I spent three hours last night watching one of the greatest ballerinas on earth — Gillian Murphy — perform at Lincoln Center. For anyone who knows ballet, Gillian’s beauty is only outshone by her technical abilities. In other words, she is someone who “makes it look easy.” However, underneath her performance lies hours and hours of work, rehearsal, and diligence. It’s not surprising that Gillian’s performance resonated with me this week as, prior to arriving at the theatre, I was on the phone with an active candidate who also “makes it look easy” — and I realized there might be a lesson here for other attorneys who are interviewing this summer.
The candidate I am referring to above is someone who — despite typical summer time distractions — preps for her interviews 4 days before, reads treatises on the weekend, spends her lunch hours digesting case law in her chosen field, and spends her evenings networking. As a result, when she gets in front of a partner for her interviews, she radiates confidence, poise and knowledge. She’s beauty on the outside supported by hours of study underneath. Her calm demeanor is only possible because she is well prepared and well rehearsed.
Prepping for an interview during the summer months can be hard! I’m sure you would rather be at a barbecue or out at a summer associate event. A few of my candidates have said to me recently , “I don’t need prep. I am who I am; if they don’t like me, it’s not meant to be.” (I hear that a lot during the summer). If that’s you, ask yourself, “do I really mean that?” ….. or “do I just not feel like doing the prep work?” If it’s the latter, reconsider your approach. The summer can be a great time to find a job sometimes because your competition on the marketplace may be distracted with their own barbecues, vacations, parties, event. With a smaller candidate pool for firms to chose from, you increase your odds at those firms where you do interview. So, why not do your very BEST at the interview? Prepare, prepare, prepare. Don’t let the hazy summer days interrupt your usual ambitious approach. As I tell my candidates, “I know it’s the summer, but don’t let the sun catch you crying.” Ok, I don’t really say that, but it sounded good (my apologies to Gerry and the Pacemakers). The bottom line is: If you are interviewing this summer, dedicate the time you need to prepare well for your interviews. If you put in your time, your performance will radiate calmness supported by intelligence and experience, and that’s the ideal.
Reflecting back to the ballet last night, there was one ballerina on stage who fell out of her arabesque two times. Yes, the audience noticed and, yes, they actually gasped (welcome to NYC). I wonder if she put in her prep time?
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