Approach and questions
The general approach is often blamed by employers, such as an interviewee acting as though they are the interviewer. Having a huge number of questions for the interviewer or talking non-stop can be problematic, as confidence can come over as arrogance; however, it is important to make sure that you point out your competencies and don’t hide your light under a bushel. This can certainly be a hard line to tread and may differ between employers.
Some employers said that lawyers did not maintain eye contact, which can come across as untrustworthy. It is also a bad idea to talk negatively about your current company or a former employer, as this can come across as moaning or could be a red flag for negative relationships.
Also make sure that you ask good questions at the end of the interview, but not too many – two or three is fine. These should focus on positive aspects, such as the opportunities for career progression.
Lack of preparation
Lack of preparation is often a key problem, with employers saying that it can be obvious a lawyer has not done enough homework on the company. Employers also point out that interviewees sometimes do not seem enthusiastic about the company and have no real reasons for wanting to work for the firm or why they are looking for a new job.
Another point is that sometimes interviewees do not seem to know their own resume very well. This all boils down to a basic lack of preparation, which can be avoided by researching the company and your own CV to make sure you know exactly what you are applying for and why.
Social media and other issues
Always be aware that a company can research you online, so make sure your social media accounts don’t have any questionable content. Another issue is that the work culture is wrong and personalities clash – a job needs to be right for both parties. Also bear in mind that how you treat everyone at the company can make a difference, as the interviewer may talk to the receptionist and other professionals for a glimpse into the character and behaviour of the candidate.
Not every company will be the right fit for every lawyer; however, being aware of the feedback from employers about their interviewees can give pointers on what to avoid. By steering clear of the pitfalls and focusing on the right attitude, lawyers can increase their chances of being invited to attend a second interview.
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