Tammy Bonang, a senior consultant at Kaleidoscope Legal Recruitment talks us through everything you need to know in order to prepare for interviews. 

Review your CV – review your current position and previous roles.  Now get comfortable describing your day to day tasks so that the interviewer will get a complete picture of your responsibilities.   Highlight the duties you’ve done that will relate to the role you are being consider for.

Check out the position description – this can be a good indicator of the responsibilities you may undertake in the role.  The interviewer will likely discuss how they see you fitting into the business and what tasks will be expected of you. 

Do your homework –Check out their website and get familiar with the work the business does.  Utilise LinkedIn and search for the firm and even the people you may be working with.   This will give you a good idea about what they do and their background which in turn will give you an edge in the interview.

Now that you are well informed of the role and the firm, think about the type of questions that might be asked.  It is hard to know exactly how each interview will run, some are casual and allow you to relax and show your true personality other are much more formal.  No matter what the style of the interview is, remember it’s as much about finding out about them as it is them finding out about you!

Behavioural based questions are quite common and if you are not prepared for some of the common ones, they can put you on the spot.  They are usually more specific and can include describing a difficult situation and how you handled it, or describing a mistake you made and how you resolved it.   

Remember that there are no right or wrong responses. The interviewer is determining your behaviour in a particular situation and how you might react to a similar situation in the future.  

Some example behavioural style questions and brief answers:

      ·         Tell me about a time you worked effectively under pressure.

Time was limited, and various managers were demanding various projects to be completed within a certain timeframe. I prioritised my workload to meet deadlines.

      ·         Have you ever made a mistake? How did you handle it?

Provided the wrong contact information to manager, I quickly realised it was wrong and found the correct details before private information was sent out.

      ·         Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it.

Mention the goal, the specific time frame you had and describe how you were highly organised in being able to achieve the goal.

      ·         Give an example of how you worked in a team.

Describe your strong communication skills, your interpersonal skills and that you were approachable. Explain you were hands-on in the project and how others found you helpful.

      ·         Have you handled a difficult situation? How?

For example, speaking with a demanding client on the phone, when they wanted to speak to a manager but they weren’t available. Explain how you were proactive, by letting the client know the next available time to speak to the manager or scheduling a time for them to call back.

Address the question at hand by reflecting on a specific situation and briefly summarising what occurred.  Relay how you managed the situation by describing the tasks that needed to be done and the actions that you took.  Explain the results to the interviewer and try and ensure that it is looked at in a positive light. For example, if your question was to discuss a time you had to deal with a difficult manager, ensure that you end it positively with the fact that you learned from that experience and feel more confident in dealing with different personalities.

To have a confidential discussion please contact Tammy Bonang at Kaleidoscope Legal Recruitment on (03) 8676 0382 or email [email protected].