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    Got an interview with them next week. Wondering if anyone has any tips on the interview, likely q`s etc ??


    (Original post by Shef2004)

    Got an interview with them next week. Wondering if anyone has any tips on the interview, likely q`s etc ??

    First off, congratulations Pinsent Mason rejected me! :rolleyes:

    But 2 other firms accepted me, so following those interviews, (1 telephone interview, 1 full morning assessment with 5 different parts to it!) I would advise....

    * Be early
    * Be dressed appropriately - suit, shirt, tie, polished shoes, clean shaved, neat clean hair, be careful with the fragrance, dont overpower them!!
    * Smile and make eye contact with everyone from the receptionist onwards. Imagine you're on camera at all times, ie, best behaviour!! Be positive and your great attitude will make everyone warm to you!
    * Mingle and chat with other candidates, socialise and be friendly - you'd be surprised when the interviewers are watching you and deciding what sort of person you are, and this is just as important (if not more IMO) as your academics
    * Research the firm, recent cases / transactions they've been involved with etc., so YOU can ask questions about them, because they almost definately will ask if you have any questions. Also google the interviewers if you have their names, try view a photo so you can pick them ouyt early as possible.
    * Think about a weakness, they may ask you about this - but follow it up with, "however I overcome this / work to improve on this by...." so you can turn any potential negatives into positives
    * Don't worry too much about having great insightful opinions on specifics of commercial law or whatever - they won't expect this. But read the Times or something broadsheet every day from now onwards to get a feel for whats going on, because they may ask you for an example of a commercial transaction that is interesting you recently, and ask why, or something like that.
    * Don't be afraid to say you're not sure yet about something - I blatantly told the interviewers at my TC interview that I had no idea about which department I wanted to qualify into because the academic side is so different to practicing, and I was limited in my experiences, but that I was keeping an open mind and willing to give any department a fair try so that I could make an informed decision in future. They must have liked this because I was offered the TC!! :yy:
    * Be enthusiastic, point out what you have done and what you are good at, don't undersell yourself, but on the other hand, don't be the w****r that you get at every interview that is arrogant and constantly tries to put down the other candidates in an attempt to make himself look better :rolleyes:
    * Try and enjoy it - you will learn a lot from interviews, more than you will realise at the time, and if you are not successful, you can take that experience forward for next time.

    Good luck!!!!! :cool: If you have any other questions PM me xx

    I agree with everything above - especially the stuff about being seen to be friendly/engaging with everyone you meet. You would be surprised what can filter back to those who make the decisions. I've known a receptionist to contact graduate recruitment to say that a certain interviewee was particularly obnoxious.

    Do absolutely everything you can to research the firm. I know that sounds obvious but many candidates don't seem to know the first thing about the firm they're interviewing at. Look at the firm's own website, search for articles on The Lawyer and Legalweek online, read up on what Chambers says. You will inevitably be asked "Why Pinsents" and you absolutely have to be able to nail that question. Think of the sort of things you're looking for in a law firm (quality of training, early responsibility, good working environment, interesting clients, variety of work etc etc) and then make sure you can pick things out about Pinsents which satisfy those criteria.

    Other questions you might be asked:

    - why law
    - why commercial law?
    - why London
    - why not the bar?
    - what areas of the law interest you?
    - what have you found difficult with your studies?
    - what recent current affairs/legal decision/transactions have interested you and why?
    - where do you see yourself in 5/10 years' time?
    - what are your strengths/weaknesses?
    - what skills do you think are needed to be a good lawyer?
    - who do you most admire?

    General thoughts:

    - you need to know everry aspect of your CV/application form inside out. In relation to each aspect think of skills you've gained/experiences etc. What can you say about them? Its no use having been the president of your law society if you can't think of anything constructive to say about it.

    - don't be afraid to take your time answering a question. Pausing before answering shows confidence, gives your brain some time to work and allows you to calm down.

    - if you completely stuff up an answer, return to it later. Its very impressive if a candidate says at the end of an interview "I'd like to add/clarify something I said earlier...". Everyone is nervous but it shows confidence to be able to return to an earlier mistake and correct it.

    - make sure you have some good questions to ask at the end of the interview. PLEASE avoid "what opportunities are there to travel with Pinsents?". They're a law firm, not Thomas Cook. Try turning some of the questions they asked you, onto them i.e. "Earlier, you asked me where I saw myself in 5 years time. Could you tell me where you see Pinsents in 5 years?" or even "You asked me why I chose Pinsents, perhaps you could tell me why you both decided to work here and become partners with this firm?". Questions like that show you're not just trotting out a couple of tried and trusted queries and also that you've got some balls to put some pressure on them!

    Hope that helps

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