Sample Interview Questions

  • What did you like best about your summer job?

    Average answer: I thought the work was challenging and interesting, especially observing the trial and helping out with the trial prep.

    Better answer: I worked on two very challenging projects, a temporary restraining order and the preparation of 100 exhibits for trial. For the TRO, I was in charge of gathering the supporting facts, so I interviewed the declarants and prepared their declarations. And for the trial, I decided which exhibits best supported our arguments and supervised the paralegal team in getting them court ready.
  • What do you want to know about our law firm?

    Average answer: I’d like to know that the typical day is like for an associate.

    Better answer: [Inquire about the practice area of your interviewer if you can.]

    I’d like to know more about your commercial litigation practice, like who some of your clients are and what types of issues associates are researching for their cases. I read about the Kodak case on your website; did you have a part in it?
  •  What did you like least about your summer job?
  • Tell me about your participation on the journal/in your clinical program.
  • Describe your thesis/research project/note further. (Listen for analytical skills, interest in writing, etc.)
  • What goals have you set for yourself? How are you planning to achieve them?
  • What was the most useful criticism you ever received, and who was it from?
  • What areas of law are you interested in and why?
  • What interests you about this law firm/organization?
  • Everyone at this school is smart and reasonably socially skilled; why should we hire you?

New Trend in Interviewing – Behavioral Interviewing

These questions are designed to give the employer a sense of how you behave in a context. They are more difficult to answer off the top of the head, so buy yourself some time by saying, “That’s a great question, let me think about it” rather than spouting off something that is not accurate or thoughtful.

  • Tell me about a recent mistake that you have made and how you handled it.
  • Tell me about an accomplishment of which you are especially proud and why you chose that particular accomplishment to talk about.
  • Are you more energized by working with data or by collaborating with other individuals?
  • In terms of your ability to work in teams, how would you rate yourself on a scale of 1 – 5 , 1 being I hate it and I’m not particularly good at it and 5 being that is the set up I thrive on. Who among your references would I call to confirm what you’ve said?
  • What motivates you to put forth you greatest effort?
  • What type of environment brings out your best work?
  • Tell me about a conflict with a supervisor or instructor and how you handled it.
  • Tell me about an adverse situation you were in and how you handled it.
  • On a scale of 1-5, 1 being low and five being high, how well do you deal with pressure?
  • Tell me about a time when you saw an opportunity that required immediate action and what you did.
  • Tell me about a time when you were faced with a deadline/required action and had imperfect information.
  • Tell me about your ability to work with people whose style/demeanor is different from yours.

Last updated 11/7/2012