If you are preparing for a legal job interview, you need to think of certain key elements in order to set yourself apart from the crowd and impress your interlocutor.
There are a few basics tips to take into consideration when preparing for any interview, which are listed below. But if you want to really make an impression and go beyond what is expected of you, read further on for more advanced preparation tips.
The Basic Tips for a Legal Job Interview
1. Read the Company Website
Focus on key areas of business for the company. Read the values and company mission or the About Us section. In short, read the entire website if you have the time.
Have a look at competitor websites to see what the company is up against. It gives you context on what the company may need and whether the firm is the right cultural fit for you.
2. Read the Job Description
Seems obvious, because it is. You need to know what you are getting yourself into, both for the interview and for your life choices. Write down any questions you have about the job that aren't answered by the job description and have not been answered by your Legal Recruitment Consultant.
3. Cross Reference Your CV
Ask yourself the question: how can I add value to this company? Then read through your CV again and try and pick out what would be most important to your interviewer and whether anything that they would find important is missing from your CV that you can bring out in the interview.
Also prepare any accomplishments or projects that are not visible on your CV, for example "I successfully ran a highly complex litigation claim in relation to X to the court of appeal".
Advanced Tips for your Legal Job Interview
1. Get More Information from Your Legal Recruitment Consultant
Give them a call or send an email with a list of questions. You want to know the format of the interview process and any key information, like who will be conducting the interview and what their background is. The more information and tips you can get from your consultant, the merrier.
2. Google News Search and Bar Directories Search
Do your due diligence. You want to know if the company is in the news. This could either be a good topic of conversation or a conversation to be assiduously avoided.
You also want to know generally about the key players in the business and you want to know the interviewers' profiles back to front. This includes checking LinkedIn or the American Bar Directories' website.
3. Practice Answering Standard Questions
Our recommendation is to practice this with a friend, as it tends to bring out the weaknesses/strengths in your explanations. We won't list all the standard questions here as there are many, but here are a few:
Why do you want to join the company?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Why should we employ you?
What is the biggest problem you have faced and how did you overcome it?
What is your greatest achievement to date?
Why did you leave your last employer?
Some standard legally focussed questions could include:
Why law? Why did you become a lawyer?
What qualities are needed to be a good lawyer?
Why have you applied to this firm? What sets us apart?
Give an example of a decision you agreed or disagreed with and why
What areas of law are you most interested in and why?
What is the most complex legal issue or case you have ever worked on?
What is the largest case you have ever worked on?
If you were a judge, how would you rule on the following issue?
For any further advice, get in touch with one of our consultants.