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A Beginners Guide to Mastering Interviews


Words by Law City Student Ambassador, Khatera Torkmany


Law students, who aspire to become lawyers, whether as solicitors, barristers, or paralegals, will inevitably face interviews. A good understanding of how to navigate these interviews is an essential skill. To master an interview, there are three key aspects to focus on: thorough preparation, managing nerves, and articulating your unique selling point.


Preparation


Unfortunately, no matter how much you prepare, you can never be completely ready for every question in an interview, simply because the potential list of questions is endless. However, what is certain is that the purpose of an interview is for both parties to determine if they are the right fit for each other. For instance, in a training contract interview, the firm aims to identify a trainee worth investing in for the success of their practice, while you assess whether the firm meets your career aspirations. Knowing this, you should prepare to discuss your key strengths and how they are relevant to a training contract role at the firm. The best way to understand how your strengths align with what the firm seeks is through research. Ideally, this involves visiting the firm in person and engaging with their lawyers to learn about their current roles and their vision for the firm's future.


Nerves


60% of candidates in the UK feel pressured in their success goals because of nerves, according to the Mental Health Foundation. Pressure to succeed can cause significant anxiety, particularly when individuals feel their future depends on one event, like an interview. Having a backup plan can reduce the perceived risk, allowing candidates to focus on showcasing their strengths and what they can offer to the firm. This shift in perspective can lessen nerves and improve interview performance. Additionally, viewing failure as a learning opportunity can foster a more positive and resilient mindset.


Unique selling point


The last factor that can completely turn your interview around is your unique selling point (USP). Consider these two simple questions: What can you offer the firm that no one else can, and why are you applying for this position? If you're applying just because everyone else is, then, regrettably, your chances of success are slim! Companies can quickly identify who is truly passionate about joining them. Reflect on your unique journey that led you to this firm and what you can provide that would make the firm eager to hire you. These questions are pivotal in your interview and enable you to stand out from other candidates who also have law degrees, business modules they have studied, open days they have attended, and trainees they have spoken with.

Ultimately, mastering interviews is about embracing rejections and failures as practice. You can't anticipate every question, but you can perfect your unique selling point. Discover a method to control your nerves and have a plan for after the interview. Remember, securing a training contract is a marathon, not a sprint, so keep engaged with other pursuits to sustain your momentum. Finally, self-knowledge is key. You are the expert on your strengths, so continue to hone them and learn how to effectively convey your knowledge and experience to potential employers.


All the best from the Law City Team!

1 comment

1 Comment


So helpful. Thank you !

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