Preparing for a Non-Legal Job Interview

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The research you have completed on the career areas you are interested in, combined with the informational interviews you have conducted with professionals in the field, will enhance your preparation and control in an interview setting. Before you meet with the non-legal employer you should complete the following steps:
  1. Review your "ideal job" list. Decide on the aspects of your perfect job that you are flexible on and those that are musts. Compose thoughtful questions for the employer that will help you determine the position that most closely fits your needs. Your approach should be positive and considerate of the employer's perspective. Practice the questions on a friend to make sure that they are appropriate and well thought out.
  2. Review the list of qualifications necessary for the position. Write down your matching qualifications and how you will explain them from the employer's point of view. Remember to be positive and upbeat not defensive with this information. Your positive approach will set the tone for the interview and help the employer to understand your perspective.
  3. Prepare a list of questions that you would like to ask the employer. These questions should show that you have done research about the position type and the company. An easy approach is to project yourself into the position and imagine that you have accepted the job and will start tomorrow. What types of questions would you ask if you were already part of the company "team"? What would you need to know about the dynamics of the people and the organization?
  4. Prepare a list of things that you want the employer to know about you. Include any experiences that you have had that showcase your accomplishments. This list should include all those things that you have forgotten to say or wished you had said in other interviews.
Even though you may not address all of the issues you have prepared when you are interviewing, your preparation will make the questions the interviewer has much easier for you to answer. You may find yourself educating employers about your skills and how they will benefit the organization. Your knowledge of the employer's needs and your ability to articulate your skills and abilities from the employer's point of view will make the interviewer more relaxed and willing to listen. Your positive approach and enthusiasm for the position and the organization will increase your chances of being offered the position. Preparation pays!

The general guidelines for interviews are still in place for the non-legal job search. Review carefully the resources in your career planning office that relate to interviewing skills. Professionalism is essential to a successful interview.

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.

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