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.
- 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.