaptability
  • Self-motivated and driven
  • Prepared, organised and able to prioritise effectively
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Commercial and profit focused

In your application form you will have given examples of how you meet each competency. In advance of your assessment centre, you should think in more detail about these and be prepared to expand on your examples and provide new ones.

The STAR (Situation; Task; Action; Result) approach is the perfect way to describe the situation you were in and why the result achieved subsequently meets the Brodies competency. This is your chance to impress your interviewer.

Do your research

During your assessment centre you are expected to demonstrate a basic level of commercial awareness. When I was a student I was unsure of the concept - to put it simply you should think about Brodies as a business and a brand, and where they stand against their competitors.

Think about why Brodies have been successful and the advantages of remaining an independent Scottish law firm. Also, read about Brodies' utilisation of modern ways of working for the benefit of its clients.

Reviewing Brodies financial statements and annual reviews is useful, but it's also helpful to do the same for some competitors to understand how firms operate differently. Remember that successful firms focus strongly on their branding and presence in the market, just like a clothing brand would.

Let your personality shine through and be yourself!

I am three months in to my traineeship and have learned that one of the most important things about the job is being personable and friendly - so it is important to ensure you convey this to your assessors.

Brodies do not select people on the basis that they meet certain personality criteria. My colleagues are all unique and come from very different backgrounds. The best advice I can give is that you should be yourself and make sure your personality traits shine through on the day; the results will follow.

Finally, you have been invited to an assessment centre because your application stood out amongst many others - be confident and remain positive at all times. Good luck!


Lauren Steele

Trainee at Brodies LLP