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How to imrove your skills whilst at an interview

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However, the key is to treat this experience less like an interrogation, and more like a presentation. An interview is a great opportunity to make a positive first impression and to convince potential employers, or law schools that you are the person that they are looking for! This article has tips on how you can do just that!

Practice Makes Perfect


Obviously, you cannot know exactly what questions you will be asked during your interview, but there are the commonly asked questions, (''Why do you feel you're qualified…'' ''What are your strengths and weaknesses…'' etc.), you can practice with. Make a list of questions that help you to think about your accomplishments and strengths. Then write down general answers to them. You may even consider asking someone to give you a mock interview to help you prepare. Don't memorize your answers word-for-word, (you don't want to sound robotic) but do memorize the key points that you want to get across in the actual interview. The whole purpose of this exercise is to help you to feel comfortable and prepared for the real deal.

Body Language Says A Lot!

From the moment you walk into the room, your body language will make an impression on the people or person conducting the interview – perhaps before you even speak! Be sure to greet the interviewer and/or members of the panel, and if possible give them a nice, firm handshake.

As you sit in your chair, be sure to practice good posture, and maintain it throughout your interview. Slouching or poor posture may indicate that you are bored, or even intimidated with the interview – not a good first impression. Instead, sit straight up and lean forward slightly. This shows that you are interested in what is being said.

Next, pay attention to your arms. It is important to keep your arms open during the interview, because folding them over your body indicates insecurity or defensiveness.

Eye contact is another crucial element of body language to watch in an interview. Look the person in the eye when he or she is speaking, and also when you are responding. If you are interviewing with a panel, look each person in the eye while you are speaking. This demonstrates confidence in yourself and in your abilities.

Finally, while interviewing is a serious thing, don't be afraid to smile a little to show the interviewers and/or panel that you are not only confident in yourself, but you also have a personality!

Be Confident, NOT Arrogant

If you don't seem convinced in your interview that you are the right person for the job, your potential employer won't be convinced. Go into the interview that you are the right person for this opening, and then maintain that confidence throughout the interview. But on the other hand, no one likes a show-off, so find a happy medium between being shy and being too arrogant.

In a Manner of Speaking...

Your confidence will also be reflected in your manner of speaking. Ensure that you speak in a controlled manner, and don't rush your responses. Feel free to take short pauses in between sentences to help emphasis your points. This will not only help your interviewers understand what you are saying but also give you a second to think about what you will say next.

Maintain a Conversation

Interviews do not always have to be formal question-and-answer sessions. Turn your interview into a conversation. The way to do this is by answering your questions with more than a simple "yes" or "no." If the question is about whether you can work well under minimal supervision, don't just say "yes." Give an example of a time you worked with minimal supervision. Also, have several questions prepared for the interviewer(s). This shows that you have taken an interest in the firm or school. Ensure the questions you ask are also open-ended. For example, you might ask, "Can you tell me about the people I would be working with?" or "Can you tell me what the average day for this position would entail?"

Make the Sale!

Your interview may be your only opportunity to show these people why you are the best person for the opportunity at hand (whether to get a job or into a specific law school). Treat the interview as you would a sales pitch in which the products you are pitching are yourself and your abilities! Make that sale!

See the following articles for more information:
 


About Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes is the founder of LawCrossing and an internationally recognized expert in attorney search and placement. Harrison is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.

About LawCrossing
LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.LawCrossing.com.

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Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays

You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts

You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives


Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.

Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.

To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.

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