Reading a column today in Inc. by Matthew Swyers about what separates good interviewees from great ones, I came across this little gem: "a candidate should...engage you on a level that you will enjoy and that moves you one step closer to offering them the job."
You won't always have a sports team or a hometown in common with your interviewer. But you can always learn about their work. As an interviewer, I found myself answering the same questions all day long: "how is your internship program structured?" or "what kind of work would I be able to do?" It was boring.
What's enjoyable to interviewers, then? Having something like an equal partner in a fencing match or a band jam session. When you have to explain basic techniques, you're already on totally different levels.
Employers enjoy talking with students who know their work and are excited about it - albeit not naively. Who can name the organization's major divisions and bring up a high profile case, initiative or central mission. Who can talk about the law in a way that makes them feel that they'd enjoy getting debriefed about the status of research, and maybe even brainstorm solutions together. It's harder for 1Ls than 3Ls, but the goal is always the same: leave the room feeling like a couple of future colleagues.