Practice interviewing to identify strengths and weaknesses
There is a noticable difference in those who participate in practice/mock interviews and those who don't.
- Avoid appearing excessively nervous or unnatural
- Avoid talking too fast or too slow
- Don't give answers that are too long or detailed
- Project confidence vs. arrogance
Applicants who do not know basic information about the firm indicate that they are not very interested in the firm.
- Web sites contain a great deal of information about law firms and other employers
- Find out who has worked at that firm as a summer clerk or intern and ask them questions
If you do not have the names of the people who will be interviewing you, see if the firm's website identifies the member of their hiring committee.
- Get their name(s) right
- Research them. What are their areas of practice? What activities or hobbies do they have? If they are trial attorneys, find out cases they are involved with by researching them on Westlaw or Lexis
- What would you like this job to have? (practice areas, time requirements, flexible schedules, personalities, mentoring, methods for getting feedback, prospects for long term employment)
- Does this firm do that or have that?
- The best questions show that you have researched the organization and get the interviewer to talk
- Do not pad your resume with activities or accomplishments that you cannot back up
- Hobbies and interests, etc., should be something that you can talk about with passion
Turn your cell phone off
Bring extra copies of your resume
Bring a pad of paper and pen
Be on time --Know where your interview will take place and where to park
Do not badmouth prior employers, other interviewers, or other law firms
Questions you must be prepared to answer
Do not memorize answers to expected questions, or at least do not give the impression that you have memorized the answers.
- Tell me about yourself
- Why are you interested in our firm/organization?
- What are your career goals?
- Where do you see yourself in 5/10/25 years?
- Why did you decide to go to law school?
- What is your greatest weakness?
- What is your greatest strength?
- What has been your favorite class in law school?
- Any question the employer may ask
Keep in mind that the interview is a dialogue, not just an interrogation.
(Handout from presentation given 8/31/2010)