Opinion

Interview Questions & Top Tips

By

Jul 2018

‘Failing to prepare is preparing to fail’

Example Questions

  • Why are you seeking to leave your current firm/company?
  • Why in particular do you want to work at this firm/company? (specifically, why this firm, not just something generic, ie. Large international law firm)
  • What do you know about our client base/current deals? (Legal 500, Chambers, where are they ranked, recent cases, press releases, competitors)
  • What is it about working in this industry that interests you?
  • What do you enjoy most about the work you do?
  • What has been your greatest success at work?
  • What will you miss most about your current job?
  • What changes would you make in your current department/firm/company?
  • What do you find most difficult about your current position?
  • Describe a problem encountered and how you resolved it? 
  • What is the most difficult thing you have ever done/been involved in at work?
  • What have you done that shows initiative in your current position?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What type of people do you work well with/not work well with?
  • How would your manager/colleagues describe you? 
  • What motivates you?
  • What are your short/medium/long term goals?
  • How do you prioritise your workload? (specifically, what do you do, how do you communicate this back to your manager/partners?)
     

Competency based Example Questions

Designed to gauge how you react to certain situations and to get more insight into your working style.  Remember to answer these questions in relation to actions you have specifically taken rather than your team (ie. ‘I’ rather than ‘we’).  Also try to answer questions using the CAR approach.  C = Describe the Context/Situation, A = Action taken/What did you do, R = What were the results

  • Tell me about a time when you’ve dealt with a difficult person.  What was the situation? How did you react?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to follow a number of routes to solve an issue or problem. What was the situation? What did you do? What was the outcome?
  • Tell me about a time when something went wrong. What was the issue? What factors did you need to consider? What process did you use to come to your decision? What was the outcome?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to use a different approach to solve a problem. What was the issue? How did you approach the task? What was the outcome?
  • Tell me about the last time you had to work under pressure. What was the issue? How did you react? How did you ensure that the task was completed? How did you feel? What was the outcome?

Top Tips

Body language and appearance: it is important to ensure that you look professional, have a firm hand shake, smile and maintain eye contact with the interviewer(s), communicate your enthusiasm for the role, don’t lounge back in your chair etc.
Be to the point and answer questions succinctly – don’t ramble
Don’t just answer yes/no – give SPECIFIC and TANGIBLE examples
Do your homework regarding the position/the firm/its clients/partner profiles
Know your CV inside out. Be able to talk succinctly about the experience you have gained to date
Never degrade your present firm/company/colleagues: when giving reasons for leaving try not to dwell on what you don’t like about your current role but align your answer to what you will like about this role that perhaps you don’t have the opportunity to do in your current role
Acknowledge a company’s strengths/attractions and highlight why joining it would be a good career move for you
Employers like confidence not arrogance – be enthusiastic
Always give the impression that you enjoy what you do and that you are keen to progress, contribute and work hard
 

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