As mentioned in previous sections, an interview is a two-way dialogue. You want the employer to learn more about you than what's reflected in your application materials, and you want to learn more about the employer than what's available via the Internet and the legal community grapevine. Here are some specific interview tips:
- Let the interviewer handle the first few minutes.
- Be sure you understand the question before responding.
- Lead the discussion toward your strengths.
- Give examples that illustrate your skills and competencies. Make reference to resume items, if appropriate.
- Ask relevant questions about the employer and the position that you could not have found through research.
- Express your enthusiasm for the employer and the position.
Other basic interview tips:
- Be on time.
- Dress appropriately. Even if an employer describes its workplace as "casual," wear business attire. There is nothing casual about a job search.
- Turn off your cell phone before entering the interview.
- Try to control nervous mannerisms.
- Maintain eye contact with the interviewer or interviewers.
- Bring extra copies of your application materials, a pen, and paper.
- Always write thank you notes.
- And never, never, never:
- Criticize a current or former employer.
- Reveal confidential information about a current or former employer.
- Stretch the truth or make misrepresentations.
- Get overly familiar.