in Careers Advice, Interviews

Interview Question & Answer 28 – Describe a situation where you are asked to do something you had never attempted previously.


is a competency based interview question and should be one that you are
able to put forward a positive strength and experience that relate
specifically to the post you are applying for. so for example if one of
the requirements of the post you are going for is that you have
experience handling a specific type of project then use this question to
get over the point that you have the experience and describe the first
time that you obtained it. By doing so you will score two points, one
for answering the question well and the second for putting forward
something that is relevant to the post you are applying for.

the STAR technique to answer the question, to describe the situation,
explain the task you were given, state the action you took and give the
result. Good examples are specific projects or use of skill sets and bad
examples would be something too vague or general or with a negative

Examples of Answers

I was working as a trainee solicitor the firm had a shortage of
qualified solicitors to attend at County Court and deal with a hearing
in Chambers. I was asked to go down and undertake the necessary
advocacy. This was the first time I have been to Court and I had not met
the clients nor did I know anything about the case. I thoroughly read
the case so that I was aware of the salient points and attended at
Court. The hearing went smoothly and the outcome was that I started to
do advocacy on a regular basis as I had completed that position
effectively. My advocacy experience has continued to progress and I am
now rarely out of Court during the average working week.”


learning to ski the instructor decided it was time to take us down a
black run, although this was only my third lesson. I confessed to having
been slightly hesitant about this and somewhat nervous but went ahead
and followed the instructor as part of a group down the slope. Despite
feeling that I was about to die, we managed to get to the bottom and I
have continued to ski down red and black runs quite happily ever since.”

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 17 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at You can contact Jonathan at