03 February 2023

Well done! You have written a successful apprenticeship application and have now been invited to the firm for a selection event. But what does this mean and how do you prepare for the day? We asked Anna Dixon, a Resourcing Business Partner in our Emerging talent team to provide some top tips.

What can I expect from the day?

Introduction to the firm and Q&A with our current apprentices

At the beginning of the day, we will introduce you to the firm and provide an overview of the apprenticeship. There will be presentations and a chance to ask our current apprentices questions. Listen carefully and use the opportunity to build on your knowledge. Get to know the other people attending the day too, they might be your colleagues and friends in the future!

Group exercise

One of our key values is collaboration so, we want to see how you work as a team. We are not looking for someone who can say as much as possible in the allocated time. Don’t worry if you are a quieter member of the group. It is more important that you listen, ask questions, and contribute when you feel it is necessary. Quality over quantity! You will be given a fictional scenario and some information to read before discussing as a group. Read the instructions carefully, what are you being asked to do? Try to take in as much information as you can and make notes on anything you think will be important. Keep an eye on the clock so that you don’t spend too long discussing one part of the task. Group exercises can be daunting, but most people do report back that they found it enjoyable so try to ignore the observers in the room and immerse yourself in the task!

Written exercises

Our written exercises are designed to show us how you present your ideas in writing. These exercises are timed so we will take this into account when looking at spelling and grammar but try to leave some time at the end to check your work as attention to detail is important. Read the instructions carefully and think about the structure and tone of your response. For example, if you are asked to write an email, who should it be addressed to? An email to a colleague in your team might be less formal than a response to a client. You might be given a list of tasks associated with the apprentice role and asked to present them in order of priority. You don’t need to have an in depth knowledge of the role to do well in this. We are looking to see your thought process and application of common sense. When is the deadline? Who is the task for? How long will it take? Read each one carefully and try not to rush.


An interview is a great way for us to get to know you and find out why you decided to apply for an apprenticeship. Its ok to be nervous (everyone gets nervous for interviews, including the interviewer so they will know exactly how you feel!) but try to stay calm and listen carefully to the questions you are being asked. If you are not sure what you are going to say, take a moment to pause and think about it. The interviewer will not mind repeating the question or waiting for you to structure your answer. Try to bring in some examples from experiences at school/college or previous jobs to help evidence your answers. Have some questions prepared to ask the interviewer. It is a great opportunity to find out more about the firm and help you decide if the apprenticeship is right for you. If you feel all your prepared questions have been answered earlier in the day, ask the interviewer something about their role or what they like about working at the firm!

Preparation- top tips!

1. Research the firm and the role. What do we do and what is the culture like? There are lots of articles and blogs on the website about recent deals and events. How is the apprenticeship structured and why have you applied?

2. Plan your commute. Where are the offices and how long will it take you to get there. Make sure you leave plenty of time to travel and arrive a little early.

3. You may be nervous but try to get some sleep the night before and eat breakfast before you leave so that you will be able to concentrate and feel well during the day.

4. First impressions are very important. You don’t need to go out and buy an expensive suit but make sure your clothes are clean and crease free and that you look presentable.

5. Be yourself! Remember that you have been chosen to attend the selection event based on your application, so we are just looking to find out more and to get to know you.

We wish you the best of luck with your assessment day.


Applications for our apprenticeship programmes can be made via our website.


This article was written by Anna Dixon.

Key contact

Anna Dixon

Anna Dixon Resourcing Business Partner

Burges Salmon careers

We work hard to make sure Burges Salmon is a great place to work.
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