It’s a potential life-changing event—yet so many people get it wrong. I’m talking about going for an interview for a position you really want; one that could have a dramatic impact on the rest of your life.
So, why is it that so many prospective employees don’t seem to grasp the essentials of getting the interviewer to fall in love with them and make a commitment to hire them?
While building successful businesses I’ve had the opportunity to conduct many interviews. Let me share with you 10 common faults I’ve identified from that experience. Avoid them if you really want to get the exciting job of your dreams.
1. Don’t Be Unprepared
First of all…don’t make the mistake of going into an interview without researching the industry, the company, the boss, and as much as you can about the specific position. If someone tells me they’re at the interview to learn about my company, that’s a total turn-off.
The interviewee should have gone out of his way to become knowledgeable and find out in advance everything he could about the enterprise he wants to work for. There are so many online resources today; it’s not something that’s hard to do. It shows that the candidate is serious about wanting the position. Part of being prepared is also making sure you don’t arrive late for the interview. That’s inexcusable. Shoot to get to the appointment way ahead of time just in case there are unexpected delays.
2. Don’t Go Casual
You must create a good first impression. And that starts with the first moment your interviewer sets eyes on you. At our company, we do not have a suit and tie dress code, but it’s disrespectful for a potential employee to stroll in wearing a torn T-shirt, jeans and sneakers. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. You’re attending a job interview—not a ball game.
3. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions
I like inquisitive people. I like people who want to learn. And I actually like people who challenge me. So don’t forget that an interview is a two-way street. I’m trying to find out if you’ll fit in with the rest of my rock stars and what kind of dynamite contribution you can make to our success; hopefully, you’re curious about the people with whom you’ll be working, the Company’s culture, exactly what is going to be demanded of you—and the potential for growth within the company.
I’m going to be investing in you—so I want someone who’s going to make a commitment and be with us long-term. Please don’t forget that.
4. Don’t Use Clichés
I’ve heard them all. “I’m a problem-solver.” “I’m a real team player.” “I’m a perfectionist.” I don’t need to hear general descriptions of how great you are (especially those clichés). I do want to hear specific examples of your successes and who the inner you is. What character in any relationship do you value the most? What was the highest moment in your life and the most struggling? How did you react and prosper?
5. Don’t Trash Your Current Employer
You may well be unhappy at your current company. I don’t need to hear it. If you speak ill of your current employer what’s to say you won’t speak ill of me? Don’t bring any trash talk from your job into the interview. Saying you didn’t always see eye to eye is one thing; it may well show that you can think for yourself, especially if you can quote a positive element. One way or another it was a learning experience! But don’t harp on petty disputes or air any dirty laundry. Don’t trash talk anyone. You don’t want to gain a reputation for negativity.
6. Don’t Be Fake
There’s always the temptation to “play to the gallery” when you’re being interviewed. You’re inclined to tell the interviewer exactly what you think he wants to hear rather than exactly how you feel. OK. So it’s stressful and you want the job really badly. And maybe you even exaggerate your experience a little bit. My advice is to be real. Presenting a “fake you” and hyped credentials is not going to serve you in the long haul. Truth has a way of finding its way out.
7. Don’t Chit Chat
Never forget that this is an interview for a job. Be professional. Be business-like. This is not the forum to share intimate details of your personal life, the ups and downs of your marriage, or your recent break-up. It is the forum to discuss why you want the job and how you will be an asset to the company.
8. Don’t Be Evasive
A good interviewer will ask plenty of direct questions. Be ready to provide direct answers. Honesty is the best policy. A good interviewer will watch your body language and inflection of voice for any telltale evasions.
9. Don’t Talk Money
There’s a time and a place to discuss salary, bonuses, and perks of the job. And it’s not at the initial interview unless it’s something the interviewer raises. Your compensation package is obviously a matter for major discussion—when you know you’re going to get offered something. Then you can always negotiate from a position of strength.
10. Don’t Just Walk Away
At the end of the interview don’t simply say “thanks for your consideration” and depart—and that’s the end of it. If you want the position make it clear that you’re interested before you leave and try to find out the company’s level of interest in you. Say something like, “This sounds like an ideal position for me. Is there a fit here?” and “What’s our next step?”
Your next step, regardless, is to follow up. The same day. A brief, polite email thanking the interviewer for his consideration and reiterating your desire for the job is not only proper etiquette but also shows that you really want it. I’m always surprised when someone doesn’t follow up. But it happens.
Going for an interview is one of the most important (and challenging) events in anyone’s life. Don’t treat it casually if are serious about being part of a winning team. It’s your first chance to shine. Don’t make it your last chance.
Most of all, especially if you’re young, take risks and interview for the places that you can call a career – not a job. Life’s too short to be aiming for a 9 to 5.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, the firm N.J. Gov. Chris Christie tasked with investigating his administration’s possible complicity in the Bridgegate scandal, issued a 360-page report Thursday that cleared the governor’s office and laid blame squarely on a former aide and a Port Authority staffer.
At a press conference at the firm’s New York offices, partner Randy Mastro said Christie had “no knowledge beforehand” of the plan to close access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee last September and “played no role whatsoever” in executing that plan.
The plan was hatched by Port Authority staffer David Wildstein and carried out
with the help of the governor’s deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, Mastro said. He called the ulterior motive unclear but said the scheme was a product of “bizarre personal or political animus” against Fort Lee by Wildstein.
Other key figures, former Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni and former Christie campaign manager Bill Stepien, came out relatively unscathed. The report found they knew in advance about the lane closures but apparently believed them to be related to a legitimate traffic study.
Mastro deflected suggestions that he might have been biased in his investigation because of his former close relationship with New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Christie ally.
“It serves no one’s best interest…certainly not mine or my law firm’s interest…to have done anything other than to try to get to the truth here,” Mastro said, referring to himself as a “proud Democrat” and “fiercely independent.”
“Our law firm was retained by the Office of the Governor…a public office, and we have an obligation to that public office,” Mastro added, claiming he’d be obligated to report any evidence averse to Christie, whom he met for the first time when the firm was retained.
The 10-week probe, conducted by Mastro and four other former federal prosecutors at Gibson Dunn— Reed Brodsky, Alexander H. Southwell, Debra Wong Yang and Avi Weitzman—included interviews of 70 people, including the governor.
Not interviewed were Wildstein, Kelly, Stepien or David Samson, Port Authority chairman and partner at Wolff & Samson in West Orange. The first three have invoked their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. Samson declined to be interviewed, Mastro said.
Speculation that the closures were ordered as political retribution against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat who declined to endorse Christie in the November 2013 gubernatorial race, was not borne out by the evidence, the report said. It found Christie’s office was aware beginning in March 2013 that no endorsement would be forthcoming, but Sokolich maintained a good relationship with the administration and remained under Christie’s consideration for an honorary appointment.
The firm said Wildstein apparently had a vendetta against Fort Lee—possibly stemming from perceived special treatment because of its local access to the bridge—and raised that issue as far back as 2010. In August 2013, Wildstein began communicating with Kelly about the proposed closures, which he ultimately ordered—without notice to Fort Lee and despite internal Port Authoity emails warning they would yield a traffic nightmare, according to the report.
During the closures and afterwards, Kelly and Wildstein continued to communicate in messages that have become well-known since their public exposure in January, including Kelly’s response of “Good” when told that Sokolich was fuming over the traffic, the report stated.
The firm found that they also attempted to cover their tracks—Wildstein, by insisting to Christie staffers that a legitimate traffic study was conducted, with Kelly’s and others’ knowledge, and ultimately resigning in December; and Kelly, by lying about her involvement and attempting to have at least one damning email message deleted.
The firm said Christie, for his part, demanded answers about the lane-closure debacle from his entire staff, including Kelly, who didn’t step forward and also lied about her involvement under questioning by Chief of Staff Kevin O’Dowd. Christie fired her and cut ties with Stepien after the communiques became public on Jan. 8.
Christie also didn’t recall a supposed conversation with Wildstein about the lane closures during a 9/11 memorial event, according to the report.
The report also addressed Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s allegations of a Christie administration conspiracy to coerce her into advancing a stalled real estate project pursued by the Rockefeller Group, a private developer, in exchange for Hurricane Sandy aid. Zimmer claimed that high-ranking officials, including Lieut. Gov. Kimberly Guadagno, conveyed the quid pro quo as a “direct message” from Christie.
The firm said Zimmer’s allegations are demonstrably false in material respects and contradicted by other accounts, including her own prior statements. On Jan. 11, a week before first making her allegations, she told the press that, while disappointed with Hoboken’s Sandy aid, “I don’t think it was retaliation and I don’t have any reason to think it’s retaliation,” the report noted.
The firm discredited the handwritten notebook that Zimmer offered as corroboration for her account, noting that it was, by her own admission, written a few days after the events it purported to chronicle and that “its most inflammatory statements appear to have been added even later, written across the top and down the side of pages.”
The firm said its investigation found that the conspiracy alleged by Zimmer could not have been effectuated, in view of the Christie administration’s “objective and transparent” and formula-driven process for allocating Sandy aid, which is subject to federal oversight. “In other words, the threats that Mayor Zimmer has alleged were neither carried out, nor could they have been,” the firm concluded.
The report also made numerous recommended changes, including appointments of a chief ethics officer and an ombudsman in the governor’s office, and commission of a bi-state study of the Port Authority.
Stepien’s lawyer, Kevin Marino of Marino, Tortorella & Boyle in Chatham, says the report “confirms” his client’s lack of involvement in the stunt.
“I’m left with a single question: why did the governor sever ties with Bill Stepien?” Marino said, adding that Christie and his advisors “ought to have the courage to step forward now…and say ‘we made a mistake.’”
Wildstein’s lawyer, Alan Zegas of Chatham, didn’t return a call.
Neither did Baroni or Kelly’s lawyer, Michael Critchley of Critchley, Kinum & Vazquez in Roseland.
Christie’s office, in a release, highlighted parts of the report, but spokesman Michael Drewniak didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.
A NASA T-38 Talon, with the tail number 901, has arrived in Bowling Green, KY to be added to the Aviation Heritage Park collection of historical aircraft. The plane is the fifth acquisition for the park whose goal is to promote the stories of prominent aviators from the region.
The T-38 was flown by astronaut and U.S. Marine Col. Terry Wilcutt, a Russellville native and Western Kentucky University graduate.
NASA decommissioned T-38 No. 901 in 2011, and it was sitting in the boneyard of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz. until the park acquired it. Unlike the other planes at the park, which are on loan, the T-38 was given outright to Warren County, and it’s in better condition than several of the other planes when they first arrived in Bowling Green.
The plane was used by astronauts who flew missions during the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs, including John Glenn, Alan Shepard and Neil Armstrong.
Joseph Grimes, Senior Partner of GRG, who previously performed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV’s) flight operations as Pilot in Command, Instructor, and as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in the military commented “It is an honor to have such a historical piece of equipment at any aviation park. I am proud to see that the community is paying homage to those who fight for our country in such a prominent way.”
Following several new additions to the GRG team, Pixie Meredith has joined GRG as a Senior Partner. GRG’s and GLI’s national footprint allows Pixie to further expand her practice, which encompasses a variety of cities spanning from California to New York. “My career search led me to GRG because of its history and reputation in both the legal industry and beyond” Pixie reported, “[GRG’s] established footprint and capabilities allow me to serve the needs of my clients in ways that were not possible before.”
Pixie is well-versed in both the legal and medical consulting industries thus when Pixie met with representatives of GRG, she concluded that it was a natural fit. Unlike most staffing firms, GRG partners are able to provide their clients with our total workforce solutions making GRG a one-stop-shop for all of your recruitment needs. Building off of our sister company, Grimes Legal, with its 20+ years of Partner and Associate permanent placement experience, GRG is able to offer services such as contract, staffing, document review, payrolling and more.
Nancy Grimes, Managing Partner of GRG/GLI, commented “Pixie has immense experience in both the legal and medical industries that I am sure will flourish with the help of our platform. We are very pleased to have Pixie join our team!”
If you have any staffing, contracting or payrolling needs, please contact Pixie at (800) 875-3820 or by email at email@example.com.
Joseph “Joe” Grimes, current Chair of Recruitment for GRG, has been appointed to Senior Parter. Joe leads the successful development and execution of GRG’s national and global operations and logistics expansion strategies, comprehensive management solutions, strategic processes and systems and the selection, implementation and continued development of technology solutions. He is also responsible for developing profitable logistics partnerships and helps establish the Firm’s overall vision, drive improvement initiatives and monitoring effective performance metrics.
Prior to joining GRG, Joe resonantly worked in the operations of Unmanned Vehicles (UV’s). Joe has conducted various types of operations in the United States such as performing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV’s) flight operations as Pilot in Command, Instructor, and as a Subject Matter Expert (SME). As a UAV Instructor, Joe created and taught various training courses and assisted in creating a number of processes. Joe worked hand in hand with several government agencies to perform such operations. He has also conducted various operations and worked with many platforms for the military in overseas-type operations.
As a part of GRG, Joe takes pride in assisting both candidates and firms in finding customized workforce solutions. GRG delivers services such as providing qualified candidates both in the legal field and beyond to meet the needs of our clients. We also excel in providing pay rolling services to businesses of any size or industry. The President of GLI/GRG, Nancy Grimes, says “We could not be happier to have [Joe] join the GRG team. He brings a great deal of knowledge and experience to the table, and I have no doubt that our clients will greatly benefit from his assistance.”
It’s easy to fall into a pattern of “always working” rather than working smart. However, there are ways to avoid falling into that trap:
1. Take more breaks. In one of my favorite books, Stephen Covey tells a story about a woodcutter whose saw gets more blunt as time passes and he continues cutting down trees. If the woodcutter were to stop sawing, sharpen his saw, and go back to cutting the tree with a sharp blade, he would actually save time and effort in the long run.
The analogy is an easy one to remember but harder to put into practice. Here’s what Covey says about sharpening the saw in our lives:
Sharpen the Saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have–you. It means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual.
Sharpening the saw is a great habit to get into in all areas of our lives, but I think it can be especially beneficial when it comes to work and helping us avoid burnout.
On average our brains are only able to remain focused for 90 minutes; then we need at least 15 minutes rest. (The phenomenon is based on ultradian rhythms.) By taking period breaks roughly every 90 minutes you allow your mind and body to renew–and be ready to fire off another 90-minute period of high activity.
For some people, 15 to 20 minute breaks might be tough to pull off, but taking short breaks throughout the day can still help you to refresh your mind and reset your attention span.
2. Take naps. Research shows naps lead to improvement in cognitive function, creative thinking, and memory performance. In particular, napping benefits the learning process by helping us take in and retain information better.
The improved learning process comes from naps actually helping our brain to solidify memories. According to Max Read, “Research indicates that when memory is first recorded in the brain–in the hippocampus, to be specific–it’s still ‘fragile’ and easily forgotten, especially if the brain is asked to memorize more things. Napping, it seems, pushes memories to the neocortex, the brain’s ‘more permanent storage,’ preventing them from being ‘overwritten.’”
One study into memory found that participants did remarkably better on a test following a nap than those who didn’t sleep at all.
Not only are naps beneficial for consolidating memories and helping us remember new information (handy if your job includes a lot of research during the day!), they’re also useful in helping us to avoid burnout, since research shows burnout is a signal that says you can’t take in more information in this part of your brain until you’ve had a chance to sleep.
3. Spend time in nature. Daniel Goleman, author of Focus: The Hidden Power of Excellence,
- A Competitive Salary + Full Benefits
- Excellent Training
- Full-Time Position
To find out more information about this position, please follow the link on our main website. We look forward to hearing from you!
Revelations on Saturday that an American law firm’s communications with a foreign government client were monitored by a National Security Agency ally may provide new impetus for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit a 2013 decision that involved electronic surveillance law.
The justices, if they wish, have a vehicle for reconsidering their 5-4 decision in Clapper v. Amnesty International USA. The Center for Constitutional Rights last month filed a petition for review asking the high court to hear their challenge to surveillance by the NSA in light of Edward Snowden’s revelations about the extent of the surveillance program.
The petition, Center for Constitutional Rights v. Obama, was filed on behalf of the organization itself and its legal staff.
“We have always been confident that our communications—including privileged attorney-client phone calls—were being unlawfully monitored by the NSA, but Edward Snowden’s revelations of a massive, indiscriminate NSA spying program changes the picture,” said CCR Senior Attorney Shayana Kadidal in a statement last month. “Federal courts have dismissed surveillance cases, including ours, based on criteria established before Snowden’s documents proved that such concerns are obviously well-founded.”
The New York Times on Saturday reported that a top-secret document obtained by Snowden reveals that an American law firm’s communications with its client, the government of Indonesia, were monitored while the firm was assisting the foreign country in trade disputes with the United States.
The Australian counterpart to the NSA, according to the Times, notified the NSA that it was conducting surveillance of those communications and offered to share the information. The article suggested the law firm was Mayer Brown, which was then advising the Indonesian government on trade issues concerning cigarettes and shrimp.
Alex Abdo, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project, said the spying revelation “confirms our fear that the NSA’s surveillance rules gives short shrift to the privacy of communications between lawyers and their clients.” Attorney-client communication, Abdo said in a written statement, “is sacred in our legal tradition and should not be wiretapped except in extraordinary circumstances.”
Duane Layton, a Mayer Brown partner in Washington who leads the firm’s government and global trade practice, told The Times he did not have any evidence that he or his firm had been under scrutiny by Australian or American intelligence agencies.
“I always wonder if someone is listening, because you would have to be an idiot not to wonder in this day and age,” Layton told the Times. “But I’ve never really thought I was being spied on.”
Mayer Brown said in a written statement that “there is no indication, either in the media reports or from our internal systems and controls, that the alleged surveillance occurred at the firm.” The law firm said it “takes data protection and privacy very seriously, and we invest significant resources to keep client information secure.”
Layton said that if his emails and calls with Indonesian officials had been monitored, the spies would have been bored, according to the Times. “None of this stuff is very sexy,” he said. “It’s just run of the mill.”
Layton led a team from the firm in the clove cigarette dispute, while another lawyer in the firm’s Washington office, Matthew McConkey, an international trade partner, had taken the lead on the shrimp issue until the United States dropped its claims in August, the Times reported.
Litigation over Indonesian clove cigarettes presented novel legal issues in the international trade arena—including when is one product “like” another product? Mayer Brown, representing Indonesia, won a significant ruling in 2012, in the appellate division of the World Trade Organization, over restrictions on the sale of flavored tobacco in the U.S.
Mayer Brown chairman Paul Theiss last week told NLJ affiliate Am Law Daily that revenue was up in the Americas, Europe and Asia, the firm’s three regions. In 2013, gross revenue reached $1.146 billion—up from $1.09 billion in the previous year. Mayer Brown’s profits per partner rose to $1.285 million—the highest ever for the firm.
“Over the last dozen years or so we’ve built a very nice global footprint to be able to serve the world largest financial institutions and other global companies,” Theiss said last week. “The growth that we’ve had in doing that has led to efficiencies in ways to operate as a single global firm.”
The Clapper case was brought by several groups, including lawyers, journalists and human rights organizations. They challenged a provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that permitted warrantless electronic eavesdropping of non-U.S. citizens outside of the United States.
GLI/Global Legal Recruiting Network and Staffing Affiliates wish you the happiest of Valentine’s Days!