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10 Insider Tips for Summer Job Interviews

by Flo Recruit on

Insights From a Manager of Entry-Level Recruiting at a Top U.S. Law Firm on Acing the Interview Process

Embarking on the journey to secure a summer program job is no easy feat, and more than just academic achievements are needed to stand out in the competitive legal landscape. Beyond the transcript, there are crucial aspects to consider that can significantly impact your success in landing that coveted position. 

To provide comprehensive guidance, we've enlisted the expertise of Cameron Shepherd, Manager of Entry-Level Recruiting at Norton Rose Fulbright. Her insights go beyond the traditional focus on academics, offering invaluable tips on what legal recruiters truly seek in candidates. 

1. Mind Your Event Etiquette


Tip: Ensure you inform the concerned parties if you cannot attend an event you've RSVP'd for. Your manners outside the interview room speak volumes about your professionalism. If you’re using Flo Recruit for on-campus interviewing or when attending events, leverage the communication tools in the platform for on-the-fly, last-minute changes directly in Flo Recruit.

2. Be a Research Ninja


Tip: Dig deep into the firms you're eyeing. Show genuine interest and knowledge about the place you wish to be a part of and take advantage of the tools and resources available to research firms. Still, trying to figure out where to start? Check out the Above the Law law firm directory or contact your campus career office for information on past student experiences.

3. Time It Right


Tip: Punctuality is critical, but don't overdo it. Arriving too early can be just as awkward as being late. But how does that translate to virtual ones? Whether you’re using Flo Recruit's virtual interview platform or another video conferencing tool, log in at least 10 minutes before the scheduled time to address any technical hiccups, presenting yourself as a composed and punctual candidate.

4. Communication Is Key


Tip: Landing a job is tough if you can't communicate with recruiters. In addition, being reachable and responsive is crucial in the practice of law, and recruiters pay close attention to how you present yourself in communication. Showcase your commitment to clear and timely communication by regularly checking your email spam box and maintaining a professional voicemail greeting with space for new messages. 

5. Know Your School's Rules


Tip: Familiarize yourself with your law school's recruiting and offer guidelines. Staying within the rules shows your respect for procedures and ensures you benefit from the protections your school has negotiated for you as part of the interview process with firms.

6. Over-communicate, Always


Tip: Be transparent about your timelines, providing recruiters with the necessary information to make informed decisions. This showcases your commitment to professionalism and respect while fostering good relationships. So, don't hesitate to over-communicate – it's a secret weapon in leaving a lasting impression!

7. The Devil's in the Details


Tip: Elevate proofreading from a mere step to an absolute necessity. Documents sent to law firms during the interview indicate your future work product. By investing time in meticulous proofreading, you avoid embarrassing errors and convey to recruiters that you are a candidate who values precision. You only have a few opportunities to make a good impression, let your writing be a showcase of your commitment to excellence, and set the stage for success in the competitive legal landscape.

8. Follow up Like a Pro


Tip: Send a thank-you email within 24-48 hours post-interview, expressing gratitude. Personalize emails by referencing specific interview details or recent firm developments to showcase continued engagement while maintaining professionalism. For panel interviews, send individual thank-yous to each member. This personalized touch reinforces commitment, values each interviewer's input, and balances persistence and professionalism, ensuring you remain memorable. If you don't hear back within the agreed time or a week from those crucial to your interview process, send a brief, polite follow-up expressing your continued interest and asking about the next steps.

9. Respect Everyone


Tip: Treat everyone with the utmost respect, from the receptionist to the Hiring Partner. Every interaction reflects on your character. Your respectful demeanor won't go unnoticed and might set you apart as a candidate who values teamwork and understands the dynamics of a law firm. In the competitive legal field, this holistic approach to respect can be the differentiator that propels your candidacy forward.

10. Grace Under Pressure


Tip: Handle rejections with grace. Respond with gratitude for the opportunity, expressing your continued interest in the firm. Avoid burning bridges; instead, seek feedback for self-improvement. By handling rejection with grace, you leave a positive impression and position yourself as a candidate who can navigate challenges with professionalism and resilience. Remember, the legal world is smaller than you think, and how you handle rejection today can impact your future opportunities.

Navigating the Path to Interview Success

Armed with these expert tips, you're well on your way to navigating the competitive legal job market successfully. From strategic communication to meticulous attention to detail, each piece of advice is a building block for your future career. Remember, the legal field values knowledge, professionalism, and interpersonal skills.

As you embark on your summer job interviews, leverage technology to streamline the process. Explore how Flo Recruit's tailored solutions for law students can enhance your journey here. Best of luck – your future in law awaits!