3 Things I Wish I’d Known Before My Training Contract Interview
Firms generally use your training contract interview to help them make the final decision on which candidates to offer training contracts to.
This can feel like an incredibly intimidating prospect. To help, here are some key ways you can prepare and things to keep in mind during your interview.
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Training Contract Interview: Stay Up-to-Date on Current Events
Law firms need to respond quickly to current events in order to ensure that they exploit business opportunities, keep ahead of trends and adjust their business plans accordingly. This means that they are looking for candidates who stay abreast of political and economic developments and understand their impact on the firm’s business.
In the months leading up to your interview and particularly in the couple of weeks before it is a good idea to read the business press and stay up-to-date with legal developments.
You should particularly focus your attention on any cases which your chosen law firm is working on and the ways current events might impact upon particular specialisms within the firm.
Firms are looking for well-rounded and pro-active candidates and this is a key way of demonstrating those qualities.
Training Contract Interview: Research the Firm and Its Identity
Although there are general qualities that all law firms look for in future trainees, each firm has their own ethos which influences the character traits they promote in their trainee intake.
By researching a firm’s values and its trainee specification, you can quickly identify the qualities that a law firm is looking for. This will ultimately help ensure that you are able to demonstrate these same qualities in your interview. However, this is an interview so always make sure that you have examples to back these statements up!
The success of a law firm is directly linked to how effective its partners and associates are at attracting and retaining clients. Firms are consequently looking for candidates who have good communication skills and the ability to network effectively.
During your interview keep in mind that you are not only being assessed on your legal abilities, but also your social skills. The way you interact with the partners interviewing you will be carefully noted. This is because they are ultimately assessing whether you possess the raw social skills required to be an asset to the firm.
It is also important to underline past work experience and extra-curricular activities which demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively.
Law firms assess a range of skills throughout their training contract recruitment process and this is not limited to academic ability or technical legal skills. They also want well-rounded individuals who will be both an asset to their firm and someone who they will ultimately enjoy working with!
Your final training contract interview is a key opportunity to demonstrate these qualities.