Whether you’ve just finished law school or you’re a seasoned lawyer seeking a new position, the interview process can be intimidating. While it’s impossible to go into the interview knowing exactly what to expect, you can do some practicing with these frequently asked questions.
To aid you in preparing for the interview process, lawyer Isadore H. May has compiled this helpful list of questions commonly asked during law firm interviews.
Why do you want to practice law?
Potential employers will inevitably want to know the motive behind your career choices. Before the interview, take time to reflect on your own career path. Ask yourself why you decided to go to law school. Recognize that your motives may have changed in the course of your study. If so, how? Isadore H. May believes the best answer to this question is going to be concise. Avoid laying on a thick emotional appeal. You want your response to be heartfelt, but honest and straightforward as well.
What did you do between college and law school?
Walking into the interview, you probably expect to be asked about your academic background, past work experiences, and anything else on your resume; you might not expect to be asked about what happened in between. As a part of the interview preparation process, Isadore H. May recommends taking time to consider how you’d reply when asked about gaps in education or employment. Regardless of what you were doing, there’s a way to spin that time period as a career-enriching experience.
What are your weaknesses?
This is a popular, go-to question for all forms of job interviews. Everyone has weaknesses. The truth of the matter is that you probably have more than one to choose from. To answer the question effectively, consider your answer before the interview. If asked, select an honest response, but try to pick one which wouldn’t affect your overall performance at the job. As a part of your answer, detail what you do to compensate for or combat that weakness, which shows an overall inclination towards self-improvement and growth.
Why are you interested in the work that our firm does?
You must not only know your own resume and experiences, but you also need to be equally capable of discussing the firm’s background, values, and areas of focus, especially when interviewing for a job in law.
Before the interview, Isadore H. May suggests finding out as much as possible about the law firm. The best answer to the question is going to synthesize the firm’s values with your strengths and experience to explain exactly what about the position drew you in. Consider that your interviewer may ask further questions about the firm, such as how their firm is distinguished from others and what stands out to you about them.
With any question in an interview, remember to always justify your answers. Don’t be surprised if your responses are consistently met with the question, “Why?” Anticipate additional questioning and do your best to respond honestly.
As a final note, Isadore H. May reminds lawyers that so much of an interview’s success rests not just on what you say, but how you say it. Always project confidence in your voice, facial features, and posture.