The summer after 2L year is traditionally deemed as the critical summer for law students, who begin to think about life after graduation. Oftentimes, the jobs you have or the contacts you create during the second summer serve as stepping stones for your first job after law school. To that end, it is crucial that you prepare properly – before, during and after your interviews – so you can land that summer job of your liking.
How best to prepare? First, ensure that you have proper attire. The legal profession is indeed rooted deep in tradition, and traditional business wear is a must. First impressions are lasting and often dictate the entire interview. Unless explicitly told otherwise by a prospective employer, presume business attire for your interviews.
Second, practice. Interviews can be and oftentimes are nerve-racking. The more experience you have answering questions about yourself, your interests, your experiences and why you would be a good fit for a particular employer, the more prepared you will be for your actual interviews. If your school’s career services office has a dedicated staff person who holds mock interviews, schedule one. Feedback on everything from eye contact, posture, enunciation and handshake can help you grow both personally and professionally as you go forth in your career.
Third, make sure you show appreciation to your interviewers. This means thanking the interviewer both in person immediately following the interview as well as with a follow up note after the interview is over. Most students assume this as a given, but a surprising amount overlook this critical portion of the interview process. You are interviewing with professionals who are taking time out of their day to determine whether you are a good fit for their organization. A token of gratitude is a good sign that you have respect and appreciation for another’s time.
I purchased two new suits and stationary prior to OCI my 2L year. The stationary has gone virtually untouched in the nearly 6 years since I interviewed as I ended up emailing most of my interviewers to say thanks shortly after the interviews. The suits, however, are still worn to this day. I also scheduled a mock interview with my school’s career services, and incorporated much of the feedback I received into my interviews as I went forth.
So what do you think? Any tips, questions concerns as you gear up for interviews? Tell us in the comments.