I haven’t had a lot of interviews in my day – well, at least not the serious kind. So, reluctantly, I signed up for a mock interview, knowing that I needed the practice.
Well, truth be told, it wasn’t that bad. Once you’re in law school, you realize that the interview process will become very comfortable to you with time, or at the very least, you better get used to it.
I interviewed with a woman from Snell & Wilmer. She was great. Very nice, very pleasant. She could tell pretty quickly that I am not really interested in working for a big firm, I’ll probably end up in the public sector, but we went through the interview nonetheless.
What did I get out of it? Well, the following:
1. The more you can make an interview like a conversation, a dialogue, the better you’ll do, the better the interview will go, the more likable and personable you’ll seem.
2. Dress the part. She commented that I looked well put together and poised. Sloppiness will count against you, even if you’re a great conversationalist.
3. Tailor your answers to the interviewer. She gave me some great advice, which was if I decide I do want to work at a firm, even if only for some different experiences, downplay my passion for public interest work, and really stress that I’m looking for a range of experiences and that I want a fuller understanding of the legal profession.
4. Make eye contact. She mentioned that she’s interviewed some people that don’t make eye contact, and it’s awkward and doesn’t bode well for displaying your people skills.
5. Work experience is a HUGE plus. An interviewer wants to know that you’re mature enough to handle the workplace. Can you work on a team? Get along with your coworkers? Will you realize that this isn’t law school?
Great experience. I’d recommend it to any 1L’s who don’t feel great about their interviewing skills or who just want some honest feedback about ways to improve.