X is for that “X-Factor” in Your Next Interview

When preparing a client for an interview, I’m always looking for that X-factor… the thing that will set them apart from the crowd. This can show up in many ways.

I always start with a client’s strengths. Understanding, then exploring what naturally comes to them is a good place to prod for material.

I recently worked with someone (let’s call them Jessica) who had a curious writing sample attached to her application.  The sample was an essay that addressed a discrete area of law.  

This area had nothing to do with the services offered by the firm to which she applied. As a result, I glanced over the writing sample thinking it was going to be immaterial to the process. 

How wrong was I.

When Jessica told me how she came up with the idea to write the essay, my eyes lit up…I found her X-factor!  She explained that one of her professors commented in class that very little was written about the topic, and away she went. Her strengths of excellence, initiative and good judgment were all highlighted in that essay.  

Jessica became excited to be able to cite that writing sample as representing her signature strengths. Her ability to recognize an opportunity to make a unique contribution, and then act on it really stood out.  This was something that the interviewers could come to rely upon if they extended her an offer.

What’s your X-factor?

Lawyer Coach Paulette brings 10+ years of experience as a litigator to her coaching practice. She is a certified résumé and career strategist.  Her expertise in personal branding attracts lawyers of all levels. The launch of her online course at has been helping new-calls develop their own brand.

"This article was originally posted on AWAL!"

By Paulette Pommells
Tags: interviews, writing sample

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Creative Choices™ provided me with sound guidance that strongly propelled my legal career. Given the “articling crisis”, I found it very difficult to secure a student position. With Lawyer Coach Paulette's direct coaching, I landed my desired articling position within days. I benefited from her solid knowledge of substantive law and her very personalized approach to coaching. None of my concerns or questions were ever met with boilerplate answers. Instead, her responses gave me “creative choices” that were specifically crafted to my abilities, goals, and interests. Further to this, she fostered my confidence and helped me to determine what elements of my experience would be desired in this difficult legal industry. As I move into the next chapter of my legal career, I will certainly obtain her services again.end-quote

- Tanya Howell, Articling Student
Crown Law Office Civil at Ministry of the Attorney General

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