Job Interviewing for New Attorneys

July 19, 2016

As a new attorney, you’ve spent the past few years demonstrating what you know. From your first class on procedure to the grueling demands of the bar exam, you’ve become an expert at proving that you know the law. But now, you’ve landed that coveted interview spot and whether you realize it or not the rules have changed.  The truth is, every one of your competitors for the job also knows the law. Each of you had a résumé that proves you know your stuff. You all look good on paper.

So how do you get an edge over the competition and become the new associate attorney at the law firm of your dreams? You stop being a lawyer and start being a salesperson. Your interview isn’t going to be about what you know, but who you are. You are selling you. You need to demonstrate why you, rather than any of those other names on paper, are the best candidate for the job. The following guide from Tenge Law LLC will help you prepare.

If you’ve been called for an interview, you’ve cleared step one of the pre-interview checklist. Your resume got you in the door.

Step two is your visual presentation. An in-person interview starts before you say a word. Your interviewer sees you and makes an assessment. Having a distinctive personal style is great, but the firm you are interviewing with has a distinctive style too. Dress for the job you want.

Third, make sure you know your customer. If you are genuinely interested in working for a firm, demonstrate that interest by learning about that organization. During the interview, be prepared to make your experience and knowledge relevant to the goals of the firm.

Fourth, don’t be late for your interview. If you regularly run late for appointments, set your watch ten minutes early. If traffic or parking may be a challenge, arrive in the area early and relax at a coffee shop until it is time to arrive. Someday you may be the person who can keep people waiting without repercussions, but you aren’t there yet. Being on time demonstrates that you respect the interviewer’s time and manage your own time well.

Finally, be prepared not just to answer questions but to have a conversation. Your interviewer wants to know how you think and respond to challenging situations, how you perform under pressure, and how you interact with others. Your resume and background have presented your IQ, now you need to present your EQ. You’ll find more tips on how to prepare for the questions you might face during your interview in the graphic by Tenge Law Firm below. Now, it’s up to you to close the deal.

Law Interviews

by Vault Law Editors

Chicago river at night
  • Shelly is a first-class recruiter. She is extremely professional and personable, organized, and sharp. Her advice, guidance, and optimism gave me the confidence I needed to succeed in the interview. She helped me find a position that was exactly what I was looking for. I would work with her again without a doubt, and I highly recommend Shelly as an advocate for any job seeker.

    Michelle Hanlon, Attorney

    Enoch Kever PLLC


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