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Flat Shoes and Tattoos

Written by Alison Dart – National General Manager

What do you do when you have secured an interview for a professional services firm but you never wear heels and even more perplexing what do you do with your visible cool university tattoo

Do you pretend to be some else or should you be open about who you are?

The answer is yes and no, not helpful then let me explain

Flat shoes are very acceptable, they need to be presentable and in good condition, so no trainers, espadrilles or lace up sandals

Presentable and in good condition means, closed toe flats a preferably in a neutral tone that matches your outfit, think Black, navy, neutral and clean.

But what about that tattoo? Yes cover it up!

You can tell your new team how cool you are later, if you want the job you need to cover it up for now.

Wear an opaque stocking to the interview if it is visible on your leg and be prepared to wear pants and stockings once you secure that job! On your arm then wear a long sleeve blouse.

Professional services firms are conservative and don’t often endorse the freewheeling, open ideals of the tattoo generation.

While I am on the topic can I also add some advice for

Nail polish …make sure it is a neutral colour , not black or bright blue

Piercings …. Take them out unless it is a simple earring

 

An interview is not the time to show your alternative fashion sense , it is the time to present a more conservative version and keep you’re your fashion personality for the weekend or casual Friday.

What is the best way to prepare for an interview?

Written by Libby Mizrahi– Recruitment Consultant (Legal Professional) Melbourne VIC

Let’s face it, job interviews can be daunting. Usually however, we find that the anxiety we create in our minds around an upcoming interview, is a lot worse than the interview itself.   In fact, amongst most of the lawyers that I work with, those that are most apprehensive pre- interview, are equally as surprised post interview, with how well the interview proceeded. Conversely, some of the most confident lawyers are actually underprepared for interview and perform badly.

Interviews, like a lot of other things in life, are as scary as we make them. The more prepared you are going in, the better the result. For most of us, we need to look at the interview process in a new way. We need to reframe the way we perceive the interview as a chance to demonstrate or sell our unique and high level skills and experience. That’s where it can get exciting.  It’s a chance to paint of a picture of the type of person we are, discus what motivates and drives us, what we enjoy in our work, what we are passionate about and where we want to take our careers. Once we reconsider the process within this paradigm, most of that tension and anxiety dissipates and we can concentrate on the positive aspects of the process.

The number one, hands down best advice I can give as a recruiter is to BE PREPARED for the interview.  Hell, be over prepared, it will be a lot of easier pick and choose what you want to share in interview,  than to have to struggle and stammer through what may feel like an interrogation.

This includes:

  • Research the firm, partners and team

I encourage the lawyers I work with to use me as a resource. My job is to provide as much relevant info as I can on my client. This info has been gained over some 15 years and is invaluable. Lawyers should do their own research as well, scour the internet / LinkedIn and know your audience well ahead of time. You will need to know exactly why you want to work with this firm/ team.

  • Know your CV inside out and be able to sell your skills, abilities and experiences.

You need to know very convincingly how you could contribute to the firm. You need to be armed with examples of matters you have worked on and highlight of your career to date.

  • Be armed and ready to ask relevant questions.

It’s just as important to remember that the interview is also an opportunity for you to find out about the firm.

  • Don’t stress if it doesn’t work out.

If things don’t go to plan, learn from the experience and move on. Focus on doing better next time round.

Ask a Specialist Legal Recruiter: “What are your top 5 recommendations for entering the legal market?”

Specialist legal recruiter: Hi. My name is Libby Mizrahi (LLB) (Hons) and I’ve been recruiting legal professionals in the Melbourne market for over a decade. Throughout my career, I’ve recruited both in house and private practice roles, from Partner to 1st year Solicitor, in international global tier 1 firms as well as  small boutique suburban firms. I’ve had several children in that time, so I am acutely aware of the issues facing working parents and how flexibility in the workplace really works. My blog is aimed at imparting my experience and knowledge to you. Enjoy!

Be Honest: Don’t lie, don’t overestimate and don’t oversell.

We all want to portray ourselves in the best light and rightly so. Not at the expense of the truth, however. Whatever you hide from your recruiter will come out into the open… eventually. Whether you had a personality conflict with a partner you worked with previously or you need 4 weeks annual leave in the first year of your new role – make it known so it can be dealt with appropriately.  On the flip side, don’t undersell yourself – focus on your best points and highlight these with examples to back them up. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.

Be open to opportunity: Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor.

Upon entering the legal market, it’s a good idea to consider all opportunities. You never know who you might meet or what sort of exciting work lies around the corner if you’re closed minded. I’d never pressure anyone to take a role that they have considered but deemed unsuitable. However, if you go through the process of considering a variety of roles, it can actually lead you to your ideal role.

Preparation is key: Practice makes perfect

It’s best to enter the process with a clear picture of your strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes, etc. Obviously I can help you crystalize these, but the process if you have put some independent thought into it. Practice answering both CV based and behavioral interview questions beforehand. Again, I can help with this. If you can’t explain it, and back it up with an example, it shouldn’t be on your CV. Knowing why you want to work for a certain company well ahead of time can make all the difference.

Be N.A.T.O: Not attached to outcome

It’s business, not personal. Be professional, personable, punctual, respectful, positive… and slightly detached. There are many factors that go into a hire and sometimes it’s just not meant to be. Don’t take it too hard, do take any constructive criticism, note what went right, learn from it and move on.

Your career is long – make the most of every interaction

Using a recruiter facilitates many connections, the recruiter herself, multiple HR professionals, support staff, Partners and lawyers. Careers are all about connections, be sure to make them where possible and leave a good impression, you never know where you will meet again in the future.