Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Interview question – How was your journey?

This question is often asked at the start of an interview, whether it is as you walk into the room or as you sit down and take your coat off.

It sounds perfectly harmless as a question, and just one to loosen you up, but it can have alternative implications.

Some firms will ask whether you found them alright, and others will just ask how your journey was.

If you are living some way away from the firm you are going to for interview, it may be a question they want to ask you to ascertain whether or not you are going to struggle to get into work every day without encountering traffic, or difficulties with the travel.

This can be particularly so where a firm have indicated to your recruitment consultant that they are looking for someone locally based prepared to work in the area and commit to the area. It is very easy just to say, fine, thank you, when asked this question and usually stops any further conversation on the point.

This may be the best way of dealing with it as if you start to reel off a big long description of your journey and how difficult you found it or how bad the traffic was this morning, you immediately set off a potential worry in the interviewer’s head that you may struggle to get into work every day but also lodge a thought in the interviewer’s head that you are someone who likes to complain a lot or be negative.

Our recommendation if asked this question in interview is to keep your answer as short as you can, although obviously if you are late for the interview as a result of traffic you may have a little bit of explaining to do. It would be better to explain it as a one off as opposed to being a problem with a particular road or train.

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director at Ten Percent Legal Recruitment ( . He interviews on behalf of law firms and lectures on the issue as well. You can contact him for free advice on .

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