THE GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL INTERVIEWS.
Law Society Recruitment Aid
For some candidates
interviews can be a stressful business and for most people an interview is
as welcome as a trip to the dentist!
However, there are
ways in which you can improve your interview performance and clinch that
Follow our step by
step guide to interviews and youíll already be half way there:
BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
you know all you can about the firm and the job you are applying for.
You can gain valuable information from a firmís website, corporate
brochure, colleagues knowledge and your recruitment consultant. Even
if you do not have the opportunity in the interview to display your
knowledge just knowing you have done Ďyour homeworkí will give you
about the type of questions that will be asked prior to the interview.
Be prepared to discuss anything that is on your CV, in particular you
may be asked about your reasons for leaving your current/previous
employment. Do remember not to be too negative about a previous
employer, if you are negative, this will not help you present yourself
as a team player able to get on with all sorts of personalities.You
may get asked classic personnel type questions such as your strengths
and weaknesses, if you think about this in advance it becomes much
easier to back up your answers with examples. Always remain positive
even when discussing your weaker points, indicate ways in which you
can or have improved this weak area.
the interview you are likely to be asked why you want to work for this
firm/company. You need to give thought to this prior to the interview,
if you donít know why you want the job you are unlikely to be
offered the post. Donít be afraid to show enthusiasm for the
position, as long as you donít go over the top this will work in
the job involves your relocation to persuade the firm you are going to
stay long term you must demonstrate either that you have an
interest/knowledge of the area (including cost of living
considerations) or friends and family nearby, ensure this is stressed
in the interview.
ON THE DAY
smartly and conservatively (unless you know that the dress code of the
firm/company is different). Be aware of your body language, these are
obvious points but if over-looked can be extremely detrimental to your
in good time for the interview and if you are early take the time to
sit in the reception area and get a feel for the firm/company. Ensure
you are polite to everyone you meet (the secretaries/receptionistís
opinion may be as important as a fee earner.) If the meeting is
delayed, try to stay calm and relaxed. If you show visible irritation
the firm will pick up on this and this may make them re-consider
whether you would be a suitable applicant for them.
prepared for anything. Although psychometric testing and other tests
involving your legal skills are not the norm at first interview, they
do happen. Your ability to not be phased by this and adapt quickly is
as much a part of the interview process as the test itself.
carefully to the questions and do answer the specific question put to
you. If this naturally leads into another area you want to talk about
donít launch straight into this area forgetting about the initial
question. Answer the initial question first and then move on.
well as being asked about your technical legal skills you may be asked
about your business development/marketing skills and increasingly
about your IT experience. For many firms business skills are as
crucial as your technical skills. If the firm is looking to recruit a
future partner you will need to demonstrate a genuine interest in the
future development of the firm.
panic if you are interviewed by an inexperienced interviewer who
doesnít take control of the interview. Most solicitors/partners have
never had formal training in how to interview, donít let this
situation put you off. You can use this opportunity to gently guide
the interviewer and concentrate on the areas you want to talk about.
ask questions (usually at the end of the interview). This is your
opportunity to find out whether this job is for you. Remember this is
a two way process and this is your chance to interview your potential
yourself. If you get the job you will be working with this
firm/company for 5 days a week, you need to know your personality fits
in with the firmís ethos and chemistry.
forget to report back to your consultant with your feedback. The
firm/company will usually ask the consultant for your feedback and if you
have not told the consultant you are interested it may give the firm the
impression you are not that keen to get the job.