T Nation

Is a Short Job Interview Good or Bad?


Just had an interview for one of the top law firms in Ireland and it was over fairly quickly (around 25 minutes).
I was expecting a more grueling experience. Thought i'd ask what you all thought.


Who was it with? Did you ask the interviewer what the next step was and when you'd be hearing back?


25 minutes isn't that short...if it's really 'top' they have tons of candidates to look at...I'd imagine the first interview is a weeding out process...sounds like they allocated 30 minutes for each interview and cut out 5 minutes for water breaks.


Interviews cut into billable hours. Every lawyer I know views interviews as a money/time suck and generally a pain in the ass, so I wouldn't read too much into it. I don't know what your experience level is, but this is especially true for summer jobs or new attorney jobs.


Time in the interview can be, and really is meaningless in most cases.

You could have sat and laughed with a partner for an hour and not get a call back, or been in there 15mins and get a call with an offer on your ride home.

There is a lot that goes into it... Don't focus on time, but interaction and you and the skills you bring to the table.


Put it this way, if you come recommended from a staff, have a good resume, sit down and can communicate and seem normal, there is zero need to shoot the shit with you. I'll end it and suggest we call you, after about 10-15 mins.

Or, we could be behind schedule and I'll be forced to sit with you for an hour, hamming it up, and toss your shit resume and cover letter in the trash when you walk out the door.

I can tell if someone will "fit" in our firm (or at a client) after about 3-5 questions... After that it is purely just an opportunity for the applicant to fuck it up, lol. You don't get in the door if your resume isn't what they want.


Follow up with a thank you to whomever set the interview up as well as the person you interviewed with.


I read it somewhere that an interviewer decides whether he/she likes the interviewee within the first 20-30 minutes of meeting, and rarely does more interviews or a longer one really change their mind.


I've probably interviewed 300 people and I can assure you it happens much more quickly than that. Within the first 5 minutes I know whether or not I can work with you. Beyond that, I'm testing your preparation.

You say your a hands-on manager, tell me about a time when your management style made the difference between making a deadline and missing it.

You say you're a leader, tell me about a time you stepped into a leadership role.

You get along with many people, tell me about a time you worked on a project that required input from people at different level in the organization.

Tell me about a time you had to analyze information and make a recommendation.

How would your co-workers describe you?

Tell me about two improvements you've made to yourself over the last 6 months.

And on and on and on.


it was with a group called "Matheson." They are the 3rd biggest in Ireland an top 50 in Europe. They said I would hear from their HR department in a few days.


It is a new attorney job/ graduate job. So I suppose I am just over thinking it.


Well I hope I didn't fuck it up then lol.


Good advice. Just emailed a thank you.


I meant, what position did they hold in the organization? Did you meet an internal recruiter, the hiring manager, an associate, a partner....?


They are both partners.
These are the two I met:


Looking back I can't ever remember an interview that lasted more than 30 minutes. I interviewed with many big firms in Los Angeles for summer jobs and in Dallas for my first real associate job right out of school.

Good luck to you.


I suppose that's a good sign, their HR department would have already separated the wheat from the chaff.

Good luck!


Thanks for the help gents. I really appreciate it.


My last interview was short too; it was 30 minutes even though we had an hour scheduled. I was certain it was a miss. My interviewer was hard to crack though. He was also in a higher position than I usually deal with. He wasn't very conversational and answered my questions without rambling. I got the job but the feedback I got was I could have done better at getting more out of the first interview. I think like others said, they already knew me and my work and I already had the job and the interview was just a formality. If I was going cold from the interview it might not have gone my way I suspect.

Most interviews I've found are by someone who likes to talk about themselves and like the sound of their own voice and it's easy to get them to talk for an hour. My lesson I took from this one is to be better prepared for someone who isn't going to make it so easy for me! In retrospect I should have known better considering his position but at least it still worked out and he's my boss now.


Thanks for all the help everyone. I wasn't successful this time, so I'll get some feedback and work on my interview skills for next time. Cheers for the advice anyway.