Put together an ideal interview schedule based around the firms that meet your career, community and life goals. Though your schedule may not completely align with available interview slots, it’s helpful to use as reference.

Don’t schedule interviews too close together—it’s best to leave one hour for the interview and an additional hour for preparation and transportation to and from the different firms.

As obvious as it might seem, it’s important to do your homework before your interview. Gather all the available information about the firm from their website and any literature you’ve received. Write down any questions you have about the firm—it’s okay to bring some notes in with you.

The Interview

The first part of the interview focuses on you. This portion of the interview helps determine if you’d be a good fit with the firm—not just for summer or articling positions, but also for possible future employment as an associate and potentially as a partner with the firm.

Anything you’ve included in your résumé or cover letter may be discussed in the interview, so be prepared to elaborate on any information you’ve provided about yourself.

This is your opportunity to “sell” yourself and your benefits to the firm. Don’t be afraid to demonstrate your knowledge and show your personality.

In the second half of the interview, you’ll be given the chance to ask questions about the firm. Don’t underestimate the importance of this portion. This can help you determine whether the firm will be a good fit for you, both for your articling position and long-term.

This is also an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of the firm. Ask relevant questions that are specific to the firm; this will show that you’ve done your research and reaffirm your interest. You may also be taken on a firm tour and introduced to professionals at the firm.

Receptions + Dinners

As a part of the recruitment process, many firms will invite students to a lunch, dinner and/or cocktail reception. These receptions are used primarily to learn about the potential articling students in a more casual, social environment.

If you’re invited to one of these receptions, upon arrival, try to find your interviewers or the representative you met at career day. Make sure to introduce yourself and thank them for the interview. If you’re comfortable, ask them to introduce you to other members of the firm.

Be yourself—the purpose of the reception is to get to know you. This is a very valuable opportunity to show your personality and determine if you and the firm are a good fit for one another.

If you’re unable to attend a firm’s reception but are still interested in articling there, let your interviewers know ahead of time. This will ensure your lack of attendance is not perceived as disinterest.

After the Interview

Before you leave, ensure the firm has your current contact information.

Following the interview, don’t be afraid to take initiative and express your interest. If the firm is your first choice, contact your interviewers and let them know. Make sure you’re checking your voicemails and emails regularly in case the firm is trying to contact you for a follow-up interview.

If the firm is not your first choice, you can certainly express interest but don’t mislead them. If you’re no longer interested in articling or summering with that firm, let them know so they can offer the position to someone who is.

Dawn Filippi
Director of Professional Recruitment and Development