Interview with Daniel Eisele, former Recruiting Partner
Interviewer: Tell me about the first day?
D. Eisele: On the first day, an associate will show you around to get to know the team and people across the firm. There is a lot of administrative work to do, and you will be introduced to some work on your first client matter. Learning by doing is important from the outset. Each new employee has both a partner and an associate as a mentor. The partner is your first contact person for any internal questions and issues during your entire time at NKF. You will be introduced to our business functions, IT, HR, Marketing and Business Development.
Interviewer: Should I be the first to come and the last to go?
D. Eisele: No, by no means. It is important that you do the work very well, and that you show commitment and initiative. The number of hours you spend in the office is not that relevant. It is the result that counts – and this should be achieved as efficiently and competently as possible.
Interviewer: Can I ask for help if I am not able to cope with a task alone, or should I try to improvise?
D. Eisele: Partners and employees have an open door policy. Our internal atmosphere is uncomplicated and we encourage helping one another. This is of course also in the best interests of the client. We have no “elbow” culture.
Interviewer: Can I say if I am overloaded?
D. Eisele: It is important to learn to serve your “internal” customers optimally, both regarding time and quality of work. Time management is part of the profession as clients usually are demanding. This needs to be coordinated professionally and skillfully.
Interviewer: Conversely: How much self-initiative is desired? Should I say when I can take on additional work, or will I be seen to be producing mediocre work?
D. Eisele: No, on the contrary, self-initiative is central to us. Our lawyers have a great deal of freedom, but we also expect a high level of commitment. It is ideal when junior lawyers try to work for different partners or senior associates, as you have the opportunity to learn about the different styles and methods.
Interviewer: How do I best get acquainted to partners and other lawyers?
D. Eisele: Through being informal, open and interested in learning more. It goes without saying that excellent work is also important.
Interviewer: How should I collaborate with assistants?
D. Eisele: With respect and friendliness.
Interviewer: How much contact can I have with my new colleagues? Can I make friends at the firm?
D. Eisele: Of course. The junior employees often have quite a lot of contact with each other. The exchange is also important to get information about the office, the clients and certain practice areas.
Interviewer: What should I do if I am sick? Should I call in sick or should I come in to the office?
D. Eisele: If you are sick you should stay at home (so that your co-workers don’t get sick too). However, a certain amount of resilience is expected.
Interviewer: In the first 100 days, can I ask for an initial feedback from my mentoring partner, or is such a feedback provided anyway?
D. Eisele: You can get feedback mainly through the work done on client work. In the first few years, documents you prepare usually have a lot of changes made by the partner. The best way to learn is from these changes that are made.
Interviewer: Is anything a no-go?
D. Eisele: Egoistical behaviour, poor and careless work are all no-gos. The NKF culture is we not I. You should try to get the best out of every task. The client’s interest should always guide you.