Acing An Interview

awesomeinterviewMoney is tight, jobs are scarce, and getting an interview seems like winning the lottery—make the most of your opportunity.

You need to master your “why hire me” story—prove to this employer why you are the perfect fit. Game plan ahead of time what you want this employer to learn about you—and do your best to convey that information during the interview. If you go in knowing you want to tell about a, b, and c, you are more likely to actually say those things.

Develop your sales pitch and practice, practice, practice. Practicing your pitch twice will make it seem canned and forced. Practicing it ten times will make you feel confident and relaxed going into the interview. Most importantly, your responses will come across that way too.

Do some research and be prepared to ask questions before, during, and after the interview. Your questions do not have to be mind-bogglers, but do not ask “what kinds of law do you practice?” Ask questions that show you have done your homework and you are genuinely interested in the job.

When you get asked questions, be sure to answer the question. Ideally, you can tie your response into something you wanted to tell them anyway—perhaps a unique experience that sets you apart from the rest of the candidates.

In this economy, you need every advantage you can get. Prepare for your interview and you are guaranteed to succeed!

Master the “Why Hire Me” Story to Land a Job | Lifehacker

(photo: jamelah)

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  • Ben

    Also, know your weaknesses because an interviewer surely will find some. Do not hide from them, but be prepared to “spin” them to your advantage. Use your legal mind to anticipate questions and prepare appropriate responses. Talk with a friend/spouse/mentor about what might be asked and practice.

    Above all, be yourself.

  • In the past few weeks, I have interviewed several candidates for summer associate positions at our firm. Here are a couple additional tips based on what I’m seeing that is particularly effective or ineffective:

    1. Consider your posture. Do not slouch while interviewing – sit up straight, walk tall and demonstrate that you are confident and take yourself seriously.
    2. Men – unbutton your jacket when you sit down for the interview.
    3. Shake hands with people after you meet with them. Even if they do not extend their hand to you – extend yours to them. Make sure that you are equally deliberate in this ritual with women and men.
    4. Be interesting. Many times, you’ll meet with a couple folks and each interviewer will have an allotted time to fill with conversation. Help them out by providing full answers and carrying your half of the conversation. Figure out what the interviewer wants to get out of the interview and provide that. For my part, if I can’t carry on a 30 minute conversation with you about something interesting, I probably won’t suggest that we hire you.

    Best of luck!

  • These are all great comments. I would also add that knowing your resume is critical. If it was important enough to put on paper, it is important enough to be a topic of discussion. Sometimes candidates forget what they put down on paper. Deer in the headlights is not a winning interview strategy.

    The body language issue Nena raises is actually quite important. Also, be careful of “umm”, “like” and other conversation fillers. They kill the flow of conversation and make a candidate look less intelligent.

    Finally, listen to what the interviewer is asking. I mean, really listen. Answer the question as best you can, not the question you wish you had been asked. If you don’t know, say so. Don’t overpromise, puff up, etc.