Author Topic: Impressing the other side during an informational interview  (Read 2110 times)

lara

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Impressing the other side during an informational interview
« on: October 20, 2013, 10:52:38 AM »
Another question for the MMM community --

Any suggestions on how to wow a potential employer during an informational interview? By "wow", I mean less "what is your day like? what do you like most/least about this job" and more "this is what I know about your company and how I can help."  Or, more broadly, has anyone ever done an informational interview that turned into a job offer? If so, how did you go about preparing for the informational interview?

I ask on behalf of my brother. By way of background, my brother is a mid-level NYC big law litigation attorney and is meeting up with a contact at a pharma company in a couple of weeks. My brother would love to work at this company, and graciously, this contact has offered to set up meetings with various attorneys in the legal department. Currently, there are no openings for the in-house legal team.

The wrinkle in this situation is that there are no U.S.-based attorney positions for the type of law my brother practices, but there are other litigation positions, which he would be interested in switching to. With all that in mind, he's a bit stumped as to how to approach meeting these attorneys. He realizes that he needs to get across his interest in the company, and more importantly, that he understands the needs/concerns of the company and can respond to them.

The goal = to impress the other side during his meeting so that when a job does open up, he has already made a great 1st impression

The question = What types of questions to ask/what type of preparation to do to show his knowledge of the business of the company?

(If there are any biglaw/in-house attorneys on this board, I'd love to hear your stories!)

Thanks!
Lara

gooki

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2376
  • Location: NZ
Re: Impressing the other side during an informational interview
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2013, 11:10:22 AM »
Impress people with your honesty.

Give real world examples of your awesomeness.

Listen, listen, listen, and ask questions.

Dee18

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1605
Re: Impressing the other side during an informational interview
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2013, 12:00:13 PM »
Learn all he can about the positions that are available and think ahead, why would they want to hire him for one of those?  Did he take courses in the area?  Are they similar enough to what he has done?  If they involve science, such as patent law, does he have the background?  Is he comfortable in areas major companies are bringing in house now, such as e-discovery?  Be very prepared for the question, why do you want to leave the firm?  (and make sure the answer is not, "the hours are too long...")

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2386
Re: Impressing the other side during an informational interview
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2013, 12:28:29 PM »
Try to build a connection, and refresh the connection every so often so he's not forgotten when there is a position. By that I mean reach out after a few months to pass on something interesting or relevant or suggest coffee etc.

Gray Matter

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3625
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Impressing the other side during an informational interview
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2013, 02:33:03 PM »
Ask their advice--people love to give it!  Something along the lines of..."if someday I wanted to transition to a job/industry like yours, what advice do you have for me?  What should I be doing right now to make myself a strong candidate in the future?"
« Last Edit: October 20, 2013, 03:08:06 PM by Gray Matter »

ender

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
Re: Impressing the other side during an informational interview
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2013, 02:57:48 PM »
1. Spend a considerable amount of time researching the company you are interviewing with. Mission statement, etc.
2. Write down specific needs the company has for its industry
3. Type and print a 1-page plan for how you think you can meet those goals. Be specific
4. Discuss this plan during your interview