Mastering An Interview: Tips And Tricks
5 months ago

Entering the world of apprenticeships and early careers is an exciting time filled with opportunities for growth and learning. However, one crucial aspect of this process is the interview. Interviews can be nerve-wracking, but with the right preparation you can stand out and secure the offer. In this blog, I will explore some of the key interview tips that helped me gain my apprenticeship at Farrer & Co.

Before any interview, it is essential to thoroughly research the company and what they stand for. For example, if you were applying to a law firm like Farrer & Co, take time to understand their values, history, and the legal sectors they specialise in. Companies appreciate candidates who show a genuine interest in their work and your knowledge will not only impress the interviewer, but allow you to decide if the company aligns with your career goals. Similarly, have a clear understanding of the apprenticeship or position you are applying for. Familiarise yourself with the job description and responsibilities, then reflect on how your skills and interests align for the role. Being able to articulate why you’re a suitable candidate will help you make a strong impression throughout the interview. I researched multiple companies that I would want to work for, before narrowing down the list and specialising my application. I believe this helped make my responses memorable. Even if you haven’t had relevant work experience, you likely possess transferable skills such as problem solving or communication skills. The interviewer wants to get to know you as a person and there is no such thing as a right or wrong hobby. I googled and prepared answers to common interview questions to gain confidence and refine my answers. Concrete examples, e.g., demonstrating when you have shown leadership skills, helps the interviewer understand your abilities and shows that you have relevant experience.

First impressions matter. Dress professionally for the interview (even if it is on zoom) and if in doubt it is better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed. I made sure that I was dressed smartly and punctual to my interviews to show my professionalism. Arriving late for an interview can create a negative impression and so always plan your route prior and arrive at least ten minutes early. This buffer time will allow you to relax and collect your thoughts before the interview starts. Once it starts, remember to smile, maintain eye contact, and engage in the conversation throughout. Expressing genuine enthusiasm for both the role and the company can set you apart from your competition. At the end of the interview, you’ll likely be asked if you have any questions. Prepare a few thoughtful questions that demonstrate your interests, whether this is about the culture, expectations of the role etc. This will all actively demonstrate your eagerness to contribute to the workplace.

The interview process is a crucial step in securing apprenticeships and early career opportunities. But remember, they know you have only just left school and do not expect you to have the same experiences and knowledge that someone who has been working for years might have. As a student, you have the potential to shine by researching the company, understanding the role, and practicing your responses. Practice really does make perfect. By applying these tips, you will be well prepared for that interview. Good luck!

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