Ace That Interview: 5 Tips to Control the Interview

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on July 19, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

We recently noted an interesting piece on PBS Newshour about controlling an interview. Though the advice was given in the context of the engineering field, it inspired us to share some ways you lawyers can ace your next interview.

The trick? Stay in control. Here are five tips to controlling the interview.

1. Be Prepared

The most important part of an interview is being prepared. Presumably, you know what's on your resume but it's a good idea to read it again because it may jostle your memory about some good experiences you could talk about. You should also research the company, and the people, you are interviewing with. These days, LinkedIn is a go-to resource to learn more about the people you'll be meeting with and most companies today have an online presence.

2. Ask Questions

You should always walk into an interview with questions prepared. We like to have five to ten questions because often times, some questions will be answered during the interview. It's great to have a pad and paper at the ready to jot questions as they come to mind so you can remember them. Though you don't want to cut people off, you can ask questions as they come up as well. Making the interview more conversational will give it a better flow.

3. Make Everything into a Positive

Whether you are a litigator or a transactional attorney, you need to argue your case whether in court or at a negotiating table. What better way to show how convincing you can be than to present your case (you) in the best light. Highlight your strengths, turn weaknesses into strengths, and never, ever be negative about anything, especially past employers or employment.

4. Get Rid of the Ums

Everyone can benefit from speaking and practicing in front of a mirror, or even better, recording yourself. You see all the nervous ticks and you'd be surprised how many times a person could say "um" in once sentence. Record/watch yourself, critique yourself and make changes.

5. The Pivot

Politicians are notorious for this, and we're not saying you shouldn't answer the question. You should definitely answer the question, but constantly be on the lookout for openings to talk about the stuff you want to talk about: your expertise, special skills, and great experiences. Have a mental list of topics you want to cover and find a way to add them into the conversation seamlessly.

Staying in control of the interview not only makes you look authoritative, but also polished. Let us know if these tips help you out in your next interview -- tweet us @FindLawLP.

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