Interview Tips and Advice
Tuning Your Interview Technique
Different vacancies, different interviewers, different company cultures – there are many variables that will affect a given interviewer’s style and content. Our knowledge of specific firms and legal disciplines can help you prepare, and gain a good sense of what to expect.
Nerves are Natural!
Being nervous in an interview is a fact of life for most of us; it’s something the interviewer expects and will make allowances for. It’s also worth keeping in mind that you’ve already succeeded by getting to interview stage. Try to relax and focus on consolidating the good impression your application has already made!
Do Your Prep
Your interview will most likely to be based on your CV, so be prepared to discuss any of its content in detail. Just as importantly research the company. Showing knowledge of their work, structure and markets is good; relate these to your own experience and that’s even better. And of course, get to know all you can about the job you’re applying for.
Use these resources for more details about making the most of your interview.
Typical interview questions
Questions You Could be Asked
- Why do you want to leave your existing role?
- Why are you looking to join us?
- How much do you know about us?
- Where does your initial interest in law come from?
- What do you like about your current role? And what do you dislike?
- What sort of culture do you fit into best?
- What successes have you enjoyed in your current role? How were they achieved?
- What sort of supervisory/mentoring/management experience do you have?
- How would your boss/team describe you?
- What do you want to achieve over the next 2/3/5 years?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- How good are you at:
- Time recording
- Dealing with targets
- Marketing/Business Development
How regularly do you use Counsel? How do you instruct them? Who do you regularly instruct?
What difficulties have you found in your jobs in the law and how have you overcome them?
Give examples of trials/deals you have been involved in.
What do you currently bill in fees/what's your billing track record? What's your charge out rate?
What contacts have you introduced to the firm? Do you have a following?
What do you like to do outside work?
What's your ideal job?
Where did you go for your last holiday?
What was the last book you read?
How IT literate are you?
What Questions Should You Ask?
When you are given the opportunity to pose them, be ready with questions that matter to you.
- How’s this opportunity arisen?
- What’s the structure of the organisation/department?
- What’s the culture of the organisation? Team spirited? Is there an open door policy?
- How much training, support and development opportunity will there be?
- What are the future plans of the business/department?
- Who do you regard as your main competitors?
- What types of individuals are in the department currently?
- How do you appraise the performance of your staff?
- What are the long term prospects for the person who gets the job?
- Ask the interviewer who they worked for before and how long they have worked in their current role?
- What IT systems do you have in place currently?
- How many files on average will you be expected to handle?
- How much business development will you be expected to be involved in?
- Does the organisation encourage marketing and development of client relations?
- Will you have responsibility for any junior members of the team?
- How many chargeable hours are staff expected to bill per month?
- What is the ratio of support staff to fee earner?
- Is the office open plan or cellular?
- Who would you report directly to?