Thursday, February 21, 2008

Interviewing as a 1L

Yesterday and today, I interviewed for law clerk positions. The first was with the Marion County DA's office. The second interview was with the Department of Justice.

The process was interesting for me. I have not interviewed for 12 years. Prior to today, I have always been on the other side of the desk, asking the questions. Being in the hotseat again after so many years was, oddly enough, fun.

Now, as to the interviews: they were undoubtedly the most strange interviews EVER.

For the DA's office---No questions about my grades at all. Random questions like: "Have you ever been arrested?" I said no. They replied, "If you were to be arrested, what would it be for?" HUH?!?!?!?! Did I miss something? More seemingly random questions followed.

One thing having lived life prior to law school, nothing that was thrown at me intimidated me. I was calm, confident, and poised. Although, I left confused. Late last night it dawned on me the reason for the random questions. To make it to law school, you have to be intelligent. To place in the top 20%, you have to be smart and dedicated. The DA's office was looking specifically at my personality and whether or not I would mesh with the other lawyers, and potential law clerks in the office.

Next interview was with the DOJ. Here I made a crucial mistake. I was interviewing with two different departments. I answered why I would make a good fit with one department, and the person interviewing with the other department ruled me out because I sold myself really well to the first one.

I was interviewed by three people, all whom were very nice. But interestingly enough, I answered 4 questions total and they did most of the talking.

And then I committed the interview no-no. I was asked a question. The only way I could truthfully answer the question was to admit that I am a single parent. Something you are told never to do in an interview. The problem is that it is important that while interviewing YOU BE YOURSELF. And part of that was to explain who I am and how I got to where I am. My daughter is a large part of this.

They were gracious and actually made me feel good. They commended my accomplishments and congradulated me for meeting my goals.

Anyway, it was interesting all around............But very different from how I imagined.


  1. Do you thin it had a negative impact then?

  2. Great question. No, it did not have a negative impact at all. I am actually working for that department! (I should have followed that up later). In fact, most of the department has children and they value family first.

    BTW: Welcome to my blog. I hope you find it useful!