Used to be that an interview was a formality – you went in, looked good, answered some preliminary questions, and figured out when your start date was going to be. But that’s all changed.
In these times, the interview is often the make or break part of the hiring process.
A good interview can springboard you to employment, and a bad one can leave you as just another unhappy applicant.
Because of the stakes, it’s important to know what you’re in for when you go.
There are many articles out there about what you should be doing, but there aren’t that many out there about what you shouldn’t be doing, particularly when it comes to interviewing for a lawyer position, so I thought I’d write one.
The One Mistake You Should Never Make in a Law Firm Interview is Being Unprepared
There, I said it. And it’s true. You should never be unprepared. You should be ready for anything and be prepared to answer any question that comes your way. You know why? If you aren’t – there will be someone that is, and you will be the loser when that happens.
I have interviewed for many jobs over the years, and thankfully not many of them were the type where they do the “behavioral” interview (I’m a DUI attorney – we like to keep things straight forward). That helped some, because I could anticipate the questions to be asked and have an answer, and that’s exactly what you should do.
But it doesn’t always go smoothly. Thankfully for me, this story isn’t about me, but it is true. There was someone I know very well interviewing for a DUI attorney position.
This person had pretty good experience, pretty good credentials, but like every other job out there, had serious competition. At the end of the interview the interviewer asked “so why should I pick you over the other people – give me your closing argument.”
The person totally froze up, said “my birthday is coming up and it would be a nice gift,” and left it at that. Needless to say, they were not hired by the DUI defense firm, and they (hopefully) have a great answer for that question now.
How to Ace Your Next Interview
How can you avoid making this mistake? It’s easy, really – you just need to prepare, and prepare some more, until you can’t do it anymore.
What I used to do before every interview was first, scour the internet and write down any questions I could find that I thought might be asked (and some that might not). Then I went through those questions and answered them all.
Then, finally, I had someone practice interviewing with me – and they had the opportunity to ask any questions they wanted – and I recorded it. By the time that process was over I was ready to crush it.
Don’t make the mistake of being under prepared. That’s one you can’t talk your way out of.
C Small is a writer for lawyer reviews online, a lawyer blog about what life is really like as an attorney (it’s not all it’s cracked up to be). If you want more information on life as an attorney, come check us out.
More Interview Tips
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Job interview tips: Common mistakes to avoid – Northwest Cable News – by Katherine Cook PORTLAND — It’s time for your job interview. You know what to do, but what about what not to do? “There are certain “don’ts” that you should also remember….
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