Part with your idea of a typical apprentice. That’s not what we want, and not what we need. We want to see what makes you tick. What drives you. Where you see your future heading. It’s the stuff that matters, and it’s the stuff that sets you apart.
We’ll be looking out for applicants who demonstrate a global outlook, drive and ambition, commercial awareness, collaboration, innovation and enthusiasm.
Let’s get into the granular.
Application Form add
Your route into Dentons starts with an online form. But, you’re much more than that. This is a chance for you to tell us about your education, work experience and extra-curricular activities. It’s the time to impress us. We will also ask you some long answer questions, to find out about your motivations, drive and attributes that you could bring.
- Pay attention to the word count: it is there for a reason. If we give you 250 words, that’s how many words we believe you need to give us a detailed enough answer.
- Attention to Detail: ask someone to proof read your application. When you’ve spent so much time on it, it can be easy to miss mistakes.
- Research: Do your Dentons research, and be specific. We want to hear what you think makes Dentons unique, and why that is something you are interested in.
- Stand Out: You’ve covered what makes Dentons unique, but we also want to know about you. What makes you different?
Critical Thinking Test add
If you meet our initial criteria in the application form, we will invite you to take the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Test.
We’ll be testing your ability to structure a sound, solid argument, to analyse and synthesise available information and to make assumptions and inferences. All skills that successful lawyers need to possess.
- Practice! This is our key piece of advice for the test, complete some practice tests so you are comfortable with the type of questions and test format. You can access our free test practice below.
- Complete some research to understand the types of questions you will be asked
- Keep an eye on your deadline: you will normally have a few days to complete the test. Mark this in your diary and plan some time in to complete the test.
- Find a quiet space with a good internet connection where you won’t be interrupted.
- Ensure you have a strong internet connection such as your home Wifi (results can be lost if internet connections are unstable).
- Have a pen and paper close by may help if you wish to make any notes during the test.
- Try not to spend too much time on any one question
- Your result is based on the number of items you answer correctly so try to answer each question, even if you are not sure whether your answer is correct.
Please click here for practice tests: Click here
Video Interview add
The video interview will see you answer some short questions regarding your motivation for the scheme. This interview will be looking at your past experiences and the skills you have developed through them, along with your key drivers and strengths. We will also look at why you’ve chosen to apply to a commercial law firm, and to Dentons specifically.
- Use the preparation time: try to think of the best example for each question, rather than rushing in with the first one that comes to mind.
- Be specific about your input: We want to hear what your personal contributions and actions have been, so avoid saying ‘we’ and say ‘I’ instead.
- Use a range of examples: Successful candidates pull complex examples from a range of experiences.
- Research: spend some time before the interview researching the firm and the apprenticeship. If you have been to one of our open days or had some interaction with Dentons, then please mention it!
Insight Day add
The insight day is the day before the assessment centre. We invite all of our final candidates to both. This is to give you some more insight into the firm and the recruitment process. You will get the chance to ask your final questions, get to know the office and the other candidates. This is designed to make you as prepared and ready as possible to give your best at the assessment centre.
Assessment Centre add
The final stage of the application process is an assessment centre. They comprise a group exercise, an online verbal reasoning exercise, a commercial discussion and a final interview.
Tips for the four stages:
- Effective communication – It’s crucial to demonstrate that you are able to listen to the opinions of others. When you’re expressing your ideas be clear, concise and confident. Make your point but don’t dominate the discussion.
- Develop on the ideas of others – Being able to listen to the ideas of others and build on them suggests you’re an active listener. It’s also a way of showing support and encouragement for others and their suggestions.
- Engage and include everyone – Assessors will always be looking for your ability to manage and improve a team dynamic. Performance of a team depends largely on the effectiveness of all members so do what you can to get everyone involved.
- Understand the brief – It’s really important that you understand the brief so that you’re able to contribute effectively. If you don’t understand after initially reading it through but others in the group seem to be getting it, make sure you don’t get left behind.
- Motivation and timekeeping – Keeping up motivation/morale within the team is important. Remember to use positive language in support of others’ ideas. Be the one to manage timekeeping or ask someone if they would be happy to keep track.
Online verbal reasoning test
- Take your time to really read the question – silly mistakes are always avoidable if you are careful.
- Don’t worry if you get stuck and can’t work out an answer. If it’s really making you struggle, then move on and give your best to the next question.
- Find some practice tests online to get a feel of the kind of questions that might come up.
- Use the notepad to help with your workings out – this might help to clarify some complex points.
- Plan your time: If you have an hour to complete a task, make a plan for how you want to use the time, for example, leaving 5 minutes at the end for checking your answers.
- Think about the purpose of the exercise – what could your assessors be looking for that might relate to skills as a commercial solicitor?
- Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification or to have something re-worded
- Remember that the assessors want you to succeed, so try your best to not let nerves get in your way.
- Remain organised and remember that we are not looking for you to have any specific knowledge – it is not your legal technical knowledge that the assessors are testing, rather the way that you think commercially
- Take some time to think about your experiences to date that have led you to apply to this role. Why do you want to be a commercial solicitor? And why an Apprentice?
- What skills do you have that would be important for a commercial solicitor?
- Slow down: If you’re not sure about a question, don’t be nervous about asking for clarification or to taking a moment to think about your answer.
- Read any instructions carefully: don’t rush into tasks without thoroughly reading instructions and asking any questions you have.