Interview Tips: Common Interview Questions, Part One

How would you respond to the following frequently asked questions about yourself (characteristics and personal attitude orientation) by jotting down bullet thoughts for each one. Writing it down gives you the opportunity to consider how you incorporate your Personal Marketing Plan into each answer as well as consider your weaknesses.  Remember, you are not trying to memorize your answers – you’ll just sound like a robot!

  • How would you describe yourself?/Tell me about yourself.
  • Why do you think you will succeed as a lawyer?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Why are you interested in our firm/agency/non-profit?
  • Is there any reason why we shouldn’t hire you?
  • What is the greatest obstacle you’ve faced in your life?
  • What did you learn from dealing with this obstacle?
  • When are you available to begin working?
  • What do you consider your greatest strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses? (Be candid and acknowledge a true weakness but “spin” it into a positive by demonstrating how you are working on that weakness).
  • Use three words to describe yourself.
  • What are you looking for in a firm/corporation/nonprofit?
  • Do you prefer to work independently or with supervision?
  • Do you work well under pressure?
  • Describe a situation that required a number of things to be done at the same time.How did you handle it? What was the result?
  • How do you determine priorities in scheduling your time? Give examples.
  • What has been your experience in giving presentations? What has been your most successful experience in speech making?

  • What do you like to do for fun?
  • How do you maintain a well-rounded life?
  • What community or extra-curricular activities have you found rewarding?
  • Why should we select you for this position over the other applicants?
  • Are you more energized by working with data or by collaborating with others?
  • How would you describe yourself in terms of your ability to work as a member of a team?
  • Describe a time when you were faced with problems or stresses that tested your coping skills.
  • Give an example of a time in which you had to be relatively quick in coming to a decision.
  • Describe a time when you had to use your written communication skills to get an important point across to someone.
  • Give me an example of one of your successful accomplishments./What has been your most rewarding accomplishment?
  • Do you have the qualifications and personal characteristics necessary for success as a lawyer?
  • What quality or attribute will most contribute to your career success?
  • What motivates you to put forth your best effort?
  • Give me an example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.
  • Describe a situation where you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.
  • Describe a situation when you had to think on your feet to extricate yourself from a difficult situation.
  • Describe how you feel and how you react when others pressure you for deadlines.
  • Describe how you feel about taking direction from others and having them monitor your work.
  • Describe the ideal way to change a situation not to your liking.
  • Tell me about a time you solved a problem in a creative way.