Do any of these sound familiar?
Missing opportunities to sell yourself
Interviewers will ask questions that give you the chance to demonstrate your qualifications and show you have what it takes to do the job. In response, you must answer questions by referring to specific results and outcomes, and wherever possible, make links to particular skills that lawyers use, like teamwork, analytical ability, drafting and client communication. If you don't do this, you're missing an opportunity to explain why you're right for the job - and that's the only way you'll bag that training contract.
Most questions offer you the opportunity in your answer to provide the interviewer with specific, relevant examples of you accomplishing some type of measurable result that benefited the employer - use them.
Criticising a previous/current employer
Talking down the company you’re trying to leave or one you’ve worked for in the past gives the impression that you’re a negative person who can’t let go of the past. It also may make the interviewer wonder what you’d say about their company if they hire you.
You must look and sound professional at all times during your interview. As such, slating a previous employer is a no-no. You don't have to pretend that a work situation was great when it wasn't, but focus on what you learnt from the experience / how you overcame a difficult situation.
Most people have a grade or two that they're not proud of, a CV blip or less than stellar work experience. However, it's never OK to lie about these when asked, or fabricate something you didn't do. Employers follow up, after all, and you're aiming to join a profession with strict codes of conduct for its members. Think about how you can turn your weaknesses into strengths - what did you learn from that difficult course / work experience? How can it make you a better candidate?
Appearing rude or arrogant
You should absolutely aim to be a confident interviewee, but be careful not to cross the line into arrogance. Don't cut off the interviewer when he or she is talking. Don't brag or show off about an achievement excessively / when it isn't appropriate. Don't be condescending. Make eye contact - it's a strong sign of confidence and self-awareness.
Not asking any questions
This is really crucial. Asking questions of your interviewer is a way of demonstrating your curiosity and interest in the firm, and engaging with your interviewer meaningfully. Think ahead of the interview about what you really want to ask. Sure, some things you may rule out as inappropriate ("How late do you work?"), but others may genuinely be worth asking ("What's a typical day like for you?", "What kind of work does your trainee get involved in?")
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