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What questions can you expect in a legal interview?

Of course, without the aid of a crystal ball, it’s difficult to predict all the questions you’ll be asked in an interview, but certain ones do come up time and time again. We’ve listed what we consider to be the most typical interview questions for you here. If you look over them and think how you would answer them, you’ll be better prepared for whatever is thrown at you on the day. Interview questions are deliberately open, so you won’t be able to just answer yes or no. It’s also a good idea to support your answers with relevant examples, where possible.

Be friendly, relaxed and professional, and maintain eye contact with all of the interviewers as opposed to just one. Be enthusiastic and show off your knowledge of the firm and their specialisms and, most important of all, enjoy yourself.

What you could be asked

  • Tell us about your education

  • Why do you want to leave your current firm/employer? (Don’t over criticise).

  • Why are you looking to join our firm?

  • How much do you know about us?

  • Where does your initial interest in law come from?

  • What sort of culture do you feel you best fit into?

  • What did you like – and dislike - about your most recent qualification?

  • What do you like – and dislike - about your current role?

  • What are the successes you have enjoyed in your current role? How did you achieve these?

  • Have you any sort of supervisory/mentoring/management experience?

  • How do you think your boss or team would describe you?

  • What do you want to achieve over the next 2/3/5 years?

  • What are your main strengths and areas for development?

  • How good are you at:

    • Prioritising

    • Delegating

    • Time recording

    • Dealing with targets

  • What difficulties have you found working in the law and how have you overcome them?

  • What do you like to do when you’re not working?

  • What would be your ideal job?

  • Where did you go for your last holiday? And why?

  • What was the last book you read?

  • How IT literate are you?

Things you should ask

  • How has this opportunity come about?

  • What’s the structure of the department/ organisation?

  • What’s the culture of the organisation? Is it team spirited? Do you have an open door policy?

  • If successful, how much training, support and development opportunity can I expect?

  • What are the future plans of the business/department?

  • Who are your main competitors?

  • What types of people are in the department currently?

  • How do you appraise staff performance?

  • What are the long-term prospects for whoever gets the job?

  • If the meeting is going well you could ask the interviewer how long they have worked in their current role and who they’ve worked for before (this can develop the rapport and allow you to gather your thoughts).

  • What IT systems do you currently have in place?

  • On average, how many files would I be expected to handle?

  • How much business development could I be involved in?

  • Does the firm encourage marketing and development of client relations?

  • Is the office open plan or cellular?

  • Who would I directly report to?

 

Never…

  • Reply with a simple yes or no – always elaborate.

  • Look bored, fidget or yawn.

  • Give rambling answers to avoid a question.

  • Make known any concerns or reservations  (what seems like an issue now, rarely will later).

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