Articles From the Team
Interview preparation... Solicitors, do your research!
Nowadays, more than ever before, you are expected to know A LOT about a firm before you meet with them. Information is now so readily available on the internet that to fail to fully research a firm shows a lack of interest and enthusiasm.
89% of households in the UK now have access to the internet, 70% of adults can access the internet ‘on the go’, and the other 30% are likely to be the older generation who have yet to catch up with the digital revolution. A direct consequence of this is that it has fundamentally changed both the way we search for jobs and what interviewers expect from us at interviews. Firms put information out there and they expect you to read it if you are interviewing with them.
At BCL Legal, we will always stress the importance of doing your research on a firm before meeting with them. Most of the information firms will expect you to know will be on the internet but saying that, there is always plenty of insider info we can give you about firms that you can’t find online; deals they are involved in, clients they work with, personalities and interests of the partners you will be meeting with and personality traits they look for in their lawyers.
There’s a fine balance to strike at interview, you don’t want to sound like you are repeating the content of a firms’ website parrot fashion but at the same time, what a firm puts on its website is important to them, a lot of time and money will have been spent in getting it right and making sure that it reflects a firms’ culture and values accurately.
The hardest part of your job search will be getting past the initial selection process and being invited to interview. By this point, a firm will have reviewed your CV and decided that you are a potentially suitable candidate for a job. Even if you don’t have the specific skills and experience required, very often a firm will overlook this if a genuine enthusiasm for the firm and work can be demonstrated.
You need to know what a firms’ culture is and what its values are, you should understand exactly what the role you are interviewing for is, which group the position sits in and, if relevant, which sub team of that group you would be working in. You should also know examples of work that the firm is involved in, clients they act for and importantly, if they have a sector focus, what that is.
When an interview doesn’t progress past first stage, more often than not, the reason we are given is that a candidate didn’t appear to have done their research on the firm or doesn’t seem overly interested in the firm, work or sector focus. This is a reason for rejection we hear more often than someone not having the relevant skills or experience required for a job. If you can demonstrate that you understand what a firm is about and that you have a passion for what they do, then you are half way there.
You can rest assured that your consultant at BCL Legal will fully prepare you for what to expect at interview. We will point you in the direction of what to research pre-interview so that your preparation time is used wisely and focused on the most relevant areas.