Making the right impression

November 25, 2014

We have discussed in detail our top interview tips here but we feel to focus on a couple of facets of attending interview would be useful.

You have secured your interview and you have prepared for the meeting by carrying out your research and knowing your CV inside out.  You then need to make sure you create the right impression on the day.  We are not going to discuss the technical aspects of the interview here, moreso the aesthetics.

1. Dress appropriately

For the chaps – always a smart suit, crisp shirt and tie.  At CapeClarke, Terry (aspiring to be Don Draper, obviously!) is a huge fan of the pocket square – beyond that, though, you should try to remain relatively conservative.  Leave your winklepickers and your tight legged suit trousers at home and introduce them when you are in the job.

Ladies – usual business dress is expected whether it be a suit or slightly less formal top and skirt/trouser combination.

Some firms operate dress down policies… this does not apply to interviews!

2. Posture

Always sit with a straight back – helping you to remain and appear alert and interested.  Slouching looks lazy and definitely gives the wrong impression.

3. Enthusiasm

We have heard from a number of interviewers that they just did not get the feeling that the candidate wanted to work for them!  This sounds baffling, but it is true.  It is imperative that you are very clear that you want the job and why you want the job.  Even if you have a number of interviews lined up and you work in a discipline which is highly sought after, firms and partners want to see that you want to work for them.  To do otherwise, you can shut the door on your way out!

4. Ambition

Pitch your ambition correctly – you do not want to appear to be too ambitious for the confines of the role (for instance, set realistic targets when interviewing for a NQ role) nor under-ambitious.  This is something the consultants at CapeClarke can advise you on – advice will differ depending on your interviewer, role, law firm and discipline.

5. Punctuality

It seems obvious, but be on time!  Getting there early because you got the earlier bus or train (just to make sure) is preferable to turning up late because there was a traffic jam or leaves on the line!

6. Be open and honest

Be prepared to talk through your experience and capabilities so know your CV inside out.  Be as open as you can be – if matters are confidential, you can talk around it by not identifying clients or keeping values under wraps.

We hope that helps but please do get in touch if you would like more tailored, detailed advice.


We hope you have found this useful, but if you would like to discuss in greater detail, have been thinking about a move or would just like some general advice about options in the market, please feel free to contact Terry Cape or Chris Clarke on 0113 2385965.

CapeClarke is a leading niche legal recruitment consultancy operating across Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle, Liverpool and London. Please feel free to check out our priority legal vacancies by clicking here.  Please note these legal vacancies are only a small selection of those we have been instructed on, so please get in touch if you do not see a role which looks suitable.

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