The legal industry is one of the most competitive fields to go into and a job interview in any sector can be daunting. To give yourself the best chance of doing well, it is best to prepare as much as possible beforehand. To help, we have compiled our top tips to prepare for an interview.

It all starts with your CV

Firstly, before you even get an interview, it is your CV that is going to get your foot in the door. It should be formatted clearly and easy to read and in it, you should not only list your work experience but actively highlight your key achievements and successes.

What the employer will be on the lookout for

Every employer and firm will vary slightly in what they are looking for and will have different criteria that they will want the interviewee to meet. But overall, employers, no matter which field you are in are usually looking for the following:

  • Someone personable and polite
  • Organisation skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Drive and ambition – they will want to see that you are a hard worker
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • A good understanding of the legal field and good legal knowledge

Tailor your experience to the role you are going for

For each interview that you have, note the difference in each firm and role that you are going for and then for each interview you should tweak your approach.

Be positive

You should veer away from talking down your old job or firm that you worked for. Instead of thinking negatively about your experience if you didn’t enjoy it, it is a good idea to try and reframe the experience so that you can talk about it positively at the time as being negative in any way will reflect badly on you.

Research, research, research

Before you go into a job interview for any field, it’s essential that you research the company and if possible the person who is interviewing you. This will not only make you look great but it will also make you more relaxed in the interview. Knowing that you are prepared will help to calm your nerves and make a big difference in how you come across to the interviewer.

Be interested

Have some pre-thought-out questions ready to ask the interviewer about the firm, this is not only helpful so that you can express your interest in the firm, but also so that you can make sure that the role and the company are the right fit for you too. As well as this, it is a good idea to look up some frequently asked questions that law firms often ask in interviews and then write down and learn your answers to them.

Dress well

Before you go for the interview, it’s important to research what the firm’s dress code is as they are all different. It’s usually best to go for a smarter outfit and, as they say, ‘dress for the job that you want, not the job you have’. Even small details like this can make all the difference in the interviewer’s first impression of you.

Be enthusiastic and be yourself.

Lastly, if you’re not oozing enthusiasm for the job and the company then the interviewer will think that you’re not interested. Being enthusiastic and truly yourself can help you to stand out from the crowd and maybe the tipping factor in you getting the job over another equally qualified applicant.

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