If you are lucky enough to get an interview with a top legal firm, there are a number of ways in which to prepare beforehand. One of the best ways to make sure you are prepared is to find out everything you can about your prospective employer beforehand; read all the legal press and relevant journals. What will impress them at the interview is whether you have bothered to do your research and if you have done your homework you will have no problem being on the same wavelengths as your interviewers.
Find out whether the firm have been involved in any high profile cases recently and get all the details about this. Also make a point of finding out if the company has had any problems recently with any cases: if bringing this up at the interview think carefully about how you put this across, however so as not to seem too negative. Interviewers will not mind you commenting on difficult issues as long as you keep an eye on objectivity.
There are a number of typical questions which usually come up at this type of interview such as
“What made you decide to become a lawyer?”
The answer here should not be “because my parents wanted me to be one”. Think about the things which motivated you to start a career in law – maybe you find law a fascinating and rewarding area in which to work.
“Why do you want to work for this firm in particular?”
Here is when your in-depth knowledge about the firm comes into good use. You could state how much you admired their recent handling of a case, or that you are ambitious and feel that this firm is the only one which can offer you the rapid career progression you desire.
“Are there any questions you would like to ask?”
This is bound to come up at an interview and it might help if you have already written out a list of questions to bring with you. It doesn’t help at this stage to linger on pay and benefits, just focus on career progression and values.