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Published on June 27, 2019 by lauraduckett

A man sits with headphones on in front of his open white laptop

If the the thought of completing a video training contract interview worries you – you’re certainly not alone. The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can prepare in advance and things you should definitely do during the interview itself.

While some prefer telephone interviews for initial trainee recruitment, video interviews are becoming more popular amongst law firm recruiters. So it’s more likely you’ll be scheduled in for one at the first interview round.

On the day of your training contract video interview, it is important to ensure that you create a professional and organised environment in which to complete your interview.

Want to know how to stand out in your online training contract interviews? Simmons & Simmons share some top tips in the video below.

 

Tips for your training contract video interview:

  • Make sure the room is quiet and there will be no disruptions. Stick a do not disturb note on the door if necessary!
  • Ensure the lighting in the room is sufficient. Turn the camera on in advance of the interview to test this.
  • Your computer should be far enough away to allow the whole of your upper body to appear in the shot rather than just your face. This allows you to be more animated and employ hand gestures, where appropriate, to make a point.
  • There should be no background distractions on the walls (e.g. Star Wars posters or photo collages) that may distract the interviewer.
  • Make sure there’s no clutter in sight and your desk is clear.
  • Dress smartly and professionally in the same way as you would for a face to face interview.
  • Set your computer up well in advance of the interview. This will help to prevent any last-minute technical glitches, for example discovering three minutes before the interview that you have no internet connection or that your camera doesn’t work!
  • You can create some prompts in relation to the more general questions, for example, ‘why do you want to be a solicitor?’ If you do decide to do this, you could try sticking post-it notes with key words to the side of your computer screen, so that during the interview you’re not looking down or shuffling through reams of notes.
  • Watch your body language. Rather than looking at your screen try to look directly into the camera to give the illusion of eye contact. Retain good posture and remember to smile!

Pre-Recorded Training Contract Online Interviews

Pre-recorded training contract interviews can also be used in the early stages of the recruitment process as a means of whittling down the number of candidates.

Depending on the law firm you apply to, you will be required to answer between four and eight pre-recorded interview questions which will flash up on the screen intermittently.

For each question, you will be given a period of ‘thinking time’ before being filmed providing your answer, which again will be time limited to a minute or two.

Once the interview is complete, the recording will be automatically submitted to the law firm.

Try not to spend too much time worrying once you’ve submitted your interview, you’ve answered the questions and done your best and that’s all that can be asked of you.

What to Wear

Similarly to a face to face interview, you’ll want to ensure that you make a good impression on the person who will be assessing your video interview.

One way to make a good impression is by appearing smart and professional in terms of what you’re wearing on the day.

It’s quite likely that only the top half of your body will be visible on camera, so if it helps you to feel more relaxed, wear comfy attire on the bottom half and a smart top to maintain a level of professionalism.

Alternatively, others might find it more helpful to wear a full-on smart outfit, as if they were attending an interview in person. It’s about finding what works best for you and going with it!

Final Words of Advice

Confidence is one of the most important aspects of any interview, regardless of the format. By offering you an interview, the law firm has clearly identified your skills and potential.

They think you could be a good fit for their firm, so use the interview as a chance to show them just how great you are and why you deserve a training contract with them.

Read this blog for an idea of some questions to prepare for before your training contract interview.

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