Behavioral Interviewing

While most questions legal employers ask during on-campus interviews and in callbacks are aimed at gauging the candidate’s “fit” with the culture of the firm, recruiters have been trying to get their attorney-interviewers to ask more “behavioral” types of questions.

We thought we’d share a link to an article written by a career services colleague with some background on behavioral interviewing as well as a list of behvioral types of questions aimed at identifying whether candidates possess some of the core competencies legal employers look for. 

The questions were developed in connection with a presentation made at the 2013 NALP Annual Education Conference by Adrienne Allison, Public Interest Career Counselor, University of North Carolina School of Law, Amee McKim, Director of Legal Recruitment, Duane Morris LLP, and Rachel Peckerman, Associate Director, Public Interest Law Center, NYU School of Law.

EIW/FIP Attire (Bumped)

Occasionally, we’re asked about appropriate on-campus interview attire.  We think our colleagues at the Yale Law School offer some good advice, which we’ve excerpted below.  Keep in mind that dressing appropriately is art, not science.  You should look at these simply as guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules.

Your attire should contribute to your professionalism.  Although employers may have different dress codes, err on the conservative side when interviewing.


  • Skirt suits are still considered the most conservative, although women wear pants suits as well.
  • Black, navy and gray are the most conservative colors, but tans and other subtle shades are also acceptable.  Solids are preferable to patterns.
  • The skirt should be no more than two inches above the knee.
  • Wear a white or cream blouse (sometimes called a “shell”) with either short or long sleeves. Tank tops and camisoles are too casual. The blouse should either have a collar or a round neck. Avoid low-cut shirts.
  • Wear a white or cream blouse (sometimes called a “shell”) with either short or long sleeves. Tank tops and camisoles are too casual. The blouse should either have a collar or a round neck. Avoid low-cut shirts.


Networking Guide for Introverts

Here is some great career advice for introverts.  I remember reading somewhere that while extroverts outnumber introverts in the general population (by a margin of something like 3 to 1), among lawyers, there are actually more introverts than extroverts.

Introverted lawyers/law students may also want to check out a recently published book called “Quiet, Please: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.”   You can read an interview with its author Susan Cain here.

Interviewing Tips

A recent piece in the New York Law Journal, written by the legal recruiting manager of a large law firm, offers alot of helpful suggestions for preparing for interviews.

It also contains some tips about a style of interviewing that is starting to gain momentum with legal employers- behavioral interviewing.

Definitely worth a read.

Networking and Emotional Intelligence More Important Than Ever

There’s some great advice in a recent posting in by Ari Kaplan, a former BIGLAW attorney who wrote a great book on networking (“The Opportunity Maker: Strategies for Inspiring Your Legal Career Through Creative Networking and Business Development.”)

The posting stresses the importance of emotional intelligence (EI) to legal employers.  In a recovering market, they will be focussing on candidates who exhibit flexibility, resiliency, creativity, empathy, self-awareness, self-control, optimism, confidence, self-directedness, and determination despite setbacks.  Persons with high EIQ display good judgment and get along well with others.  (For more on EI, you should check out one or more of Daniel Goleman’s books on the subject.)   

You really should read the Ari Kaplan’s entire post, but here are a couple of key quotes:

“Individuals who demonstrate thoughtfulness about the needs of an organization’s clients, the institution’s goals and the state of the legal industry will distinguish themselves.”

“[W]hen you meet someone, add a follow-up call or e-mail to your electronic calendar. For instance, if during a conversation someone shares an important court date, a key client meeting or a personal event, set a reminder to ask him or her about it in a week, a month or even longer, depending on the appropriate timing. Every interface is an opportunity.” (emphasis added)

Employers Using Social Networks For Background Checks

Two employment lawyers writing in the NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) Journal talk about the increasing number of employers who use online social networks (like Facebook) to perform background checks on their potential employees. The article is entitled: “MySpace or Yours? How Can a Web Site Cost Someone a Job?” and you can read it here. Among other things, they conclude that, unlike screening information they obtain from outside companies, the information gleaned from these sites need not be disclosed to the prospective employee under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.