How to Succeed and Stand Out on an Assessment Day
With our 2015 Trainee Solicitor Assessment Day now only a month away, our current trainee, Giulia Sinibaldi, offers her tips and guidance for this year’s candidates.
Any assessment day/interview situation can be really nerve-wracking and stressful. Having only ever attended one other assessment day I did not know what to expect from Lennons. I did however acknowledge that this was my last chance to impress the firm and show my potential. Having survived last year’s assessment day and become the firm’s newest trainee this is my advice on how to succeed on your assessment day.
The best way to stand out from other candidates is not only to act confident but to bring value to group discussions. The best candidates make thoughtful and informed comments and can control a discussion. Confidence is key but a candidate must ensure that they are not overbearing or talking over other people. The ability to listen and to take into account the ideas of others are key skills for any future trainee.
It is often tempting to take over a conversation. However it shows good character and awareness to encourage quieter candidates to contribute their ideas to the discussion.
Don’t be Afraid!
It is sometimes difficult to be the first person to speak on a task and candidates can often be apprehensive in case they have interpreted the instructions differently to the group. Be bold and have an opinion. If you need clarification, just ask – chances are others are wanting the same explanation as you.
Detail is Key
Ensure that you thoroughly read the task given to you. Make sure that you understand the objectives of the presentation – write down what your presentation is aiming to achieve.
Engage your Audience
Present in a way that makes you memorable – the aim of the presentation is not to talk at your audience but to engage them. Think about how you can engage your audience based on the type of presentation you are giving. Don’t be afraid to use the room and your audience. This is your time to show the recruiter your personality and creativity.
Show respect to the other candidates and listen to their presentations. The ability to concentrate and show genuine interest in other people’s ideas will demonstrate maturity and awareness.
Everybody knows that to make a good impression you should dress smartly and present yourself well. Despite this common knowledge there are still candidates who fall below this standard. As a future lawyer you are entering a profession that is client based and the ability to dress smartly is key in securing your client’s confidence. Present yourself as the lawyer your recruiter wants to hire.
In an increasingly competitive job market your personality will help set you apart from the competition so don’t be afraid to show the recruiter the real you. It is always refreshing to see people express themselves differently and come up with creative ideas. The idea of an assessment day is to show the recruiter the best version of you – you have one chance, so take it!
During the assessment day you may notice other members of staff in the building. It is always good to acknowledge them and be courteous. Remember every member of staff’s contribution to a firm is valuable and their opinion matters. Make sure their opinion of you is a positive one.
It is good to be nervous – it shows that you are hungry for the opportunity. If you do not show your recruiter how much you want the job there will be someone else who will. Do not let your nerves get the better of you – try to relax and compose yourself before the day begins. Take the time to get up to date with developments in the news and any topical legal issues. Lastly, enjoy the experience, no matter what the outcome you will undoubtedly come away from the day having learnt something.
I wish you all the best of luck.