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Law firm jobs: top tips for the interview process

Law firm jobs entail a lengthy and in-depth interview process. For this reason, lawyer candidates often ask me for my most valuable interview tips – to ensure their best chance for success.

While I’ve never been a lawyer and therefore unable to provide tips on the technical side of things, I see patterns of success that emerge from certain interview behaviours. Therefore, I want to highlight some of the most important things to think about prior to an interview.

Personality fit: be yourself!

This is one of the most important aspects of any interview and it has to come from both sides.

Just as much as you finding out whether the law firm’s a place you can work at every day, the interviewers need to ensure you’ll fit in well with the team.

Do your research on the partners and the team

Understand what they do, the deals they’ve worked on and the clients they service.

It may seem obvious but having knowledge of the team: its structure and some of the team's past work will put you in a strong position and it’ll certainly help with your confidence.

Know your CV (inside and out)

You want the ability to talk about everything in detail (including all the deals you’ve worked on and the part you played in each one). Think, how does the work you’ve done fit in with what they do?

Again, this may seem obvious but a fatal flaw during an interview can be stumbling on the basics of your CV. At the worst of times, being unfamiliar with your CV can ring alarm bells to an interviewer; at the best of times, being unfamiliar with your CV makes you look unprepared at the most basic level.

Know your CV like the back of your hand.

Clear motivations

Why do you want to leave your current law firm? Why do you want to join the law firm you’re interviewing at? What makes them attractive/different to you? You need to come up with a clear (and professional) narrative for:

  • The reason you’re leaving your current employment
  • The selling points of the firm you’re interviewing with

Most importantly, these two narratives need to align.

Competency based questions

Expect some competency based questions.

The most common will centre around: how you’ve dealt with difficult clients and how you manage your case load.

Prepare some questions: what you’d like to know about the firm and the work

Make sure the interview is a two-way conversation and you get answers to all of your questions.

Check out the most common interview questions here.

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