Essential Tips to Ace an Interview: Preparation and First Impressions
If you have secured an interview, first of all, congratulations! Your CV has impressed, and you now have the opportunity to properly showcase your talents and highlight why you are a good fit for the legal role you applied for.
If you’re still in the initial phase of searching for the right role or maybe you’re planning a big move overseas, now is also the perfect time to prepare and plan-ahead for when you do secure that all-important interview.
Read these top tips from our team of legal consultants on how to efficiently prepare for an interview and make a stellar first impression.
Preparation is Key
If you go into an interview unprepared, you will fail, especially in this ever-evolving and competitive legal industry. Follow these steps and always give yourself time to research, plan and prepare:
- Read back through the job description and make sure you are aware of everything they are looking for in their ideal candidate. Breakdown the job brief and make notes of potential topics for conversation.
- Know your career narrative and make sure you can explain how you mastered certain skills they are looking for.
- Research the company, the cases they are working on, their core values and previous big cases, it is essential to showcase your existing knowledge of the company.
- Who’s going to interview you? Review profiles on LinkedIn, mutual connections and try to establish some common ground so you have any topic for conversation in the interview.
Did you know? – Tuesday at 10:30 am is the best time for you to schedule an interview, Glassdoor reports.
A positive first impression with confidence and professionalism sets the tone for the interview and will leave a lasting impression. According to Forbes, ‘within the first seven seconds of meeting, people will have a solid impression of who you are – and some research suggests a tenth of a second is all it takes to start determining traits like trustworthiness.
Of course, the standard rules apply, don’t be late, dress smart and turn off your phone. Some other tips include:
- Google maps the location, look at your transport options and leave plenty of time to get there, a lot of people are late for interviews because they have underestimated transport time. If you’re having a Skype interview, the same rules apply, log on at least 20 minutes beforehand in case you experience any technical issues.
- Think about your body language. Stand tall, make eye contact and show that you are eager and ready to talk. Practice doing this in your everyday life in the lead up to the interview, so you become accustomed. According to Business Insider, 93% of people’s judgments of others are based on non-verbal input like body language.
- Be aware of how you speak. Talk with confidence and speak clearly without using lots of filler words such as ‘ermm’, ‘um’ or ‘so.’ You may think this is difficult, but the more prepared you are for the interview the less nervous you will be.
- Think about the first thing you are going to say. Be prepared for the question ‘so….tell me about yourself.’ Try not just to recap your resume, they want to know something new, relevant and interesting.
The preparation phase is key. The more research you do the more confident you will feel going into the interview and the more likely you are to succeed. Remember to utilise your consultant at this phase of the recruitment process, ask questions, discuss your plan and listen to their knowledge regarding the legal firm you have applied for, there is no better source of intel.
We would always encourage our candidates to read through our complete interview guide to gain a full understanding of exactly what you should look out for when completing your research. The guide will also provide you with an insight into what type of questions you should expect the interviewer to ask about their firm and their competition.
“’By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”
– Benjamin Franklin