Interview tips for legal board jobs
18th June 2014
When it comes to applying for jobs at a high up board level, you may think that your legal career thus far has prepared you for such an event. While first hand industry knowledge and even experience with the company in question may put you in good stead for securing a board role, it pays to prepare beforehand.
This guide will offer advice and interview tips specifically designed to help at board job level where general counsel and company secretary jobs and lower level in-house positions differ in terms of preparing for an interview.
One of the most important factors of doing well in a board-level legal interview is knowing the company. Even if you have worked for the company before it is vital to ensure that you know how they work and what their aims are inside and out.
As a company secretary or general counsel you will be responsible for the corporate, commercial and strategic growth of the business, and this is something the company you are interviewing with will want to know how you can make a change for the better unique to them. So do your research- find out where the company could be making better decisions and work out what you can do for them.
Much like working out what it is that you, your skills and experience can do for the company, the interviewer will want to know about you individually and why they should hire you for such a position. Sitting in an in-house counsel setting even trainee solicitor jobs will require a certain personal outlook so it is important to sell yourself and your personal views on what the company could and should be doing to improve their offering during the interview.
One of the most important interview tips at this level in your legal career is to think about what they are going to ask you. So consider the following about yourself and what you want to get out of the role before the interview:
- Why should this particular company hire you?
Here you should think of examples that you can use to demonstrate certain skills that this company will want. Examples of leadership and positive decision making are vital at this stage.
- What are your weaknesses?
This always seems like a trick question but it is actually equally important to the interviewer as your strengths, so think carefully. The answer to this question will be completely different to that of lower positions you may have applied for in the past, as general counsel and legal company secretary roles are all about leadership so your weaknesses should reflect that you can admit when you have gone wrong and know how to rectify this in the future.
- What makes you a good fit?
Just like any other role, the company will want to know why you would make a good fit for them. Consider location as well as the company and their values as relocation can often be a significant consideration by the interviewer.
When it comes to the interview itself, interview tips are simple- give the best impression of yourself that you possibly can. The impression you give, from your body language to how you explain yourself can be equal to the qualifications that the interviewer has laid out in front of them so be sure not to panic. Explain yourself clearly and professionally and show them how you would fit into such a position of leadership.
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