Seeking a top law job is a stressful enough experience without slipping up on key matters that might otherwise create a failed mission.
So a recent panel of City lawyers, London, entitled “How to become a City lawyer”, spoke to law graduates at BPP University Law School recently, who made 3 key observations:
1. Be True to Yourself
The need to be true to yourself rather than thinking you need to conform to some image of what a City lawyer might be – whatever that is – is a potentially fatal factor. Being a good lawyer is better than reflecting some concept of who you think you might need to be to score the job.
While the CV is important, so too is the need for ‘soft skills’ that let a lawyer appear before clients.
Similarly, providing answers that the interviewee thinks the firm wants to hear is not the way to succeed. Trying to over-impress the interviewer is wrong and you need to know that there is no right or wrong anser to questions.
2. Handle the Pressure
Sometimes the interviewee will be pursued for an answer in a relentless manner that will apply pressure and attempt to provide some concept of what it can be like in a work environment. The key is to remain as logical as possible.
Trying to answer question when flustered or without displaying some sense of logical construct will lead to another potential ‘fail’. Keep calm and carry on.
3. Ask if You Don’t Understand
It may well be that you don’t always understand what is being asked, particularly if a lot of legalese is being used, in which case you should ask. Trying to bluff through an answer when you don’t understand the question is another quick way to ‘fail’ the interview.
Sometimes younger lawyers may go away from a work situation unable to understand what is expected of them, which can lead to frustration all round.
There are doubtless many other issues that lawyers need to know about when successfully dealing with the dreaded law job interview, but removing ‘dread’ may just be one of the keys to killing it at the interview stage.