As Legal Recruiters helping attorneys through the hiring process, we are constantly coaching applicants on how they can best present themselves to potential employers during the interview process. The following article by CEO Dave Kerpen thus caught our eye. He talked with almost a dozen young entrepreneurs who are members of YEC, an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. Dave asked these CEOs and entrepreneurs what single most impressive interview questions applicants have asked (or that they wish applicants would ask). Here is the link to Dave’s article: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/1-most-impressive-job-interview-question-ask-dave-kerpen In addition to encouraging lawyers to focus not on impressive questions but on important questions, we would like to offer the following advice for anyone interviewing in the legal profession. We agree with some, but not all of these questions, or we would modify them. For example, we do not think it’s a good idea to put the interviewer on the spot and ask directly “How can I make myself more like the ideal candidate?” Instead, simply ask “Can you please describe your ideal candidate for this position?” Then be sure and mention ways you are like that ideal candidate during the interview process.
Similarly, asking “What can I tell you that would make hiring me an easy decision?” or “What concerns do you have about hiring me?” might be good questions for a sales position, where assertiveness is a desired trait in candidates. But those questions could come off as too aggressive for the legal world, and make the interviewer uncomfortable, as both answers involve critiquing the interviewee.
Most of the other questions are appropriate for an attorney interview, particularly the ones that show you are trying to understand the role and the concerns/priorities of the interviewer. “What keeps you up at night?”, “What’s the most frustrating part of working here?”, and “How will the work I do contribute to the organization?” seem especially astute questions that are not “me” focused, but convey to the hiring authority that your goal is to contribute and be a good fit. Applicants who focus more on how they can alleviate current problems and advance the goals of the company rather than focusing on “what can you do for me” are going to fare much better in the interview process and in their careers in the long-term.