The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the job search advice out there. It’s also easy to invest a great deal of time and energy in the perfect resume and cover letter that get you the interview – and then freeze during the actual interview. Parade published a short and sweet article today, “How to ace an interview” which includes some timely and simple advice from Frederick Ball, a New York City career coach and author of Killer Interviews (McGraw-Hill, 1996):
- “Prepare, prepare, prepare.” For a paralegal interview, that means find out everything you can about the firm, its specialty areas, the attorneys, and the specifics of the job that you are seeking.
- “Keep your answers short.” Unfortunately, Americans are known to have short attention spans (also a challenge when trying to keep a jury’s attention during a trial.) Listen to the question and then provide an informative and on point, but brief response.
- “When in doubt, overdress.” While you won’t lose points for wearing a classic suit to an interview, you can lose many points for accidentally under-dressing for the proposed job, even if it is entry-level, such as receptionist or word processor.
- “Be positive.” It’s never an appropriate time to share negative information about past jobs – never. But it’s the “kiss of death” during a job interview.
- “Say to the interviewer, ‘I really want this job.’” I’ve sat in plenty of interviews for legal support staff jobs where the applicant never once said she wanted the job, or even why she’d like to work for our firm. Not only say that you want the job, but say why you want it – based on your very thorough research about the firm, its specialty areas, the attorneys and the specifics of the job you are seeking.
- “Follow up promptly.” Sending a written note or email expressing your interest in the job and thanking the interviewer for his or her time is another indicator that you really want the job.
Do you have an interview tip to share? We’d love to hear it!