1) Do Your Research
Research the firm in detail and, if possible, the people who are interviewing you. Looking the firm up on LinkedIn and searching their listed employees is a great way to do this! Once you know more about the firm you will be able to convincingly answer stock questions like “Why do you want to work for this firm?”. Firms will always ask standard questions like this - so have good answers ready!
2) Practice Makes Perfect
Think about the questions you might be asked and practice your answers. Remember, anything and everything on your CV/application form is up for scrutiny, so come prepared to discuss anything on there. If you say you like to travel, why? Even seemingly inconsequential information could make you a good lawyer or an interesting colleague - so make sure you’re ready to discuss the things that make you stand out from the crowd!
3) Be Informed About Current News Events
This one often goes overlooked; read the news! Interviewers love to discuss current affairs and topical events, so be prepared to talk about the news of the day. You might have heard the term ‘Commercial Awareness’ before. This is, essentially, being knowledgeable about what is going on in the world surrounding your industry. This is especially important in the legal industry. Having an awareness of wider events that might affect your employer plays massively in your favour, so make sure you are reading legal news and keeping yourself informed.
4) Look the Part
In interviews, first impressions are incredibly important. In the mind of an interviewer, the way you present yourself in an interview is the way you’ll present yourself to clients and colleagues. In fact, psychologists have argued that 55% of a first impression is based on how we look. This means attire, body language, and even grooming are really important. Make sure that you are looking super smart for the interview. You can’t go wrong in suit and a smart pair of shoes!
5) Keep Calm and Carry On
No matter how much you practice and prepare, there are inevitably going to be questions you haven’t thought of and couldn’t have anticipated. If you are thrown by a question, take a moment to really think about your answer. In fact, exercising restraint and thoughtfulness can look incredibly good to an interview. If you don’t have an answer for a question right off the bat, just take time, steady your nerves, and consider your answer. Do not be afraid of silence!