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You have gained experience in your legal career but you are now looking for that new opportunity… You have got an interview… This is what you need to think about now!
The interview starts the moment you walk through the client’s door
Be polite and friendly to everyone! It is not unknown for the receptionist or whoever takes you through to the ‘interview’ to be asked their impression of you. Were you friendly and talkative in the lift, courteous in your interaction? Thankfully most of the individuals that we deal with would not have a problem with the above but as my mum drilled in to me ‘manners maketh man’!
Looking smart in the legal profession is expected so make sure you don’t let yourself down with a stained shirt or scruffy shoes! Next, eye contact is a must! If you do struggle in any way with this you need to practice or even get some external assistance as this is absolutely key to succeeding at interviews. Confident body language is also far preferable to slouching.
Research the company
In this digital age there is always information that you can find out about a company, some might say there is too much! Having a cursory glance at the company web site really isn’t enough. You need to do as much research as possible in to the products, customers, stores if applicable and competition. What are the possible challenges that this company/ sector might face and therefore the legal issues. How can your experience be of benefit or why might this move interest you.
We often get feedback from clients that the reason someone has been chosen over another is that the chosen recruit conveyed that they were interested in THIS role as opposed to any other similar move that might be open to them. The more research you do the more ‘personal’ you can make the interview and in turn the more chance you have of selling yourself!
What makes YOU right for this role?
Most probably the client will be meeting a range of individuals for interview. It can only be assumed that all who have been called for interview ‘on paper at least’ can do the job. So why are you right for them?? From what you know of the company and role have examples ready of how you can demonstrate the required skill set. If you are interviewing for a role that has a fairly unique skill set that no-one is likely to wholly match think about relevant transferable skills. Have some personal examples that no one else might have about why you are a) interested in the role and b) suitable.
Have an answer to those standard interview questions:
Why are you looking to move from you current employer
What do you enjoy/ not enjoy about your current role/ manager/ company?
What are you looking for in your next role/ company/ future career?
How would your friends describe you?
How would your manager describe you?
BUT MOST OF ALL:
Be yourself!! I have written many times before that especially when it comes to in-house legal recruitment the reason why most lawyers get ‘picked’ is because of the person they are rather than the legal skills that they have.