Considerations for a Virtual Interview
by the Summer Associate Hub Team
- Clear your space – Make sure that the background that is within your camera’s view is clean and looks professional. You should feel comfortable showing up in your authentic space, but remember it is an interview, so it should be polished. There are true stories of students who were rejected from BigLaw firms because their space was messy with dirty laundry, an unmade bed, etc.
- Look the part – Even though virtual meeting can feel less formal, it’s important to dress as though you would in person. Wear the same formal business attire you would for an in-person meeting.
- Lighting – There’s nothing worse than hopping on an important virtual meeting and realizing that your lighting is too dim or bright. We suggest that you run a few tests with the meeting software to make sure you are in a well-lit place. If you can’t adjust your physical space for more light, some videoconferencing software, like Zoom, have features to increase brightness.
- Eye contact – On a virtual call, you are limited with your body language and non-verbal communication. That’s why maintaining good eye contact is so important. Be sure to look at the camera (not yourself!) when you’re speaking and listening to the interviewer. A good tip is to adjust the virtual interview window near your webcam (for example, at the top of your screen) so that you can look at the interviewer/yourself while also making eye contact.
- Test your tech – To avoid any tech issues, make sure you test out the meeting software, ensure your camera and microphone are enabled and that you have the latest version of the meeting software. Doing this check before the interview will reduce the chance of awkward hiccups during your conversation. Many law schools and law firms use specific video conferencing software specific to legal recruiting, which you may not have used before – is it essential that you test it beforehand.
- Be on time – As with an in-person interview, punctuality is key, make sure you are logged into the meeting on time and ready to go.
- Wait, what if the interview cuts out?! – Virtual interviews are convenient, but technology isn’t perfect (especially during times when you need it to be, it seems). So, it is possible that your virtual interview is interrupted for a variety of reasons: your internet cuts out, the interviewer’s internet cuts out, there is a power outage, the videoconferencing software goes down, etc.
Summer Associate Hub Team
This content is based on our own experiences as former law students and BigLaw attorneys, and countless conversations with firm recruiting teams, law students, law school career advisors, legal career coaches, and hiring partners.
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