How to survive a firm interview

By: August 30, 2012

Reality check: to land a sweet articling gig, good marks aren't enough. Here are essential tips you don't learn in class

Security cameraThe cameras are always rolling

When you’re at a firm for an interview, you’re always being assessed. By everyone. That young associate taking you on the firm tour is not your BFF — he or she will cheerfully report back when you’ve made a racist comment or ogled another associate.

FingerLiars finish last

If you land three in-firm interviews, don’t tell all three they are your number one choice. This ain’t their first rodeo, so don’t think you’re fooling anyone but yourself with this kind of funky math. You’ll get exactly zero offers.

Thank you cardThink outside the interview

Sure you work hard to make a good impression at your OCIs and in-firm interviews, but what about on campus? Firms sponsor orientation week and donate funds for classroom renovations, so why not be the one shaking hands and showing some enthusiasm for whatever it is they are giving/building/ribbon-cutting? Extra points: follow up with a thank- you note. Extra-extra points: use a pen, paper and a stamp.

skewerRuin your supper

It’s tempting to show up starving at firm-led events — they have nicer grub than you do at home. But you don’t want to be wrestling with a skewer when you’re first introduced to a partner. Snack before you head out to any firm event.

perfumeCleanliness is next to jobliness

Ask someone honest to give you a once-over before heading out to an interview or event. Do you smell good? Any dandruff on your shoulders? Hair looking ratty? Suit fit? Makeup too heavy? If feedback like “take a shower” feels like rejection, it’s nothing compared to the sensation of sitting beside your silent phone on call day because the student committee decided you just weren’t a “fit.”

Also found under: