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January 31 2020

5 Questions we get asked

Legal Career Tips

Harry Coates

Harry Coates

5 Questions we get asked

New year, new you, new Training Contract.  In this article I go over 5 of the most common questions we receive.  

What is your ultimate application tip?

We always get asked what are your tips for applications. One of our most common answers, is  to be organised. By knowing when the deadlines are means that you can identify the firms you wish to apply for, research them and get your application done on time and to a standard you are happy with.  Use sites such as, Chambers Student and LawCareersNet which have handy calendars detailing deadlines.

How do I make my application stand out?

Be very concise, don’t write like you are writing an essay, write like a lawyer. Lay out your answers in a logical structured way. Read the question carefully to understand what it’s asking. Research the firm thoroughly and include examples of cases and deals they have worked on.

 It’s not always about what you have done but how you talk about it. Make sure with all your legal and non-legal experiences you really bring out what skills you have developed and how you can apply this to being a successful lawyer at that particular firm.

How do I research a firm?

Go beyond the firm’s website for information! Follow the firm’s social media pages and set Google alerts to keep up to date with any recent news. Attend an open day at the firm if possible. Having first-hand experience will allow you to give a more genuine reason for wanting to work there. If you find yourself placed in a firm that you want to apply to, make the most of it. Where possible, attend internal talks, speak to current trainees and take the opportunity to find out as much information as possible. This will help to set your application apart from the majority.

How do I get pass the Watson Glaser Test?

This is something that I really struggled with at first. The answer is simple. Practice, practice, practice. There are loads of sites out there that have practice tests for you to do that also provide incredibly useful feedback. Unfortunately, the Watson Glaser is one of those tests that come naturally to some, however, once you have cracked it you will pass every time.

Why do I find video interviews so uncomfortable and how do I perform better?

First things first, no one and I mean no one enjoys a video interview. They are impersonal, awkward and quite difficult to prepare for. However, they aren’t something you should be too afraid of.

Prepare but don’t overprepare! You will be able to plan for some questions (why law, why the firm, why do you think you’ll make a good lawyer) but don’t try and learn your answers off by heart as you’ll need to be looking at the camera and keep within the time limit. If a question takes you off-guard don’t panic!

 Always look down the camera rather than watching yourself on the screen. Record sample answers on your laptop beforehand to familiarise yourself with the process. Although it may seem obvious, make sure you have a strong WiFi connection, a quiet room with as few visible distractions as possible and that you are dressed appropriately!

Another great tip that I received was to put your laptop on books so that it was at eye level.