Whether you are a law school graduate or someone with legal experience looking to move to another law firm, the job interview remains a daunting prospect. Here are some easy tips from experts in the legal industry that can teach you how to ace every interview you ever need to give in your legal career.
Show Off Your Skills and Successes
Use your CV and the interview to highlight what you have achieved in college or your previous job.
Your CV is the first thing hiring managers see. So use it to create your brand by adding critical points about your law school achievements, skills, and career success stories (if you have work experience or applying for a senior position). However, more is not necessarily better; keep your CV uncluttered and to the point.
Be prepared to talk about your achievements in detail when asked, so be careful to add only the important ones to your CV. So, for example, if you only took meeting minutes for a high-profile case at your previous law firm, you don’t need to mention that.
Be knowledgeable about what you’ve done so that you can add details about any roles you had at college or in your previous job. If your interviewer asks for further information, you can then elaborate further.
Express Your Job Needs
During the interview, remain honest about why you are keen on the job. Refrain from speaking negatively about your current employers when interviewing for a position because it’s not very professional.
Instead, explain to the hiring manager why you want a change of jobs by framing it differently. For example, you could say you want to offer more in an area where you have solid skills, looking for mentorship, looking for a more entrepreneurial role, etc.
Do Your Homework and Go Prepared
Whether you are a skilled lawyer or a graduate, never go to an interview unprepared. Instead, prepare to answer interview questions like how you made your choice of law school, your areas of interest, and your goals.
You are a lawyer, and research is your strong point, so use it to investigate the legal firm and the latest developments in the legal industry that could prove relevant to your potential employer.
That way, you will better understand the firm’s history, partners, and prospective role, which will prove helpful during the interview. In addition, this knowledge will help you to better express your narrative on why the job is essential to you and how the firm aligns with your career goals.
Market Your Soft Skills
Your hard skills are essential but don’t underestimate the importance of your soft skills in the work environment. Teamwork, negotiation skills, and business acumen are just as critical as your legal expertise in today’s legal world, so market any additional skills you have during the interview.
Prepare Questions To Ask
An interview is not just about responding to questions. It would help if you also asked the right questions that subtly show your intelligence, preparedness, and ambition. Also, be prepared to respond if your leads to one from the interviewer.
However, avoid asking questions about your gain or those that put the interviewer in a tight spot.
The first interview is vital, so let your clothes reflect how serious you are about the position. Of course, you should dress professionally, but you should also feel comfortable. Gone are those days of conservative dressing if you chose a legal career. However, to be safe, don’t go dressed entirely down to an interview; even if that is the legal firm’s policy, opt to dress middle-of-the-road for the first interview.
You need to relax during the interview by remaining level-headed and relaxed. Don’t feel intimidated if your interviewer is a senior partner. Instead, use your communication skills to show interest, enthusiasm, and engagement.
Never lie to any question during the interview. Instead, if you don’t know the answer, say so and promise to get back with a reply.
Furthermore, don’t be late for the interview, and be polite with everyone you encounter before, during, and after the interview. Finally, always send a thank-you note a day later in which you also show your continued interest in the position.
Interviews are particularly stressful, whether you are new at it or an old hand. The best way to manage one without woes is to be well-prepared to respond to questions and ask the right ones. Furthermore, be yourself, dress nicely, remain polite, and stay relaxed so that your best nature can shine through. By following these helpful tips, you are setting yourself to ace your interview and get your dream legal job!