Person filling out training contract on laptop

Preparing for your Training Contract Interview

The interview stage of the application process can feel the most daunting. It is important to remember, however, that you have reached this stage by passing the other stages of the application process. The final interview is an opportunity for the firm to get a better understanding of you as a person and see how you would add to our firm’s culture. Equally as important, it is also an opportunity for you to decide if the firm is the right for you.

At Michelmores we want to ensure every candidate has an equal opportunity to perform well within the interview regardless of the level of work experience you have previously have. To support this ambition, we use scenario and strength-based questions for our interview.

Here are some of my tips for responding to these questions to help you go onto be successful in passing this stage of the process.

General tips:

  • Consider what you want the interviewers to know at the end of your interview, and how you can best convey this information.
  • Keep answers focused and well structured. It can be tempting in an interview to answer the question you wish you were asked rather than what you asked, so make sure you are answering the question and providing your thoughts in a clear structure to make it easier for the assessor to follow.
  • Take your time. When nervous, it can be tempting to rush your response. This can make your points hard to follow and, again, confuse the interviewer. If you’re nervous or need a moment to think about your answer then take a pause before starting your response.
  • Body language is important. This may be the first in person interview you have had during the assessment process making good body language and eye contact even more important. If your interview is virtual be mindful of what an assessor can see and how you can show you’re actively listening and engaged.

Scenario questions:

  • Structure your responses clearly. With these questions it’s important to talk about the steps you would take, explain why you would take them and what you would expect the outcome to be.
  • Consider all stakeholders. It is important to remember in any situation, there is more than one party at play. This could include your team, client, the other party and their legal team and (most importantly) you! Consider which are relevant to the question and what the different stakeholders might be interested in.
  • Don’t break the rules! You will be aware of the SRA’s role in regulating what a solicitor can and cannot do. It is important to be aware of these rules ahead of your interview in case any relate to the scenarios.

Strength-based questions:

  • There is no wrong answer, other than no answer! When responding to strength-based questions it can be tempting to sit on the fence in an effort to keep both sides happy. Remember, no two lawyers are exactly the same. The key is to set out your personal opinion, give the reasons why, and explain why that would make you the right person to hire.
  • Revisit the strengths the firm is looking for. You will have considered these earlier in your application, but now is a good time to review the characteristics that the firm is looking for. These may be reflected in the strengths you are asked about at interview, so you can consider your answers in advance.
  • Let your personality show! This interview is a good opportunity to build rapport with the interviewer. Michelmores is interested in hearing about how your hobbies and experiences have helped you to develop as a person, and why that means we want to work with you.

Good luck to for your assessment day, and if you do have any further questions please do get in touch with Matt Cordwent or our Graduate Recruitment Team.