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Lateral Interviews

Know Your Reasons For Interviewing

You will be asked why you are interviewing over and over again during lateral interviews because all employers will want to know why you desire to leave your current job. In fact, this is the single most important question during lateral interviews, and your answer will directly impact whether you get an offer. Practice your answer in advance, with friends or in front of the mirror, and make sure it sounds convincing.

Your real reasons for interviewing probably have something to do with being treated poorly, getting stuck doing paralegal work, or not seeing daylight since Labor Day weekend. From the employer's perspective, however, these are not good reasons. Therefore, when you discuss why you are leaving your current firm, the appropriate good reasons are relocation, the desire to move to a firm of a different size, the desire to work at a certain department, the desire for an opportunity to work with more attorneys, or your goal of working at a firm where you can develop a certain specialty. Come up with two positive reasons for interviewing and mention them both.

Alyssa recently made a lateral move from a firm where she was stuck doing document review to another firm, which offered her significant writing and deposition experience. During her interview, she steered clear of discussing her bitter feelings about doc review. Instead, she focused on the fact that the new firm offered her an opportunity to develop a specialty in insurance defense, which she could not do at her current firm. She also noted that she wanted an opportunity to work with more attorneys prior to developing a specialty, which, again, she could not do at the current firm. She aced the interview and got an offer.

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Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesLaw Job InterviewsLateral Interviews - Are You Ready?, Logistics, Scrutiny, Checking References, Know Your Reasons For Interviewing, Discussions About Specialty