News, opinion, interviews and business insights from legal industry leadersSubscribe
Interview advice for Legal Jobs in London
The job interview for any legal job in London can seem like a daunting process. Even those that have a confident character and are happy conversing with others may find that they struggle under the pressure of a job interview. There is a lot of personal pressure placed on an interview and, if you have read reports on unsuccessful job interviews, then you will be worried about having a single hair out of place for fear that it will count against you during the recruitment process.
The most important part of any legal job interview is the first few seconds of meeting the interviewer. It is widely appreciated that so much of a view is formed by people within the first few seconds of meeting somebody. Despite what you may feel, interviewers are human beings too and react in the same way. Make sure that the simple things are done. Your suit is pressed and clean, your tie is tied properly, your shoes are clean and that you are personally well turned out.
Your interviewer may well offer their hand to you. Shake their hand firmly and confidently, whilst keeping eye contact. Try a smile as this can help break the ice and start the interview on a slightly easier footing.
Be prepared for your interview and have your research done. The interviewer will take for granted that dedicated applicants for legal jobs in London will have done some background research into the organisation. Most business and law firms have blogs on their websites these days. These blogs are regularly updated and are a gold mine for information that is perfect of interview purposes. You should be able to gain a good insight into what is happening within the organisation such as new contracts they may have won, expansion plans and any charitable work they undertake. If the interviewer asks the question, “what do you know about us”, you want to have an answer that has some real value.
Get to your interview a little earlier than your allotted time. Most importantly, turning up late paints a very bad impression of you and your timekeeping. Slightly on from there, you will want a little bit of time to make sure that you have a few moments to collect yourself and get prepared for the interview. To start any interview by being flustered and rushing in will do you no favours at all.
Give clear and concise answers to the questions asked of you. It is vital that the interviewer can understand the answers that you give to the questions asked. You may be the best applicant on paper with the right qualifications and experience for the legal job in London but if you do not communicate this effectively then it can all be for nought. Make sure that you speak up and keep good eye contact with the interviewer at all times. If you do not think that you have given a clear answer then, as sure as eggs are eggs, the interviewer has thought the same.
Finish the interview as you started. When the interview is over make sure that you thank the interviewer for their time before you leave. Ask if there is anything else that they require and make sure that hands are shaken again, if appropriate.
For more guidance read or our legal interview tips and advice