Interview Tips: The Interview Itself

Keep in mind that the interview begins with submitting your materials, and continues with internet searches and setting up the interview.  Even if OCPD sets up the interview as part of OCI, don’t forget the employers often ask our opinion of you!  Be polite and enthusiastic on the phone. Also, don’t forget that you are still interviewing if you go to lunch with the employer. The employer will be observing your behavior under all circumstances.

The Interview

  • Be early.
  • Be nice to everyone, including support staff.
  • Be a courteous driver in parking lots, etc. You never know who you might see.
  • Bring extra copies of your resume, references, transcript, and writing samples.
  • Walk into the office with confidence and a friendly demeanor.
  • Use a firm handshake.


  • Let the interviewer set the tone.  This includes how formal it is, the speed, and the length of your answers.
  • Make the most of the first few minutes of small talk. You want the interviewer to like you. Strive to make a connection with the interviewer.
  • Be professional. Remember, even though the interviewer may be close in age to you, this is not the time to let your guard down. Keep your comments professional. An answer to questions like “Tell me what you did for the year in between college and law school” should not be “Had a lot of fun!”
  • Be a good listener. Use the information you receive to pose questions back to the interviewer
  • Avoid one-word answers to questions. Let them be lead-ins to a conversational style.
  • Show enthusiasm. For public interest organizations and government agencies, show passion for the mission
  • Show respect.
  • Answer the question being asked directly. Don’t hedge.
  • Thank him/her at the end, shake hands and ask, “Where do we go from here?”