We have researched and gathered some common questions you are most likely to encounter and we have tried to give you some hint and ideas to tackle the challenging questions frequently asked in the law job interviews.
The employers ask mixed questions to evaluate the hard and soft skills of the candidate. Here are skills you should display while answering common legal job interview questions.
- Why did you choose law as the career?
Many different types of people succeed in the law and your answer will be dependent on your personality. But there some answers which interviewers expect from the candidates.
Lawyers at law firms work in groups, learning from those senior to them and training those junior to them, so an ability to work in a team is crucial. But they’re each individually accountable for a large workload, so they need to be able to take the initiative where necessary and get things done by themselves.
In addition, lawyers need to have an academic mindset to understand laws and legal theory, but must also be able to apply common sense and think about the wider commercial context of their work.
However, clients rely on lawyers to take care of many of the finer points of a deal or dispute for them, so attention to detail is also essential.
- Did you like your law school?
Interviewers ask this question because it’s simple to ask but not easy to answer. If someone hated the law school and tells so, then the chances of getting hired get lowered because the interviewer gets a negative perception.
It is next to impossible that you liked every second in the law school as no one will believe that you loved every second of law school. Therefore, you may answer this appropriate question in some different way.
“In general, I enjoyed it and found it challenging. Of course, it was tough at times, but I learned enough to make it worthwhile.”
- What were your favorite subjects in the law school?
This question is of utmost importance for the interviewer. It can be checked whether or not there is a reasonable relationship to the job you’re interviewing for. Therefore, as long as it is your favorite subject, it doesn’t really matter.
If you’re interviewing at a small law firm that only does civil cases, it’s suspicious if all of your favorite courses are criminal law and procedure. Perhaps you’re just interviewing here because you can’t get the job you really want? (Which may be true, but isn’t the best impression to convey!) Before the interview, look over your transcript and think about what classes are most related to the work you’d be doing in the role you’re interviewing for. Easy — those are your favorite classes!
- What type of law are you interested in?
If you’re interviewing for an entry-level position in a firm, or with a judge or certain internships, you might not be expected to have a strong interest in exactly the subject matter of the job on offer. However, you still need an answer prepared to explain what type of law you eventually see yourself practicing. “I’m not sure,” is not a good answer! If you have to, make something up. But have a reasonable answer ready to go.
Remember, though, that your interviewers won’t be expecting you to be an expert in your chosen area yet, and you don’t have to commit to it for the rest of your career – this point of the interview can be a great time to ask some questions of your own, find out more, and clarify your aspirations – you’ll be showing your interest is genuine by doing so.
- Why are you leaving your current job?
If you are working already working in an organization and you want to leave, then please prepare a tactful reason for it.
“I hate my superiors in the current firm” is not a positive answer. Instead, be smart and tactful and focus on the growth opportunities related to the firm you are interviewing for.
You can also focus on the practical issues such as the need to move to a new location due to family issues, marriage or if you have enrolled yourselves in some programme to enhance your qualification.
- Tell me about your Note/Moot Court competition brief.
Remember that anything on your résumé is fair game for discussion! If you list a Law Review Note or even an undergraduate thesis project, be prepared to talk about it in detail. If it’s been years since you looked at your Note (or thought about the argument in your Moot Court competition), spend a few minutes getting back up to speed in case it comes up.
- Why is this job a good fit for you?
In order to answer this question, you have to showcase your research which you made for the organization and its job description you are interviewing for.
You want to show that a) you know what the job description requires and b) that you’re a good fit. For example, “I’m really excited about the mix of work in this position. I enjoy client interaction, so I’d like to help out with the weekly legal information booth. But I’d also like to improve my courtroom skills, and expand on the work I did in the family law clinic in law school, so the opportunity to handle regular motion hearings is appealing.”
- Tell me about your hobbies.
This question has nothing to do with your job. It’s just to increase the human connection between you and interviewer. Your hobbies and interest may be contrary or same to interviewers. If well selected, these can fill a good chunk of time in an interview and allow you to make a more human connection with the interviewer.
- What is your opinion on the holding of State of Punjab v Mithu?
You will never be judged on the direct questions of law. Instead, you would be given the situation and your opinion would be asked from the opposing side in the case. You can get questions on the area which the firm practices.
If you are unaware of the answer to a question asked in the job interview, do not panic, just stay calm and try to use your logic to analyze the question and then answer it. Remember an interview is a just a test and not a personal attack.
If you get an aggressive interviewer, then just remember that he likes to ask the twisted questions and put you in doubt.