An interview can be an overwhelming experience, particularly when applying for your first in-house role or if it has been some time since you’ve changed roles.
Armed with the right preparation and with the support of your recruiter, you can alleviate your anxiety and stand out from the competition. This article aims to guide you through a systematic approach to preparing for your upcoming interview.
Researching the company
Dive deep into the company’s background by exploring their website, blog, or any available public resources. This exercise will equip you with insights into the company’s mission, vision, values, and culture.
You can also glean information about the company’s strategic goals and recent initiatives, helping you contextualise your potential role as an in-house lawyer and align your answers accordingly.
Getting to know the interviewers
Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram can be a goldmine of information about your interviewers. Study the profiles of the hiring manager and other potential interviewers, focusing on their professional journey, interests, and passions. Identifying commonalities can help foster rapport during the interview, whether that’s a shared interest in cycling or being a parent.
Practice Makes Perfect
Once armed with knowledge about the company and interviewers, the next step is to prepare for common interview scenarios. Enlist the help of a friend or partner to pose as the interviewer and ask you both standard and more challenging questions, for example:
- Tell me about your experience and how it relates to this role.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Describe yourself as a legal business partner to commercial teams
- Think of a recent situations where you had to make a decision with a limited amount of information, what were your actions?
Know Your CV Inside Out
If it’s been a while since your last interview, take time to re-familiarise yourself with your CV. By having your career history, skills, and accomplishments at your fingertips, you can better articulate your responses without being sidetracked or delving into unnecessary details.
Highlight Your Fit for the Role
Identify and articulate what makes you the ideal candidate for the role by studying the job advertisement and specifications closely. Understand the company’s expectations and draw parallels between these requirements and your skills, experiences, and competencies.
Understand Your Competitors
Liaise with your recruiter to gauge the profiles of other candidates in the process. The recruiter will not of course be able to tell you who they are, but will help you understand what others’ strengths and weaknesses are in regards to this role, how far they are in the process and what the hiring team thinks of their fit to the role. Knowing how you compare to them can help refine your unique selling proposition and enable you to confidently highlight your advantages.
Identify Your Strengths
To help understand your strengths better, reach out to friends, colleagues, or mentors and solicit their feedback about what they value in you professionally and personally. Often, others can see our strengths more clearly than we do ourselves, providing valuable perspective on our unique skills or attributes.
Interview them just like they interview you
An interview is a chance for both parties to explore your fit for the role and if the role indeed the right next step for you. Think about what’s important to you in an employer, the legal team and the role. Besides getting valuable information, you will also demonstrate your motivation. Having insightful questions to ask shows that you’ve thought deeply about the role and the company.
After the interview, it’s a good idea to debrief the meeting with your recruiter and to promptly send a thank-you note to the interviewer that expresses your appreciation for their time. Very few people do it nowadays, but it is appreciated by the hiring teams.
Preparation is a key ingredient to success, helping transform your interview from a nerve-wracking ordeal into a rewarding conversation that allows you to truly explore the role and showcases your talents and potential.