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Lunch Interviews, Dinners, and Retreats

At Firm Retreats, Be A Team Player

An invitation to a firm retreat is the latest experiment some firms are trying out as a part of their recruiting efforts. Despite their obvious curb appeal, firm retreats are basically day- or week-long interviews, so all the usual interview rules apply.

Try to have a good time, but do not treat a retreat as a vacation. Be a good sport; when invited to participate in team-building exercises or competitive activities, do it with a smile. The most important aspect of such exercises is not your performance, but your ability to get along well with others. If you happen to lose, lose gracefully. Likewise, if your interviewers push your buttons, never push back.

Make an effort to spend most of your waking moments with your interviewers. It may be tempting to check into the 24-hour spa on the premises or to sign up for day-long golf lessons, but remember—you are there on a firm's dime, interviewing for a job. The firm expects you to put in a lot of face time and to be available during exercises, meetings, and other events. Socializing can help you improve your chances, so get to know your future colleagues and learn more about the firm.

A meal or retreat interview should be an enjoyable experience for both you and your interviewers. It should also give you an opportunity to learn more about the firm and the interviewers while letting them get to know more about you. Remember not to say or do anything during these interviews you would not say or do during regular interviews. Although your interviewers may appear friendly and casual, they are carefully watching your every move. Enjoy these events and try to have fun, but act professionally.


  • • Be on your best behavior during informal interviews, and never let your guard down.
  • • Do not volunteer any information you would not divulge during a regular interview.
  • • Do not order anything too expensive or exotic.
  • • Do not drink alcohol unless you are invited to.
  • • Follow your interviewers’ lead in placing an ordering appetizers and desserts.
  • • Watch your table manners and avoid messy foods.
  • • Do not criticize the interviewers’ restaurant choice.
  • • Do not treat these interviews as an opportunity to get too familiar, casual, or flirtatious.

Nail Your Law Job Interview © 2009 , Career Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesLaw Job InterviewsLunch Interviews, Dinners, and Retreats - Act Professional, Never Let Your Guard Down, What To Order?, Table Manners, Basic Etiquette