Mark Levine
Mark Levine
Managing Director: In-house

Articles From the Team

Why sharing your post-interview feedback is critical if you want the job

“I think the interview went well but you never truly know, do you?”

We’re British after all; so just like the restaurant waiter asking whether everything’s OK with your meal – you’ve just discussed this with your dinner partner and agree you’ll NEVER return to the restaurant – you turn to the waiter, smile and reply “yes, lovely thanks!”

In my world of helping businesses recruit in-house lawyers, team/business/personality fit is often the deciding factor when it comes to the lawyer who’s chosen for the role. Of course, skills are important, but nine times out of 10, the lawyers we put forward already tick this box so it then comes down to the rapport/relationship that’s built during the interview process.

Now, of course, this is a two-way street: as much as the opening quote most likely relates to the lawyer being interviewed, clients often start the post-interview feedback session with “what did the interviewees think?”

A likely reason for this is the client doesn’t want to waste time considering individuals who’ve ruled themselves out, but often it’s the same reason as the interviewee: they’re looking to protect their feelings. Why do I say this?

In both instances, neither party wants to say how great they thought the ‘other side’ was only to hear from me that the feelings weren’t mutual. This can be hurtful to hear and a little embarrassing. But part of our role as the conduit is to look after your emotional well-being during what’s a stressful time for most.

A real-life example

I recently took feedback from two lawyers who interviewed for the same job.

Lawyer Number One’s feedback

  • “Really lovely feel to the place, very nice lady (interviewer)”
  • “Job seems varied”
  • “I like that it’s international”
  • “Definitely appeals”
  • “Interesting”
  • “Really nice Head of Legal - in her office, made a coffee - felt at home, got on well, she has a lot of experience”
  • “Enjoyed it and felt it was amazing”
  • “Commute is far, but there would be flexibility - start early or leave late”
  • “Good to get a feel for a place - so nice, receptionist - spoke - been there all her life”
  • “Was in an hour - went through CV, previous role, interested in her PP background”
  • “Might be an opportunity to travel - personally loves to travel – came out smiling”
  • “Would be an amazing move for her”

Lawyer Number Two’s feedback

“It was an interesting interview. It’d be good to hear what the client thinks”

The outcome

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out which lawyer was picked for the job!

In my post-interview discussion with the recruiting client, their initial question (as above) was “what did the interviewees think?” In this instance, I was able to relay extensive (positive and enthusiastic) feedback from Lawyer Number One; in stark contrast to Lawyer Number Two.

The key takeaway

In conclusion, help us to help you. Be open about your thoughts and feelings (I know this goes against the grain for a lot of Brits but it’s imperative); by not doing so, we can’t emphasise the reasons why you want the job, and as a result, you’re unlikely to get the job.

Enjoyed this blog? Check out:

'Four interview hacks that'll help you at every interview'

'The two-sided interview: why you need to interview your interviewer!'

'Character versus credentials – what’s more important at interview stage?'

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