Tips for a successful pupillage interview

Have you submitted carefully crafted applications in the hope of being invited for a pupillage interview? As you anxiously wait for you invitations, keep these 5 tips in mind as you prepare:

1. Congratulate yourself

First of all, know that being invited for a pupillage interview is a notable achievement in itself, so don’t forget to acknowledge this. As you prepare for the big day(s), make a mental note of the qualities chambers will look for in prospective pupils. Interviewers are interested in your ability to grasp complex information as well as advocacy and presentation skills. They also want to see your ability to present clear and concise logical arguments in a self-assured way. Additionally, chambers will assess your drive, determination and interpersonal skills as barristers have to get along with solicitors, lay clients, colleagues and judges. These qualities will be tested throughout the interview as interviewers will assess what you say and how you say it too.

2.What to expect

The interview procedures of chambers differ, however, most selection processes will include a practical exercise and two rounds of interviews. The former will most likely be based around legal problems and you usually get limited notice or preparation time, i.e. 20-60 minutes before the interview. The first round of interviews is often quite short and focused on a specific skill like advocacy, which is why it is important you stand out. The second interview is more in-depth. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself sat before a panel of four or even five interviewers, especially for the second round.

3. How to stand out

One of the easiest but most important ways to prepare is keeping up with current affairs. So, read and watch different news outlets everyday whilst keeping up to date with top of legal news and changes affecting the areas you’re hoping to specialise in. Questions relating to controversial or ethnical issues are quite common at interview, so don’t be caught off guard and be prepared to stand your ground. There is not always a right answer and interviewers will be genuinely interested in your opinions. Good publications and websites include The Lawyer and Legal Week, and you should also check Twitter and blogs from legal commentators.

4. Research and re-read

You should also be aware of changes affecting the regulation of the profession, which you’ll be able to read up on in publications by the Bar Standards Board. It is also important you read your application form before your interview. Be prepared to answer any questions about what you have included and go into further detail as chambers will be put off by vague and unclear answers. If your application states that you speak a foreign language, for example, don’t be surprised if you’re quizzed on it! In terms of the practical exercise, be prepared to be both interrupted and challenged whilst you present your argument. Chambers may test how you cope under pressure, so it is important you react positively and stick to your point.

5. Prepare questions you can ask

Lastly, when asked if you have any questions, use this as an opportunity to reiterate your enthusiasm and ask about the work you might be involved in. Make sure you don’t ask questions you should know the answer to, so read up on the information the chambers provided on their websites carefully.

How we can help

At Über Tutors we can help you practice, practice, practice, which is the most important thing you’ll need to do at this point. Our interview preparation is in high demand and our service has proven to be a priceless investment as we have had great success in students securing their pupillage. So, get in touch today at 02030867311 or We would be delighted to help you gain the necessary skills it takes to ace your pupillage interview.