Defeating the Dreaded Interview Questions

Vol. 42 No. 8

By

Erin E. Rhinehart is a commercial litigation attorney with Faruki Ireland & Cox P.L.L. in Dayton, Ohio.

Picture this: Tom, an eager 2L, scores an interview at a reputable mid-sized law firm for a summer associate position. This is it. This is the opportunity for which Tom has been waiting. Sporting a freshly pressed navy suit with a starched white shirt and red power tie, Tom walks confidently into the managing partner’s office. He shakes the partner’s hand and introduces himself—making sure that his grip is firm and he makes eye contact. No nerves here. Tom takes in a deep breath, tells himself he has got this, and sits down as the partner shuts the door behind him. The well-seasoned attorney sits behind his desk, removes his reading glasses, and takes a long, hard look at Tom. The lawyer leans forward, looks Tom in the eyes and asks . . .

Here it comes. Is Tom really ready for this? More importantly, are you ready for what comes next?

The dreaded interview questions. Thirty-minutes of rapid fire questions that are designed to see how well you think on your feet and test your oral advocacy skills. How do you handle them? Is there a “right” answer? Is there a “wrong” answer? The secret to your best interview ever is preparation. There is no way to know every question you will be asked. Sure, there are the repeat offenders (some of which are discussed below); but, for the most part, you are preparing for the unexpected.

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