As we enter the tail end of 2020, many attorneys are thinking about their career trajectory and whether they should consider a move. Despite perceptions, the market is largely stable and expanding! Lateral opportunities abound! Whether or not you are thinking about a change, it is always a good idea to update your resume. If you are actively and seriously seeking new employment and preparing for an interview, consider polishing up your interview skills:
- Always consider your current position before searching for a new role. Before embarking on a formal job search, strive to alleviate any issues you have with your current employer. Otherwise, you need to be prepared to address why you did not take this step.
- No matter your credentials or level of practice, be prepared for multiple rounds of interviews with varied HR professionals to law firm partners. Firms vary, and you must flex to their processes.
- When preparing for an interview, do some homework on the law firm, and, if possible, read up on whom you are meeting.
- Be respectful and professional in every meeting, whether you are interviewing with human resources or a partner. Each is taking time out of his/her schedule to give you an audience.
- While confidence is important, consider leaving your “ego” at the door.
- Consider that your interviewer wants to establish trust early on—be responsive, offering accurate details about your work history.
- Occasionally, you may have to address something negative from your work history—it’s OK. If you handle the issue professionally and diplomatically, you can turn the experience into a “positive,” distinguishing it away from your future work goals. Never naysay a prior employer!
- Consider that your interviewer is spending valuable, often billable time with you—be prepared to graciously speak to the value you would bring as an employee. Dovetail into conversations about your practical experiences, your attention to detail, your ability to complete tasks, your work ethic, and your ability to produce whether with a team or working alone. Use specific examples!
- Show your serious side while maintaining an air of approachability and friendliness.
- Always remember no matter how experienced you are, junior to senior levels, that an interview is an opportunity to gather information. Ask smart, open-ended questions just as your interviewer will ask of you. Let your interviewer know that you are interested in giving and collecting more information in a hopeful, next round of meetings.
Should you need any assistance or guidance on steps you need to take in your job search or preparing for an interview, please do not hesitate to phone Kay Kurtin Egger, Co-Founder of COLLIER LEGAL SEARCH, LLC – she stands ready to assist you.