Preparing for your Interview

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Before the Interview

Research, research, research!
You have no excuse nowadays for not researching the firm. Every law firm should have a website and almost every practice has a page on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and sometimes even Instagram! 47% of interviewers said that they wouldn’t offer the job to a candidate if they had little knowledge of the company. Not only is it good etiquette to talk about the firm in the interview, it is also beneficial to you as well. Can you see yourself at this firm? Does the firm take part in a lot of community and charity events? Do they have a strong legal support department? These are things you must consider when applying. I know 80% of the time its all about the salary, but happiness and career progression are just as important. If you can, find out who is interviewing you, maybe they have written some publications on the firm’s website that you can refer to in your interview. By showing you have taken the time to read up on some of their work, shows your commitment and your ability to go that extra mile!

During the Interview

It’s all about you.
They will want to know how committed you are and if your interest in the legal sector is genuine. Bring the interview back round to you, this way they can see your enthusiasm, passion and willingness to learn.
Another important thing they will ask you is your ability to work alone or under supervision, be honest! If you are a young/junior fee earner still learning the ropes, then say so. Say that you thrive in a fast-pace environment, but you also understand that a fee earning role doesn’t happen overnight, so you appreciate the fact that you will need to undertake some extra training and shadowing in certain areas. Admitting your weaknesses speaks volumes about you as a person.
Following on from this, they will ask about a time when you have been tested and how you dealt with it, give examples but also say what you learnt from it.
Finally, they will want to talk about your intellect, analytical and reasoning ability. These are key attributes for anyone wanting to start a career in law, again, give examples and explain the importance of being strong in those areas.

At the End of the Interview

Don’t be afraid to ask all the questions!
Important things to ask are:

  • Organisation: What are the firm’s strategic goals? What do your interviewers love best about their job?
    A tell-tale sign about the firm is how they respond to the latter, if they hesitate or you feel that they are scraping the bottom of the barrel to think of an answer, is this really the place for you?
  • Development: Ask about progression.
    Does the role you’re applying for open other doors? How is performance evaluated and praised? Are there additional responsibilities you can take on, such as article writing or event planning?
  • Selection Process: What happens next?
    After the interview has finished, take a moment to think back to the interview. Were you satisfied with your answers? If they offer you the job, don’t feel obliged to answer straight away, starting a new a job is a big change, so you want to get it right. If you are unfortunate this time round always ask for feedback.