Five Solid Attorney Interview Tips

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You have dazzled the employer with your expertly crafted resume, and now he or she wants a tête-à-tête to see how you do in the room. In that first interview, the hiring manager wants to know the basics: namely, your job history and your skills. At bottom, he or she wants to determine whether you’re a worthy candidate for the position and whether he or she wants to learn more about you, so it’s imperative to nail the first interview.

During your preparation, be sure to research the best practices of other successful interviewees, and keep an eye out for the most effective ways to make an outstanding first impression. During the interview, you want to highlight the most remarkable aspects of yourself, while confidently convincing the interviewer that you are the best person for the job. In addition to these general guidelines, the following attorney interview tips are specifically designed to help you leave a lasting impression on the right people.

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Attorney Interview Tips

Research the Firm: It’s imperative that you prove to the interviewer that you not only want to be an attorney, but that you want to be an attorney at this law firm with these people. In order to prepare for this, you might think about doing some reading on the organization, starting with the firm’s own site. Read the mission statement and company values. Figure out what drives this firm and use that information in the interview. Websites, such as LiveCareer, GlassDoor.com, Linkedin and Martindale-Hubbel, are also good resources for hunting down information of this sort. It’s helpful to find specific information that you can tie into your own history, as this can only strengthen the relationship between you and the law firm. This kind of research can also help you prepare questions that are specific to this particular firm.

Emphasize Your Analytic Skills: As far attorney interview tips go, this one is pretty important. You will be expected to sift and analyze large quantities of information, choosing the most relevant data for any given case. It is, therefore, important to talk about the ways in which your training has prepared you for this level of analysis. If you’ve ever worked at a law firm as a paralegal or assistant, you might want to tell the interviewer you’ve been able to apply your analytical training to real world experiences. Try to substantiate your claims with concrete examples.

Know the Process for Getting Licensed: If you’ve studied, or are studying, to be a lawyer, then you probably have a sense of the requisite steps to move forward in your field. If you aren’t sure, then make it your job to be sure. For instance, be certain that when you are applying in various states, you have passed the bar in each of those states, as each state generally has its own bar exam. Before you take an interview, be absolutely certain you’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s.

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Dress Appropriately: It might go without saying that the proper attire for an interview of this kind is best described as professional. To be an attorney is to be a professional, which means the way you represent yourself is of utmost importance. This is yet another way to show the interviewer that you are serious about this position and that you are confident in your ability to claim the job. You might consider taking the time to invest in new clothes, if you are not satisfied with what’s in your closet.

Take Initiative: One way to show confidence in an interview is to take initiative and ask questions. For instance, you could ask about the types of cases they would give you. A question like this shows you are an independent thinker with specific curiosities. Don’t be afraid of seeming too aggressive. As long as you are polite and courteous in your inquiry, the interviewer will probably be impressed that you have thought this through and have specific questions. In a deeper sense, it conveys an ownership of self, which is a quality of someone on the up-and-up.

Putting these attorney interview tips into action will better your chances of acing the one-on-one, which in turn could put you in the running for a second interview, and maybe even the job itself.

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