Getting the most out of your interview
While the idea of a job interview, for most, is nerve racking and intimidating, it can be a great learning opportunity for both the interviewer and the candidate. Not only does the interview serve as a time for a potential employer to learn about you, but also an opportunity for you to learn about the organization and evaluate whether or not you think it would be a good fit. As a legal recruitment consultant firm, we’ve seen our fair share of interviews (good, bad, and ugly) over the years. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your next interview.
Do your research and be prepared
To most people this step would seem obvious, but many still find themselves caught off guard by the basic questions put to them in an interview. Take the time to write down a list of questions you think you might be asked, then practice and polish your answers so that you can answer confidently it comes to the real deal. Think of some solid, relevant examples of your past experiences that demonstrate your decision-making abilities and/or resulted in positive outcomes for the organization.
When it comes to doing research, consider both the organization you want to work for and the people you will be working with. Visit the company or law firm’s website and social media accounts to get a sense of who they are. Look up your interviewer(s) on LinkedIn or on the organization’s website, to learn a little more about who you will be meeting with. Come up with a few questions to ask your interviewer(s) – this will show them you’re interested and came prepared. Just think how impressed they would be if you asked about a charity you noted they contribute to or ask the hiring manager (or managing partner) how she has enjoyed working for the organization over the past ten years.
Don’t leave all your questions until the end
If something seems relevant and important during an interview, and you’d like to find out more, then ask about it there and then. You can also try summarizing or paraphrasing something your interviewer has said, and repeat it back to them in question form. Again, this shows you are paying attention. These tactics will give the interview a more natural flow, and will help avoid the feeling of an interrogation. Just be sure to do so when the time is right – e.g. do not the interrupt the interviewer mid-sentence.
Let your interviewer know that you are interested in the position
If you reach the end of the interview and have no more questions to ask, clarify what you have understood to be the next steps and take note of these actions. Don’t underestimate the power of telling someone face-to-face that you enjoyed the interview and that you are interested in the role. Before you leave the interview, thank the interviewer for their time and reiterate your interest in the position.
Take the time to reflect
Finally, take the time to sit down after the interview and prepare your thoughts and feedback while they are still fresh in your mind. This will help you decide if the opportunity really is right for you. Plus, having clear notes from a first meeting is a great way to ensure you go into a second interview well prepared.
If you are interested in exploring your career options, our specialist legal recruitment team would be happy to have a confidential discussion with you. Contact one of our legal recruitment consultants for a chat.
– Jordan Priest, Recruitment Associate