Interview Process & Questions
The National Association for Law Placement recently released statistics indicating that almost 80 percent of lawyers at large law firms are no longer working there five years later. Whether you are at a large firm or a small firm the urge to see if the grass is greener somewhere else has become a driving force in changing the Canadian legal landscape in the past decade. The reasons for moving are numerous-from mentorship to quality of work to work-life balance to not moving along the partnership track.
If you are thinking about making a move you will need to get your CV in order and you will need to start preparing for the interview process.
Letís take a moment to review the interview and the pitfalls that can befall you:
Like a good scout you need to Be Prepared! Interviewers will look at anything on your CV as being fair game for questioning. You should expect the unexpected at the interview. Interviewers will start by asking you the obvious questions: Why are you considering leaving your current firm AND why do you want to join us?
Like all good lawyers have you done your homework? Have you researched your new potential employer by asking others about the firm as well as looking them up on-line? Demonstrate your knowledge of the firm when interviewing.
Are you ready to differentiate yourself from the competition? You want to move to the job that is the right fit for you Ė can you demonstrate why this firm is that fit? What is your unique value proposition-your strengths?
If you are looking to become a private practice partner-what is your book of portable business or what is your game plan to build that business in the months and years to come? How does your new potential firms strengths fit with your clients and your practice areas of interest? Your situation is quite different than that of associates who must concentrate almost exclusively on selling their winning personalities and strong legal talents. You must be ready to give an accurate estimate of the number of clients you can bring with you and be ready to address the question of why those clients will fit in well with your new firm.
This is your career-not just a job. Show your interest in what the firm does by interviewing the interviewer. Show how you can be a key contributor to their growth and development. Your preparation will allow you to ask intelligent questions.
Be enthusiastic-sell yourself-be confident-do not be arrogant!
- Here are some Interview Questions (PDF format)
Some potential employers may ask you to undergo Psychometric testing. This type of test is used to analyze and compare behaviour and personality characteristics of candidates. The test is used to identify strengths and weaknesses of candidates and to demonstrate how people might respond to favourable and unfavourable situations.
These tests are timed, therefore, it is important to not overthink your answers. Respond honestly to the questions and remember that usually your first instinct when you read a question is the right one. DO NOT try to respond in a way that is out of character for you. If you are a gentle person, do not hide that fact. If you are aggressive, state it. There is no right or wrong answer on these types of tests.
Finally, donít be nervous. Nobody is judging what type of person you are. The corporation/firm is simply trying to make the best personality fit it can. If you have more specific questions about this type of testing or you wish to take a psychometric test (either to practice or view the results), please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a list of Interview Tips (PDF format) NOTE: In order to properly view the sample files (in PDF format) in the Career Section, you will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer.