The LawCareers.Net Handbook 2021

Interview technique

After Try to end things on a positive note, thanking your interviewer(s) for their time. If you feel comfortable doing so, ask for some feedback. Ways not to end an interview? One candidate concluded by saying: “I like to try lots of things, but rarely succeed at any of them.” We suspect that didn’t leave a very positive impression. Another barged back into the room, interrupting another interview, to ask whether the interviewers had his bus ticket. As soon as you come out of the interview, it’s a good idea to find somewhere quiet to sit and write down all the questions you can remember being asked. Then write down what you gave as an answer. Later, work through the questions again, this time writing out what you would have said, given time to think and no interview nerves. By taking time to reflect on the interview, you’ll be making the most of the experience (whether good or bad) and preparing yourself for the next one. Reading the legal press is also essential, as candidates are likely to be asked about current affairs and the wider legal market Offers You will hear back frommost recruiters quickly. If you receive an offer, most firms will give you four weeks in which to respond. If you are certain that you want to accept, respond in writing as soon as possible. If you are unable to give a decision at the time of receiving an offer, let them know and give a date by which you should have a final answer. Once you have accepted an offer, inform all other firms/ chambers that have invited you for interview or that have made you an alternative offer. If no deadline is given, don’t feel pressured to give an answer if you think that other offers

One regional recruiter gives this sartorial example: “One candidate arrived dressed more appropriately for nightclubbing than an interview. She wore a very orange, very short skirt and a low-cut pink top with a low-slung belt around her hips. When she stood up to leave her belt fell to the floor, leaving her face as pink as her top!” Ask questions to which you genuinely want to know the answers – but not those for which you could have found out the answer beforehand. One northwest graduate recruitment adviser comments: “Don’t ask a question that, had you done any research on the firm, you would have found out the answer. There are no brownie points for asking the obvious.” We asked recruiters what sorts of questions would impress them. Most said anything that reflects an interest in and understanding of the commercial world, clients and their business needs, or something that demonstrates specific knowledge of the firm without merely parroting the graduate recruitment literature or the firm’s/ chambers’ website. Amy Kisser, barrister at QEB and a member of the pupillage committee , says: “Candidates always seem to think that they need to ask an ‘impressive question’ of their interviewers – we think this is nonsense. We want them to use this part of the interview as an opportunity to ask us any questions they may still have – having looked at our website already – rather than for us to use it as an opportunity to assess them. We are clear that interviews are very much a two-way street; our candidates are assessing us as much as we are them!” It is also important to remain unfazed and appear confident. Some recruiters mentioned being both impressed and flummoxed by questions about why they like their job and what would make them leave!



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