Research tells you that an initial impression is made in the first 5 seconds of meeting someone. That means that it is absolutely important to look sharp and polished. I have spent endless hours trying to decide what to wear for interviews, what color to wear on my finger and toe nails, and what shoes to wear.
1. Polish is important. I have chosen to wear a medium tone gray suit with a purple shirt underneath. Conventional, yes, but not boring. I am wearing ankle boots on my feet with heels to give the illusion of height (I am 5'2 in my stocking feet). I will have my nails short and practical, but in a french manicure. Classy, understated, polished. I will put on my Mac makeup with natural coloring, not to light, but not evening wear either. No perfume---my regular soap/lotion will suffice. I will straighen my hair with a flat iron, and sprayed with a shine finishing touch. All giving an image of professional, confident, and polished --- just what I want to project.
2. Do your homework. I researched the association I am interviewing with. I have figured out who I think will be interviewing me. I looked everyone up on the internet. I know the CEO is from the south and new to this area, has middle school and high school children, and was formally an adjunct professor at a small liberal arts college. The two attorney's are vastly different. One is a confident looking woman, who is an ex prosecutor, who went to an Oregon law school, though not alumni of mine. The other attorney is a man around my age, but admitted to the Oregon Bar in 2004. Nothing much personal about him, but he does the lobbying and legislative work for the association. He is frequently quoted and pictured during campaigns and ballot measures speaking on behalf of the association.
I also have read the magazine that the association puts out quarterly for the last year. I know the hot topic buttons, the issues that are important to the association, and have a clear picture of what the association stands for. I have done enough research to figure out that this place is a good fit for me, at least on paper.
3. Be confident. I have tried to anticipate questions that will be asked of me. I will be honest and candid. I have nothing to hide, and in fact, I have much to offer to the team.
4. Have questions prepared. I want to know how, or if, the association trains. What would be expected of me as I try to get up to speed in the area of law that the association operates in. I want to know how long before I would be asked to do any legal work and what that work would be. This area of law is immense and not something that you can master in a month, let alone a year. I want to know how these attorney's learned this area so well, and how fast I am expected to get up to speed.