How to Prepare for an Interview with a Law Firm (or You Got the Interview, Now What?)

Congratulations on landing that all-important interview! You are just a few steps away from getting the position with the law firm of your dreams. Making it this far shows that your resume demonstrated that you have the skills and experience needed for the job. Now you will need to let your professional persona move you forward in the process. But the real secret to a successful interview is being prepared. Here are a few tips to polish your interview skills and get you ready to nail it!


Mark your calendar! As soon as you are notified of your upcoming interview, mark the date, time, and location on your calendar. If the interview will be onsite, use your favorite and most reliable GPS software to estimate travel time and directions, then link to your calendar. If necessary, drive to the location in advance to set your most efficient route.


Know the format of your interview.  Today’s interviews are done in various formats. In-person interviews can be one-on-one or feature a panel of interviewers. Many times a first interview is on the phone or takes place as a video conference. Make sure you know the format of your interview so you’ll be ready! For example, if it’s a video conference, check to be sure your computer is working properly including microphone and speakers. Download any needed software and run a test on your computer if given the option. You might also consider preparing your smart phone in case all else fails.


Be presentable. If your interview will be in person, remember that first impressions are critical. Get enough sleep the night before to look refreshed and to help you think clearly. Reduce any potential last minute stress by laying out your clothes the night before and check for any basic grooming needs. When you look good, you feel confident.


Do your homework. Know as much as possible about the organization by visiting their website. Check web pages including their Home page, About Us page, News page, and any other pages to help you understand what they do, their culture, their mission, and what’s important to them. Explore the organization’s social media pages including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram by checking their latest postings to see what they are sharing.


Know who you will be meeting with. Be sure to know the name and title of the person(s) you will be interviewing with so you can address them by name when you meet. This information will also be helpful when writing a thank you note and for any other follow up.


Be prepared for the discussion. Update your resume to include previous experiences, projects, and accomplishments that compliment and add value to the new position. Make mental or written notes to help you verbally Illustrate examples of your work, achievements, and relevant experiences. For example, negotiating vendor contracts, heading up a volunteer committee or making company presentations are all worthy mentions. You should also be ready to discuss what challenges you faced and conquered, things you were most proud of, and experiences that will help you in the new position.


Ask questions. Have a few questions ready that show you are genuinely interested in the job. For example, ask if the position is a new one or what types of challenges the position may encounter in the upcoming year.


Follow up! As the interview comes to a close, ask for business cards or email addresses if appropriate. You will need the details to send along a thank you note as soon as possible (within 24 hours after the interview) to express your appreciation for their time. Be sure to let them know that you are looking forward to joining the team and would be happy to provide any additional information. Hand written notes, although impressive, are not necessary.


Remember, half the battle of getting the new position is won once your interview is scheduled. Now it’s your time to shine and to show the interviewer why you truly are the perfect match. Ask yourself why you believe you are a fit for the job and get ready to convince the organization.