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Preparation



Check chamber’s website for information on the pupillage selection and assessment process. Additional information

may frequently be found at www.chambersstudent.co.uk

Know every detail of your application form and ensure you have thoroughly researched the set

Have a comprehensive understanding of any cases you referred to in your pupillage application; know the judgments

in detail and have an opinion of your own

Have a comprehensive understanding of any cases you referred to in your pupillage application; know the judgments

in detail and have an opinion of your own

Be up-to-date with legal developments and issues facing the Bar

Select the four or five main strengths of your candidature. Do not leave the interview room without having

to perform well and thatsecure that pupillage

Verbal Communication

Be polite and keep a reasonably even tone to your speech, but ensure you are both interesting and compelling in your

verbal presentation – be memorable for the right reasons

Do not rush – ensure your answers are unhurried and engaging

Speak clearly – do not mumble and do not use fillers – um, uh, er, ah, like, okay, right, you know

Do feel able to pause to consider a question before answering; if you need more than several seconds simply say ‘I’d

like to take a moment to consider your question’

Anecdotes are particularly memorable, and presenting several of these in response to questions from the panel will

help you stand out from your peers

Ensure your answers are logical and well-ordered

Stay calm even when challenged with an awkward or difficult question. Again, feel able to take time before you

answer

Do not laugh unless the interviewer does so. Making jokes is a perilous activity

If you are asked to argue an ethical dilemma or artificial scenario or legal problem, understand that the panel wishes

to evaluate your skills in analysing information, presenting an argument and, if necessary, adjusting your position.

Ensure your analysis is comprehensive. Do not be afraid to defend your position, but be prepared to fully consider

additional information from the panel, and adjust your argument if you believe it is appropriate to do so

If you do not know the law in relation to a technical legal problem, do not pretend to. Admit your ignorance, but offer

the panel some constructive comments as to how the issue might be approached, clearly demonstrating both your

analytical and advocacy skills

If you do know the law, ensure you apply it to the problem – offer the type of practical advice a client would wish to

receive. If you are challenged by the panel, again, do not be afraid to defend your position, but be prepared to fully

consider additional information, and adjust your argument if you believe it is appropriate to do so, particularly if you

understand you have gone wrong

Do not talk incessantly; when you have finished answering the question, stop talking

Have a good question to ask at the end of the interview, but make it pertinent to your application and chambers.

Do not ask questions for the sake of it and do not ask for information which is readily available on chambers’

website

Ensure you have practised making a bail application and a plea in mitigation, common tests of advocacy skills

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And remember…

•The panel wishes to determine whether you have not only the ability to make a good barrister but also the personal qualities of an interesting colleague who will be enjoyable to work alongside

•Aim to be comfortable, confident, inspiring and likeable

•Try to enjoy your interview – it is an interview panel, but comprised of fellow human beings who have previously experienced what it is like to be on your side of the table

Nonverbal Communication

•Dress for court – freshly dry-cleaned dark suit, freshly laundered shirt/ blouse, polished shoes. No ostentatious jewellery or exuberant ties – nothing overly distracting. Subtly fragranced or no aftershave or perfume

•Arrive 15 minutes or so before your interview; avoid being late so you do not appear stressed when entering the interview room. Bear in mind that not all chambers are easy to access, so allow time to find the venue

•Be courteous to everyone you encounter; clerks and reception staff may be asked for their opinions

•Upon entering the interview room, shake hands with each member of the interview panel

•Do not slouch and do not lean back. Keep your feet on the floor and your back against the lower back of the chair

•Find a place where you can rest your arms, either on an arm of the chair or on your lap. Avoid flamboyant gesticulation

•If you wish to alter your position for comfort, lean forward a little towards the interviewer when asked a question; you will appear interested and engaged

•Listen attentively and do not interrupt when the interviewer is talking

•When asked a question, initially make eye contact with the interviewer, and then survey the rest of the panel whilst answering; do not stare

Pointers for interview...

PUPILLAGE INTERVIEW SERVICES

For information on pupillage interview coaching, please contact Julian McCombe on:

07971 119 390

or by email at: enquiries@qcappointments.co.uk

Preparation



Check chambers’ website for information on the pupillage selection and assessment process. Additional information

may be found at www.chambersstudent.co.uk

Know every detail of your application form and ensure you have thoroughly researched the set

Have a comprehensive understanding of any cases you referred to in your pupillage application; know the judgments

in detail and have an opinion of your own

Be up-to-date with legal developments and issues facing the Bar

Select the four or five main strengths of your candidature. Do not leave the interview room without having

communicated all of them. They should be covered in the course of the interview but, if not, use the opportunity at

the end of the interview to mention these key aspects

Tell yourself that you are going to perform well and that you will secure that pupillage

Verbal Communication

Be polite and keep a reasonably even tone to your speech, but ensure you are both interesting and compelling in your

verbal presentation – be memorable for the right reasons

Do not rush – ensure your answers are unhurried and engaging

Speak clearly – do not mumble and do not use fillers – um, uh, er, ah, like, okay, right, you know

Do feel able to pause to consider a question before answering; if you need more than several seconds simply say ‘I’d

like to take a moment to consider your question’

Anecdotes are particularly memorable, and presenting several of these in response to questions from the panel will

help you stand out from your peers

Ensure your answers are logical and well-ordered

Stay calm even when challenged with an awkward or difficult question. Again, feel able to take time before you

answer

Do not laugh unless the interviewer does so. Making jokes is a perilous activity

If you are asked to argue an ethical dilemma or artificial scenario or legal problem, understand that the panel wishes

to evaluate your skills in analysing information, presenting an argument and, if necessary, adjusting your position.

Ensure your analysis is comprehensive. Do not be afraid to defend your position, but be prepared to fully consider

additional information from the panel, and adjust your argument if you believe it is appropriate to do so

If you do not know the law in relation to a technical legal problem, do not pretend to. Admit your ignorance, but offer

the panel some constructive comments as to how the issue might be approached, clearly demonstrating both your

analytical and advocacy skills

If you do know the law, ensure you apply it to the problem – offer the type of practical advice a client would wish to

receive. If you are challenged by the panel, again, do not be afraid to defend your position, but be prepared to fully

consider additional information, and adjust your argument if you believe it is appropriate to do so. This is particularly

the case if you understand you have gone wrong

Do not talk incessantly; when you have finished answering the question, stop talking

Have a good question to ask at the end of the interview, but make it pertinent to your application and chambers.

Do not ask questions for the sake of it and do not ask for information which is readily available on chambers’

website

Ensure you have practised making a bail application and a plea in mitigation, common tests of advocacy skills

Nonverbal Communication

Dress for court – freshly dry-cleaned dark suit, freshly laundered shirt/ blouse, polished shoes. No ostentatious

jewellery or exuberant ties – nothing overly distracting. Subtly fragranced or no aftershave or perfume

Arrive 15 minutes or so before your interview; avoid being late so you do not appear stressed when entering the

interview room. Bear in mind that not all chambers are easily accessed, so allow time to find the venue

Be courteous to everyone you encounter; clerks and reception staff may be asked for their opinions

Upon entering the interview room, shake hands with each member of the interview panel

Do not slouch and do not lean back. Keep your feet on the floor and your back against the lower back of the chair

Find a place where you can rest your arms, either on an arm of the chair or on your lap. Avoid flamboyant

gesticulation

If you wish to alter your position for comfort, lean forward a little towards the interviewer when asked a question;

you will appear interested and engaged

Listen attentively and do not interrupt when the interviewer is talking

When asked a question, initially make eye contact with the interviewer, and then survey the rest of the panel whilst

answering; do not stare

And remember…

The panel wishes to determine whether you have not only the ability to make a good barrister but also the personal

qualities of an interesting colleague who will be enjoyable to work alongside

Aim to be comfortable, confident, inspiring and likeable

Try to enjoy your interview – it is an interview panel, but comprised of fellow human beings who have previously

experienced what it is like to be on your side of the table!