Charlotte Newton
Charlotte Newton
Associate Director

Articles From the Team

Top tips from a legal recruiter on how to perform well at interview

As a recruitment consultant, part of my job is to receive feedback from law firms following interviews.

Unfortunately, sometimes that feedback isn’t positive. As part of interview preparation with candidates, I provide advice on what works well and I also think it’s really important to share interview mishaps/faux pars to prevent other candidates making the same mistakes.

I thought it useful to share some feedback I’ve received recently and some advice on how to avoid making the same mistakes:

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  • “They didn’t know enough about us” – this is down to preparation. Make sure you do your research on the firm. You should look at the firm website, Legal 500, the team, LinkedIn profiles, Glassdoor etc. and work this research into your answers;
  • “They couldn’t really answer the question: why us?” - as part of your preparation you need to think about why you want to work at X firm rather than Y down the road. What differentiates the firm you’re interviewing at from other firms?; 
  • “They didn’t really answer the question” - be succinct with your answers and try to stick to the point;
  • “They fell short on the technical questions” - most interviews will include technical questions so it’s always best to refresh your memory on any technical subject matter you think might be of relevance to the new role;
  • “They didn’t ask any questions about us” - if you don’t ask any questions about the firm you might seem unenthusiastic and not engaged in the process. It’s always good to have a few questions prepared for the interview but make sure you’re not asking questions that have already been answered during the interview!;
  • “The answers they gave were vague” - interviewers want to learn about you and for you to showcase your experience. Don’t waste your opportunity by just giving one liners;
  • ”They couldn’t really explain why they’re looking to move” - one of the first questions you’ll be asked is why you’re looking to leave your current firm/ what you’re looking for in your next role. Try to make this as positive as possible and relate it to what you’re looking for in the future; and
  • “They gave generic/ textbook answers” – interviewers do want to hear what you genuinely think, rather than what you think they want to hear.

My shortlist of tips for when interviewing are:

  • Research the firm, and have questions ready to ask your interviewers about the firm;
  • Ensure you answer any questions put to you honestly, succinctly and clearly;
  • Brush up on any technical subject matter which you think your interviewers may wish to explore, and ask around, during the interview; and
  • Be clear on your motivations for wanting to move, and what you want from the new role.

Email: charlottenewton@bcllegal.com for further information.

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