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OCI’s are coming!

So here you are, feeling pretty good about yourself and how you managed to get all twenty of your applications in (and two hours before the deadline!) when you actually get a call.  Wow, Mr./Ms. Bigshot, you have an interview now so what do you do next?

1)      Get confident stupid!

JK, you’re the best.  I really like your hair and your breath smells amazing.  Realize that hundreds of people apply to each job and there are only 10-20 interview spots so you’ve already beat the odds!  Somewhat corollary to that, when you get to the interview the playing field is even.  Don’t worry about everyone else’s grades and extra-curricular activities.  The firm likes you enough to give you an interview and that means you have a shot.  You can do it champ!

2)      Be prepared to talk!

A lot of people say that a law interview is like a conversation, but it’s really more like a date.  You’re sitting there in nice clothes trying to keep your mouth moving and not to seem desperate.  A lot of questions will be VERY open ended.  For example, “I see you your grades are really good, how was first year for you?”  Or “I see you’ve worked with xxx last summer, what was that like?”  The natural inclination is to start listing your accomplishments:

“Oh well, I did a criminal shift for Student Legal Services, then I danced in Law Show, then I became 1L rep for the Sports & Entertainment Law Society…”

It’s much more effective to think about what you got out of those experiences and try to distill it into a story.  A few starters you could use are: “The biggest thing I learned this summer was when I…”, “I think I can credit my success in first year to when I finally learned to…”, “If I could sum up what I experienced this summer into one story it would be when I..” etc.

Emotional content is like balsamic vinegar.  Used sparingly, it can really bring out subtle flavors in what your saying.  Consider throwing in phrases like “I felt nervous because…”, “I was so excited I pumped my fist in the air”, “I was so proud, I felt a foot taller”, etc.  These help anchor your story,  get the listener involved and are a great way to build a rapport with your interviewer.

Descriptive language is like Sriracha.  I put that @#%* on everything!  Be vivid if you can.  It’ll help you stand out.

3)      Watch your body language!

You want to remain open; that means no crossed arms.  Smiles and eye contact are as important as a firm handshake.  I’ve heard of interviewers filtering out people just because they didn’t do a firm (but not too firm!) handshake with strong eye contact before they sat down.  Eye contact conveys confidence.

Have fun and enjoy some free food.  Everything will turn out fine.  Good luck on interviews!