Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Interview Tips

I just got done with one of the worst interviews I've ever had. On paper, the kid was great: top 10% of his law school class, honors degree undergrad, blah, blah, blah. I was actually pretty excited to interview this guy. Then he gets to my office and proverbially shat all over his otherwise excellent resume. For those of you interviewing out there, I have several tips:

1. For the men, make sure the tip of your tie is not hanging 6+ inches above your belt. It makes you look like a clown.
2. For both men and women, mustaches are not a good idea. They make you look like any one of the following: (1) a turbo child molester; (2) a complete redneck; (3) a dude (if you're a chick); or (4) Kip from Napoleon Dynamite (note, if you are actually training to become a cage fighter, a mustache is your prerogative).
3. Never under any circumstances make reference to anything from Lord of the Rings.
4. When the interviewer asks you if you have any questions about the company or firm, your first two questions should not be, "What are your hours like?" and "How much vacation time do you get?"
5. If you are interviewing for a job at a law firm that does only litigation, when asked what interests you about the firm, try not to say, "Well, I really have no idea what I want to do, so I figured I'd give litigation a try." That's like me saying to the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, "Well, we really liked law students, but medical students are pretty smart too, so we figured we'd give them a try for a while to see how it worked out."
6. Be sure to know the correct name of the company or firm at which you are interviewing.
7. When the person interviewing you is speaking to you, it's nice to look at him or her at least once during the course of the interview.
8. When the interviewer notices that you went to law school a great distance from your hometown and asks you why you decided to go to law school where you did, don't answer like this: "I only got into 2 law schools, and the other one wasn't ABA-accredited."
9. When asked what your hobbies are, the answer "I'm addicted to video games," while it may be true, is not the kind of thing that convinces an employer of your superior intellect.
10. At the end of the interview, when the interviewer extends his or her hand, you might want to shake it. If at all possible, don't look at it and turn away.

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