9 Interview Types in the Legal World

Posted on 5/5/2020 by Paula Pawlowska

You've decided that you want to move. You get your priorities in order. You perfect your CV, and you get an interview request. 

There are nine different types of interviews that you are likely to come across during your legal career. Below, we explain a little more about each one and how to best prepare. 

CV-based interview

It is a face to face interview with a hiring manager. Discuss your CV chronologically, explaining your duties at previous roles as well as billings and workload. Know your CV inside out, comfortably address any gaps in your resume as well as your reasons for moving.

Phone interview

They are generally shorter than face to face interviews and will often be the first stage of the process. Hiring managers will often opt for a phone conversation to save time or when it is challenging to meet face to face. Make sure you're in a comfortable, noise-free environment during your phone conversation - it will help to ease up your nerves.

Video interview

The video interview format is going to be increasingly popular after the pandemic. To best prepare, you will need to download and get used to the required software before your meeting, ensure you're in a well-lit space and that your internet connection is strong to avoid any disruptions. . 


Casual and relaxed format - it will often be an introductory chat which will give you a chance to get a feel for the firm informally. Think of it as a two-way exploratory conversation. Do your due-diligence before so you're best positioned to have a constructive chat. We discussed its benefits here.

Panel interview

It is conducted by at least two interviewers who will be the decision-makers at the firm: partners, the HR team and senior solicitors. Panel interviews will shorten the process by having everyone meet on one occasion and will allow you to find out more about the internal structure of the firm as well as the specific department you're applying to join.

Technical interview

Used as an accompaniment to the CV-based interview, this part of the meeting will be focused on your hard skills, including document drafting, analysing legal documents or knowledge of case management systems. Full-service, national firms such as Mills & Reeve use technical interviews in all areas of law. Tip: It is a good idea to dust off your old LPC books; they may come in handy when you get presented with a problem question!

Competency test

This format will test your soft skills: communication, leadership and flexibility. It may include completing a pre-assigned task that you will have to present and discuss in the meeting.

Group assessment

This assessment will test your teamwork and presentation skills through timed group projects. You will be in a room with other job seekers, and you must stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons. Law firms often use them during training contract applications or for paralegal jobs. 

Meet the Team 

Likely to occur at the final stage where you will have the chance to meet other employees from the department and find out more about who you will be working with. This is your opportunity to find out more about what the team does outside of the office, which charities they support and where their Christmas parties are!

Want to discuss? 

At Realm, we'll work closely with you to develop your career, providing advice and guidance to help you get to where you want to be.

For a confidential chat, get in touch with us today. Call our legal recruitment consultants on 03300 245 606 or visit our website to see our latest legal vacancies in private client, personal injury, property and family law.


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