Interview Rejection: Handling Rejection From The Law Firm You Wanted To Work For
- February 22, 2022
Rejection rarely feels good.
I am sure we can all remember that amazing boy or girl we thought we would be with forever who then unceremoniously dumped us.
On the upside, although being rejected for a role in a firm hurts, it’s rarely personal, unlike Mr or Miss Right, who cuttingly informed us they didn’t feel the same way we did.
Over the years, we have placed thousands of candidates, and the law of averages naturally suggests our clients have rejected many more. In today’s post, we wanted to share insights and ideas on how to bounce back, learn the lesson and move on to something even better.
Managing Your Mind
Our minds are amazing. They keep our body working like clockwork most of the time and enable us to do the most incredible things. For example, inventing technology that allows us to speak to our friends in LA or design our new fitted kitchen online with one click.
All good, although unfortunately, our brains always want to keep us safe and consequently swerve towards the negative more times than the positive, evidenced by the latest neuroscience research.
So, how does this relate to your interview rejection?
Candidates torture themselves when the hiring manager says no, often forgetting the bigger picture. Rejection is regularly blown out of proportion and viewed as a huge sign of failure.
By thinking objectively, you can use the experience to build on your strengths and address development areas, which helps you find the next role and law firm that suits you best.
Being objective, let’s start by asking for feedback to plan your next interview in an informed way.
Ask For Feedback
Always ask for feedback.
It might not be easy to hear, yet it is the best way forward if you want to make improvements.
Ideally, you will receive this from either the hiring manager or your legal recruitment consultant. If you are working with another recruitment consultant, not Clayton Legal, ask for it.
You might be surprised that there isn’t any feedback because the explanation might be as
- another candidate might have additional or relevant skills, or
- worked in the role slightly longer, or
- had gained more experience in a specific sub-sector.
All logical reasons why now wasn’t your time.
On the other hand, maybe there were gaps in your CV that you didn’t explain.
Perhaps the examples you shared were not relevant to the questions asked. Maybe interview nerves got the best of you, and your presentation floundered.
The key here is to use this useful data to hone your approach next time. With practise and focus, all of these areas can be improved.
Plan Your Future
The most common reasons for rejection are lack of technical skill, capability, experience, cultural misalignment and poor interview skills.
Let’s look at each in turn.
Technical skills and experience take application and time. It might be that additional training and self-development are required or looking at a sideways move to gain additional experience before moving upwards.
Cultural misalignment isn’t something you can always predict and in honesty, being turned down is probably a good thing. If you are very friendly, bubbly and enjoy a practical joke, being with a super analytical firm isn’t going to work long term for either of you.
Poor interview skills can be improved. These can range from being more confident, answering questions in detail about the results you have achieved for other law firms and communicating your worth.
It is not uncommon to find out that a candidate hasn’t shared some of their results or specifically how good they are at one part of the role.
Interview skills work both ways, and surprisingly your interview may be carried out by a partner that isn’t experienced in interviewing or remembered to ask you what you can bring to the role.
Always be prepared to answer questions in detail and have your top three results you are proud of that align with the job description you are working to.
Then communicate these achievements during the interview.
Knowing which areas need work is a great opportunity to create your plan, which can be in conjunction with your recruitment consultant.
Here at Clayton Legal, we work with our legal candidates confidentially, often years and months before they are ready to move.
Knowing the goals for their legal career, we can map out a logical approach and next steps. This might include suggesting a sideways move before going for a Head of Practice role or staying put for a year to gain stability and experience that specific law firms are looking for.
Finally, Look For The Gain
Though it isn’t always easy to see, rejections are often good for us. They help us identify what we are missing and do better next time with more knowledge and awareness.As recruitment consultants, it’s not uncommon to see a candidate rejected who, a few months later, gets an even better opportunity; imagine if that could be you?
How Can We Help?
Here at Clayton Legal, we have multiple clients looking for skilled and ambitious candidates like you. For a confidential conversation about your legal career goals and your next move, please get in contact with one of our team here.
About Clayton Legal
Clayton Legal has been partnering with law firms across the country
since 1999 and has built up an enviable reputation for trust and
reliability during that time. We have made over 5,000 placements from
Partners to Legal Executives, Solicitors to Paralegals and Legal I.T.
personnel to Practice Managers.
If you are building your legal team or looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.