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Social media, anecdotes and questions…

by Pargeet on October 18, 2012

in Pargeet's Blog

I don’t know about you but sometimes I really struggle to think of questions to ask at firms that I’m interviewing with. There’s such a vast knowledge base to research before you actually go in for the interview itself, that occasionally I draw a blank because I feel like I already know the firm and associates without having even entered the premises. (Please note: there’s a fine line between researching and stalking!)

So where do you do your research? Google is the obvious choice of search engine. The power of Google is almighty! But you will also need to think outside of the box, research online news sites, follow the partners on LinkedIn, connect on Twitter, read the firm’s blog (if they have one), newspaper articles, do the full works and it will help you be more prepared! It’s also become more and more important to have a social media presence online, so start making accounts but always remember to keep them professional! The law firm I worked at in New York would Google search any candidates that applied, digging for dirt and inappropriate pictures, so I know first-hand that it happens.

Last month I actually had the partner of a law firm I applied to send me a friendship request on Facebook only an hour after I had sent them my application. It’s a difficult situation to determine: on one hand the partner is doing his research on you and you wouldn’t want him to make a pre-determination about you based on Facebook pictures or comments you’ve made in the past. BUT, you also don’t want to hinder yourself from getting an interview! The way I dealt with it was to explain to an associate (who had emailed me to say they were considering my application, and had mentioned the partner’s Facebook request) that I was grateful for the request but that I use Twitter and LinkedIn in a professional capacity, and not Facebook. It was a risk that I took by doing this but I had to stick to my guns, although I am sure that some of you may read this and disagree. But I still don’t regret my decision and I think that’s the important thing.

So I also wanted to extend the offer to all of you who read mine, Greg’s, Liam’s and Mark’s blogs, that should you have any questions at all feel free to ask me. You can comment on any of my posts or tweet me here. I would love to have more interaction with all of you or even if there are any topics you’d like me to discuss then please do get in touch and let me know!

Pargeet

Pargeet

Pargeet graduated from Kent University and has completed the Legal Practice Course. She works as a paralegal for LexisNexis and is currently searching for a training contract.
Pargeet

Latest posts by Pargeet (see all)

  • http://studyinglaw.co.uk/ studyinglaw

    The friend request is a tricky one. I’d certainly try my best to avoid it. I wouldn’t want to get to the stage where I’d have to edit my life and hide my personality for the sake of a training contract. Obviously you should just use common sense; no pictures of you vomiting into an open sewer! But where do you draw the line? No pictures of you at a bar? No liking controversial pages (violent video games, strong political views, rude jokes)? Not being able to joke around with your friends?

    Who knows what could potentially be held against you.

    Speaking of social media, do you have Google+? I’m trying to set up author images so your picture shows up next to your blog posts in Google.

    Anyway thanks for a thought provoking post Pargeet :)

  • David Williamson

    Social Media is playing a great roll to check out reputation of a person or a firm in the market. Every firm has their online profiles and reviews from customers so it’s the best way to check about someone before you go to deal with them.

  • Pargeet

    It’s hard to draw the line, but generally I think pictures with alcohol are a no no. I also had a law firm print off my Twitter profile page once and where I had written I was a ‘tea drinker’ on my profile, they took that to assume that I didn’t drink alcohol and asked me about this at the interview.

    Social media is a fantastic way to interact with firms and colleagues connected to the firm. Just as much as you research the firm, you also make a decision as to whether the firm is a right fit for you, because I believe that is just as important!

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