When you attend an interview for a law firm, there are a vast number of questions that you may be asked in regard to your capabilities and your expectations. The following attorney interview questions and answers will help you better understand what it is that your interviewer wants from your answers.
Why Do You Think You Will Succeed as an Attorney?
Although this may seem like a negative question, it is anything but. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to describe your expertise and comment upon the things that drive you to succeed. For instance, you could say “I graduated at the top of my class from XYZ Law School and I have a passion for helping my clients get the justice they deserve.” You may also elaborate on this by explaining your legal field of choice and why you selected it. If you are interested in criminal law, for example, you could state that you want to put the predators behind bars and keep neighborhoods safe. Be sure that any answer you provide is specific to the position for which you are applying.
What is Your Motivation to Do Your Best?
This question is somewhat similar to the one above, but requires a different sort of answer. With it, your interviewer likely hopes to discover your tendency to stay motivated even during tough times—and throughout tough cases. Perhaps a family member was a lawyer and you want to follow in that tradition. Similarly, it may be that a lawyer you hired to help you through a personal legal battle failed you and you want to do things differently. Whatever the reason, you should always be prepared to answer this question truthfully, bluntly and in just a few sentences.
What is Your Greatest Weakness as an Attorney?
Regardless of your chosen profession, explaining your greatest weakness will always be a difficult task. As such, you should follow it up with the steps you are taking to become stronger in that area. For example, you could state “Although I tend to spend too much time on small details, I am working very hard to develop the ability to see things as an entire picture.” You might also answer with “My greatest weakness is constantly striving for perfection and being reluctant to delegate tasks to my paralegal team. However, I have recently begun allowing myself to share more of the workload and I am seeing satisfactory results.”
What is the Toughest Case You Have Taken? What Was the Result?
Even if you have not tried a case on your own since graduating from law school, you should be prepared to answer this question. If you have experience, provide a relatively brief but thorough explanation of the case to your interviewer whether the result was positive or negative. If you have not yet tried a case on your own, describe a case that you witnessed or one in which you participated somewhat. Keep in mind that your interviewer is looking for things such as your emotional involvement with your clients, the things that drive you to perform your best in specific cases, and perhaps even the knowledge that you take away from losing a case.
Not only will these questions help your interviewer determine your competency and level of expertise in the field, but they will also help to provide vital information about your passions and whether or not you will work well with the rest of the company.