The Mentorist

Leave a comment

‘Tell Me About a Time When You….’: Prepping for the Behavioral Interview

Perhaps their parents didn’t read them Harold and the Purple Crayon enough times.

Whatever the reason, job interviewers these days expect candidates to regale them with tales of personal derring-do.  Not just any old adventures, mind you.  Rather, the interviewer wants to hear tales that convince her you’re the missing piece in her company’s HR jigsaw puzzle.

Yes, behavioral interviews are all the rage.  But what exactly are they?  They’re interviews designed to ferret out how you’ve acted –- and, more specifically, what skills and personality traits you’ve displayed — in past work situations.

The premise underlying behavioral interviewing is that past performance predicts future performance (unlike with your investment adviser…).  In other words, how you’ve behaved in past situations is the best predictor of how you’re going to behave when facing those to come.  (For those in therapy, this is a discouraging notion.) Continue reading


In-House Lowdown: Still a Lawyer, but the Game Has Changed

‘In-House Lowdown’ is a series of blog posts designed to help lawyers navigate the in-house world. Its observations are based on my 20+ years as a General Counsel, spent managing legal teams and herding assorted breeds of corporate cats.

Law firm life got you miserable?  Plan on moving in-house to elevate your mood?

That might be the perfect remedy.  Or it might bring you equal levels of misery (just in new and different ways).  You’ll have a better shot at predicting the likely outcome if — before making your move — you understand the fundamental differences between in-house life and private practice.

To be good at their jobs, in-house lawyers need to develop a new set of muscles:  Some of the skills and behaviors that have earned them rich rewards in their law firm are going to be irrelevant –- or even destructive –- inside a company’s legal team. Continue reading


May We Have a Little Mood Lighting Here? What to Do When the Salary Question Comes Too Soon

‘Hiring someone is essentially a romantic process, in which the job interview functions as a desexualized version of a date’ –- or so Malcolm Gladwell wrote, not that long ago.

Ah, I remember those days.  First interviews — while, on the surface, spent discussing the interviewee’s qualifications for the job at hand -– were about figuring out whether the ‘chemistry’ was right.  The other ‘c’ word –- ‘compensation’ –- never came up.

No more.  Today it’s typical for job candidates to be asked upfront, ‘What salary do you expect to make?’

Good-bye, first date.  Hello, arranged marriage. Continue reading