Failing to research a firm before a job interview
in Careers Advice, Interviews

Failing to research a firm before a job interview

One piece of key advice we regularly give candidates who attend interviews we have arranged is to make sure you have thoroughly researched the background and business of any company or organisation you go for an interview with.

A rule of thumb to work to is the investment of at least an hour reading all about a potential employer online in lots of detail prior to an interview. We think that you put yourself at a major disadvantage if you do not invest your time.

Recent Example

Take a recent interview we arranged for a senior corporate commercial solicitor with a firm. On paper he was an extremely good fit with the right sector experience, the sort of background the firm liked and he certainly talked the talk.

Unfortunately prior to the interview our chosen one managed to fail at the first hurdle. He did no research at all whatsoever on the firm. In fact when asked during the interview to give an overview of the firm and work, the candidate told the firm that actually he hadn’t done any research at all into the background and would it be possible for the firm to give them an overview of their firm’s practice areas, types of work and business please.

I suspect you can guess the effect this approach had on the firm, who fed back afterwards to say that although they liked the candidate and thought they were very competent they simply could not entertain the idea of working with someone who couldn’t even be bothered to go and have a look at who they were prior to a job interview. They thought this probably reflected on the candidate’s work ethic.

We have been in recruitment for a good number of years and this has to be one of the daftest actions of a candidate attending a job interview we have ever seen, particularly for someone so senior who really ought to have known better. In any event the failure to do any research basically resulted in their application getting rejected even though the firm thought they were a very strong candidate for the role.


Our advice is that before every job interview you ever do you take at least an hour to go and read through the information on the firm’s own website, the SRA site, the Law Society directory site, look at their social media, see whether there are any newsletters, and do a Google search of the firm’s name online to see what comes up. If the firm is an LLP or limited company you can also visit the Companies House website and get an idea of their structure. Failing to do research will almost certainly result in rejection..

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 20 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at You can contact Jonathan at