5 New Year’s Resolutions to Enhance Your Interview Skills

Vacation scheme deadlines are soon upon us. Improving your interview skills should therefore be a priority during the next few months.

Even if you have not applied to any vacation schemes this year, interview skills will be important at some point anyway. So, how about making some New Year’s resolutions that you’ll actually follow through with in 2018?

1. Attend Networking Events

Make a resolution to attend more networking events in 2018. How will networking help with your interview skills? Well, it will put you in situations where you have to converse well and respond quickly.

The more you socialise with the type of professionals you’ll meet in interviews, the more comfortable you will feel while being interviewed by them.

Psychology studies suggests that people will make judgments about others’ competence and trustworthiness within seconds during their first meeting. Basics like a firm handshake and maintaining eye contact will therefore be hugely important for your first impression. These are social skills that you can improve at networking events.

Looking for an event you’ll have the opportunity to network at? Book one of the remaining free tickets to our Training Contract and Vacation Scheme Conference to meet leading law firms!

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2. Practice What You’re Not Saying

While we are on the topic of eye contact and handshakes, body language is important in interviews.

A businesswoman once told me that she would walk into a meeting and be mistaken for the boss because she ‘took’ the room. To be able to take control once you enter a room, you need to walk with confidence.

Make it a resolution for 2018 to start daily tasks like straightening your back and looking people in the eye once you enter a room. It might seem stupid, but once you start acting confident, you will start feeling it as well.

It is rooted in humans to pick up on others’ body language, so use this to your advantage.

3. Practice What You Are Saying

Make it a resolution to speak more politely and slowly eliminate your use of slang. You want to be appropriate and use professional language.

While this might seem obvious, it can be hard not to resort to some type of slang when scrambling for words – especially if you use it all the time.

Try to clean up your language around interview times and practise taking a breath when your nerves are getting the best of you.

4. Do a Mock-Interview

The best way to practise calming your nerves when you are being asked challenging questions is to get someone to put you on the spot. You’ll probably feel like you can’t be bothered or be too embarrassed to do this, but you should force yourself to ask someone to interview you.

Make a New Year’s resolution to ask a family member, friend or someone from the university career centre, to do a mock-interview.

You will learn which current issues in law you need to read up on by being asked questions about them. You will also get a better feel of the entire process of an interview and therefore feel more comfortable later on because you know what will happen. Experiencing the nerves is entirely different than imagining them.

Best of all though is that you will learn your weaknesses before doing an interview that matters. This can’t be stressed enough: a mock-interview will benefit you.

5. Do an actual interview

Nothing will help you more than doing an actual job interview. It would help if it was a law interview of course, as this would help you practise answering law-related questions, but any job interview will do.

No matter how many mock-interviews you do, it will still not be the same as the real thing. Make it a resolution to book at least one interview during the first half of 2018.

Practice your body language, your actual language, attend some networking events and go through with a mock interview before doing the real thing.

Push yourself a bit and you might actually follow through with some of your New Year’s resolutions this year.


Published: 1/1/18     Author: Kristin Klungtveit

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