in Interviews

The Unwritten Rules of Legal Job Interviews

The main aim and focus during interview must be:

EVERYBODY LIKES ME, I LIKE EVERYBODY, I AM WILLING TO DO ALMOST ANYTHING (WITHIN REASON), I HAVE NO PROBLEMS WITH ANYTHING OR ANYBODY.

12 Top Tips for Surviving and Succeeding at Legal Job Interviews.

 1.      Do not reveal your political leanings if at all possible during interview. Sit on the fence.

2.      Likewise for religious views.

3.      If asked questions about your negative points, turn it to your advantage and give positive responses – eg: you work too hard sometimes, you take on too much work, sometimes you are over enthusiastic, this sort of positive criticism sounds much more effective than “I can be patronising at times”, “I am sometimes defensive”. This is not assisting your case.

4.      Do not ask clever questions in response to the interviewer’s questioning of you. She is there to offer you a career break, and you must be nice to her at all costs.

5.      Ask for a glass of water at the start of the interview, and when stuck on a question, take a sip whilst you are thinking about it.

6.      Do not be afraid to sit and think about a response. Do not take too long.

7.      Practice potential questions before going into interview. Check out our website for details.

8.      Think about problems you have overcome prior to interview. A sporty or activity problem, a legal setting problem, a team setting problem and an academic setting problem will probably give you enough to be thinking about.

9.      Shake everybody’s hand in the room, no matter how embarrassing it is for them or you. Failure to do so is considered rude.

10.  Smile or look interested at all times.

11.  Try and think about what the interviewer is looking for – a competent lawyer, someone they can work with who has similar interests, someone who is going to be an asset to the firm.

12.  Think carefully about questions at the end of the interview – social events are a good topic as it shows a balance in your life or work and play.

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 17 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at www.legalcareercoaching.co.uk. You can contact Jonathan at cv@ten-percent.co.uk