1. Tell us what have you learned from jobs you have held?

The interviewer needs to understand that you seek and can accept constructive advice and that your business decisions are based on the ultimate good of the firm, not your personal whim or preference.

2. Tell me how did your boss get the best out of you?

This is a manageability question, geared to probing whether you are going to be a pain in the neck or not. Whatever you say it is important for your ongoing happiness that you make it clear you don't appreciate being treated like a doormat. You don't want to work for someone who is going to make life miserable for you.

3. Tell me what kind of decisions are most difficult for you?

You are human, admit it, but be careful what you admit. Emphasise that having reached a logical conclusion, you act. You want to use an example that will demonstrate your consideration, analytical abilities and concern for the departments.

4. Tell me why did you choose to study X at university?

If you didn't study law, don't worry that your qualifications or motivation are being questioned - law firms are very interested in candidates studying other subjects and value what they can bring to the firm. And if you studied law, you'll still have to explain why, even if it's simply because you wanted a head start on a legal career.

Whatever degree you did, try to demonstrate there was logical thinking behind your decision, outline what skills relevant to a legal career your degree has given you, and show a bit of your personality by conveying what it is about the subject that interests you.

5. Where do you see yourself in five years as Business Lawyer?

This question is especially tough if you are at the beginning of your career, when your path is less clear and you may be unsure where you are headed. What's most important is to show that you have clear goals, and that the position you are interviewing for makes sense as a part of your trajectory. Make sure that the goals you state are not only compatible with, but directly related to, the role. Most interviewers are proud of their companies and are not interested in hiring someone who sees a job as merely a stepping stone to where they really want to be.

At the same time, hiring managers understand that no one aims to stay in a junior role forever. If you are interviewing for an entry-level position, talk about your passion for the industry and your interest in advancing in your field. If the company employs more senior people in the same area, you can talk about eventually gaining more responsibility and contributing more substantively to the organization. The one exception is that at a very small company, it can come across as aggressive to talk about moving up in the ranks-in this situation, focus on growing within the industry in general.

6. Explain me how your legal organisation/law firm defines success?

It would be wise to save this question for the interviewing manager, and not for a peer/technical discussion. Nobody likes a kiss-up, but letting management know that you will communicate openly and honestly with them, always scores big points. The last part of the question can be a good barometer about how easy it will be to become a top performer. You can follow up with a discussion of how you have been successful in your previous jobs.

7. Tell us do you belong to any specialized bar associations?

You want an attorney who keeps up with the latest legal and business matters. Be sure to ask whether he or she belongs to such groups as the local bar association, chamber of commerce or a small-business advisory board. "Are they taking a step beyond just saying, 'I do business law'?" Leach says. "The problem with a sole practitioner is sometimes they turn into monks and aren't out in society. You want someone who is keeping up with what's going on."

8. Explain me about a recent deal or case you've worked on?

This question is posed to figure what level your practice is at and what you can bring to the table. The interviewer wants to know whether you are a true third-year attorney or whether your firm was so slow in your first year that they should really consider you a second year. They are also checking to see how well you can articulate an answer. If you can easily explain a complex deal or case to the interviewer, you will likely be able to do the same for a client.

Come into the interview ready to discuss three matters you have worked on this year. If you don't remember the tasks you completed for each one, go back and take a look at your time records. For each matter, be prepared to discuss your role, the outcome and anything else that made the work unique.

9. Explain me you currently work in New York. Why are you now interested in California?

The question is not malicious. Each year, many firms are burned by attorneys who profess an interest to move to a new city only to end up staying briefly and leave within a year or two. Be honest, but don't feel pressured to list off any possible connection you may have in the location of the firm (e.g., “A third-cousin I never met lives in the city too”). Just remember all of the reasons why you want to relocate and be enthusiastic with your response. A genuine explanation far outweighs any made up one.

Answering Strategy and Options
“My spouse has decided to settle in California. He was raised here and his family still lives here” (a powerful and credible explanation). To make a stronger case, think of an additional reason you are interested in the area so the interviewer doesn't think you will pick up and move again in two years once your spouse gets yet another new job.
“I have spent a considerable amount of time researching San Francisco, examining the firms, and talking with lawyers in the community. It is a city that matches my practice interests the best as I am fascinated by emerging growth companies.”

10. Tell me do you make referrals to other attorneys?

You need to know whether your attorney would be willing to put you in touch with their colleagues on a specialized issue he or she lacks experience in. For fear of losing business, some lawyers are wary of referring clients to other attorneys, even if they have expertise in a particular area, such as tax law.

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11. Tell me what can I tell you about the firm?

This could possibly be possible filler, or a sincere question by someone who wants to sell you on their practice. Regardless, this is your moment to shine and show off all of your interview preparation. When this question comes, embrace it and take control of the interview. You would be surprised at the number of interviews that are dead upon arrival once this question is posed.

Use this opportunity to highlight your knowledge of the firm, which, in the eyes of the interviewer, will translate to your interest in the firm. You now have the chance to select topics, guide the conversation, and hopefully learn more about the firm along the way. If you know the interviewer recently closed a multimillion dollar deal, ask them about the experience and if junior associates are ever involved in the process. If you know the firm is expanding a practice group, ask about how it is going and if the firm has a growth strategy for the practice group you are interested in.

12. Tell me what do you think determines progress in a good law firm?

Your answer should include all the positive personality traits you have been illustrating throughout the interview. Include allusion to the listening profile, determination, ability to take the rough with the smooth, adherence to systems and procedures and the good fortune to be part of a firm that wants you to grow as well.

13. Explain me about an event that really challenged you. How did you meet the challenge? In what ways was your approach different from others?

This is a straight-forward two-part question. The first probes your problem-solving abilities. The second asks you to set yourself apart from the rest. First of all outline the problem. Having done that, go ahead and explain your solution, its value to your employer and how it was different from other approaches.

14. Tell us what are you reading at the moment or enjoying on TV? Who would be at your dream dinner party? Why did you get that one bad exam result in your first year?

Law firms want candidates who are intelligent, well-informed and capable, but they're also aware that being a good lawyer is very dependent on having an engaging personality - without one, you're simply not going to be able to win and keep clients, which is what your success at a law firm will hinge on more than anything else.

So be prepared for some slightly surprising questions like these. It's not really about what your actual answer is, more how you react to the question and what your answer says about your personality. So stay cool, don't panic, and be yourself.

15. Explain me what is the immediate need on your legal team that you are hoping to fill with this position?

You know that their organisation has a need, because they have an opening. There is most likely a project or team about to get started or is expanding, or a required skill - set that they need but are lacking. Whatever they come back with, this is a perfect segue for you to explain why you are the perfect person to fill that gap. You can explain why your experience and expertise makes you exactly who they have been looking for.

16. Tell us are you a team player? Do you prefer working alone? Have you ever had an unsatisfactory experience working for someone (or when someone worked for you)? How did you handle it?

Whether you work in a firm of two or 500 lawyers, teamwork is essential. You will work closely with clients, adversaries, other counsel, and colleagues. People who don't enjoy a team environment or who are too single minded to work effectively with others are likely to fail.

Don't just tell interviewers you are a team player - come up with a specific example in your current position where you have put other people on your team before yourself (maybe you recently covered for someone or volunteered to mentor a more junior associate). We've all had bad experiences with supervisors or subordinates, but don't use this question as an opportunity to criticize others for whom you have worked. Falling into the pit of disparagement creates an impression that you may be insubordinate at worst and inflexible at a minimum.

17. Tell me what part would laws and lawyers play in a corporate acquisition, an IPO, a dispute between two businesses, or a price-fixing investigation?

Your interviewers will expect you to not just be interested in the business world, but also to have an understanding of how law firms fit in.

It's relatively rare to find law firms mentioned in business stories in the FT or the Economist, but they will be advising the parties involved in nearly every instance. For coverage of which law firms are acting for who, and what exactly they're doing, check out The Lawyer, Legal Week, or law firms' own websites.

You'll find that wherever parties are entering into a complex transaction, such as a corporate purchase or a financing, lawyers will be required to advise on laws and terms, prepare the documentation, and make sure the deal goes ahead smoothly.

And lawyers will guide the parties involved in any dispute through the legal rights and wrongs of their case, and the practicalities of the dispute resolution process being used.

18. Top 100 Basic and Professional Business Lawyer Job Interview Questions:

☛ 1 Where do you see yourself in five years time?
☛ 2 Where do you see yourself in ten years time?
☛ 3 Tell me about yourself?
☛ 4 What is your major achievement?
☛ 5 What do you consider yourself good at doing?
☛ 6 What sort of person are you?
☛ 7 What are your strengths?
☛ 8 What are your weaknesses?
☛ 9 How would you approach this job?
☛ 10 How do you get things done?
☛ 11 How would you decide on your objectives?
☛ 12 How do you manage your day?
☛ 13 What motivates you?
☛ 14 How do you cope without motivation?
☛ 15 How long were you at your last job?
☛ 16 Why did you leave your last job?
☛ 17 How have you changed in the last five years?
☛ 18 What contribution do you make to a team?
☛ 19 How do you react if you find that someone you work with does not like you?
☛ 20 Have you ever experienced such a problem during your working life?
☛ 21 If so, how did you cope and how did the matter resolve itself if it did occur?
☛ 22 What would your peers say about you?
☛ 23 Describe your ideal work environment?
☛ 24 Describe your worst work environment?
☛ 25 Tell me about a time when you successfully handled a situation?
☛ 26 Tell me about a time when you felt that you dealt with a situation inadequately, and how has that changed how you would approach the same situation?
☛ 27 What do you think you can bring to this position?
☛ 28 What do you think you can bring to this company?
☛ 29 How do you see this job developing?
☛ 30 What sort of salary are you expecting?
☛ 31 What was your last salary?
☛ 32 If you did not have to work what would you do?
☛ 33 What decisions do you find easy to make?
☛ 34 What decisions do you find difficult to make?
☛ 35 Do you like to work in a team or on your own?
☛ 36 What would you do if you don't get this position?
☛ 37 If offered the position, how long do you plan to stay at this company?
☛ 38 On taking this job, what would be your major contribution?
☛ 39 How do you get the best out of people?
☛ 40 How do you respond under stress?
☛ 41 Can you provide a recent example of when you were under stress, and how you coped?
☛ 42 What support training would you require to be able to do this job? If not, why not? Explain.
☛ 43 What would you look forward to most in this job?
☛ 44 In your view, what are the major problems/opportunities facing the legal industry?
☛ 45 What will be your key target in this job if we appoint you?
☛ 46 What makes you think you can be successful with us?
☛ 47 How does the job sound to you?
☛ 48 Which subjects did you enjoy during your qualifying degree?
☛ 49 Why do you want to be a solicitor?
☛ 50 Have you always wanted to be a solicitor?
☛ 51 What is your alternative career, should law not be the avenue for you?
☛ 52 Would you be able to supply any references?
☛ 53 What sort of response would we get from your referees about your professional as well as social manner?
☛ 54 Why would you want to do LSC funded (legal aid) work? If not, why not? Explain.
☛ 55 Why should we employ you, instead of someone else?
☛ 56 What do you think about partnership prospects in the future?
☛ 57 We are not willing to give partnership prospects, what are your views on that?
☛ 58 What are you expecting from this firm in the future?
☛ 59 What are your views on the franchising of legal aid firms?
☛ 60 What are your views on the policies of the Legal Services Commission?
☛ 61 What do you know about the impact of the Human Rights Act on law in this country?
☛ 62 Do you think that there will be a major impact on criminal law?
☛ 63 How has business/commercial/family law been affected by the change?
☛ 64 Have you ever attended a court hearing or employment tribunal?
☛ 65 What was the outcome?
☛ 66 How much preparation on files for trial do you do?
☛ 67 How much do you expect Counsel to do?
☛ 68 What do you think about the principle of Legal Aid? Should clients have to pay for services they use in all circumstances?
☛ 69 Are you willing to do after-hour work?
☛ 70 Are you willing to go through the accreditation process for police station advisors?
☛ 71 In the future would you be willing to manage a branch office? If not, why not? Explain.
☛ 72 What sort of advocacy experience do you have (apart from those taught on the LPC)?
☛ 73 Do you think you would need to undergo training for advocacy?
☛ 74 How do you stand on equal opportunities?
☛ 75 Have you ever been involved either paid or unpaid with the services of the voluntary sector?
☛ 76 What do you think about law as it is practised in private practice firms?
☛ 77 What are the three main attributes for a successful commercial lawyer?
☛ 78 What views do you hold on the recent budget?
☛ 79 Who would you take a desert island, and why?
☛ 80 Are you a member of any clubs or charities?
☛ 81 What sort of activities are you interested in outside of work?
☛ 82 Are you a socialising person? What is your work/life balance?
☛ 83 Would your social life infringe on your work commitment?
☛ 84 If so, how? Explain.
☛ 85 What sort of management skills do you have?
☛ 86 Do you think you require training in management skills? Why?
☛ 87 Do you prefer to manage yourself or let someone else do the managing?
☛ 88 Are you a leader or a follower?
☛ 89 Are you computer literate?
☛ 90 Would you be able to do time-recording? Do you keep good time?
☛ 91 What sort of employment background do you have?
☛ 92 Why did you come to us through an agency?
☛ 93 Have you applied anywhere else apart from us?
☛ 94 Have you had any other interviews apart from us?
☛ 95 Have you been offered a position yet?
☛ 96 How much notice would you need to give to your present employer if you were offered a position?
☛ 97 Would you be willing to branch out into any other area of law, if the need arose?
☛ 98 Have you ever been abroad?
☛ 99 Do you speak any other languages apart from English?
☛ 100 What questions have you for us?

19. Technical Business Lawyer Job Interview Questions:

☛ How is a merger/acquisition structured?
☛ Give an example of a recent commercial deal that captured your attention: which party/side in this deal would you like to work for if you were a lawyer and why?
☛ How would you sell on services to a client? - for solicitors in commercial practice only
☛ You are alone in the office and a client phones demanding instant advice, what do you do?
☛ You are alone in the office and a very important client phones demanding you shred various documents of theirs. What do you do?
☛ What would you do if three partners all came to you with work they wanted you to do by 5pm that day?
☛ If you were Lord Chancellor for the day what would you do?
☛ If you had a completely free choice, which law would you like to change and why?
☛ Give me an example of a recent legal decision that you have disagreed with and explain why.
☛ What do you see as the main challenges facing the legal profession in the next few years?
☛ How would you demonstrate to a client that you were commercially aware of their business and their needs?
☛ Why would you want to do legal aid work?
☛ What do you know about the impact of the Human Rights Act on law in this country?
☛ What sort of advocacy experience do you have?
☛ Tell me about a time when you advocated (or performed) poorly?
☛ Why do you think this was?
☛ What are the key skills and qualities for a successful solicitor/barrister?
☛ If you were senior partner in this firm and the BNP came to you for representation what would you do?
☛ If a Client wanted to pay £750,000 for a house in CASH what would you do?
☛ What advice would you give to a friend who wants to set up a restaurant?
☛ How would you explain "the caution" to a client with learning difficulties who is extremely agitated at having just been arrested?
☛ Explain the difference between contract and tort in layman's terms.

20. Competency Based Business Lawyer Job Interview Questions:

☛ Give an example of when and how you have worked in a team?
☛ Give an example of a time when you were not in agreement with the rest of the team. How did you react?
☛ What achievements in your life are you most proud of?
☛ What are your strengths?
☛ What is your greatest weakness?
☛ Can you give me evidence that you set yourself high personal standards?
☛ Would you say that you usually achieve what you set out to do?
☛ How do you go about motivating yourself when the pressure is off?
☛ How do you go about organising your time and assessing priorities?
☛ Why, among all the candidates, should we choose you?
☛ Describe a situation where you acted on your own initiative?
☛ What is the worst mistake you have ever made and what did you learn from it
☛ How do you react to pressure?
☛ How do you react to failure?
☛ How do you respond to change?
☛ How do you go about handling difficult people?
☛ If a decision goes against you how do you take it?
☛ How would your friends describe you?
☛ How would your enemies describe you?
☛ Tell me about a situation when you have had to meet a tight deadline?
☛ Give me an example of a time when you had to negotiate to achieve a desired outcome?

21. About the Firm based Business Lawyer Job Interview Questions:

☛ Why do you want to work for our firm?
☛ Why do you want to work in London?
☛ Which seats do you want to complete?
☛ How is this firm different from its competitors?

22. Role-specific Business Lawyer Job Interview Questions:

☛ What interests you about being a legal counsel for our industry?
☛ What do you hope to achieve by working at our company?
☛ What experience or training has prepared you for this position?
☛ Describe your proudest accomplishments in your legal career. How do you define success?
☛ Recall a situation that required you to seek outside counsel. What factors did you consider? What was the result?
☛ What other types of situations require outside counsel?
☛ What's the most complex legal situation you've faced at work? What strategy did you use to resolve it?
☛ Regarding the previous question, who else was involved in this project? What were their roles?
☛ Describe a situation where you made a mistake or regretted your decision. How did you handle it?
☛ How do you cope with stress at work?
☛ What kind of training or feedback will help you to excel in this role?
☛ Describe a time you had to prioritize conflicting deadlines. How did you arrive at your decision?
☛ How would you learn more about our organization during your first week on the job?

23. Pupillages and Inns of Court scholarships Business Lawyer Job Interview Questions:

☛ Why have you applied to study the BPTC at --- law school?
☛ Why do you want to be a barrister?
☛ Have you done any more mini-pupillages after you submitted your application form for the scholarship?
☛ What area of law do you want to practise in and why?
☛ Where do you want to work geographically and why?
☛ How did you become particularly interested in family law?
☛ Isn't what you want to do quite specific? (child care cases)
☛ What do you think about the recent divorce cases awarding so much money to a partner when marriage has only lasted 3 years?
☛ Tell us about one of your moots
☛ How would your friends describe you?
☛ How do you feel when other people disagree with you? Are you willing to listen to their side of the argument?
☛ Give us a two-minute potted history of your life, focusing on the high points
☛ Put forward three arguments in support of (and then against) a mother seeking a hysterectomy for her teenage, learning-disabled daughter.
☛ In pupillage interviews candidates may be asked to make a submission – such as a bail application or a plea in mitigation – with interviewers taking the role of a panel of judges

24. Exit Business Lawyer Job Interview Questions:

☛ What originally interested you about the position you are leaving?
☛ What were your expectations when you were hired?
☛ What expectations were met? What ones were not met?
☛ Do we as a firm “practice what we preach”? With clients? Team members? Suppliers?
☛ What can we do to improve in any of the above areas?
☛ What were the key frustrations in your position? Suggested solutions?
☛ What are the ideal qualities and skills a person should have for the position?
☛ Was working here a positive learning experience? If not, please comment.
☛ If you were hiring for your position, what questions would you ask candidates?
☛ If you had to make one recommendation, what would it be?
☛ If a friend was applying for a job at our office, what would you tell them?
☛ Are there any other concerns or comments that you would like to make?

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25. Career based Business Lawyer Job Interview Questions:

☛ Why law? Why do you want to be a solicitor/barrister?
☛ Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
☛ Where else have you applied?
☛ What are you expecting to gain from a career in law?
☛ What qualities are needed to be a good solicitor/barrister? Do you have these?
Explain how your (legal or other) experience applies to our work.
You should be prepared to answer questions on your career in some detail, and with conviction. You need to be able to show that your decisions are logical, and based on good information and experience.