The Two “Whys” of Job Hunting for Lawyers

You have landed an interview for your dream law job.  Maybe you sent in a resume and cover letter and you were fortunate to be selected from a pile of applicants for the first round. Perhaps a recruiter introduced you to the law firm or company.  Or more likely, you leveraged your network* to help your resume rise to the top of the pile and get you in the door.  Perhaps you aren’t sure yet if this is your dream job; but now it is game time.

Over the years, I’ve prepared hundreds of candidates for interviews and while my advice about interviewing still stands (updated here for a virtual world), I’ve come to appreciate that there are two key questions that you need to be able to answer convincingly in an interview:  Why should the firm or company hire you? and Why do you want the job?

On the surface, why should the firm hire you may seem obvious. They selected you for an interview because you have the skills and experience that they need.  You need to be able to address questions that get to the core of your competence to perform the job.  If you are asked about experience that you lack, you need to be able to explain how other things you have done can make up for anything that is missing from your resume.

But even more important is your ability to explain why you are the best candidate (i.e. beyond your competence).

One way to do this is to demonstrate that you are the candidate that really wants to job.  Companies like to hire individuals that are interested in them (i.e. not candidates who are merely trying to leave a bad situation or candidates who are interested in them but are really just looking for a better paycheck).

Beyond showing enthusiasm to continue with the process and explaining that you meet the requirements in the job description, what are some

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30 Second Media Training for Podcast Guests

If you are invited to be a guest on a podcast:

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  • Limit your use of words or verbal fillers on this list.
  • Avoid using combinations of these words.
  • Understand that podcasts are not live and can be edited after the fact.
  • If you feel compelled to say one of these words while pausing to think, try breathing instead.

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Be Interested; Be Interesting

Tell Me More

In the classic self-help book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie told his readers that they should become genuinely interested in other people.  Nearly 100 years after the publication of that book, the rules of relationship building have not changed and this still holds true.  If you want to make a lasting impression on someone, show that you are interested in them. 

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Talking Politics and Religion at Your Job Interviews

…Barack Obama on the campaign trail in 2008

Barack Obama took a lot of flack for that comment in 2008.  On the one hand, he was marketing to his supporters and he struck a chord.  At the same time, he managed to alienate a significant part of the electorate.  Obama was on the right side of history, but when Hillary came out with her basket of deplorables quote, it hurt her in a significant way.

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Speak the Truth and Nothing But the Truth-But it doesn’t have to be the “whole” truth

What does “integrity” mean in an interview situation?  Certainly, you have the obligation to tell the truth during a job interview.  But having an obligation to tell the truth does not imply an obligation to to share every sordid detail of your past with prospective employers. The current election has reaffirmed my belief that integrity … Read more