Interview Tips and Advice
Tuning Your Interview Technique
No two interviews will be the same – differences in interviewers, company culture and the role itself will set the meeting’s style and content. However, BCL’s insight into specific firms and legal areas will give you a good grounding in what to expect at your interview.
Relax, You’re Already a Successful Candidate!
Nerves are natural for most people in an interview situation. Interviewers will take account of this and try to put you at ease. Focusing on the interview questions and discussion will help you relax. And don’t forget that you’re already a success by virtue of reaching the interview stage, so you have good reason to be confident!
Your CV will probably form the basis of most of the interview, it makes sense to be prepared to discuss any of its content in detail. Of course, it’s essential to know all you can about firm and the job you’re applying for. Prepare some questions of your own and make sure you can highlight how specific areas of your experience will fit the role.
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?