1. Review your CV. If an agent has sent it, ask them for a copy. We amend CVs nearly every time we send one out – mainly to remove any waffly bits or to present them in a better light. Get a copy, read it carefully. Remind yourself of anything you may have written 10 years ago and forgotten about.
2. Research the law firm or in house department. Search Google News for any positive or negative stories, go through at least 3 google pages of entries before stopping. Go to Companies House and have a read of the company annual accounts if they are an LLP or limited company. They can make interesting reading, particularly if the company has filed accounts late or had applications to strike off etc..
3. Research the interviewer. Who are they? Probably not a good idea to try connecting on LinkedIn prior to interview – could come across as a bit creepy. You could do a fairly thorough search online though. Word of warning – get the right person. If you google Jonathan Fagan there is one in Australia (nicknamed Dr Octopus 88) who imported 88 kgs of cocaine into Sydney. Its not me.
4. Check out the travel time to the interview. Add an hour onto your journey at the least. Nothing worse than turning up late.
5. Iron your shirt or top. Interviewers are checking your personal appearance. Is it fair? Thats another matter..
6. Turn up to the office 10-15 minutes early. No earlier. We have had instances of interviewees attending interviews an hour early to show they are keen. This is utterly bonkers.
7. Practice answering awkward questions that may crop up. Eg if you know you have left a firm after a short period of time you can guarantee that there will be questions about this. If you practice answering without getting negative or defensive you will come across a lot better than someone who launches into a rant about the senior partner being a fruitcake.
8. Practice smiling. Proper smiling, not toothache grimaces. You are nice. Everyone likes you. You like everyone. This approach gets jobs. Hating the world doesn’t.
9. Get your handshake right. Don’t crush anyone and don’t drip sweat on them either.
10. Polish your shoes. People do look if they can. Honestly.
Any better suggestions? Email me – firstname.lastname@example.org. If they’re any good I’ll publish them next month and send you a £10 Waterstones voucher by way of thanks.