Special Counsel’s Guide to Interviewing

Suggestion #1: Have Three Agenda Points
Most interviewees make the mistake of thinking only about how they will answer questions. In addition to planning responses to interviewer questions, have at least three points that you want to get across to a potential employer. Discuss the three points you plan to raise with your recruiter beforehand.

Suggestion #2: Discuss Items You Have Discovered from Your Company Research
The old suggestion to do some research on the company holds true today. As such, do some preliminary research on company history, reputation and policy. Background knowledge is always impressive, and the ability to substantively discuss an employer’s concerns gives you an edge over less informed competitors. The key here is to make sure the employer knows you did your homework by saying something like, “I noted in Corporate Report that your firm was recognized for …”

Suggestion #3: Be on Time
Obviously it is important that you appear on time. If, for any reason, you anticipate that you may be late, be sure to call the interviewer with your anticipated arrival time.

Suggestion #4: Dress and Conduct Yourself Appropriately
Always wear a suit to an interview, even if company dress is casual.

Suggestion #5: Don’t Be Afraid to Tell the Interviewer You’re Nervous
In our experience, most employers understand anxiety if you acknowledge it lightly, saying something like, “I’m nervous. I haven’t interviewed since law school or since private practice.” The point is if you’re nervous, everyone is much more at ease if you acknowledge it.

Suggestion #6: If You’re Worried about an Item on Your Resume, Raise it Yourself During the Interview
We don’t suggest that you raise delicate issues at the start of an interview. If, however, you have a concern about your resume, our experience tells us you are better off raising the issue before the interviewer does. Use your best judgment on the exact timing. The key is to be assertive, not defensive. Again, discuss these issues with your recruiter beforehand.

Suggestion #7: If There Is a Lull, Take Control
Most interviewers are not trained on how to interview. You will impress and win the interviewer’s approval if you don’t make the interviewer do all the work. As such, if the conversation lulls don’t be afraid to walk the interviewer through a portion of your resume or the sort of cases you’ve handled.

Suggestion #8: Be Honest
Always answer every question honestly. Stretching the truth will come back to haunt you.

Good luck on your interview!

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