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Interview guide


Your guide to face-to-face interviewing with Chapman Tripp

Congratulations on being invited for a second interview! We enjoyed getting to know you in your first interview, and look forward to delving deeper in this second interview.

Some of the below information repeats the advice we gave you prior to your first interview, but it’s still really important to feel prepared on these points as we may want to chat further about them.

The process from here on out...

Now that you’re in second interview stage, we thought it would be helpful to refresh yourself with the process from here on out.


We’re really looking forward to meeting you in person

The information on this page is specifically designed for interviewees and is to help you prepare for your interview and put you at ease. We like to be upfront and transparent about our interview process as we think the more you know, the more relaxed you’ll be on the day.

Interview tips

You made it through the virtual interview, and now you need to feel prepared to sit down with us face-to-face…Here are some of our top tips for interviewing. 





  • Read our firm’s website and graduate recruitment website – learn more about our clients, our partners and our teams
  • Find out more about our values, recent news and awards
  • Speak to former summer/winter clerks – quiz them on their experiences, ask for interview tips
  • Speak to university career advisors – for interview advice and more information on how to prepare
  • Read up about general commercial/legal news – make sure you would feel confident if we asked for your opinion on this.
  • Why do you want to work in a law firm? What motivates you to want to join a commercial law firm?
  • Why do you want to be a summer clerk? What are you hoping to gain from the experience?
  • Why would you like to work at Chapman Tripp? What makes us stand out compared to other law firms?
  • What sets you apart from others we might be interviewing? What are your key skills? What are your unique selling points (USPs)?
  • Know your CV inside out! Anything on your CV is up for discussion
  • Think about the experiences and achievements you want to talk to us about – make sure you have plenty of examples to share.
  • Whatever your reasoning, try and clearly articulate your thoughts when you meet us. Rehearse by asking someone to run through some practice questions and give you feedback
  • It’s a fine balance though – try not to over-rehearse, as an answer that’s too scripted can sound less genuine.

The pre-interview function



  • We know that the question “which teams are you interested in experiencing over a summer clerkship?” can be a tough one to answer as a law student, so we have introduced informal “team speed networking” to our pre-interview function.
  • In small groups, you will rotate between tables to chat to Chapman Trippers from each of our teams. They will tell you more about the work they do and what you can expect as a clerk in that team. We recommend using this opportunity to ask lots of questions.
  • We will ask you about your team interests in your interview, which then helps us to work out which two teams would be a great fit for you over the summer.
  • Following the team networking, you will have a chance to meet your interviewers and other representatives of the firm in a relaxed setting, who will give you an insight into our culture and what working at a commercial law firm is really like.
  • You will have a buddy (a previous clerk) who will be your guide for the evening, including helping to introduce you to your interviewers.

On the day





  • We’re a corporate law firm and our dress code is formal business attire, so shine those shoes and present a polished you! Most importantly – wear something that you feel comfortable and confident in.
  • Make sure you know where you’re heading for the interview. There’s nothing worse than being in a rush or flustered before an interview!
    See our office location details below.
  • Arrive 10-15 minutes before your interview to chat with one of our juniors. They’ve been through the process before and will have plenty of great advice to share. They will also be able to answer any questions you have and put you at ease.
  • Our interviews usually take 30-45 minutes but they can run over. It’s best not to schedule any commitments directly after your interview.

The interview itself


You will sit down with two partners and a member of our People & Culture team. They will introduce themselves and outline the structure of the interview. We want you to perform at your best, so we will put you at ease and help you speak about your positives.

Our questions

They are designed to gain a good understanding of your experiences and your interest in law. It’s a chance for us to get to know you better, and for you to get to know us. We might ask you to chat to us about:

  • your time at law school
  • interest in law
  • considerations in choosing a law firm
  • life/work experiences – “you”
  • your personality
  • what motivates you to succeed
  • your commercial awareness.

Your answers

Think about the skills you can bring to Chapman Tripp and what experiences you’ve had so far that will make you a great lawyer. Make sure you’re prepared to talk through some examples to back up your answers.

Be yourself

A fresh and original response always rings true and gives us a valuable insight into who you are and what makes you tick.

You can ask questions too

This is a great opportunity to find out what it’s like to work at Chapman Tripp. It’s a two-way process and you want to make sure we’re the firm for you. The type of questions you ask can often set you apart from other applicants by demonstrating your motivation and drive. If you think of any questions later, don’t hesitate to get in contact with any of your interviewers.

Key dates

Pre-interview function

  • Auckland office: 17 August 2020
  • Wellington office: 4 August 2020
  • Christchurch office: 10 August 2020


  • Auckland office: 18 & 19 August 2020
  • Wellington office: 5 & 6 August 2020
  • Christchurch office: 11 August 2020


  • All offices: 21 August 2020

Acceptances due

  • By midday 28 August 2020