Step 8 Resource book
Our resource book aims to provide a comprehensive guide to help you prepare fully for your legal interview, including over one hundred example questions.
Information from the Prospects website on interviews and assessment
Select Candidate Guide for information about automated online interviewing, from one of the providers of video interviewing technology. See in particular the candidate information sheet.
How to look good in Skype interviews: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQwanxQmFnc
Also applicable to video interviews, this short YouTube video (from the USA) provides useful tips for improving the appearance of your webcam feed.
Whether you are being interviewed for a training contract, pupillage, paralegal position, work placement or other role within the legal sector, our online workshop provides an introduction to the critical task of preparing.
You can also read the transcript here.
Central to your interview preparation is knowing about the recruiting organisation: Download our checklist to see what you should already know about the organisations looking to recruiting you.
A. Congratulations… and now is the time to invest in a suit. Remember that the law is a conservative profession overall and it’s best to err on the side of caution for interview, even if your interviewers are hip and trendy media lawyers and keen proponents of dress-down Fridays.
For women, it’s best to opt for a plain, dark, suit (nothing too ‘Friday night!’), low heels, tidy hair, and nothing too excessive by way of makeup, nail varnish and jewellery. The same for men: conservative suit, shirt and tie with smart polished shoes.
Also think about what you’re going to carry with you: have a smart bag and notepad rather than arriving clutching re-used old plastic carrier bags.
If something totally unforeseen occurs and you end up for some reason not in interview gear, do apologise and explain the situation to the interviewer.
A. In a smart bag, remember to take the correspondence you’ve received from the firm inviting you to interview, including the address, phone number and contact name. Obviously you will leave plenty of time to get to the interview in order to arrive 10 minutes early, but you need to be able to contact the employer if something unforeseen occurs. In addition, you should pack:
A. Yes, it is difficult to ensure that you’re well prepared for an interview, but not to come across as ‘over rehearsed’ … the firm will be concerned to find and make a judgement call on the ‘real you’ albeit the ‘you, but at your very best’ that you will hoping to portray at interview. In terms of key tips for the future: don’t stop preparing yourself for interview, but on the day:
If you are at The University of Law, you can book a mock interview practice session with a member of the Careers team in your centre (if you are at another university, your careers service will probably offer the same.) Remember, you’re doing something right to be being called for interview and the interview practice you’ve had is invaluable experience for honing your technique, ready for the next one. Good luck!
A. If you have accepted a place at The University of Law or you are a current student, look at the Employability Service information on ‘ELITE’ (the student portal) to see if we have any information on the organisation at which you are being interviewed. In addition, check the firm’s own website and the materials and weblinks accompanying Step 4 (researching employers) which will provide you with a host of further information.
If you are not yet at the University, a quick ‘check list’ would include: the firm’s own website; firm listings and information in the main client directories (eg www.chambersandpartners.com; recent activity in the legal press (eg The Lawyer’s website www.thelawyer.com or Legal Week’s www.legalweek.com); and an online search of the people interviewing you (if you know their names).
A. Search for the firm in the ‘Find a Solicitor’ section of the Law Society’s website ( www.lawsociety.org.uk) – this will tell you the firm’s areas of work, number of (and names of) partners. Search the archives of The Law Gazette ( www.lawgazette.co.uk) for the firm or for articles relating to the areas of work they undertake. Look for other high street firms in the same area with similar areas of law – their websites may give you and insight into the type of clients that there are in the local community. Be on top of the key issues facing high street firms.
A. Ring the firm (the graduate recruitment department if the organisation is large enough; the person who interviewed you if not): apologise for bothering them, and ask for an update on the situation.