Interview Skills

An interview can be a daunting thing. Particularly when you know how much of your future in the legal world rides on the short time you have in front of you when sitting in a waiting room. However here at UniLawStudents we want to do as much as we can for you to prepare you for your time in the interview room.

 

Before the interview: Prepare! This is the most important thing you can do before an interview. In particular finding out exactly what it is the firm does and what the job is. This seems like really simple stuff, but it’s the kind of thing that could trip you up if you don’t know about your potential role or the people you may well be working for.

Just before you go in: Arrive early, it’s the most important thing you can do. A late candidate is never a good sign, so make sure you’re at the interview in plenty of time. You’d rather be an hour early than a minute late. As you are waiting, don’t be daunted or put off by other potential candidates around you, they are going to be just as terrified as you are so don’t panic. Just before you go in, read through any notes once again and finally stay calm. Take 5 deep breaths before you enter the room and make sure you keep that calm state during your interview

Appearance: Image is going to be a very important thing during an interview. You’re going to want to look your best, but you’ll also want to feel comfortable. Gents: wear a suit that fits, but isn’t going to make you hot and bothered; tie properly done; and always check your collar. Ladies: heels look good but too high that you’re falling over is never a good idea; skirts not too short and shirts not too low. A person will be looking at your face and around a foot around it, so make sure your neck area (whether it be a tie or necklace etc) is formal and professional (no $ chains please)

During the interview: Make sure you keep professional. Remember that these people aren’t going to (immediately anyway) be people you are going for a drink with, they’ll be seeing you in the workplace and want you to act as though you are. The most important thing is to be yourself. You have given them your CV and they know your grades at Uni, they know your work experience. This is your chance to show them more and show them the person behind the CV. Oh, and don’t lie, it’s never a good idea and will ALWAYS catch up with you eventually.

At the end and after the interview: Shaking hands is an unanswered “should I?”. Some interviewers will be happy to shake your hand before and after an interview; but some would rather not waste the time, in particular when there’s a lot of candidates and a short amount of time (Bar interviews etc.). As you leave make sure your posture is firm and confident as you stand up and leave. You may be shown out or have to walk across a room to the door, either way stay confident and don’t slack on your professional look.

 

These may sound like a simple and brainless set of rules for interviews. However forgetting these is the first step to re-applying, and if you are able to keep to these you’ll have a head start against others who’s confidence (or arrogance) may keep them from reaching their full potential.

And most importantly, have fun! This could be the beginning of the rest of your life, you might as well enjoy it!

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