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Interviewing Tips

I have an interview, now what?

Congratulations! At this point you have received an interview, and it’s an opportunity to put your best foot forward and earn a spot in the summer program. Below are some tips on what to do before, during and after your interview:

Before Your Interview

  • Make a list of possible interview questions. You can generate a good list of questions either from an Internet search or by asking some of your peers what they have been asked in their interviews.

    • Example interview questions include:
      • Why do you want to join the firm?
      • Why did you go to law school?
      • What was a recent challenge that you have faced, and how did you overcome that challenge?
      • What motivates you?
      • How has law school prepared you for your career?
         
  • Make a list of questions you would like to ask your interviewer.
    • Sample questions to ask your interviewer:
      • Why did you choose to work at this firm?
      • What type of work do you do?
      • What do you like the most/least about working at the firm?
      • Could you speak about the firm's mentoring program?

  • Practice interviewing! Yes, this can seem cliché, but it is extremely beneficial. Attend workshops held by your career services office and ask your peers to interview you.

During your interview

  • Remember to be yourself.

  • Dress for Success. You should wear "business" attire. For men, a suit and tie is always appropriate. For women, wear a nice pantsuit, a dress with jacket, or a skirt suit and nice top with dress shoes.
     
  • Arrive early, but not too early. Try to arrive between 15-20 minutes before your interview. This will give you time to relax, to take a few deep breaths and to review any information that you gathered while doing research on the firm.
     
  • Bring updated copies of your resume. It’s always a good idea to bring extra copies of your resume. You should definitely bring updated copies of your resume if you have made any recent changes.
     
  • Shake hands and smile. Always shake your interviewer's hand, and smile! The first few moments of your meeting will set the tone and leave a lasting impression.
     
  • Listen and take your time answering questions. Interviewing can cause anxiety, but listen carefully to what your interviewer is asking, and take your time answering. Do not provide canned answers, because an interviewer can tell when you are being insincere. Remember that each interview is separate, and you may have to repeat your answers more than once over the course of this process. Don’t be discouraged.
     
  • Ask your questions. Do not forget to ask the questions that you have prepared for the interview. It is fine to ask every interviewer the same questions; each interview is separate and each person may actually have a different answer.
     
  • Pay attention. Not just during the interview, but to interactions throughout the firm during your visit. This will help you get a sense of firm culture.

After Your Interview

  • Collect your thoughts. Take the time to sit down and reflect on your interviews. Write down pros and cons for each firm. List things that interested you about the firm. If you still have questions about a firm, contact its recruiting office to see if you can speak to a lawyer to answer any additional questions.

  • Send a thank you. Whether it is an e-mail or a mailed note, you might consider a thank you to your interviewers. If possible, mention a few things that you discussed with your interviewers in those thank you notes. This will make you stand out.
 
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