LegalJob was asked the question below (personal facts deleted) and the answer reiterates and ties together the past couple of posts. Many seem to have similar questions so LegalJob posts below the response provided in the Monday Mailbag series.
Q: I have an interview tuesday with [a big firm in a big city]. It was unexpected (a guy just popped in my office while talking with my boss and mentioned me to this guy…). I was wondering if you have any sorta-big firm interview advice? I read the blog and love it. But, if you happen to have any good “hidden” secrets or something more personal for me, I would greatly appreciate it. The guy I am meeting with is an alumnus of ________ (a school with a strong basketball and football program) and is the Chair of their ________Division. I got some good background on him, but if you have other suggestions for what to say, not say, do, not do, wear, ANYTHING, I would be very grateful!
Answer: Chances are he follows his school’s basketball team so you may want to spend a few minutes studying some important/interesting facts about the team’s play this year. A nice way to break the ice.
LegalJob recently posted something about the two points you want to articulate in your elevator speech. One is your passion/commitment/focus on practicing in the area of _________ as demonstrated by your interest before law school at ____, your current job, the classes you took and excelled at etc.
The second is how specifically you would contribute to the firm’s bottom line and hit the ground running right away (assuming firm culture as displayed by this guy is one in which a go getter mentality is valued). This is your chance to say concisely why your training can help the firm right away and why your candidacy is stronger than others with better stats (higher ranked school, etc). Also know what you want out of this meeting before you go in. I suspect it is to keep the door open for future contact with this person or the firm generally. Sometimes it is to get name of someone who may be able to help you get a meeting with another big firm. Maybe you can send him writing sample or something from school when more grades come out — look for ways to keep dialog going after Tuesday meeting. Dress and act like this is official job interview because it is. Bring extra copies of your resume just in case you meet others. Do your homework on the firm and their bread and butter clients in the practice area for which you would like to work.