NQ Interviews – What to consider
As March draws ever closer and the next round of NQ solicitors start to qualify my mind is drawn to the NQ Interview.
As BCL Legal’s consultant responsible for the recruitment of solicitors into corporate, commercial, commercial property, employment, construction and pensions roles in the West, East and South Midlands I expect to be talking to lots of NQ solicitors in the next few months and advising them on interview preparation.
Given the areas of law I specialise in, it is perhaps inevitable that most of the NQ interviews I arrange are for international, national and large regional firms. Most of the interviews I arrange with follow similar patterns and so I thought it worth while sharing.
If you are going for an interview for an NQ position with a regional firm (or regional offices of an international or national practice) this Spring then it is worth bearing the following things in mind.
1) The focus of the interview will be the experience you have gained so far. The questions regarding this will come from the information on your CV.
2) There may be technical questions. These could be a written test or verbally in the interview. Generally speaking these are set to test how you think and that you have good basic knowledge of the law.
3) It is important to demonstrate commercial acumen. Can you identify the best commercial solutions, rather than the best legal solutions.
4) Your interviewer is accessing how well you will come across to their clients. The way you conduct yourself and the way you dress is important.
5) How you communicate is important. Can you communicate detailed things concisely.
6) They are also accessing how well you will fit in to their team. Your personality needs to come across.
7) Enthusiasm is critical. You need to demonstrate that you want the role and want to work for the firm.
Finally it is important to remember that the NQ market is competitive. It may take you several interviews before you find the right firm for you. Try to get as much feedback as you can from unsuccessful interviews and do not take it personally. Take every opportunity you can to improve your technique.
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