Preparing thoroughly for an attorney interview with a law firm or corporation, requires strategic research and a thoughtful approach. If you work with a qualified attorney recruiter, you’ll be prepped and ready to ace a wide range of interviews before securing an offer. However, if you’re preparing for the interview on your own, below are some tips to gain an edge on the competition. It’s been my experience that the candidate that takes the time to prepare for the interview is the one that is the most successful at landing the job, or at the very least, leaves a positive impression with the law firm or organization.
1. Study the firm
Reviewing the firm website and the attorney bios should be a given. Digging deeper to fully understand the practice, the industries their clients serve, their prominent cases and transactions, and recent news are essential ways to make you stand out. You should be able to answer “Why are you interested in this firm or this practice group?”. What sets this organization apart from its competitor down the street. You should have a substantial response to why you want to work there. Using resources like VAULT, The American Lawyer, NALP, and Chambers & Partners may provide some additional insight into the firm’s culture and the industries they serve. Consider creating a Google Alert or follow the organization on LinkedIn in order to stay abreast of firm news. A powerful tool, which requires a paid subscription, is using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which will allow you to view any comment submissions or news that any of the firm’s attorneys or staff member makes.
You’ve likely heard the term “behavioral interviewing” – past performance predicts future success. Attorney interviewers will often use some form of behavioral interviewing questions in order to uncover the candidate’s true qualifications. When you’re preparing for an attorney interview, think through examples that highlight your abilities and experience. Categorize those stories into areas that are required for your specific practice expertise. Here’s just a few examples that may come up during an attorney interview.
- Offering business solutions, not just legal answers.
- Providing practical judgment and thinking creatively to offer a client a solution that they have not already thought of.
- Demonstrate how you’ve gotten to know the client’s industry, so that you could be more effective in providing counsel.
- When dealing with multiple deadlines, give an example of how you stay organized
- Provide an example of delegating work and mentoring others.
If you come across a scenario that you haven’t experienced before, be honest; however, provide an example of how you believe you would respond. While it may not be an ideal response, it will demonstrate that you are able to think on your feet and find a resolution in short order.
3. Be authentic
Every organization has a personality, a culture, and accepted norms. You may be qualified for the position, but if the environment doesn’t feel right, it will not be a long-term career move. Pay attention to how you feel while you’re sitting at the boardroom table. Did the interviewer make you feel welcome? Do they appear interested in what you have to say? At it’s core, all interviews are conversations to discover whether both parties are a good fit. Pay attention to the flow of the conversation. Can you envision working alongside the attorneys that are interviewing you? First impressions are long-lasting for both interviewers and interviewees.
Taking the time to prepare for your interview will help calm your nerves allowing you to respond confidently and set yourself apart from the competition. No matter how the employer ultimately decides, the preparation will help you put your best foot forward and feel good about your performance. Good luck!
If you’re looking for a lawyer role, contact MB Attorney Search. Serving the Midwest law firms and corporations, this attorney recruiter will help you find a job you’ll love. They assist job seekers with every aspect of the placement process, from connecting candidates with leading law firms to providing interview advice. Call (888) 563-5984 to speak with an attorney recruiter, or visit the website to learn more about their services.