March 5, 2017
The interview process during La Course aux stages can definitely be a gruelling and stressful period. In order to perform well you need to approach each interview as three separate phases: the preparation, the interview and the post-interview.
The first question will likely be: “Tell us something about yourself.” This is your opportunity to take charge and really control the direction of the interview. For this question only, prepare and memorize a short response that tells your story. For this answer try to highlight some of your accomplishments and accolades that aren’t on your resume, while also focusing on what makes you a unique candidate. Furthermore, one tip that can truly decrease your stress is to simply film yourself answering questions. In fact, there are some things we don’t notice about ourselves until we see them on camera.
March 1, 2016
Managing stress can be particularly challenging during the Course aux stages. Depending on your university, the interviews can fall squarely during midterm exams. The best way to avoid too much stress is to plan ahead of time. Be organized and ask a friend or two to take notes during classes you will inevitably miss during the course, and follow up by actually reading them! Warn your professors that you will miss their class and ask them if there is anything you can do to stay on the ball. Be realistic, if you have a paper to hand in, either complete it in advance or ask for an extension, but don’t pretend that you can work on it and concentrate on preparing for interviews at the same time.
February 26, 2016
I think everyone at some point in their lives, whether it be in the context of basketball practice, essay writing or music lessons has heard the age old adage: “practice makes perfect”. Does the same apply to the Course aux Stages interview process? The answer is not so black and white.
On one hand, it is imperative to be comfortable talking about yourself as the entire goal of the interview process is to get know you! Taking time to think about potential interview questions and how you would answer them is most a certainly a logical step in one’s Course aux Stages preparation. While wanting to put your best self forward by being prepared for a great opportunity like Course aux Stages is important, it is equally as important to put your most genuine self forward. Sometimes a rehearsed answer, no matter how many fascinating points it may include, can actually make it more difficult for the interviewers to get a real grasp of your personality.
February 24, 2016
Be prepared! The interview is the best time to show the Committee why you are the candidate they should choose. Go over your CV and know it inside out. Determine how your previous work or volunteer experiences translate into useful skills for a firm looking to hire a stagiaire. It is helpful to have concrete examples and anecdotes of your past experience ready for discussion. Although you are under the spotlight during the interview, don’t be afraid to make the most of it! Prepare your own thoughtful questions for your interviewers to determine if this firm is a good fit for you.
Be yourself! There are a million law students with good grades, extracurriculars and ambition. What makes you different? Chances are your grades aren’t the only reason you were called to an interview, so show your interviewers what makes you unique and how that uniqueness can make you a valuable member of the team. Remember, they aren’t just hiring a summer student and stagiaire, they are hopefully hiring a future colleague. They want someone who is not only competent, but a person who will integrate well into the team. Are you that person?
February 22, 2016
Describing a typical day as a summer student at RSS proves to be a rather difficult task, as each day is truly different from the last. However, upon further reflection there are constants that I can count on to be part of my everyday routine.
Without a doubt every one of my mornings will start in the following way: I will arrive at the office and face the arduous task of deciding which tea to drink, and inevitably always choose the exact same flavour (lemon ginger!).
February 5, 2016
Have you ever wondered when an interview really begins? Well I am of the philosophy that once you press that elevator button, your journey commences. At RSS, that elevator ride, 20 seconds flat, leads you to the 46th floor where you will be warmly welcomed into a black marble lobby with a peripheral view of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Montréal. At this very moment, you have to be less focused on what is around you and more focused on your plan de match.
What would happen if you met an interviewer or a colleague of the interviewer(s) in that very elevator? Ironically enough, would you be capable of making an “elevator pitch” ? The clock is ticking, you have 20 seconds…
January 26, 2016
Prior to joining RSS, I had never before worked in a predominantly francophone environment. At the start of my first summer at the firm, this was a disquieting concern of mine. Although I had attended a French elementary school, my years at both an English high school and CÉGÉP took their toll on both my written and spoken French.
However, my integration into the firm was seamless mostly because I took advantage of all the resources at my disposal. For starters, I would systematically run all of my written work through Antidote even in cases where I felt the writing to be strong (to this day I still regularly use it). Then, I would often go a step further and have one of the other French-speaking students look over my work. In my case however, my writing was not necessarily always the problem; my spoken French was.
January 23, 2016
Aux futurs candidats: n’ayez surtout pas peur de mettre de l’avant les activités et l’expérience hors cursus qui vous distinguent ! Que vous soyez artiste, musicien, sportif, globe-trotteur ou intellectuel, la plupart de vos expériences parascolaires constituent un atout qui vous démarquera. N’hésitez-pas à accorder de l’importance dans votre CV à vos activités extra-curriculum. On oublie parfois que les habiletés et compétences que l’on développe dans des activités hors professionnelles apportent une richesse qui peut être mise à contribution dans la pratique d’un avocat. Par exemple, par son engagement dans la communauté, un candidat démontre qu’il sait faire preuve de responsabilité et de générosité. Certes, la connaissance du droit est essentielle pour un jeune avocat, mais les cabinets recherchent davantage.
January 21, 2016
Writing that perfect cover letter for the course aux stages is one of the most important tools at your disposal. It is a self-portrait all the while acting as your reel. It contains invaluable information, which is typically not exemplified by one’s curriculum vitae. An anecdote or an achievement, in any event the main question remains: how do you attract the reader(s)? I believe the acronym “PREP”, which is required in many ways while writing this letter, is in my most humble opinion the best way of summing up this process.
P, for presentation; the style and format of one’s letter as you already know are very important. An excellent presentation attracts credibility to one’s candidature. In this regard, there should not be any spelling and grammatical mistakes. This simple step is where one’s willingness to meet you begins. You want to be taken seriously and want the letter to be read in its entirety. Would you show up to a formal interview in jeans and a white t-shirt? First impressions are crucial, we all know that!