I specialise in insurance and personal injury recruitment in Birmingham, many of the candidates I represent are paralegals. If the following scenario sounds anywhere near remotely familiar, you are not alone! You’ve successfully managed to get over the first hurdle and managed to get your CV in the hands of someone who is influential enough to give your experiences and achievements some consideration. As a result, an email pops up within your inbox inviting you for an interview. At this point many of us are torn between two opposing camps; on one hand we’re excited and pleased to have been shortlisted and on the other we are overcome with nerves and stress.
We are all aware that some level of preparation will need to go into this interview in order for it to be successful, but are left pondering ‘how much preparation is considered appropriate?’ (It is at this stage that the initial apprehension begins to kick in). Naturally, we find ourselves on the company’s website trawling through the ‘about us’ section and before long we are overwhelmed with the amount of detail on the page and the only significant thing we’ve managed to harvest is the year the company was founded. (It is at this stage we begin to realise the immensity of the task ahead of us). It is not unheard of at this point to start searching through google for the ‘interview process at Company X’, which results in a few mediocre responses but mainly results in reviews posted by disgruntled former employees who suggest the company and the management structure is terrible and best avoided. (It is at this point that doubts begin to creep in and we ask ourselves; if John Smith, who spent two years’ there, absolutely hated it… will I find myself in the same boat?)
Inevitably, this leads us down one of two routes (neither of which is particularly useful). Route one, you begin convincing yourself that this isn’t the correct career move for your self and subsequently avoid all contact with your recruitment agent. Route two, you find yourself applying the ‘sod it…if its meant to be… then it’ll be’ policy. This is a dangerous policy which stems for an egotistical mind set of false self-worth coupled with an insufficient amount of preparation material. The end result is that, regardless of which of these two routes you take, it won’t help you.
However, there is a third route, a route travelled by the smart job-seeker. This job-seeker realises that he doesn’t necessarily need to work hard; rather he needs to work smart. He/ she realises that BCL Legal’s insurance and personal injury team is a leading recruiter in the legal industry (outside of London) and he/she would be better off taking advice from one of their consultants who pride themselves on being a market expert within their specialist area of law. As a result, this job-seeker is able to have an in-depth understanding of the role itself along with bespoke advice pertaining to their previous experiences and current situation. Next, a run-through of potential tests and scenarios that are likely to be presented within the interview itself and finally a quick word on practices to implement and those to avoid. It is as clear as day that route three is clearly the most efficient and least stressful of the three and most likely to result in you kick starting your career in law!