Bhavisha Duggal
Bhavisha Duggal
Associate Director

Articles From the Team

The damage you can do if you don't attend that interview!

First of all, if you’ve secured an interview, well done! That’s the hard part out of the way! Getting to this point is by no means been an easy task. Firstly you have to get through the application process, sometimes a pre screening and then be selected for an interview.

Why are you looking for a new job?

Every job-seeking lawyer has their own reason(s) for setting out on their job search. I often speak to lawyer candidates who tell me they’re just looking ‘speculatively’ or they’re ‘not actively looking’. The fact these candidates and I are actually speaking, to my mind, means they’re sitting in the departure lounge but haven’t decided whether to board the flight!

The reason you’re applying for a new job could be about salary, job title, work type, change in management structure, change in location, or just that it’s time for a change! Therefore, as your recruitment consultant, we’re always keen to understand your motivation for moving jobs. Basically, we want to make sure we’ve assessed your situation correctly in order to discuss relevant roles with you – to help you fix your ‘problem’.

Shock-horror - is it any surprise?

Based on the above, I’m sure you can appreciate the absolute shock horror experienced by a recruitment consultant when they’re told a lawyer candidate no longer wishes to attend a scheduled interview.

From our perspective, we feel like we’ve been on a journey with you and have now got to a point where the solution to your ‘problem’ is right in front of you but now you want to walk away?! Why?! It doesn’t make sense.

Almost 75% of candidates are unsure about a job they’re interviewing for and this is perfectly fine. 

Of course, I appreciate that circumstances change all the time and there are genuine reasons for not being able to go to an interview, but what I find difficult to comprehend is why a candidate wouldn’t want to attend an interview on the basis they’re a little bit on the fence.

Almost 75% of candidates are unsure about a job they’re interviewing for and this is perfectly fine. If you don’t go/try, you’re not giving yourself, or your prospective employer, a chance to see what the interview might bring! Don’t forget the employer has invested time and effort into getting you to this stage and it’s not fair to them to pull out of the process at such an early stage.

Having been a candidate myself – looking for legal work and securing an interview – it’s only natural that concerns and anxiety will start to creep in. However, if you’re feeling like this then talk it out with your legal recruiter. It could be you’re concerned about the job, firm or package not being right for you. These are all real and valid reasons for taking a U-turn. However, all these concerns and questions can be answered easily at the interview.

There you’ll be speaking to the experts themselves. They’ll want to make sure all your queries are answered. Not only that but you can’t decide a job isn’t right for you without attending an interview and giving yourself a real chance; also giving your prospective employer a chance to impress upon you: why you should work for them. You’re also leaving yourself an olive branch for the future; if for any reason it didn’t work out on this particular occasion.

The candidate agreed with me, changed their mind and went to the interview.

A recent case study

I was recently in this situation with a lawyer candidate. When we first spoke they informed me they missed handling a certain work type, which they’d been used to handling previously. With that in mind, I put this person forward for a position that would give them exactly what they wanted. No surprise the new firm invited them to interview. In a moment of panic (they weren’t convinced they could do the work nor had the right attributes), they decided to pull out of the interview. It reiterated everything aforementioned – that by not going to the interview they’d be making a decision on half the facts and it wouldn’t be a fully informed decision. Furthermore, they had absolutely nothing to lose but an hour of their time to attend the interview. The candidate agreed with me, changed their mind and went to the interview.

Turns out the interview went really well, the candidate really enjoyed meeting the partners and they allayed all their concerns. Equally, the partners were impressed with the candidate and both parties were keen to progress to the next stage.

My candidate was grateful that I didn’t give up on them and provided consultative advice to help them realise they were, potentially, about to make a mistake. By reassuring them about why they should go to the interview, it gave them confidence to attend.

It’s for this reason that I’ll always advise any legal professional that has been invited for an interview, that no matter how on the fence you might be about attending, please always go. You just never know what sort of excellent opportunity you might be missing out on. It could end up being your dream job – you just didn’t know it yet.

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