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  • #3 in Law
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Application Process & Interviews at MinterEllison

8.1 rating for Recruitment, based on 71 reviews
Please describe the interview process and assessments.
Graduate recruitment is competitive. The firm look for well-rounded applicants - marks are not everything. The interview process is formal, but does give a great insight into the collaborative, personable culture.
Graduates are almost exclusively hired from existing clerks
The interview was a half day - with a written exercise, a presentation, a formal interview and a lunch. Followed by a three week clerkship.
Detailed application, first interview with HR and senior associate, cocktail evening. Second interview with two partners.
I interviewed for a graduate position when I was a research clerk. I had to submit an online questionnaire, then have an interview with HR and a partner
I liked the fact that the firm 'tests' a range of skills on the interview day through group activities and written exercises as well as the face-to-face interview. This gave me confidence that the firm was assessing a range of skills that are necessary for legal practice as a junior, not just interview performance.
For graduates, attendance at multiple 'drinks nights', multiple interviews and a four week clerkship.
There is an application process which examines your CV and academic transcripts followed by several interviews.
I applied for a summer clerkship, which was the only way to get a graduate position at the time. After two rounds of interviews and numerous other events only, I was one out of 20 out of 600ish applicants were hired.
The interview/assessment process was probably the most intensive I have had locally, but it was also the most friendly and collegiate experience. My interview was more of a conversation about my interests as opposed to trite questions about why I wanted to study law. Whilst the assessment process (including projects, a review task and group activities) was quite rigorous, it was not a negative experience.
As a law student you need to apply as a clerk which involves attending various cocktail functions and undergoing two interviews. The selection criteria is strict and numbers are limited. However I believe that this is necessary in order to ensure that the best candidates are selected for the job.
The clerkship process is one that is by and large set by the Law Society of NSW. It involved two rounds of interviews and then throughout the clerkship tasks were set for us to prove our skill level prior to being offered a graduate position.
Recruitment for graduates is primarily achieved through the summer clerkship process which involves a written application, two interviews, and attendance at two cocktail functions and various informal coffee catch ups with junior lawyers. At the end of a summer clerkship, the firm typically offers all clerks graduate positions. The firm rarely recruits graduates outside of this process.
What questions were you asked in your interviews?
first interview - mostly HR behavioural questions, second interview - personality/fit questions
Standard interview questions. How have you deal with adversity etc.
I cannot remember exactly. The first interview was structured, however the interviewers did focus on the content of my resume. The second interview was unstructured and casual. I felt I got to know the partners interviewing me during the interview.
The interview was quite relaxed, the interviewers were interested in all of my experience (not just legal) and it was more of a conversation to get to know me. I was asked about my marks, there was not too much focus on market/commercial questions, although this was important throughout.
Why do I want to work at Minters? Questions relating to me experience at other firms and whether I had applied there. Questions about my work experience and interests
I can't exactly remember now, however I remember that the focus wasn't just on my academics, but also about what extra-curricular activities I participated in. It was not just about how I could explain my academic credentials, a large part of the interview was about how I came across as a person holistically
Given I was handling two jobs and full-time university at the time, my interviewers were keen to understand exactly how my week ran from start to finish! I was also asked specifically about my interests, as they had allocated me a member of the property team to interview me - given my interest in property development, this led to a really interesting discussion.
The questions were focused on what I could bring to the firm and what the firm could offer me, for example why I chose this firm, why I left my former job, what legal areas I was interested in.
Minters interview was much nicer than many others I experienced - the interviewers genuinely wanted to know why I was interested in the law as well as what I liked doing outside of work.
The interview was conversational in nature, with most questions being drawn from the contents of my CV. There were no behavioural questions. I recall being asked to outline my previous experience, outline what my favourite subject was and outline the areas of law that I was interested in.
A combination of behavioural and general questions about myself, the firm, my motivations to work in commercial law, my understanding of the business of the firm and its client, my alignment with firm values and vision and what I think I can contribute to the firm and what I hope to take from my employment here.
From memory, a lot of questions about explaining experiences and how I would cope in different situations. No real arbitrary questions that seemed irrelevant or were based purely on my grades and achievements.
I was generally asked questions about myself and things on my resume. There were no testing questions regarding the legal industry or anything like that. I think the interviewers were just eager to get to know me as a person and my motivations and interests.
The questions in the clerkship interview were more of a conversation - 'what I liked to do with my spare time' 'what extracurricular activities I did' 'what I did at my previous job' etc. There were no hard or technical legal questions, and no weird 'if you were a fruit, what fruit would you be' questions. I think the toughest bit was going through my academic transcript and explaining some of my worse marks.
Do you have any specific tips and advice for candidates applying to your company? How would you recommend they best prepare?
Network to find out what the questions are like; research on lawyers weekly and firm websites; practice with a friend
Differentiate yourself from the pack in a meaningful way.
The firm is currently undergoing changes under the new CEO, Tony Harrington. Understand the impact of these changes and be prepared to drop this understanding into conversation during your interview.
Be yourself. The firm wants to meet you as a person. Be a team player. The firm wants to hear about how you interact with people, work on projects and achieve within a team environment (just like we do).
Going through the graduate recruitment process is difficult when you are also trying to manage some of the tougher subjects at Uni My advice would be to get in early, attend the events that you can, see if you can make a valuable and genuine connection with someone in the firm at these drinks (not just trying to seek out HR to the expense of talking to someone who can provide invaluable insight into the firm and recruitment process) and distinguish yourself. Manage your graduate applications with your Uni workload. Also, don't prepare for a specific partner in the interview, you never know whether or not they might be busy on the day of your interview and might not be able to attend unexpectedly. Prepare for you interview with the intention of remaining true to yourself and who you are, whilst also having a general background of the who we are and what we stand for
Understand the different practice areas and the deals they have worked on. Be realistic about long hours and the physical toll they can take. Make plans to keep your health and social relationships whilst focusing on your career and development. Talk to people within the firm or who have left the firm to get an understanding of culture.
Try to develop an understanding of the practice groups. It is impressive when you can meet someone from each group with an opinion and understanding of each group.
Need to maintain good university grades (ideally a Distinction average) Participate in extra-curricular activities to show you're a well-rounded person Talk to junior lawyers and other people working at the firm to find out about the company culture. Cultural fit is just as important, if not more important, than your university grades.
I would recommend they do a bit of research on the firm and explore why they want a career with the firm and more generally within commercial law.
It sounds simple, but just be yourself - Minters was the only firm I interviewed with that actually cared about you as an individual, and finding out what you most enjoyed both in and out of the office. Your marks and previous experience will speak for itself - be prepared to answer questions about you as a person, and what makes you tick.
Minters is a place where you NEED to be yourself, if you are speaking off a script or trying to act the way you think people want it comes across as fake and is not well received.
Identify something unique and positive about your personality and/or achievements. With so many applicants, you need something slightly different to stand out in a positive light.
Just be yourself as much as possible. Answer the online questions and truthfully as possible. Don't try to be someone that you're not- if your personality fits the culture of the firm it will come through in the interview. Prepare for interviews by researching the interviewers before coming in. Ask them questions about themselves to show you're interested.
In my experience Minter Ellison look for candidates with practical experience in the legal industry or other business areas relevant to the work of the firm.