Written by Thomas Eckardt on 2nd June, 2017
Outlined below is a guide for questions that could be asked in your interview. Be sure to prepare answer to some of these, and make sure that you could answer all of them. In Red are the most common ones.
Although these are the standard interview styles. They are not definitive. Be sure to ask your consultant about any more specific requirements. Also, every partner, HR, and person in a firm will interview differently so just make sure you know what you can do and what you are interviewing for.
- Arrive on time (at least 10 minutes before the interview starts)
- Dress smart (Corporate attire)
- Check location and arrival instructions
- Be clear who you are meeting
- Make sure you are aware of the practice areas
- KNOW YOUR CV
Types of interview
Most interviews, outside of the graduate level, are more conversations. Typically you will interview with two partners and they will talk to you about their practice and question you on yours. If there is a good match, a good report, and a bit of luck then things will go very smoothly.
- Tell me about yourself? ALWAYS the first question.
- Why are you looking to leave your current firm?
- Why are you interested in this firm?
- What are your longer term plans for your career?
- Tell me about your most recent case?
- Tell me how you would deal with XXX situation?
- What are you looking for?
- What are your strengths?
- How do you get things done?
- How do you manage your day?
- What motivates you?
- What sort of salary are you expecting?
More Technical questions
- How is a (M&A, Restructuring, Litigation Matter etc) structured?
- Give an example of a recent commercial deal that captured your attention?
- What would you do if three partners all came to you with work they wanted you to do by 5pm that day?
- Give me an example of a recent legal decision that you have disagreed with and explain why.
- What do you see as the main challenges facing the legal profession in the next few years?
- How would you demonstrate to a client that you were commercially aware of their business and their needs?
- What are the key skills and qualities for a successful solicitor?
- What do you really want to do in life?
- Would your social life or interests outside of work infringe on your work commitment?
- Have you applied to anyone else?
- What are you looking for in the firms you have applied to?
- Are you hoping for specialisation in a particular field, if so why?
- What motivates you
- Why did you select your subjects at University?
- Why didn’t you perform well in X?
Typically HR will ask more competency based questions. It is here that you want to answer with te STAR method. Situation. Task. Method. Result. Make sure that you follow this structure to set out clear answers.
- Give an example of when and how you have worked in a team?
- Give an example of a time when you were not in agreement with the rest of the team. How did you react?
- Tell me about a time that you worked to a tight deadline/under pressure?
- What achievements in your life are you most proud of?
- What are your strengths?
- What is your greatest weakness?
- Can you give me evidence that you set yourself high personal standards?
- Would you say that you usually achieve what you set out to do?
- How do you go about motivating yourself when the pressure is off?
- How do you go about organising your time and assessing priorities?
- Why, among all the candidates, should we choose you?
- Describe a situation where you acted on your own initiative?
- What is the worst mistake you have ever made and what did you learn from it
- How do you react to failure?
- How do you respond to change?
- How do you go about handling difficult people?
- If a decision goes against you how do you take it?
- How would your friends describe you?
- How would your enemies describe you?
- Tell me about a situation when you have had to meet a tight deadline?
- Give me an example of a time when you had to negotiate to achieve a desired outcome?