Whilst the legal industry remains one of the strongest sectors for recruitment growth, interviews can be a daunting process wherever you are in your career. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an experienced lawyer with many successful years behind you, having strong interview skills is essential to making the right moves in your career.
The first step in the interview process is to ensure that you do are fully prepared for it. It is crucial that you know where and when the interview is taking place and who you will be meeting. If the interview is in person ensure you familiarise yourself with the location and plan your journey in advance, allowing plenty of time for any travel delays. If the interview is remote, it is always wise to check your video link is working and that your camera and microphone are switched on. I would recommend you log into the remote call a few minutes before it is due to start, just as you would arrive at an office 5 minutes before your appointment.
Before the interview revisit the job specification to ensure that you are familiar with the requirements of the role that you are interviewing for. Take some time to consider your own experience to date, so that you are able to discuss your skills and experience in relation to the requirements of the role. At the research stage it is also wise to look up the profile of the person or people that you will be meeting. Most firms have profiles of their Partners and Associates on their websites, ,so it is worth reading those as well as any background information about the interviewers on their Linkedin profiles. It is also worth researching the firm and reading up on their website, so that you are more informed about them, the sectors that they operate in and the services that they provide. In addition to the firm’s website, it is advisable that you read up on them in the legal press so that you are familiar with up to date and current market information about them.
Spending some time researching the firm and the people you will be meeting, as well as thinking about your own skills and experience will really help you maintain a good level of conversation during the interview, as well as demonstrating to the interviewers that you have done your research and are therefore committed and interested in in the opportunity that they have to offer.
Be prepared for any competency based and technical questions that might arise. It is always best to ensure that you are prepared just in case a few scenarios based or technical questions are asked. Where you have not been asked to prepare specifically for technical questions or a formal test any technical questions that are asked are likely to be pretty standard questions that a lawyer at the same level should be able to answer quite easily. Don’t be put off by technical questions, they can be a great way to get the conversation flowing especially if you talk about scenarios from your previous experience.
It is also important to ask the right questions. Remember that an interview is a two way process. Have a think about a couple of questions that you’d like to ask as this can be an effective way to demonstrate your ambition for the role.
As with any interview the first impression always matters, therefore it is crucial that in addition to being prepared and turning up on time, that you dress professionally and appropriately in business attire for any interview, regardless of whether it is in person or remote.
Finally relax and be yourself. Remain level headed and don’t get too intimidated if you are being interviewed by a senior partner in a law firm, just remember that they were once in your shoes.
The success or failure of an interview will depend on making a good first impression, being prepared and knowledgeable, having a good rapport with the interviewer and the right skill set for the job.
For further information, career advice or to discuss a new opportunity please contact Raj Sidhu.