4 Must-Know Consultant Interview Tips

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Legal cases have much at stake in terms of money and people’s lives, so attorneys and others in the industry need all the help they can get. Even if a trial lawyer knows his or her case inside and out, he or she can provide stronger representation with guidance from consultants. Some consultants in the industry have law degrees, while others hold advanced degrees in sociology, psychiatry, psychology, or have worked in those career fields.

Whether you are interviewing to obtain a job consulting as a lawyer, or you are seeking the position of trial consultant with a non-legal background, it’s important to pay attention to best practices in general interviewing, as well as for this specific position. When your resume and cover letter have drawn a favorable enough response from a law firm that they invite you to interview face-to-face, you want to leave them undoubtedly impressed with your capabilities. To successfully land that job, follow these four must-know consultant interview tips.

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Consultant Interview Tips

Dress Like a Courtroom Professional: In order to offer guidance to attorneys in and out of the courtroom, you must dress the part. Traditional, professional clothing is a must. If you want to be credible in your consultations, you must be every bit as professionally dressed as others in the industry. Men and women should wear well-tailored suits in conservative colors such as gray or navy. Because the way your suit fits matters more than how much it cost, have yours professionally tailored before the interview. The wrists and shoulders on the jacket should match up to your body. Make sure your jacket is not too snug if you button it up. Shirts should be in white or light blue. Ties should be solid or striped; save the crazy colors and patterns for another time. Black dress shoes or pumps should be worn: no stilettos or strappy styles. When you look serious, you will be taken seriously.

Be a People Person: Consultants are often hired to help attorneys size up people as potential members of the jury, so show your skills in this area. If your background is in psychology, sociology, or psychiatry, you have been educated to fine-tune this skill. By observing individuals’ mannerisms, behaviors, and traits, you can help guide a lawyer to deselect or select potential jurors. Not only must you take in information about age, job, race, religion, marital status, and whether prospective jurors have children, you also ask revealing questions and note personality traits. By assessing this data, you can offer crucial legal advice. To show interviewers your capabilities, be prepared to give specific examples of times you used your interpretive strengths.

Present Your Education or Background: To be hired as a legal consultant, you must have the proper education and/or years of experience. You may be an attorney yourself, or you may have an advanced degree that gives you expertise in human behavior. There’s even a chance that you don’t have graduate degree, but have spent years in a human-behavior or related industry. Be prepared to demonstrate through your coursework, degrees, certification, licenses, or bank of experience why you would be a fit for this job. Think of real-life examples of when you’ve pinpointed personality traits of jurors or others that helped win a case or changed the view of a situation. Concrete stories about your talents are sure to impress your interviewers.

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Spotlight Your Communication Skills: To consult in the legal industry, it’s imperative that you be a great communicator. When answering questions, speak confidently in a clear, strong voice. Be sure to listen carefully to everything that is said during the interview, as well. To be a topnotch communicator, you must be able to project and receive information. In addition to oral and auditory communication skills, you need to be a savvy writer. Because your resume and cover letter bought you a ticket to a face-to-face meeting, your interviewer is likely already impressed with your writing skills. If you have additional writing accomplishments, such as articles, books, or blogs you’ve penned, this is a good time to share them.

If you want to offer consultation in and out of the courtroom, prepare yourself to shine in your face-to-face interview. When you follow these four consultant interview tips, you have a better chance of being invited back for a second interview and finally being offered the position.

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