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Interview Technique

Be yourself.

An interview is as much about you assessing your prospective employer as them assessing you. 

Be confident but courteous.

The prospective employer has called you to interview because on paper you have the right technical skills and experience to do the job.  Now you just have to demonstrate that you have the right attitude and commitment.

Be prepared

At JS Legal we are here to assist you with researching the firm, the department, recent deals, plans for future growth and press coverage.

  • It is important to know where the firm is positioned within the market place.
  • Make sure you know precisely who will be interviewing you, their title and role. Research his/ her profile on the firm's website. 
  • If they have created a job spec prepare how you would talk about your specific experience in a way which will demonstrate that you can fulfill the demands of the position.  This may be technical expertise, management experience and/ or business development skills.
  • Prepare a brief career overview which will give you confidence if posed with the question “tell me about yourself”.
  • Be prepared to explain the reasons behind the career moves that you have made to date and highlight key achievements.
  • You will need to demonstrate commercial acumen so be prepared to talk specifically about billings and charge out rates.
  • Be prepared to articulate your short and long term career aspirations and how they would be furthered by the position for which you are being interviewed.

As your agent, we will confirm the format of the interview, e.g. whether there will be a psychometric test or technical exercise in addition to a general interview.

The interview itself

The interviewer will need to be convinced that you are technically able to fulfill the role and that you will fit into the firm's culture. Equally, you need to be satisfied that the position and firm will be able to facilitate your future career development and will provide you with an atmosphere you will enjoy working in.

  • Presentation matters.  Ensure your body language is positive: A firm handshake; maintain eye contact; ensure your body position is 'open'.
  • Answer questions succinctly but fully. If you are not sure, just ask the interviewer whether that answers his question.
  • Be positive about the role for which you are being interviewed: Any reservations can be addressed once you have an offer in principle.
  • Allow the interviewer to initiate any discussions on remuneration level.  This would ordinarily be done through us as the agent who introduced you.
  • At the end of the interview the interviewer will invariably ask you whether you have any questions. Take advantage of the fact that you now have control of the interview and reply by stating that you have, but first you would just like to reiterate why you want the role. In this regard it is helpful if you prepare in advance what you consider to be your three key strengths. It's simple but it is incredibly effective.  It is also your chance to show you have done your research on the firm which demonstrates a genuine interest in the firm

Typical questions asked by interviewers

Tell me about yourself
Why do you want to leave your current firm?
Why did you apply to this firm in particular?
What attracts you to this role?
What have learnt from previous/ current positions?
How would your department describe you?
How do you see your career developing?
What are your short and long term career aspirations?
Describe a major achievement in your career
What important points came out of your last appraisal?
What do you look for in a manager?
Describe how you managed a difficult client giving a specific example
What motivates you?
What has been your greatest challenge?

Questions to ask

Why has this position arisen?
How would I fit into the existing team?
How would you describe the firm’s culture?
What is the firm’s major business objectives in the coming year?
Could you describe the firm's training/ development policy?
What are the firm's future plans?
What can I expect to be involved in during my first year of joining?
What would be my long term prospects should I secure the position?