in Careers Advice, Interviews

Legal Job Interview Question and Answer – Describe a project where you needed to involve input from other departments – how did you identify that need and how did you ensure buy-in from the appropriate leaders and managers?

Advice

This is a STAR competency based interview question. STAR stands for “Situation, Task, Action and Result” and this particular question is a strong example of where using this technique is so effective. Firstly it is probably almost impossible to answer this type of question without having thought about it before attending the interview. It is another reason why the competency based interviewing is not as good at identifying strong candidates as some of its proponents make out as it is very easy to learn good examples and practice your technique.

Firstly you need to identify the project you worked on, secondly you need to give the task that you specifically undertook, which in the context of this question would be to make sure it involves input from other departments (or teams, or you could possibly tailor your answer with other agencies or institutions if necessary). This must involve detailing how you identified the need to involve other departments. The action will be the steps you took to involve the leaders and managers concerned and finally detail what the result was.

Examples of Answers

“In a project involving the implementation of new contracts of employment for all staff to ensure that new legislation in relation to hours worked as adhered to, I was assigned as the project leader responsible for rolling the project out across the company and with a deadline of three weeks to the date of implementation. It was quite obvious from very early on that in order to effectively implement the project we would need to involve at least four other departments within the company. These are identified as being a, b, c and d. In order to ensure effective implementation and to get the various managers and leaders on board I arranged a seminar for them to attend so that I was able to explain the actions we were going to take in more detail.

We held the seminar and the new arrangements were implemented within the deadline and in all departments.”

 

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 www.legalcareercoaching.co.uk. You can contact Jonathan at cv@ten-percent.co.uk