I am delighted to feature this guest blog by Sasha Davison from legal recruitment firm, BCL Legal. Read on to discover her useful tips which could help you to excel at your interview:
Research the Company
One of the best ways to prepare for your interview is to research the company in advance. By doing this you can work out how your particular skill set fits with your target business, providing you with the information you need to answer questions at the interview. You will also find out about the working environment, which may give you some clues about what to expect from your interviewers.
There are many ways in which you can research the company in order to find useful information. For an overview of what the organisation does, take a look at their website; spend time on the product or services page and the ‘About’ page in particular, as these will include the basics which will help you to approach your interview with confidence. If the business uses social media platforms read their posts to get an idea of the atmosphere and team.
Arriving late is perceived by recruiters to be one of the worst ways to start an interview, so it is important to do everything that you can to ensure you arrive on time. Plan your route beforehand so you know where you need to go and add extra time to allow for any traffic or late public transport that you might encounter on the day.
If you are going to be late, call ahead as soon as you can to let your interviewers know. They will understand that sometimes it is not possible to arrive on time due to unforeseen circumstances. Providing that you contact them and apologise, this should not have a negative impact on your interview.
It has been said that you only have seven seconds to make a great first impression; a vital pearl of wisdom to keep in mind when preparing for your interview. Even though your skill set and personality are the most important factors when looking to secure a job role, one of the first things that the interviewer will notice about you is what you are wearing. Your research into the company should provide you with an insight into whether there is a particularly formal dress code, which will help you to decide on an appropriate outfit. Do not be afraid to show your personality through what you wear, but always ensure that the clothes you choose are clean, presentable and comfortable. If in doubt, it is safer to be too smart than not smart enough.
The quality of your handshake can also influence the interviewer’s first impression of you. It is important to appear confident, and show that you possess great social skills and professionalism. A firm handshake will get your interview off to a strong start and imply that you have these highly sought-after qualities.
Your body language can be just as important as the answers you give during an interview. Ensure that you maintain eye contact with the interviewer to show that you are focussed on what they are saying and that you are confident in your answers. Try to keep anything that you might be tempted to play with, such as pens or bag straps, out of reach, as these could distract you from the interview and make you appear nervous.
Finally, sit up straight and relax your shoulders. This will show that you are alert and attentive, plus allowing yourself to relax a little will make you feel at ease. If you remain aware of your body language you will leave the interviewer with the perception that you have confidence in your ability to do the job and would be an asset to their team.
Sasha Davison is a digital content writer for legal recruitment specialists BCL Legal, the specialist legal recruitment team based in Manchester. Using their knowledge and understanding of the legal industry, BCL Legal can find candidates the perfect law job to match their experience and specialism.