DWF launches video interview — doubling number of wannabe trainees it considers

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By Alex Aldridge on

Exclusive: DWF becomes the first big UK law firm to incorporate video into its formal training contract interview process.


In the latest example of the legal profession attempting to widen the breadth of its graduate recruitment, national law firm DWF is having hopefuls record short clips of themselves to help it consider almost double the number of applications.

The process began earlier this month as part of DWF’s recruitment for its 2014 summer vac scheme. The use of video is allowing the firm interview 400 TC hopefuls, up from just over 200 last year. DWF offers around 60 vac scheme places each year and currently has almost 100 trainees.

The interviews, which are automated, are completed online at the candidate’s convenience following an initial application form sift. Those who pass are then invited for a full face-to-face interview.

DWF is using software developed by LaunchPad Recruits to conduct the interviews. A public version that is available for trial here sees interviewees given a minute to answer two questions. Example questions include: “What are you passionate about and what motivates you?” and “What work environment are you most comfortable in?”

DWF head of graduate recruitment Kate Hasluck told Legal Cheek that the change in policy was being driven by an enthusiasm to boost diversity at the firm:

“The aim of introducing a new layer into the graduate recruitment process is to increase our exposure to more candidates. The result is that we are able to assess around twice the number of applicants as before,” she said.

Most of the video interviews are believed to have gone well, although there have been some technical glitches which have been brought to wider attention through social media.

As for the actual etiquette of the video interview, Hasluck says that so far all candidates have appeared smartly dressed, although one maverick apparently jokingly suggested wearing fancy dress. “We have yet to see anyone not in a suit, although it’s possible that they are wearing pyjama bottoms,” Hasluck adds.

DWF’s move to give more candidates a shot at getting a training contract with them follows the ‘CV Blind’ initiatives launched recently by Clifford Chance, Macfarlanes and Mayer Brown.