Some Dos and Don’ts of Interviewing Part II

To recap our Dos and Don’ts of Interviewing Part I posted last month:

Do dress professionally.

Do your homework on the law firm or company.

Do ask intelligent questions of your interviewer.

Do not ask questions regarding salary or benefits before you have an offer.

Do not forget your resume.

Do not say anything negative about your past or current employers.

Here are this month’s Dos and Don’ts of Interviewing:

Do not lie either on your resume or in your interview.

Liars usually get caught.  Whether it be omitting a position from your resume or lying about your current salary, it is too likely for you to get found out, and is not worth it, besides being unethical.  What if you happen to run into the employer whom you worked for for 6 months and left off of your resume while you are in court with your current employer?  Do you really want to have butterflies in your stomach hoping that he or she doesn’t mention that you worked at their firm as an associate?  What if your interviewer runs into your former employer and says “You really paid John Doe a lot and cost me a lot of money.”  These scenarios may sound unlikely to you, but believe me, they do happen.

Do research each and every interviewer or possible interviewer.

With all of the information available on the internet, it is no longer enough to know just about the company or law firm where you are interviewing, you must also research the key players who might be interviewing you.  Whether you are interviewing for a corporate counsel position at a pharmaceutical company, an assistant general counsel position at a hospital or a partner position at a law firm, it will serve you well if you have taken the time to learn as much as you can about the general counsel, assistant general counsel and board of directors of a corporation as well as the attorneys who would be in your practice group and the hiring partner of a law firm.  In addition, to the company and firm websites, there is Hoovers and even Linkedin proves to be a very good research tool.

Do give a firm handshake, make lots of eye contact and smile frequently.

While you may not think that these things matter, they really do.  In addition to assessing your competency to do the job and your work ethic, the interviewers will also be judging how pleasant you would be to work with and how you will interact with clients or potential clients.

Do show enthusiasm for your practice area and for the company or law firm.

Interviewing is not like a first date where you do not want to act too interested or enthusiastic until you know how the other person feels.  It is a time where you want to show strong enthusiasm for your practice area and for the company or law firm and position.  If you are a litigator it is most important for you to exude a litigator’s personality and love of litigation.  If you are an M & A attorney, you must let the interviewer see how much you love doing deals.

Do not go on tangents and ramble on about your accomplishments.

Yes, it is important to let the interviewer know how great you are and how much you have accomplished.  However, there is a right way and a wrong way to do so.  Please be sure to answer the question that the interview is asking and not answer a different question regarding a totally unrelated case that you worked on and tell the interviewer every detail about the case. If you can work something really impressive that you have done into answering the question that the interview asked by all means do so.  However, don’t go off on a twenty minute tangent about unrelated accomplishments.  Hopefully, these accomplishments will be listed on your resume and your interviewer will ask about some of them.

Good luck on all the job interviews that you will hopefully, be going on.  I will be rooting for you.

Please look for my next blog article on attorney business development/marketing.

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One Response to “Some Dos and Don’ts of Interviewing Part II”

  1. Denise Posternak Says:

    As usual, great advice, especially on the Do not lie part.

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