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Author Topic: Interview tips you wish you knew before you went!  (Read 6734 times)

LubedPumpkin

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Interview tips you wish you knew before you went!
« on: February 27, 2007, 01:24:35 PM »
I've been lucky to garner a few interviews even though I'm just skirting the edge of the top third of my class. I've had one rejection, and two more coming up. I've read through the career center pamphlets on interviewing but I feel like I can do better, I'm just not sure how.  Any tips?  ???
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Ronald Hyatt

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Re: Interview tips you wish you knew before you went!
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2007, 02:04:33 PM »
Style:
Be yourself, be relaxed, and be friendly.

Content:
Interviewing is very similar to an oral argument. Go in prepared with a rough outline of about five things you would like to discuss. Tailor these topics to the firm. The key is to bridge things from your past experiences with things that the firm does or qualities the firm has. This way it doesn't seem forced, but they are still learning about you, and they are learning precisely why you would be a good fit with their firm. For instance, you are interviewing at a large firm. You can talk about how you grew up in a small town and went to a small high school, and then when you went to college at such a large university, you learned just how many more opportunities it could offer you. Blah, blah, blah.

It is equally important not to be rigid with your agenda. Again, like an oral argument, you gotta be ready to roll with the punches and go where the interviewer takes you. If you can take their question and tie it back into one of the topics you wanted to discuss, then you are doing great! If they want to take it somewhere else, don't worry about it. If they just want to talk about themselves the whole time, that's okay too. Just seem interested in what they have to say, and when you get a word in edgewise, try to make it count. For instance, "It is funny that you should say that. I have had similar experiences in my past... blah, blah, blah."

Finally, be prepared to ask questions. Every interviewer will expect you to have questions, and you look like a dumbass if you don't know enough about to firm to know what to ask. I found this particularly difficult after like the 6th interview on a callback, especially when I had already asked my questions of previous interviewers. On callbacks, take notice of the seniority of the person interviewing you. For instance, if you are talking to a first or second year associate, it is probably okay to ask something like "How hard is it really the first couple of years?" or "What kinds of significant responsibilities have you been given as a young associate?" When interviewing with a mid-level or senior associate, ask about the firm's partnership track, competitiveness, and quality of life. When you are interviewing with a partner, you should ask more strategic questions about the firm's philosophy, and direction.
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brewha

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Re: Interview tips you wish you knew before you went!
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2007, 08:20:55 AM »
I've been lucky to garner a few interviews even though I'm just skirting the edge of the top third of my class. I've had one rejection, and two more coming up. I've read through the career center pamphlets on interviewing but I feel like I can do better, I'm just not sure how.  Any tips?  ???



Don't go in the interview smelling of scotch.
pudding is delightful

Jumboshrimps

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Re: Interview tips you wish you knew before you went!
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2007, 08:57:42 AM »
Wear pants.

brewha

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pudding is delightful

LubedPumpkin

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Re: Interview tips you wish you knew before you went!
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2007, 12:54:38 AM »
Thanks so much for your tips, Ron. Greatly appreciated!

The hardest part, I think, is trying to make it seem like I really want the job. I'll be honest - I applied for everything under the sun, and I've been lucky to pull a few interviews out of it. But, let me tell you, it's really, really hard to convince myself that I want to work for the DMV or for an ambulance chasing firm (even if the $$ is good)!

Thanks again. Hopefully the next two interviews will be better than my first!
'pumpkin
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LawLady

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Re: Interview tips you wish you knew before you went!
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2007, 12:57:56 AM »
The one thing I have a problem with is the general question, "tell me about yourself."

I ended up having to practice the "legal aid" and "gov't lawyer" versions of this in front of a mirror until I got "my story" down pat.  It really helps to practice this particular answer because having to pause before answering is really lame.

Chibundu

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Re: Interview tips you wish you knew before you went!
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2007, 11:54:57 PM »
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Dr. Balsenschaft

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Re: Interview tips you wish you knew before you went!
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2007, 12:28:02 AM »
I hate the question, "What are your weaknesses?" I always want to punch the interviewer in the face whenever I hear that one. What a lame question. That's like being asked at an oral argument, "So, why should we rule in favor of your opponent?" Regardless, you should be prepared to answer that one because punching the interviewer in the face is not acceptable.

vaplaugh

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Re: Interview tips you wish you knew before you went!
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2007, 09:41:59 AM »
Be sure you have a good answer to "What will you bring to our organization?"  It's another one of those BS interview questions that some people still like to ask (along with the aforementioend "Name your weaknesses").

Most interviews I've had were more like pleasant conversations than interviews.  They go along the lines of "Oh, I see you worked here-or-there, tell me about what you did," or "That's an impressive award; how did you qualify, or why did you win it?"  (I'm a 0L, but all my post-undergrad work experience has been in the legal field, so all my interviews have been conducted by attorneys).