- What interests you about this legal department or law firm? About this particular position?
- If you could design the perfect legal job for yourself, what would would it be? Why?
- As a legal professional, how would your colleagues describe you? How would the general counsel or your supervising partner describe you?
- What can you do for this law department or firm that no one else can?
- How do you structure your time?
- What do you like about your current job? What would you change about it?
- What are your three most significant professional accomplishments?
- Describe a situation at work in which you had to delegate responsibility. How did it turn out?
- Describe a time when you took initiative with respect to a particular project.
- What is the best constructive criticism you’ve ever received? Why?
- Tell me about a time when you made a mistake or regretted your decision. How did you handle it?
- Describe a time when you set specific career or project goals for yourself. How did things turn out?
- How do you typically handle stress at the office? Describe an example.
- Can you describe a time when you went above and beyond the call of duty for a client?
- Imagine it’s six months after you started this job. What criteria will determine whether you’ve made the right choice?
Interviews are opportunities to sell yourself and to demonstrate what’s not on your résumé. Although you don’t know what the interviewer will ask you, you can take steps to maximize your chances of getting the in-house legal department or law firm job. Here’s a list of 7 tips for making a good impression:
1. Do your homework. Prepare ahead by researching as much as you can about the company and its products or services.
2. Be prepared for chit-chat. Initiating conversation is a sign of good interpersonal skills.
3. Recall your past experience. Make a list prior to the interview of examples of your achievements and challenges you overcame in your career.
4. Dress appropriately. First impressions are critical, and as Mom says, “it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.”
5. Exhibit basic social skills. Look people in the eye when you’re having a conversation and give a firm handshake.
6. Anticipate common questions and prepare for them. Most interviewers will ask you to talk about your background, discuss what expertise you bring to the table, and why this company appeals to you.
7. Avoid the worst interview answer. Despite it being a perfectly valid reason for seeking an in-house position, “I want better work-life balance,” is never something prospective employers want to hear.