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Prepare in advance to increase your chances of a successful interview. How would you answer these questions?

Background questions:

  1. Tell me a little about yourself. What made you decide on law school?
  2. What do you hope to get out of a legal career?
  3. What do you know about [our firm]?
  4. How do you think [our firm] can help you achieve your career goals?
  5. If you took out an ad in the newspaper and had to describe yourself in only three words, what would those words be?

Independence/sense of self/judgment:

  1. Describe what success means to you.
  2. Do you think of yourself as a risk-taker, or someone who plays it safe?
  3. How would you describe your standards of performance?
  4. Describe a (recent) situation in which you had to quickly establish your credibility and gain the confidence of others. What did you do?
  5. What do you think has contributed most to your success so far?
  6. What are some of the things (weaknesses) you are still working on in yourself?
  7. Describe a time when you had to take on something very new or different and you had little or no guidance and support in doing so. How did you handle it?
  8. A senior partner left an assignment for you before leaving on vacation. Now, you can’t reach him/her and don’t understand the assignment. What do you do?

Conscientiousness/work ethic:

  1. Describe a situation in which you had to work under pressure. How did you handle it?
  2. Do you anticipate problems effectively or just react to them?
  3. Tell me about a time when you went beyond the call of duty or delivered results beyond what was expected. Why did you do that?
  4. How would you clarify an unclear assignment?
  5. What kind of work environment are you most comfortable in (structured/unstructured)?
  6. Tell me about a time when you were assigned an unwelcome task. What did you do?
  7. Have you ever made an error in judgment that you had to address with your employer? How did you handle it?
  8. What part of your current workload do you



  1. Would you describe yourself as a self-starter? If so, why?
  2. Would people describe you as a competitive person?
  3. Describe two things that motivate you at work.
  4. Give me an example of something you’ve done that demonstrates initiative and willingness to work.
  5. What kinds of responsibilities are important to you in your work?


  1. Achievement/accomplishments:
  1. What work or personal accomplishments are you most proud of?
  2. What accomplishments gave you the most satisfaction?
  3. Have you ever accomplished something you did not think you could? How did you do it?
  4. Give me an example of how you have shown initiative.
  5. What is the most challenging thing you have ever done?
  6. What would you consider to be a stimulating work environment?
  7. Describe a significant risk you took to accomplish a task.

Interpersonal skills/communication:

  1. Describe a (recent) experience when you worked in a team environment. What was your role?
  2. Describe a situation where you had to give constructive criticism to another person. How did you go about this?
  3. Can you describe a situation where you worked for a difficult boss? What happened and how did you handle it?
  4. Have you ever had to resolve a conflict with a co-worker? How did you resolve it?


  1. Describe your study habits.
  2. How do you manage your time/organize your workload?
  3. Describe a situation in which you’ve faced competing priorities. How did you handle it?
  4. How do you plan to achieve your career goals?
  5. Tell me about a time when you organized a project/completed a job where the directions were vague.
  6. When you are under a lot of stress, what is your typical reaction?