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Technicality vs Personality – Is one more important than the other?

As a specialist insurance recruitment consultant, I work for leading insurance and personal injury firms across the Midlands, South West, Hampshire and Oxford helping them recruit in their specialist defendant clinical negligence, professional indemnity, property damage, defendant personal injury and costs teams. Time and time again I have noticed that these leading legal giants that dominate their respective markets have a very structured and stringent yet relaxed interview process to help them draw out the best out of their prospective employee.

One will always naturally think, when invited to interview with a top tier insurance firm, that they will expect you to be a technical expert and nothing else! However, this could not be further than the truth. Yes, technical ability is important and your interviewers will expect you to understand the law, the litigation process, how to apply CPR and how to deal with the pressures of working for insurer clients but at the same time they want to see your personality. Equally, it is important when answering questions that you provide a detailed yet succinct response. Have you listened to the question? Seems obvious but I have often received feedback from partners that candidates have quite simply not listened to the question. Always keep your mind focused on the question, these are key skills your prospective employer is looking for. With that in mind, all firms and their teams expect any new member joining them to not only be able to convince them that they are technically flawless but similarly they want to be reassured that they can work with you and that you will fit in to the team and firm culture.

Often we are so transfixed with ensuring all the technical detail is correct before we attend an interview that sometimes, more inadvertently than not, we leave the best parts (if not all parts) of our personality at the door! Yes, it goes without saying save the jokes for another time, ideally for your welcome drinks! But at your interview let your interviewers see that they are dealing with a professional yet personable individual. Impress them with your technical prowess but let them also see that you are someone that will be an asset to the firm on all levels. You will be working in an environment where you may be encouraged to build your own client relations and for that you will need to convince your interviewers that you won’t shy away from your social responsibility to drive the future of the firm forward. This is something that you cannot learn from a text book, or learn by wrote and it has to come from your personality traits and life experience. This is something interviewers are always keen to hear a little more about at interview.

Please take a look at one of my earlier blogs which provides information on how to prepare for the technical element of your interview http://www.bcllegal.com/the-brief/blog/the-technical-test-at-interview-what-it-takes-to-pass

If you require assistance with interview preparation, this is something all of our consultants are trained to advise on and would be happy to help you deliver your best interview yet! If you would like to have a private and confidential chat about job opportunities please contact Bhavisha Duggal at BCL legal.

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