Preparing for your application and interview

How can you make your application stand out? Here are a few things to consider...

Do you identify with the attributes we are seeking in a graduate?

  • Your passion for excellence leads you to winning solutions.
  • Building relationships excites you. You see yourself partnering with clients to truly understand their needs.
  • You want to feel empowered and be part of a high performing team.
  • Collaboration and inclusiveness are principles you value.
  • You’re looking for a firm with a clear game plan.
  • You're a game changer – you think outside the box and rise to new challenges.


Applications are via our website through an online portal. It's only one form.

Apart from the eligibility criteria, we ask three key questions:

Question 1: At MinterEllison we understand that diverse teams perform better. Tell us three interesting things about yourself which are not on your CV. 

Question 2: Our aspiration is to be our clients' best partner. Describe what this means to you.

Question 3: Describe a particular legal case or topic that sparked your interest either before or during your studies, and briefly explain why.


Question 1 broken down...

This is where you think of three fun or insightful facts about yourself that will serve as a conversation starter for your interview.

This is your elevator pitch - except this time it's written. This is where you can distinguish yourself from the other applicants.


Question 2 broken down...

Being our clients’ best partner means we apply a commercial approach to transactions and projects. We do this by utilising the broad expertise of our teams, who think beyond the law.  

When answering this question,  think about situations where you have utilised a team or other resources to solve a problem in either your private, professional or academic life. Think about how you can relate our aspirations to your past or present experience.


Question 3 broken down...

Here is your opportunity to demonstrate that your interests are aligned with those of the firm. Use this question to showcase your knowledge and interest in the legal industry, a particular sector, or practice area.

Be articulate, convincing and succinct in your answer. Chances are, your responses in your application will then be discussed at your interview.


Tell us your story succinctly and in an engaging way.

Make sure your application and CV speak to the attributes and qualities that we look for in our clerks and graduates.

Think about these qualities and then match them to examples from your CV. Bring these to life in your application, and then again in the interview.


Think of the application as a story...

Introduction: your elevator pitch – what do you want us to know about you?

Chapters: your experience, strengths, values, and why you would be an asset to the firm.

Ending: reiterate why you feel MinterEllison is the place for you, whilst tying up any loose ends.


Attention to detail is essential and is a fundamental skill for a lawyer.

We receive hundreds of applications so those with spelling errors, incorrect grammar or inappropriate formatting will be put to the bottom of the pile.

When applications open have a look at what is required, think about your answers, and draft your application. Don't hit submit just yet, instead give yourself time to look back over what you have written and take some time to consider if there is anything further you want to add. This could be the following day or several days later. Check your grammar and spelling. We do not make selection decisions until after the closing date of the application period, so it makes no difference if we receive your application at the beginning or end of the application period.


Get to know us.

Make the effort to meet our lawyers on campus and at our recruitment events. Talk to them and ask about their practice area, the work they do, and what they enjoy about the firm. What parts of this sounds appealing to you? It's much better to use stories and experiences you have heard from lawyers than quoting a deal listed on our website when you are asked what you know or have heard about the firm.



Prepare: Learn your elevator pitch.

Check: attention to detail – your application must be your best work.

Research: why do you want to start your career at MinterEllison?

Impress: Be confident. Be yourself. Be specific and articulate in your answers.

So, you have successfully made it through the application stage and have been selected for an interview... how should you prepare?

Remember those three key questions on the application form? The interview is where you can really bring your responses to life.

Prepare and practice a short summary for each question. Through these questions we hope to get to know you a bit better and they are also great conversation starters.

In our experience, the two hardest questions for candidates to answer are...

Question 1: Why do you want to be a lawyer?

Here we want you to challenge yourself and think of an answer that offers more than 'I want to work with people.' There are many 'people-oriented' professions. Make your answer law specific. Think about life after university and the type of work you would like to be involved in. Why did you decide to study law? What or who inspired you?

Question 2: Why do you want to work at MinterEllison?

Why us? We know you will apply to many firms, but what was it about MinterEllison that made you want to start your career here? Offering a personal answer such as 'I spoke to Sarah, a MinterEllison graduate, at one of the careers fairs and she told me about her experience at the firm. It sounded exciting and I wanted to be a part of that...' is far more valuable that quoting a deal or transaction from our website.


Partners, Senior Associates and our Human Resources (Talent) team each play a role in the interview process.

At the interview (and in the lead up to) you will meet lawyers and staff from different levels and areas of the firm. Ask them questions. Their answers will provide you with a good cross section of insights which could help you decide if MinterEllison is the right fit for you.


Our interview process runs both ways. Flip the script...ask us questions

Ask the interviewer(s) about their area of practice; what path they took after university; or if they have always been interested in their particular practice area.

Ask them what they enjoy about MinterEllison aside from the work they do. Their answers may give you an insight into the culture of the firm which is always a important element in deciding where you want to start your career.


There are no trick questions!

We won't ask you about the type of fruit that personifies you, but... we will ask about your experience of working in a team, your relationship management skills, and any business acumen you may have gained already.

Remember, we're looking for both IQ and EQ.


While we don't want you quoting from the website –  keep up to date on firm news.

Subscribe to our newsletters and publications in the areas that interest you. These can provide you with a good starting point to ask questions about the work we do with clients and in providing them with the best solutions. Our annual report also provides a quick and succinct snapshot of the firm.


Getting ready for the big day....

  • Re-read your application form and take it with you to the interview.
  • Practice your elevator pitch.
  • Don't worry if you feel nervous. Take a deep breath, relax and remember that we selected you to come in for an interview because you've caught our attention.


Does MinterEllison use psychological assessments in their application process?

Short answer? Yes!

Being our clients' best partner and our people's growth partner means that we look to use psychological assessments as an additional piece of information to better understand our people's strengths and potential development areas. The assessments we use include timed ability components (numerical, verbal, and abstract reasoning) and an untimed personality assessment. When combined, these assessments provide us with an objective indication of how people may behave and interact in a workplace setting.


Why do we use assessments?

We want to know our candidates as whole people. Using psychological assessments helps us to limit the impact of unconscious bias in our decision making and ensure we provide an environment where talented people thrive. If you are successful and accept a clerkship offer, we will incorporate your responses as part of your development plan and provide you with a debrief when you join us.


I don't test well, does that mean I won't get a clerkship?

Not at all! Your assessment responses are only one part of the information we look at when making our decisions. We also take into consideration your cover letter, the breadth of your experience on your CV, your academic performance as well as the quality of your written application. The assessment simply provides an additional, objective and consistent data point that helps both, you as a candidate, and us to make the best possible decision in finding the right place to start your career.  


Are there practice questions?

Yes! Links to practice questions, preparation guides, and further information about the tasks will be made available to you once you have submitted your application.  We recommend you read these thoroughly and complete the practice questions so that you are familiar with the question types and styles.


How should I prepare for the assessments?

Make sure you are in a quiet, well ventilated and comfortable environment where you are not going to be disturbed or interrupted. Turn off all notifications (e.g. emails and social media) and keep your phone on silent. We recommend having a pen and a sheet of paper with you in case you need to write anything down.


When will I find out my results?

You can request feedback on your application once the overall application and offer period has closed.