Monday, 25 July 2011

Changing tack

I no longer fear interviews. And I'm not terrible at them. At least, I don't think I am. I've had successful interviews for non-legal jobs as well as for numerous vacation schemes. But for TC recruitment I hadn't before come across an interview-only process, until now. I have one next month. This could be my moment, touch wood.

My approach to interviews has changed over the last couple of years. I used to flick through interview books. And only flick through interview books. This, as anyone with a bit of common sense will tell you, is like training for the big match by reading Wayne Rooney's biography. Don't get me wrong, interview books can be useful (check out Complete Interview Guide for Lawyers or for the more gung-ho amongst you, take a look at The Best Book On Getting Corporate Law Jobs (The Only Guide By Real Corporate Attorneys)) but to do an interview well, I quickly realised (i.e. was told repeatedly by various irritable people) that I need to practice and practice and practice. This led me to my second interview strategy; to learn answers by rote. Depending on the type of interview, this can work, particularly if you make it all seem natural. But I'll never do this again and I'd never encourage anyone to do it. Straying from a scripted answer, which would probably be necessary in most law interviews, is like leaving the footpath in a forest- you'll struggle to find your way back.

So my present strategy is to learn to talk about my experiences freely and to relate them to the law. Of course, a lot of people would have realised that this is the correct approach long ago, but where would you all be without the selfless folk like me who have tried and tested the other methods and tumbled at the first hurdle? Nowhere! That's where! 

The famous STAR approach in delivering answers (i.e. Situation, Task, Action, Result) is a sure fire way to show the interviewer that you've prepared. But to ensure that my answers are flowing, I am practising to 'chat' out STAR answers- making it second nature. Lets see if it works. Lord I hope it works..

How do you prepare for interviews?

p.s. have you ever written on a banana skin with a biro? Its smooth. Real smooth. Try it. 

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