One of the most popular PDO events every year is the Mock Interview program. The full article explains the format for mock interviews, which include résumé and cover letter reviews by the interviewing attorney. Last year there were over 100 mock interviews, and many students did two interviews. The response from students was very positive, although occasionally students have less than perfect interviews, just as in real life!
Mock interviews are thirty minutes long and will be held Tuesday January 19 through Thursday January 21, between 5:15 and 7:30 pm. Thirty attorneys have volunteered their time to conduct individual student interviews, and the interviews are typically held either in a staff/faculty office or a library interview room. Approximately 20 minutes will be used for the mock interview, and the last ten minutes will be devoted to attorney feedback on the student’s résumé, cover letter, and interview skills. In order to make the “interview” as realistic as possible, please research the attorneys as if they were potential employers and come dressed as if you were going to a real interview, prepared with questions to ask. In the past, students have found mock interviews a great way to get over interview jitters, receive valuable feedback on what employers are looking for in a résumé and cover letter, and build their network.
Signups begin soon in PDO, so watch your email for the announcement that sign-ups are open! Keep in mind that each year, changes to the schedule will invariably occur as attorneys have emergencies that arise, so there is always a chance that your interviewer assignment may change. Before you sign up, PDO will verify that your résumé has been uploaded into Symplicity. If you have any questions about how to upload your documents into Symplicity, check with us in PDO. Once you have signed up for your interview, you should prepare a cover letter customized to your interviewer and his/her employer and load it into Symplicity no later than Tuesday, January 12. We will use Symplicity to collect your résumés and cover letters and email them to the attorneys. Please label your cover letter “Mock Interview Cover”.
Sign up as early as possible to get your first choice of attorneys. Students may sign up for one interview through December 29. January 4 to January 11, students may sign up for a second mock interview if there are remaining spaces available.
Prior to signing up:
Upload your résumé into Symplicity; you will be able to tweak your résumé through January 12.
No later than Tuesday January 12:
Put final touches on your résumé in Symplicity and upload a customized cover letter labeled “Mock Interview Cover” into Symplicity. Kay will email your résumé and cover letters from Symplicity to the mock interviewers the following day.
Thursday, January 14:
Attend the PDO workshop “Interviewing Like a Pro” presented by Anneliese.
Prior to your interview:
Research the attorney and the organization for which he/she works.
Prepare some questions to ask as you would in an interview. Think about what your answers might be to common interview questions.
After your interview:
Complete an anonymous PDO survey form about the interview.
Excerpts from last year’s mock interview surveys:
“The most important thing for me was the opportunity to field questions from an attorney that might come up in a real interview. Having an opportunity to practice the responses and some of the follow up questions to those responses was quite helpful.”
“The attorneys I interviewed with both gave me their cards and offered to meet again over lunch. It’s so much easier to network in this type of setting than try to get a card and a lunch meeting during a busy social event with lots of students clamoring for attention. I also got redlined resumes and cover letters from my interviewers. I love that feedback!”
“I got some tips about my resume and cover letters, but I think the best thing was getting out those first nerves, feeling out how interviews go, and making important connections for the future. I really got along great with both of my interviewers, and I think that the contacts I made just by interviewing were very important.”