Interview Help

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splittermcsplit88
Posts: 291
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 10:40 pm

Interview Help

Postby splittermcsplit88 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:14 pm

I have an interview for a paralegal position at a big4 firm next week. What can I do to really make myself stand out?
I don't have a paralegal certificate or experience, but I'm confident I can hit the floor running. Obviously,
some are going to be more qualified than I, but do I beg for it? I'm not sure if OH PLEASE PICK ME I CAN DO A GOOD JOB is the right answer. I suck at interviews.

doing_it_in_a_car
Posts: 147
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 6:43 pm

Re: Interview Help

Postby doing_it_in_a_car » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:44 pm

google is your friend.

i just had a callback interview for a paralegal job at a v100 firm, currently waiting on a decision. i got really positive feedback, so for what it's worth:

-be someone they can stand to hang out with.
-do your part to carry the conversation. imagine what it would be like for them to conduct the interview.
-don't pre-emptively apologize for any shortcomings - only address them if they point it out.
-mirror their personality throughout the interview. when they are relaxed and making small talk, just go with it. when they are serious, show them you can get serious too.
-prepare 3-4 well researched questions to ask them. you may not get to all of them - but have them ready to ask.

gl!

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splittermcsplit88
Posts: 291
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 10:40 pm

Re: Interview Help

Postby splittermcsplit88 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:55 pm

Thank you so much! Just what I was hoping for.
Btw, what kind of questions do they ask? Did you have prior paralegal work experience?

doing_it_in_a_car
Posts: 147
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 6:43 pm

Re: Interview Help

Postby doing_it_in_a_car » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:23 pm

I do have prior paralegal experience.

They asked why their firm, if I could make a firm 2 year commitment, why I'm leaving my current job, what i do in my current position. Very chill.

One question that kinda threw me off in the first round interview was "what other firms are you applying to?" I think they wanted to see if I was serious in my job search and if other top law firms were interested in me.

My favorite questions to ask:
What traits would you say are most crucial to success in this position?
How did you come to join the firm?
How is the training conducted?
What is an average day like in this position? How much in discovery, drafting documents, etc.

Gauge the interviewer. If it seems they like talking about themselves, pick up on something interesting in their story and inquire further.

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splittermcsplit88
Posts: 291
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 10:40 pm

Re: Interview Help

Postby splittermcsplit88 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:50 pm

When they ask "why our firm?" what are you supposed to say?
Could I say you guys are mentioned in "100 best places to work," "colleagues go there, looks like great work-life balanced environment" ?
lol it's a corporate firm not exactly known for humanitarian work, what can i say :(

doing_it_in_a_car
Posts: 147
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 6:43 pm

Re: Interview Help

Postby doing_it_in_a_car » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:17 pm

Hmm there's several good answers to that question. I would definitely mention who you know in the company - so and so in this department enjoys their work here.

i would not mention great work-life balance - might give the impression you can't cut it or that you're afraid of hard work/overtime.

try to mention something specific. research the company and the previous major cases. maybe you're interested in some of those cases - or hey have really accomplished lawyers you want to work with and learn from. just make sure you try to come off as genuine.




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