Articles From the Team

Top tips for success at your NQ interview

What I have noticed in recent times is that, more often than not, lawyers interviewing for NQ roles are subject to a technical test coupled with a conventional CV based face to face meeting with recruiting partners. This may not ring true across all disciplines but it is most certainly the case when it comes to insurance led roles, for example clinical negligence and professional indemnity roles. Both these are areas are very technical and complex in nature therefore one’s academic aptitude has to match.

I specialise in insurance recruitment across the Midlands, South West and Home Counties and represent candidates in securing their next career move, be it in clinical negligence or professional indemnity. It is well known that when interviewing, there comes a lengthy and sometimes gruelling interview process which really puts candidates through their paces. As leading market experts and with well established links with leading clinical negligence, or professional indemnity firms we have the added benefit of worthwhile tips on what the recruiting partners are looking for when they are interviewing candidates.

Most candidates will always fare well in a face to face interview as they know what to expect, partners will talk through the candidates CV, their experience and of course ask some competency type questions. However where it can fall apart is where a candidate is tasked with undertaking a 45 minute technical test. This for many lawyers is immediately off putting as they have spent years studying to qualify and can’t see the point of doing a test, which as a qualified solicitor myself can empathise with.

The purpose of the test is to assess a candidate’s approach, strategy and thought process. It is not in any way designed to trip you up or make you look bad. It’s a great way for your prospective employer to gauge your experience and where you might need further training and development.

This being said it is equally important that you live up to your impressive CV that has helped you secure an interview in the first instance. I have often had feedback from clients that candidates have failed to live up to their CV. To be more specific, candidates have given well versed paragraphs about their training seats/experience however when probed at interview they have offered only very little detail about their involvement, responsibility levels etc. All of which would help demonstrate their ability. Being able to talk in detail about what you have done will always hold you in good stead and where you are light on experience, it is important you make good with enthusiasm and show a willingness to learn.

You may be an astute academic and show technical brilliance in your test but if this is not matched by a similar brilliant performance during your face to face meeting discussing your CV, you can pretty count on it you won’t be receiving an offer. Recruiting partners do not just want technically capable solicitors but rather they want lawyers who have technical ability coupled with a personality; all of this comes from your CV and beyond. Ensure when you are sat in the hot seat, you can back your own CV up as well as letting your personality shine through to demonstrate you are an all rounder and capable of being made an offer!

If you are a newly qualified solicitor or an experienced solicitor looking to make your next career into defendant clinical negligence or, professional indemnity please contact BCL legal or call 0161 819 7475.

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