What to do when interviewer is not in your practice area?

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What to do when interviewer is not in your practice area?

Postby CA91 » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:53 pm

So I'm interested in corporate law, specifically venture capital, and of the few interviews I've had over the summer it seemed as though several times the interviewer was from a different practice area. I've gotten "We have a corporate group, but I don't really know what they do" a lot, which makes it harder for us to have a smooth conversation.

Is there any advice for how to approach this type of situation? More specifically, should I straight off the bat mention that I'm interested in corporate, or should I hide the area that I want to practice in until the end. Also, I'm having trouble coming up with good questions for interviewers in practice areas that I have no expertise in (ex. land use/healthcare). Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Re: What to do when interviewer is not in your practice area?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:09 pm

No, be clear that you're interested in corporate work (and specify venture capital at firms that specialize in it). When I interview someone outside my practice area, I look for three things: (1) do they know what kind of work that group does at this firm, (2) are they smart, (3) would they be a good personality fit.

If you're clear about the first part, I can check off that box and move on to the next part.


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Re: What to do when interviewer is not in your practice area?

Postby Gorki » Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:20 pm

What anon said. Have you ever worked in a job where you could get an understanding of what corporate law is gonna be like? If not, then do not worry that much about it. If they totally do not know anything about your practice area, just ask generally about their experience with partners, management, staff... I know things can vary a lot by practice area, but it helps for you to know (and to ask) questions to go to the heart of how the firm actually operates, versus generic "I heard Partner X has a huge book of business in commercial leasing transactions in Y region"

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