Articles From the Team
Legal jobs: top 10 interview questions
The past few years has seen an increasingly stable legal jobs market, which means a lot of lawyers haven’t moved or explored the market for an extended period of time. While this can be great for your CV and demonstrates loyalty and staying-power, it doesn’t do much for your interview technique, which will become rusty over time. This can make you feel nervous about the prospect of an interview but there’s no need to be concerned.
Most firms steer away from obscure questions – those you may have been told to prepare for earlier in your career; ‘If you were a biscuit what type would you be?!’ is one I remember from my LPC days! Firms don't want to catch you out, they want to see if you’re a good fit for the job and they’re genuinely willing for you to do well.
There are certain questions that crop up time and time again, so while you don't want to blurt out answers in parrot-fashion, think about how you’d answer the following:
- Tell us about yourself.
- Why law?
- Why your chosen discipline?
- Why are you considering leaving your current firm?
- Why have you applied to our firm?
- What do you know about us? Our work, clients, sector focus?
- What work – on you CV – are you most proud of?
- Give an example of how you've handled a difficult situation at work.
- What do you hope to accomplish in your career in the next 5/10 years?
- What are your strengths/weaknesses? How do you manage your weaknesses?
You should also prepare questions for the interviewers. Well thought out questions that demonstrate a genuine interest in the opportunity, rather than those designed to demonstrate your intelligence, will be appreciated.
Also, make sure you’re up-to-date on current affairs/recent news stories if only to build rapport over intelligent chit-chat. Have a view on Brexit and challenges facing the legal profession, both come up regularly.
Be open and honest about where else you’re interviewing. There's no need to offer up the information unprompted, but if asked, don't be cagey as it never goes down well. Any competent legal recruiter will inform the interviewers/law firm of your situation beforehand. Generally, this information will enhance your application.
If you're about to start a job search and want expert advice to help you prepare for interviews, including those hard to pre-empt technical questions, then contact Angharad Warren at BCL Legal for a confidential discussion.