Magic circle won’t follow CC’s CV-blind route

Allen & Overy, Freshfields and Linklaters will not follow the CV-blind interview process established by Clifford Chance, it has emerged.

Clifford Chance’s CV-blind method of testing, revealed by Lawyer 2B last year, is designed to allow candidates to tell their own narrative at interview, allowing them to sell themselves rather than fall back on background experiences that they might share with interviewing partners.

The remainder of the magic circle, however, will not be following the Canary Wharf-based firm’s example.

A&O senior graduate recruitment manager Sarah Cockburn said: “We won’t be implementing blind CV interviewing. We regularly conduct analysis of our application process and we do not see any bias at all in our selection process at any point.”

She added that she believed that a CV-blind approach could be of detriment to the firm’s interview process. “For us, because there is no bias shown and we have confidence to back it up we actually think that not letting interviewers see CVs would be detrimental,” she said.

“One of the things that candidates tell us they like is that interviewers have read the application form that they have taken hours to fill in. We tailor the interviews, particularly the competency interviews, to their backgrounds and experiences, which we feel creates a positive experience.”

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer graduate recruitment partner Simon Johnson told Lawyer 2B that the firm always kept things under review but had no immediate plans to introduce any CV-blind element to its selection process.

He commented: “We always keep things under review. We have two stages of interview – general and analytical – and our application process is very even-handed. We have a complex set of criteria to prevent any bias and our interviewers all have unconscious bias training.”

Linklaters graduate recruitment adviser Sharon Jacobs explained: “We’re quite happy that we are screening and interviewing in the right way. We’re continuing to work on a number of diversity initiatives, including with a range of partners, so it’s always a work in progress.”