Interviews! Great fun aren’t they?!? In all my years as a legal recruitment consultant covering a range of geographies and areas of law, it never ceases to amaze me when I hear that a solicitor candidate has attended an interview at a client law firm and the feedback on the candidate is very very bad. Solicitors and legal recruitment consultants are bright people right? So how can it be that an interview can go so badly? Surely the recruitment consultant can explain to the solicitor what questions will be asked and can advise their candidate on how best to tackle them? And the lawyer is bright enough to understand what not to do?
As a successful legal recruitment business I am pleased to say that yes, most of the time we get it right and so does the candidate. However there are occasions when our advice is either incorrect (normally based on a lack of understanding of the interview format or job brief or both) or our advice is correct but the solicitor candidate hasn’t listened and the consultant hasn’t checked that the candidate understood what they were saying!
Obviously not all interviews that take place are going to be successful and lead to an offer of employment, that would be a little weird! However there is no reason why all interviews can’t be successful. Just because an offer of a job is not the end product, we shouldn’t assume the interview is a failure. If a candidate manages to conduct themselves well, talk eloquently and overall generally give a good account of themselves it’s not the end of the world if the client decides that despite liking the person they don’t have enough of a particular kind of experience and so can’t offer them the position. But if the candidate can’t even avoid explaining what they do in a crude fashion and can’t even explain in straightforward terms what the law firm does and why therefore it’s a firm they would like to join, then we are in real trouble! This is actual feedback from a client by the way – I’m not making this up!
As always (being the kind of people we are we are at BCL Legal) we are always very keen to look to do our job better and make sure our candidates give themselves the best opportunity of the interview not only being a success but also leading to an offer of employment. But even when our advice is accurate in terms what to say in the interview, the way it’s said will often be the decisive factor!