Mark Levine
Mark Levine
Managing Director: In-house

Articles From the Team

How to make any interview interesting, engaging and effective for both you and the interviewer

First of all I think it’s worth highlighting what not to do:

  • Don’t underestimate the information you can gain from the recruiter who’s putting you forward
  • Don’t shirk on pre-interview research
  • Don’t think you’re guaranteed to find the location without checking out the office location beforehand
  • Don’t have a late night before an interview
  • Don't walk into a job interview hoping to wing it

Interviewing should be just as much about your objectives as it is the interviewers.

A business looking to bring in a new hire is looking, in some way or another, to find a solution to a problem - a pain area. Whether it’s filling a gap from someone’s departure, or the opportunity to grow a new area, there will always be some sort of pain point for the business if the position on offer isn’t filled. If there’s no pain, why are they recruiting?

Your objective at any job interview is to find the pain and convey why you’re the solution to the problem.

Without understanding the company, role, team, stakeholders or business environment in any great detail, it’s hard for you to convey how you’re the right person for the job. Of course, there’s the possibility that through your own research and questioning, you decide it’s not the place or role for you, which is equally, if not more, important!

But if you do want the job and opportunity and you decide this on the day without thinking it through or undertaking proper research beforehand, this will – in most circumstances – reduce your chances to perform as best as you can.

Once you’ve pinpointed the business’s pain, it’s now your opportunity to tell them how your experience will benefit them. At the same time, remember that possessing the right skills is only part of the reason why interviewees are chosen; the other major reason being personality and organisational fit.

From experience, some lawyers find it hard to leave their ‘corporate face’ at the door and reveal their true personality. In working with companies who are looking to recruit in-house lawyers, I can easily say that lawyers who don’t expose their character/personality are rarely the chosen hire.

So, what else must you do?

Make it a two-way event; don’t just sit there waiting for questions to be fired at you.

Once you’ve been asked a question and answered it, ask a question of your own. Make them astute questions about the work, the challenges, the internal and external customers, the manager's goals and the department's current problems.

In summary:

  • Understand the skills that you have to offer and the skills and experience you are looking for
  • Take your pre-interview research seriously, thinking as much about what you want to convey as well as learn
  • Make the interview as authentic as possible allowing your personality to shine through
  • Find the pain and through real life examples, tell the story of how you’re the right solution to their problem

If you can do all of the above, your interviews will be far more interesting, engaging and effective - increasing your chances of being offered the role.

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