One of the key things that will help breed success at training contract interviews is the preparation you do for them.
Don’t Prepare To Fail
In the fiercely competitive market for training contracts every applicant would be wise to paste the following phrase in large letters on their wall:
Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail!”
Cheesy we know but it’s never been more applicable than to wannabe trainee solicitors.
Research Is Key
Thoroughly researching the firm you are having an interview with is a must. You will know this already but you may not appreciate just how important this is or know how to do it properly.
The obvious places to start are a firm’s website and its graduate recruitment brochure, if it has one (many don’t).
A cursory read through the firms marketing materials however is never enough. For more advice about the importance of research and the resources you should be using to conduct your research see this blog post: The Importance Of Research
Project A Positive Image
Your aim as an interviewee should always be to project a positive image of yourself over to your interviewers.
Therefore, the more you have thought through and built up this positive image in your own mind before the interview, and the more of this you can get across during the interview, the better.
Spending some time considering your answers to some common questions is also an essential part of good interview preparation as it will clearly help you answer them if they are specifically asked in your interview.
However, the benefit of thinking through these questions goes further. It will also help you prepare some vital information about yourself, together with your decisions, reasons and motivations, that you will want to ensure you tell the interviewers when given the opportunity.
Your Personal Pitch
By thinking through common questions and preparing skeleton answers you will be effectively preparing your own personal pitch. This will ultimately be one of the main things that sets you apart from other candidates and lands you the job.
During an interview you can utilise these answers (or parts of them) when answering a wide variety of questions, and not just those you have specifically prepared them for.
There are some common interview questions you MUST be able to answer – find out more here: 10 Common Training Contract Interview Questions
Assessment Centre Advice
If you’re facing an Assessment Centre as part of the interview process you must know what to expect and have practiced some of the tests and exercises you may be given. For everything you need to know to succeed at law firm Assessment Centres check out our blog post series: TSS Assessment Centre Clinic.