The MU School of Law offers a collegial environment, reinforced by a small student body and a low faculty-student ratio. The intimacy of this setting, coupled with reasonable cost, consistently high bar passage rates, a network of alumni around the globe and access to top scholars in the legal world, make MU Law one of the best values in the nation.
So you got an interview with the firm of your dreams...What the heck do you do now? The short answer is prepare thoroughly and practice your interviewing skills.
Learn everything you can about the firm or organization before the interview. The best place to begin is with the firm or company's web site. Here you can determine how the firm sees itself and how it markets itself to clients and prospective employees.
You definitely need to review the profiles of the attorneys who will be interviewing you, but it is also a good idea to look at profiles of attorneys from different departments and at different levels within the firm to better understand the types of people that the firm has hired in the past. You should also review recent news or press releases posted on the firm's web site.
You should also review outside sources of information about the firm. If the firm has a website, you should certainly familiarize yourself with the information contained there. Check out the firm's profile on Martindale Hubble (www.martindale.com) and how many of its attorneys are AV-rated (the highest rating). Run a "Google" search and review the sites that reference the firm, taking a look at any that seem significant or might contain something that could be brought up during your interview.
You will also want to practice your interviewing skills before the interview. Think about your answers to the questions that an interviewer will likely ask. Topics generally addressed during interviews include your goals, both short and long-term; your strengths and weaknesses; your reasons for wanting to work at the firm or company; and your accomplishments.
After you have thought about how to address these topics, schedule a mock interview with our office. It is important that you become comfortable enough with the process and answering (and also asking) questions so that it will come more naturally to you when you are under the pressure of an interview.
You also need to prepare yourself to look and feel good on the day of your interview. Dress professionally (this typically means a navy or dark suit) in clothes you feel comfortable wearing. A good rule of thumb is that it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Have your clothes cleaned, pressed and laid out the night before. Polish your shoes. Make sure you have your portfolio stocked with a pen and note pad, as well as extra copies of your resume, references, writing sample and transcript. Be sure to get plenty of sleep the night before your interview. Eat something so for energy and so that your growling stomach does not drown out what you are saying to the interviewer. BE ON TIME! (this means 10 minutes early) to the interview.
From the minute you firmly shake hands with the interviewer, you must sell yourself. Look the interviewer in the eye and address him or her as Mr. or Mrs. as you introduce yourself. If the interviewer invites you to use his or her first name, do so, but not until then. The most important thing to remember is to be yourself.
Answer questions honestly and directly. All answers should be wrapped up within 30-60 seconds. An answer much longer than that will cause the interviewer to lose interest in what you are saying. Besides, you need to show that you can get right to the point. Keep in mind at all times the points you want to want to make with the interviewer (pointing out your strengths). Convey your enthusiasm about wanting to work at the firm.
Questions similar to those listed below are frequently asked during an interview. Think about how you would answer them and how your responses may be viewed by an employer. Practice your answers first by writing them out. Obviously you don't want a set of memorized answers to recite in an interview, but it may help you to organize your thoughts and be better prepared when you are actually in an interview situation.