Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Why do you want to be a solicitor?

popular legal interview question: "why do you want to be a solicitor at this firm?"

Well, why do you? Usually I hear answers like - "since I have been at primary school I have always felt that the diversity and scope for career development suited my own skills set and ambitions..." etc.. etc.. I don't think I have ever listened to a word that anyone has said on the subject apart from one candidate who asked "well why did you want to be a solicitor - I suspect I want to be for the same reasons - good career, social status and reasonable standard of living". Fair enough! There is no right or wrong answer to this question. If you are asked it at the start of the interview, it is usually because the senior partner has not looked at your CV and wants you to waffle whilst he finds it, or it is to loosen you up for more interesting questions. Try not to waffle, keep your answer short and sweet, and try to say something you think the person interviewing you may be interested to hear. Diversity, career development, transferable skills etc.. are for HR managers and professionals, and best avoided with solicitors firms. Legal job interviews can be quite different in focus - solicitors want someone they get on with, who has a sense of humour, and who realises the key to private practice is to make money; not a monotonous robot able to waffle in the local authority language (or the "I've spoken to my careers adviser at law school") of a select few.


Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - no.1 online legal recruitment agency - save time, skip the legal job boards and let us do the work - register online at http://www.ten-percent.co.uk/register.htm

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