Mark Levine
Mark Levine
Managing Director: In-house

Articles From the Team

When interviewing for a new role don’t make these mistakes...

I have just come off a call with a client who is looking for a high calibre senior level lawyer. On providing interview feedback this is where some of the ‘to be rejected’ applicants went wrong:

1. Low level ‘swearing’: In this particular instance it wasn’t a terrible word but nonetheless not one that I would suggest should be used in interview. Even if an interviewer uses this language I would always suggest that the interviewee only uses ‘professional’ language. Swearing conveys an informal approach and in this instance made the client concerned that with a high level role they may use the wrong language at important occasions. It is amazing how often I hear this – you would think lawyers would be more conservative…

2. Not enough sector preparation. I am going to presume that 99% of job seekers would research the company that they are interviewing with, however especially at a senior level it needs to include a wider analysis of the sector that the business works within. On this occasion we were working with a large FMCG brand and when asked who the company’s biggest competitors were and the risks to the sector the majority of senior level lawyers did not know or have an adequate answer. Again for a senior level appointment this was deemed as just not good enough.

3. Not conveying ‘why this company’! When asked why they were interested in the role answers primarily focussed on the sector, level of the role and the role itself. Nothing wrong with that but most clients want you to ‘get personal’ and tell them why their company specifically resonates with you. The more you can show why the company you are interviewing with is of interest the more it distinguishes you from the crowd. It also shows you have thought about them in particular. It is likely that you would be looking for the same type of role wherever you interviewed so focussing on the actual business is a sure fire winner.

4. Have a believable answer for why you actually want to leave your current organisation. One of the interviewees did really well but the client was left with a niggle that he was on a bit of a fishing exercise and should he get offered the role unless their offer was substantially more than his current package his current employer would counter offer.. and he would stay! She didn’t call him for 2nd interview.

Hope these mistakes made by ‘others’ helps you when you are next interviewing.

For more information contact Mark Levine at BCL Legal.

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