Legal Trainee Scheme: Video Interview Guide

CPS Legal Trainee Scheme

Are you preparing for a Legal Trainee Scheme video interview?  The video interview helps to assess a candidate’s suitability and motivation for the role. To help you prepare for your video interview, we have compiled a list of top tips.

Don’t read too much
It’s important to make notes, but try to use bullet points and key words to remind yourself what you want to say. If you write in full sentences, you may find that you come across like you’re reading a script. If you write your notes in full sentences, be sure to look up at the camera regularly to maintain eye contact.

Don’t look down
If reading from notes, be sure not to look down too much. Some candidates have found it useful to place their notes behind or beside their recording device, facing themselves, to ensure that they are looking up all, if not most, of the time

Dress the part
You’re interviewing to be a court advocate. Wear a suit. It’s easier to persuade someone you can be a court advocate when you look the part. You will never be criticised for looking ‘too smart’.

Practice in the mirror or with someone
Try to practice as though it were a real face to face interview and you are talking directly to a panel. This will help you to achieve a more conversational style.

Be yourself
Try to be relaxed, smile where appropriate and be yourself. Let your personality and passion come through.

Lighting and background
Film in front of a well lit, neutral background – make sure there is nothing behind you that could distract the viewer from what you’re saying.

Sit up straight
It may sound silly, but don’t film the video lying down, leaning on your hand or standing up; these can all be very distracting.

Don’t sit too close to the camera
Practice with the camera on your phone or device to make sure that your face is in the frame, but not too close.

Pace and volume of your speech
Talk slowly and calmly – it is important to get your points across, but not to rush your way through as it can be difficult to understand. Also don’t talk too loudly!

Avoid “ummmm” or fillers
Try to avoid saying ‘ummmm’ in between your words and sentences. And try not to keep repeating fillers such as ‘it’s kind of like’ or ‘you know’. It’s ok and in fact good to have short, silent pauses in between what you are saying.

Stick to the time limits
Try to fill the time but do not go over the limit. Not only will you be cut off but it will show that you can’t follow instructions. It’s important as an advocate to follow the instructions given to you.

Refer to CPS Values
Tie your examples to CPS values and the CPS 2025 Strategy. References to being independent and fair, increasing public confidence, supporting victims and witnesses will help you stand out.

Make it personal
You may like advocacy and have a passion for the law. These are important but may not make you stand out. What is it that makes you personally driven towards a career in criminal justice? This will make you memorable and add sincerity to your answers if you can highlight some personal links.

Be confident
If you believe in yourself it’s easier for others to believe in you too. You have all worked extremely hard for this and have the potential to be great lawyers. Whether you have to repeat personal affirmations to yourself or take a moment to reflect on your journey or your skills, remind yourself that you can do this.

For more information on applying to the scheme, see the Legal Trainee Scheme – How to apply and more info page.

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  1. Pingback: CPS Legal Trainee Scheme - How to Apply and More Info - A Crown Prosecution Service staff network

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