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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I would like share my deep thanks for Paulette and her amazing work that she has done with me in the last few months.  My firm hired her to assist with improving client retention rates and understanding possible causes and come up with solutions.  Paulette was insightful, thought outside the box and provided a holistic approach to the obstacles at hand.  Her ideas were not cookie-cutter but rather a blend of her own knowledge, experience as a lawyer herself and refreshing imagination.  The results that occurred after completing the journey with Paulette were off the charts.  I still use the methodology that I incorporated with Paulette and it is helpful in so many ways. I strongly endorse Paulette to anyone looking to reassess their law practice and find ways to overcome obstacles and deepen their understanding of how their practice can be improved. Paulette, you exceeded all expectations and I wish you strength and success to be able to help more lawyers and professionals as you helped me. end-quote

- DF

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