The 100 interview questions for law firms interviewing & recruiting solicitors, legal executives, paralegals and law students.
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Below you will find some of the most popular questions asked by interviewers in the legal profession. Most questions are relevant to all types of legal firm, whether interviewing or recruiting solicitors, paralegals, training contract interviews, work placements or pupillage. Please feel free to print the list off – we are aware of a number of UK and overseas law firms who have been using these questions as a template for their legal job interviews since 2001.
When going for interviews, bear in mind that a large number of solicitors and particularly partners of law firms have never received formal training in interview technique. Often, therefore, it can result in an interview being more of an opportunity for the Senior Partner to advise you of the difficulties he/she had in 1991 when only one of the toilets worked, or the history of the firm’s policy on coffee breaks. It can be a good idea to try to steer the conversation towards the topics you have particular strengths in, so highlighting your good points. Of course, if you get a HR specialist, things are considerably different, and you may find the interview concentrates more on non-legal issues..
The Top 100 Legal Job Interview Questions
1 Where do you see yourself in five years time?
2 Where do you see yourself in ten years time?
3 Tell me about yourself?
4 What is your major achievement?
5 What do you consider yourself good at doing?
6 What sort of person are you?
7 What are your strengths?
8 What are your weaknesses?
9 How would you approach this job?
10 How do you get things done?
11 How would you decide on your objectives?
12 How do you manage your day?
13 What motivates you?
14 How do you cope without motivation?
15 How long were you at your last job?
16 Why did you leave your last job?
17 How have you changed in the last five years?
18 What contribution do you make to a team?
19 How do you react if you find that someone you work with does not like you?
20 Have you ever experienced such a problem during your working life?
21 If so, how did you cope and how did the matter resolve itself if it did occur?
22 What would your peers say about you?
23 Describe your ideal work environment?
24 Describe your worst work environment?
25 Tell me about a time when you successfully handled a situation?
26 Tell me about a time when you felt that you dealt with a situation inadequately, and how has that changed how you would approach the same situation?
27 What do you think you can bring to this position?
28 What do you think you can bring to this company?
29 How do you see this job developing?
30 What sort of salary are you expecting?
31 What was your last salary?
32 If you did not have to work what would you do?
33 What decisions do you find easy to make?
34 What decisions do you find difficult to make?
35 Do you like to work in a team or on your own?
36 What would you do if you don’t get this position?
37 If offered the position, how long do you plan to stay at this company?
38 On taking this job, what would be your major contribution?
39 How do you get the best out of people?
40 How do you respond under stress?
41 Can you provide a recent example of when you were under stress, and how you coped?
42 What support training would you require to be able to do this job? If not, why not? Explain.
43 What would you look forward to most in this job?
44 In your view, what are the major problems/opportunities facing the legal industry?
45 What will be your key target in this job if we appoint you?
46 What makes you think you can be successful with us?
47 How does the job sound to you?
48 Which subjects did you enjoy during your qualifying degree?
49 Why do you want to be a solicitor?
50 Have you always wanted to be a solicitor?
51 What is your alternative career, should law not be the avenue for you?
52 Would you be able to supply any references?
53 What sort of response would we get from your referees about your professional as well as social manner?
54 Why would you want to do LSC funded (legal aid) work? If not, why not? Explain.
55 Why should we employ you, instead of someone else?
56 What do you think about partnership prospects in the future?
57 We are not willing to give partnership prospects, what are your views on that?
58 What are you expecting from this firm in the future?
59 What are your views on the franchising of legal aid firms?
60 What are your views on the policies of the Legal Services Commission?
61 What do you know about the impact of the Human Rights Act on law in this country?
62 Do you think that there will be a major impact on criminal law?
63 How has business/commercial/family law been affected by the change?
64 Have you ever attended a court hearing or employment tribunal?
65 What was the outcome?
66 How much preparation on files for trial do you do?
67 How much do you expect Counsel to do?
68 What do you think about the principle of Legal Aid? Should clients have to pay for services they use in all circumstances?
69 Are you willing to do after-hour work?
70 Are you willing to go through the accreditation process for police station advisors?
71 In the future would you be willing to manage a branch office? If not, why not? Explain.
72 What sort of advocacy experience do you have (apart from those taught on the LPC)?
73 Do you think you would need to undergo training for advocacy?
74 How do you stand on equal opportunities?
75 Have you ever been involved either paid or unpaid with the services of the voluntary sector?
76 What do you think about law as it is practised in private practice firms?
77 What are the three main attributes for a successful commercial lawyer?
78 What views do you hold on the recent budget?
79 Who would you take a desert island, and why?
80 Are you a member of any clubs or charities?
81 What sort of activities are you interested in outside of work?
82 Are you a socialising person? What is your work/life balance?
83 Would your social life infringe on your work commitment?
84 If so, how? Explain.
85 What sort of management skills do you have?
86 Do you think you require training in management skills? Why?
87 Do you prefer to manage yourself or let someone else do the managing?
88 Are you a leader or a follower?
89 Are you computer literate?
90 Would you be able to do time-recording? Do you keep good time?
91 What sort of employment background do you have?
92 Why did you come to us through an agency?
93 Have you applied anywhere else apart from us?
94 Have you had any other interviews apart from us?
95 Have you been offered a position yet?
96 How much notice would you need to give to your present employer if you were offered a position?
97 Would you be willing to branch out into any other area of law, if the need arose?
98 Have you ever been abroad?
99 Do you speak any other languages apart from English?
100 What questions have you for us?
Top 100 Interview Questions from www.ten-percent.co.uk
A Few Extra Questions:
1. Tell me about a time you misjudged a person.
2. Do you check your emails when you’re on holiday?
3 Do you have a role model? If so, who is it and why?
4. If you could try any job for a week, what would you do?
5. How do I rate as an interviewer?
6. Rank these in the order of importance: power, health, status, wealth.
7. Give an example of when you have learnt from a mistake.
8. Who would you like to punch on the nose?
9. Sing us a verse from your favourite song.
10. What did you have for breakfast today?