“ How can I stand out at an assessment centre? ”

Aoife F. asked a question in topic Application Advice
to Jade V. Associate, Herbert Smith Freehills

Hi Jade,

I hope you are enjoying your christmas break.

I have been invited to an assessment centre at Herbert Smith Freehills. Having gone through this process yourself, what do you think made you stand out amongst the other applicants at the assessment centre?
Associate, Herbert Smith Freehills

Hi Aoife

Thank you for your question and congratulations on getting this far! My own assessment centre experience is now over 4 years old, but I can certainly tell you what I believe made me stand out based on my experience and the feedback I received at the time.

Generally, I think you can stand out by taking the assessment seriously. This does not only mean coming as prepared as possible but also to really follow the instructions you are given on the day, for example, if a case study takes the form of a role play, really play the role! One of the main pieces of feedback I received was that I did well in the case study because I treated the partner who was assessing me as if she was a real client and fully engaged with the role. This is also a way you can show your commercial awareness (i.e. being client-focused and aware of specific concerns a client may have in running their business).Taking the exercises seriously allows the firm to see more accurately how you would perform in real life situations.

It may also help to remember that standing out is not about being the loudest person in the room (I definitely wasn't!). Making contributions calmly and deliberately tends to show you are in control and able to handle situations in which you may face time or other pressures, and that you are respectful of others.

Try to enjoy the day, look the part and be yourself; you will come across much more relaxed and as if you already belong, which will be a stand-out feature in itself. I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck in the assessment centre and rest of the process!


Aoife F.

Thank you very much for your advice Jade.

Hopefully, I will see you at Herbert Smith Freehills some day in the future!

Best wishes in the new year,
Aoife Fenlon

Herbert Smith Freehills

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