When preparing for a law firm interview, one of your primary goals is to anticipate and prepare for virtually every significant question that the firm is going to ask you. Of course, not all interview questions can be accurately predicted. But many can, at least in terms of the general subject matter.
In fact, the essence of every law firm interview of an attorney candidate can be boiled down to just ten primary points or issues. Many – if not all – of the substantive questions that you will be asked will relate in part to one or more of these ten points. This means that if you are fully prepared to respond to each of these ten key points, you will be well on your way to delivering a knockout performance. In short, what each law firm really wants to know about you is:
(1) Are you able to fully perform the job at a consistently high level?
(2) Can we always depend on you to get the work done whenever or wherever necessary?
(3) Will you work hard to be as profitable for the firm as possible in terms of keeping yourself busy, hours billed, business developed, etc.?
(4) Will you always be fully professional and never make the firm look bad?
(5) Will you always be someone who is personable and easy to work with and not a jerk?
(6) Are you really enthusiastic about obtaining this job for the long term?
(7) Will you be a “team player” that generally fits in to the firm’s culture and values?
(8) Will you respect our authority and allow us to manage you?
(9) Will you gradually grow and improve and become more valuable to the firm?
(10) Do you have any “red flags” that we would want to know about?
Of course, every candidate is different, and as a result the particularities of every interview are going to be different. Consequently, there is no “one” proper way to answer any specific question. But the best way to prepare is to be able to persuasively explain why you meet all of the ten points described above. Then you are ready for virtually any reasonable, relevant question that comes along.
In other words, you do not need to memorize every conceivable question that could be asked at an interview and their corresponding answers. You just need to be ready to fully address the various important aspects of the 10 key points, as well as any additional key points that may be relevant to your particular interview. Once you understand the true purpose of each question, you are well on your way toward forming an excellent response to it. In short, by the end of the interview you want to be able to persuasively assure the firm that you are a great candidate with no significant “red flags” on any of these ten points.