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Making an impression

Making an impression

This month our experts focus on how to make a great first impression, offering advice as well as helpful hints and tips about how to prepare and keep your cool both in and ahead of that all-important interview. 

We've all been there; our brain tells us that we're nervous so the body gives us a nice boost of adrenalin – accompanied by that awful sick feeling. You can either allow the adrenalin to get the better of you, or harness it to deliver a great performance. One of the biggest tips I tell people is to convince yourself that this surge of adrenalin is excitement. Visualisation can be a great tool when overcoming nerves. Tell yourself all the reasons you have to be excited about this interview and visualise achieving the result you want.

An interview is an opportunity for your interviewers to get to know you and your motivations for pursuing a career in law. As a result, we would always advise that a candidate should be prepared to speak about 80% of the time on topics such as their studies, interests and their reasons for applying to Norton Rose Fulbright.

Interviews are a two way process – they give both the firm and the candidate a chance to discover if they are a good match for each other. Therefore you really do need to do a lot of detailed research into the firm. You cannot rely on the graduate website: look into trainee profiles and 'days in the life of' to decipher culture and the reality of life at the firm; look at transactions and news stories to ensure you're up to date with the latest work and awards the firm is involved in and also pay attention to some facts and figures – don't name drop these but get them right, as it's embarrassing to get the basics wrong with any names or dates you might wish to mention!

Ahead of an interview it is important that you undertake thorough research not only into the firm that you have applied to, but also into yourself.

You should have already researched a firm ahead of submitting an application, and so the next step is to take this research further allowing you to deepen your knowledge and understanding. Really think about why you chose to apply to that firm – is there a particular practice area that you are interested in, did any deals really grab your attention or are you particularly drawn to any training initiatives that you have read about?