Articles From the Team

Why do you want to move in-house?

When you go into an interview for an in-house role, unless you are already working in house, then it is almost certain that this fateful question is going to come up. In my experience there are two over-arching ways to answer this question (although many nuances therein) and I know which one I prefer to hear and I know which one future employers like to hear too……

Answer type number one, the positive ones:

I worked in-house on secondment and absolutely loved seeing a project through from beginning to end whilst having input on all facets of that process. I also enjoyed working side by side with the business in order to help them achieve their objectives. In addition to this I found the work to be so varied, one minute I was working on a cross-border supplier contract before switching to advising on employment law issues.

I felt really responsible for whole elements of work and this drove me to new heights of engagement within the business. I was clearly a valued member of the decision making team and I felt like I made a difference.

I can see that the business here allows for career development and progression, the prospect of that really excites me and I want to work hard to help the team. Hopefully in time this commitment will be recognised and I`ll be rewarded appropriately.

Answer type number two, the negative ones:

I hate advising on only one facet of a project. I barely see any clients and all work is directed by my line-manager and seemingly disappears into the ether never to be seen again. In addition I feel really narrow and just try to fee earn as much as I can on any given piece of work. I`m really bored.

I feel like my manager just throws down the scraps that they can’t be bothered to do and then they breathe down my neck based on the fact that “I`m only a 3 year PQE lawyer, what do I know?”

I`ll never make partner at this rate because my boss limits my exposure to the next level of the business, it really feels like dead man’s shoes. In the mean-time my work life balance is terrible and I long for the easy living that is in-house.

……So there you have it, which answer will reflect better on you when you go for an interview? You can certainly be more candid with a recruiter than you can with a potential employer, after all it is our job to consult you on the optimum way to approach a situation, but I can almost guarantee that being Captain Positivity during an interview is more likely to get you the result you desire.

For more information contact Mike Huggins at BCL Legal.

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