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Firm Motivation Questions

28 September 2015 |

Graduate recruiters will expect you to have thought carefully about why you want to work at their firm. There will be more candidates capable of doing the work at the level required than the number of available places. Firms will not hire people who cannot demonstrate a genuine interest in working at that firm in particular. Hiring a student to undertake an internship is a fairly substantial investment for a firm to make. Consider the cost of paying interns, the value of partner/director and associate hours required to accommodate, train and assess interns, the expense of arranging social events etc.

If you receive two or three rejections for answering "why this firm?" too generically, odds are you would receive another fifty rejections if you simply tried to hedge your bets through applying to more firms. This is one of the reasons why you tend see candidates receiving either no offers or multiple offers. By all means apply to 10 or 11 firms, but only if you have the time to engage in sufficient research in order to ensure your answers are not too generic.

Types of Questions You May be Asked

  • Why do you want to work for this firm?
  • Which other firms have you applied to and why do you prefer this firm?
  • Talk about a particular deal the firm has been involved in and why you found it interesting.
  • If you took over the firm today, what would you do? You could answer this based on the following two questions…
  • What are the major challenges facing this firm?
  • Where would you next open an office and which office would you close?