Articles From the Team
Legal job interviews: how to make a good first impression
Legal job interviewing is a nerve-wracking experience for many, and initial excitement can quickly turn into apprehension. It's completely natural to be daunted at the prospect of an interview, but there are a few things you can do to ensure you leave a positive, lasting impression!
Preparation and planning is key to a successful interview and the following points can help you stand out from your competition!
- Research the firm. Although this might seem an obvious one, it's certainly one of the most important. You want to be able to match your skill-set to the firm and their values, so it’s important you identify what the firm is looking for via their websites and social media.
- Prepare your own questions. An interview is an opportunity for a firm to ask you questions, whether that's about your experience, more personal or around your level of competency. However, an interview is the best opportunity for you to ask your own questions - interview your interviewers.
- Dress smartly. A typical interview dress code is very straightforward: business smart. Even if the firm has relaxed office attire, you should always put your best suit forward! First impressions are so important – dressing well can increase your confidence and boost your professional image!
- Plan your journey! Work out exactly where you're going, travelling times and transport options. I always suggest leaving early, and factor in a coffee beforehand – it can help reduce anxiety and you won’t feel like you're rushing (if there are any delays).
- Be positive! Sometimes the nerves will get the better of us, and we may say things in error or forget to mention something. Relax – it's not the end of the world. Ensure you're well mannered at all times, be enthusiastic with your answers and NEVER bad mouth your previous firm or employers.
- Ask about next steps. Some people think it's a bit rude to ask an interviewer for a deadline. In fact, it's a positive thing, and it shows commitment to the opportunity from your end. Also, it's polite to drop your legal recruiter or interviewer a line to thank them for the meeting and to ask any outstanding questions.
Of course, these steps don’t guarantee an offer but they can make you stand out from your competitor.
Be your own biggest fan. Developing this type of self-belief strategy will lessen any inner voices of self-doubt – enjoy proving that inner critic wrong!
Remember the interview is a two-way process: the position needs to be right for you. Don’t allow yourself to feel intimidated, you're in control of the information you share with the interviewer, so take that pressure off yourself and nail that legal job interview!