How To Stand Out In The Interview Stage

How To Stand Out In The Interview Stage

Congratulations, you have passed the application and assessment stage of your dream law firm! Now, you’ve moved on to the interview stage; it’s your final chance to impress and land that coveted vacation scheme or training contract. It is well known that earning a place on a legal scheme is no easy feat; there is intense competition between a number of highly qualified candidates. To get the role you desire, you need to stand out. How does a candidate stand out, you may ask? Well, continue reading and you will learn exactly how to beat the fierce competition.

Tip 1 – Research The Firm Thoroughly

Researching a firm allows you to gain an insight into their work and determine whether the firm is a good fit for you. Moreover, it highlights to the interviewer that you understand what the firm is looking for and how they operate.

When you are conducting your research, make sure to go above and beyond the ‘about us’ section on the firm’s website. Every candidate will read the website, so no firm is going to be impressed by someone who is simply regurgitating what everyone has read. Instead, try to attend any insight or open days the firm is hosting, be it in person or virtually. Use this opportunity to learn about the firm from other employees and ask them any questions you may have.

You could also reach out to current employees on LinkedIn to ask them about their experiences or projects they are currently working on. You can use this information to showcase your commercial awareness by discussing recent events and how they might potentially impact a firm’s clients or projects.

Tip 2 – Maintain Eye Contact And Stay Calm

Maintaining eye contact with your interviewer projects confidence and shows that you are giving them your undivided attention. If your interview is being conducted online, consider drawing a pair of eyes on a sticky note and attaching it near your webcam. This will help you keep eye contact with your interviewer.

Try to remain calm, and do not panic when being asked questions. Give yourself a moment to think and formulate your answer in your head before saying it out loud. An interview is not a race to see which candidate can answer a question the fastest. The interviewer is judging your thinking process, not your thinking speed.

Tip 3 – Use The STAR Technique

The STAR technique is particularly useful when you are asked questions about your strengths or particular experiences on your CV. Do not simply state what qualities you have; always provide examples.

The STAR method is as follows:

S = Situation

Describe the situation you were in and provide a bit of context or background knowledge. Here is where you answer the ‘who, what, where’ questions.

T = Task

Describe the task you had to do and discuss the deadlines you had to meet. Additionally, discuss all the challenges you faced and how you overcame them.

A = Action

Explain exactly what you did to complete your assigned task. Make sure to highlight desirable traits such as communication, leadership, and teamwork. For example, you could talk about how you delegated tasks to other members of your team, or how you communicated with your team leader.

R = Result

Share the outcome of your actions and be sure to quantify your achievements where possible.

Tip 4 – Ask unique questions

At the end of an interview, candidates are usually given the opportunity to ask their interviewer any questions they may have. This is your chance to learn more about what it will be like working for the firm. Do not ask questions that can easily be answered by doing basic research or by looking at their websites. For example, you could ask about training opportunities you might receive that will develop your skills for the role you are applying for.

Tip 5 – Send a Thank You Note

After the interview has finished, be sure to send an email to your interviewer, thanking them for taking the time out of their busy schedule to interview you. Furthermore, continue to express your interest in joining the firm.

With these tips under your belt, you are sure to ace any interview that comes your way! Make sure you sleep early and are well rested the day before your interview. If the interview is in person, plan your journey and arrive at least 10 minutes early. For more tips and advice on acing your next interview, be sure to check out the Interview Tips article and video.

Written By: Simran Gill



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