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How To Fail A Job Interview

A great way to fail a job interview is to neglect to explain why you want the job. This may sound really obvious, but I can’t tell you how many people leave employers wondering, “why is this person here”.

When you’re interviewing, you need to make a convincing argument not just that you’re awesome – but that you’re a good fit for the employer’s needs and you want to be working for that employer. You will fail a job interview if you don’t help the employer to connect these dots.

Ted Kennedy’s TV interview above will perfectly demonstrate for you why it’s important to be prepared to articulate your interest in a job. His rambling disaster of an answer in this 1979 video helped to assure that the employer (the American people) could not take him seriously as a (presidential) job candidate.

Watch closely – because this is how you’ll look to employers at your interviews if you’re not prepared.

I once made the same mistake as Kennedy! I share my embarrassing, epic fail job interview story here.

If you’re interviewing for a job at Big Law firm XYZ, it’s important to be able to speak about why firm XYZ interests you. Why does any big law firm interest you? Why does working in that office, in that city, with that team of people interest you?

If an employer is left wondering about these things, or you can’t speak naturally about any of them when asked in an interview, you’ve created red flags. You don’t want to fail your job interview.

So research the employer in advance, think through these issues and practice stating your case!

If you’re chasing a job or career path that truly interests you, then you should have no problem articulating why you want to be there. If deep down inside you’re really not sure, and there’s a struggle going on in your mind (“should I be chasing this?”), an employer can often sense that.

This is why you’ll often see me suggesting that you do some self-assessment and career research before trying to break in to any path.

BONUS: My FREE self-assessment tool, The Career Mirror, will help you articulate what you want and what you have to offer. Click here to get instant access.

 

Big law firms are more selective than they used to be about who they hire. If they sense that you’re one of the types of lawyers who is really more interested in a government job or your true goal is to just pay off your loans, then they will pass on you.

If you’re leaving the law and exploring alternative careers for lawyers, you’ll need to convince employers that you’re not there interviewing because you couldn’t cut it as a lawyer or that you’re just killing time waiting for a law job.

Do you have a passion for their type of work or for something you find special about their organization? Do you have a skill set and strengths that are uniquely tailored to the needs of the organization?

Employers want to hire people who truly want to be working for them – and who will make a good fit.

You want to be able to articulate this stuff to employers so you don’t fail a job interview. Thinking through these issues and practicing in front of a mirror is a great way to prepare.

I can also help you with this in a coaching session via phone or Skype.

Related Posts:

Learning from Failure
Interviewing Tips
Finding Your Career

 

GET MY FREE SELF-ASSESSMENT!

Thinking of leaving the law? The best first step you can take is a good look in the mirror. START HERE:

it's free!
You’ll also get periodic updates, reminders & access to career guidance programs sent to your inbox. We respect your privacy. You can unsubscribe via a click at any time.