Have a BigLaw Interview? How to Excel!
Interviewing for a position at a BigLaw Firm can be both exciting and intimidating. You most likely have been working hard to get this opportunity for a while, and so messing up the interview is not an option, you tell yourself. And fortunately, you can in fact ace your BigLaw interview if you go into it confident and prepared. In this post, we will look at some ways that you can prepare for your interview so that you may establish yourself as a truly memorable candidate!
1. Be prepared!
This one may go without saying, but it is worth emphasizing anyway. The truth is that no matter how sure of yourself you may be, no matter how certain you know what you are about and how to portray that to your interviewer, you can never prepare yourself too much. Going into the interview prepared will give you a better sense of ease, and you will find yourself able to articulate your points much more smoothly and coherently. You need to be ready to answer some basic interview questions that on the surface may seem simple enough to answer, but really require some thought and preparation if you are to give your interviewer an adequate response. Some of these questions may be the following:
“Why Are You Interested In This Position?”
When answering this question, think about all of the areas in which the firm specializes, what your duties would be were you to secure the position for which you are applying, and how these duties fit in with your general career goals. By approaching the question from this angle, you will be able to give an engaging, genuine, and extensive response. Moreover, do not use this question as an opportunity to attack your current employer. Such an approach will raise immediate red flags for your interviewers.
“Tell Me What You Know About Our Firm.”
For this question, you will need to have done extensive research before going into the interview. Make sure to study the organization’s website thoroughly and to look up all you can on the Internet. The more detailed your response, the better prepared you will seem. Not to mention, an elaborate response reveals to your interviewer that you mind details with care.
2. Understand your goal.
Remember the goal of the interview at all times: to make a positive impression that makes you memorable enough to be worth hiring. With that in mind, confidence and poise are key. Do not show any doubt; remember that you need to convey to your interviewer that you are the candidate the firm has been looking for all along and that you are more than a resume of impressive experiences and credentials; you are a person who can fit into the dynamic of the firm. Motivate yourself by reminding yourself why you are applying for the position in the first place; perhaps this position would give you an exceptional opportunity to practice the area of law about which you are most passionate. Embrace this and make sure you make your passion and goals clear to your interviewer!
3. Know your strengths.
Before going into your interview, make a list of five to ten of your biggest strengths and how those characteristics would both help you fulfill the responsibilities of the position and benefit the firm as a whole. By understanding your strengths and how to apply them specifically, you will find selling yourself a lot easier!
4. Always show enthusiasm.
Never underestimate the power of enthusiasm. After all, who would you rather hire: a person with a technically excellent resume who comes into the interview and gives decent but overly safe and perhaps seemingly canned responses without any sense of passion toward the work, or the person who has not only an impressive resume, but also an undying excitement for the work expected of a successful applicant, someone who thinks deeply about each question and answers them with depth, without looking for approval the whole time? Chances are, you would root for the latter, if it came down to the two. So do not be afraid to be enthusiastic! Ask your interviewer thoughtful questions that reveal that you have done your homework and that you understand what working Big Law entails—and that you are ready for the challenge.
5. Look professional.
Again, perhaps this one seems obvious, but it may be shocking how many people show up to job interviews not looking their best. Looking polished not only shows a keen interest in the job, it shows that you are devoted to keeping yourself well-groomed and tackling every task looking and feeling like the best version of yourself. Make sure that your hair is washed and neatly done. If you are a male, wear your best suit and tie, a clean and pressed shirt, and polished-looking shoes. Women, too, should wear clean and presentable business suits. Choose a modest blouse that is unquestionably appropriate for work and wear hose. Wear reasonable heels—nothing too ostentatious. Also, be sure to avoid overdoing it on the makeup and accessories.
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Do your interview skills pass the test? Do you need some assistance in improving your interview persona? If so, contact a Career Counselor with Lexacount Search’s Career Consulting Services. If you are interested in learning more about finance and accounting industry opportunities, contact a Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Finance Group. Or, if you are interested in attorney or other roles in the legal industry, contact a Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Legal Group.