- Be yourself. An interview is as much about you assessing your prospective employer as them assessing you.
- Be confident. The prospective employer has called you to interview because on paper you look as if you fit the bill.
- Be informed. At JS Legal we are here to assist you with researching the firm, the department, recent deals, plans for future growth and press coverage. Apart from the firm's website you may also find the following websites helpful:
It is important to know where the firm is positioned within the market place. Focus your mind on a few key points which you should take the opportunity to mention during the course of the interview.
- Be prepared. Make sure you know precisely who will be interviewing you, their title and role. Check his/ her profile on the firm's website. Prepare answers to typical interview questions (see below). Know your cv and be prepared to discuss any aspect of it. If there are any gaps in it be prepared to explain them.
The interview itself
The interviewer will need to be convinced that you are technically able to fulfil 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.
- Ensure your body language is positive: A firm handshake; maintain eye contact; ensure your body position is 'open' and don't fidget.
- 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.
- Be yourself. If you are not and you subsequently secure the position you will only have to act for the duration of your employment.
- 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 think you would be the best person for the role. In this regard it is helpful if you prepare in advance what you consider to be your five key strengths. It's simple but it is incredibly effective as the interviewer is left with a positive last impression as well as hopefully a positive first impression!
- Overly criticise your current employer. Instead, draw out the positives from your experience and simply explain why you are looking for a new challenge.
- Mention salary unless expressly asked.
Typical questions asked by interviewers
- Why you want to leave your current firm.
- Why you applied to them.
- What you have learnt from previous/ current positions.
- How your department would describe you.
- How you see your career developing.
Questions to ask
- Why the position has arisen.
- The ethos/ culture of the firm.
- The firm's training/ development policy.
- The firm's future plans.
- The firm's positioning within the market.
- Appraisal system.
- More detail in terms of what the role would entail.
- Long term prospects should you secure the position.
- The interviewer's background.
Thank the interviewer for his/her time and reiterate your interest in the position. It is also a good opportunity to ask when you are likely to hear of the outcome of the interview.
After the interview
- Write down any questions you may have while they are still fresh in your mind.
- Contact your recruitment consultant with honest feedback.
- Email the interviewer thanking him for his time and reiterating why you feel you would be the right person for the position and what particularly interests you in it.
- Your recruitment consultant will then ascertain the feedback from the interviewer and as such will be positioned to ensure you are thoroughly prepared for the next meeting if that is necessary or negotiating the most competitive salary on your behalf.