In House Legal Recruitment Consultants

Interview Guide for Legal Job Interviews

The main aim and focus during interview must be:

EVERYBODY LIKES ME

I LIKE EVERYBODY

I AM WILLING TO DO ALMOST ANYTHING (WITHIN REASON)

I HAVE NO PROBLEMS WITH ANYTHING OR ANYBODY 

  1. Do not reveal your political leanings if at all possible during interview. Sit on the fence.
  2. Likewise for religious views.
  3. If asked questions about your negative points, turn it to your advantage and give positive responses – eg: you work too hard sometimes, you take on too much work, sometimes you are over enthusiastic, this sort of positive criticism sounds much more effective than “I can be patronising at times”, “I am sometimes defensive”. This is not assisting your case.
  4. Do not ask clever questions in response to the interviewer’s questioning of you. He is there to offer you a career break, and you must be nice to him at all costs.
  5. Ask for a glass of water at the start of the interview, and when stuck on a question, take a sip whilst you are thinking about it.
  6. Do not be afraid to sit and think about a response. Do not take too long.
  7. Practice potential questions before going into interview. Check out our website for details, or see the interview guide attached. 
  8. Think about problems and issues you have overcome prior to interview. A sporty or activity problem, at least 3 legal setting problems and issues, a team setting problem and an academic setting problem will probably give you enough to be thinking about.
  9. Shake everybody’s hand in the room, no matter how embarrassing it is for them or you. Failure to do so is considered rude.
  10. Smile or look interested at all times. Do not appear disinterested.
  11.  Try and think about what the interviewer is looking for – a competent lawyer, someone they can work with who has similar interests and sense of humour, and someone who is going to be an asset to the firm.
  12. 12.  Think carefully about questions at the end of the interview – social events are a good topic as it shows a balance in your life or work and play.

You need to be aware of business acumen or business knowledge, as it comes up time and again with interviews at commercial firms. See if you can come up with any good ideas for getting exposure to this. Don’t forget to constantly refer to your experience in law firms for answering questions – it is your chance to get this over to interviewers.

For full assistance with interviews – questions, suggested answers and interview practice sessions, please visit www.ten-percent.co.uk or the Legal Careers Shop at www.ten-percent.co.uk/careersshop.