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Author Topic: What do I tell the judge?  (Read 941 times)

BrightSpot

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What do I tell the judge?
« on: January 28, 2008, 08:30:34 PM »
I have an interview with a fedral judge tomoroow morning and I totally don't know what to tell him. I mean, what if he says "so why do you think I should choose you as a intern"?

Im totally freaking out...

smujd2007

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Re: What do I tell the judge?
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2008, 09:25:31 PM »
Make a list of all the great things about yourself.  Make a list of things that may be weaknesses, and figure out how to approach them if they come up. Also, be able to answer the "Tell me a little about yourself." question as well.  Those two are popular.  Knowing those answers (memorize about 3 things you want to say for each one) will make you feel more confident almost immediately.   

Make sure you can answer the question:  Why should I hire you as an intern?  Talk about your experiences, your desires, and what skills and interests you have that will actually benefit the judge. You are selling yourself.  Don't forget that.

Make sure you have everything ready to go before you go to bed tonight.  Clothes, directions, etc.  Having to rush or running late will make you even more nervous.

At the end of the day, everyone gets nervous before interviews.  The key is not to let your nerves keep you from showing the interviewer how great you are. 

Hope this helps. 

Good luck. 

smujd2007 is now an Attorney at Law!

Peaches

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Re: What do I tell the judge?
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2008, 11:43:02 PM »
Don't make a list of your weaknesses.  If anyone asks you such a stupid question, just get up and walk out.

If asked why you should be selected, give a surprising and memorable answer. 

smujd2007

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Re: What do I tell the judge?
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2008, 11:48:15 PM »
Take it from someone who has been on interviews where this question was asked and got hired.  You need to be prepared with at least one weakness, and be able to spin it in a positive light. It is a common interview question.  And walking out makes no sense.  You will be asked things that you don't think are relevant all the time.  It doesn't matter if you think it is stupid. You have to answer if you are asked.  And if you say you don't have any weaknesses, you appear to be arrogant.
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jacy85

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Re: What do I tell the judge?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2008, 07:26:26 AM »
Don't make a list of your weaknesses.  If anyone asks you such a stupid question, just get up and walk out.
 

Yup, perfectly rational to throw away a good job opportunity because of one lame interview question.  ::)

I agree w/ what smujd said; just don't pick the weaknesses that everyone uses and are completely fake and transparent, like, "I'm such a perfectionist, I get caught up in my work and work too hard."  Make sure to think critically about what your strengths and weaknesses are.

I also think it's a good idea to think of what you're good at ("I'm a good writer, I have strong research skills") and back them up with actual experience.  Having an experience or award or whatever to discuss make what you're saying more concrete, and removes any risk that you sound like you're bragging.

Also, don't tell the judge why you want to work for him.  Every judges believes everyone would die for a change to work for them, so when you walk into the interview, many will think that this is your #1 opportunity.  They know you want to work for them; they now want to know why they should want you to work for them.

Peaches

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Re: What do I tell the judge?
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2008, 08:11:45 AM »
I was joking, obviously, although I'd think less of an interviewer who asked that question.  I wasn't asked that question from any firm, and the associates at two career panels with top firms all said they never ask that question because it's a stupid question.

The biggest complaint from interviewers at the panels was that students come in with a list of things they'd planned on saying and try to make sure they get through the list.  Everyone I interviewed with seemed like they were mainly in seeing if you are good at conversation and quick on your feet.  I didn't really talk about the law much or my resume much.  My biggest suggestion is to research your interviewers so you know the things they're interested in.

smujd2007

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Re: What do I tell the judge?
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2008, 09:06:11 AM »
This person said they were interviewing with a federal judge, not a firm.  Everything is not about what a firm would ask or do. Legal jobs are different, so interviewers in different areas ask different kinds of questions. There is life outside of the law firm track. 

Of course, you don't want to be prepared to the point where you sound over reahearsed.  But preparation is the key to confidence, for some.  I would agree with Peaches, too, that researching your interviewer is a must.  And yes, they want to see if you can carry on a conversation, but you are also selling yourself as well. If the interviewers starts talking about client intake, and you have done client intake at 2 different summer clerkships, you are CRAZY if you don't take that opportunity to discuss that with the interviewer, even if its is on your resume. When it is time to make the decision, will the interviewer remember the person who merely smiled and nodded, or the person who was able to relate what they have done in the past to the position they are seeking? Yes, you are having a conversation where you are trying to give as much information, but your underlying goal is to say as much about your education and experience (and how it relates to the job) as possible.   


I was joking, obviously, although I'd think less of an interviewer who asked that question.  I wasn't asked that question from any firm, and the associates at two career panels with top firms all said they never ask that question because it's a stupid question.
The biggest complaint from interviewers at the panels was that students come in with a list of things they'd planned on saying and try to make sure they get through the list.  Everyone I interviewed with seemed like they were mainly in seeing if you are good at conversation and quick on your feet.  I didn't really talk about the law much or my resume much.  My biggest suggestion is to research your interviewers so you know the things they're interested in.
smujd2007 is now an Attorney at Law!

Jumboshrimps

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Re: What do I tell the judge?
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2008, 10:47:05 AM »
My two pesos. . .

I always "wing" job interviews because my nerves cause me to be utterly ineffective if I prepare for them. I think this is due to some deep-felt abhorrence of the need to "sell" myself. Of course, my approach to job interviews would be an irrational approach to the practive of law.

 The results? My interviews with large firms have been failures, interviews with small firms have been passable, and interviews with judges have been resounding successes. I think judges, more than others, are looking for independent thinkers who are not afraid to speak their minds. Assuming that you are an intelligent and reasonably interesting person, my view is that the anxiety caused by interview prep outweighs its potential benefits. The judge just wants to talk to you and get to know you. 

StevePirates

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Re: What do I tell the judge?
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2008, 12:38:30 PM »
The more personally you will work with someone the more important your personality is.
The less personally you will work with someone the more important your "polish" is. (Shoe Polish not the people with the screendoor submarines... well unless you are interviewing at a firm with branches in Poland... then maybe your other kind of polish is important.)

For a judge, look them up, see what they care about.  Come up with a few conversation starters based on that.

Why should they hire you?  Because you are talented and hard working and you care about [judge's pet philosophy].