Preparing for an interview involves thorough preparation and a deep understanding of your own experiences and details about the firm/company you are meeting with. From junior lawyers to Partners, it’s important to be well-prepared. After years of gathering insights, we have compiled a list of common questions frequently asked by law firms and companies, along with effective strategies on how to answer them.


Education and Experience

Question: Can you share a bit about your education and experience?
How to Answer: Dive into your academic background and legal journey, focusing on areas that relate to the position. Be detailed about any specialisations and experiences that highlight your suitability for the role.

Handling Tough Legal Challenges

Question: Describe a challenging legal issue you have faced and how you resolved it.
How to Answer: Use the STAR method to lay out the situation, the task at hand, your actions, and the results. This gives a clear picture of your problem-solving skills and how you handle complex legal issues.

Areas of Interest

Question: What areas of law are you passionate about and why?
How to Answer: Talk about the areas you love and have experience in, explaining why they are of interest. Connect your passions with the firm/company, showing how they align with their expertise.



Management Style

Question: How would you describe your team management style?
How to Answer: Be real about your approach, whether it’s collaborative, authoritative, or supportive. If you can, share examples of how your management style has motivated your team and boosted your team’s performance.

Experience in Transactions

Question: Can you give examples of transactions you have handled recently?
How to Answer: Share one or two significant transactions from the past 1-2 years, detailing your role, challenges faced, and outcomes achieved. Highlight your strategic and leadership chops.

Managing External Law Firms, Barristers and Budgets

Question: Tell us about your experience managing external legal budgets and teams?
How to Answer: Explain how you choose and work with external firms, managing budgets and timelines without compromising quality.

Advising on Legislation

Question: Could you share your experience advising on specific legislation.
How to Answer: Share examples of advisory roles, issues tackled, how you have influenced legislative changes and implemented them within your company or with your clients.



When answering scenario-based questions, we recommended using the STAR method to lay out the situation, the task at hand, your actions, and the results. This gives a clear picture of your problem-solving skills and how you handle different situations.

Juggling Multiple Deadlines

Question: How do you handle multiple deadlines for different clients?
How to Answer: If possible, share a real example, explaining your time management and delegation strategies.

Handling Difficult Clients

Question: Tell us about dealing with a difficult client.
How to Answer: Share a scenario highlighting your communication and conflict resolution skills.

Tackling Complex Cases

Question: Can you share a complex case/project you have worked on?
How to Answer: Pick a relevant case or project, detailing your role, the challenges faced, and outcomes achieved.

Dealing with Changes at Work

Question: Tell us about a time when you had to quickly adapt to a significant change at work.

How to Answer: Provide an example that distinctly showcases your capacity to handle a major shift at work. Describe the situation explaining why the change occurred, explain your actions, the results, and reflect on what you learned from the change.

Going Above and Beyond for Clients

Question: Describe an instance where you went above and beyond for a client.

How to Answer: Speak about an example where you exceeded the needs of a client, explaining your actions and emphasising on your skills such as problem-solving skills, communication, or creativity.  Also explain the results of your hard work and what positive impact it had on the client and firm/company.


Project with Tight Deadlines

Question: Share an experience where you led a project under tight deadlines.

How to Answer: When choosing an example to speak about, select a project that was challenging because of its tight deadline.  Describe the project in detail, outlining the deadlines, the role you played, your approach and the results of the project.



Why This Firm/Company?

Question: Why do you want to work here?
How to Answer: Show you have done your homework on the firm/company, mentioning their achievements, culture, and market position. Ensure you have thoroughly researched the firm/company by looking at their website, social media profiles, articles they have written and media publications. You are best to also research the people you are meeting with as this will enable you to possibly find common ground straight away.

Industry Knowledge

Question: What do you know about our clients’ sectors? Or what do you know about our business?
How to Answer: Demonstrate your understanding of the industry, including key players and challenges, and how you can contribute.


Firm/Company Achievements

Question:  Can you share which of our firm’s most notable cases or achievements you’re familiar with?

How to Answer: Familiarise yourself with at least a couple of their most significant cases or achievements before the interview. When answering, mention specific cases or achievements you know about. This shows that you have a genuine interest and have taken the time to understand the firm. 


Handling Contract Mistakes

Question: How would you deal with a contract mistake that has been signed and has come into effect?
How to Answer: Discuss your ethical standards and how you would rectify the error.

Missing Deadlines

Question: What would you do if you missed a deadline?
How to Answer: Explain how you would own up to the mistake and rectify it.

Ethical Challenges

Question: Tell us about a time your ethics were tested. How did you handle it?
How to Answer: Share a real example showing your commitment to legal ethics and integrity.



Managing Workload and Prioritising Tasks

Question: How do you manage your workload, prioritise tasks and delegate?
How to Answer: Highlight your organisational skills and time management techniques. Provide an example where managing your workload and prioritising tasks was challenging and what you did to overcome this.

Familiarity with Legal Databases and Research Techniques

Question: What legal databases do you have experience in?
How to Answer: Showcase your proficiency with legal databases and if you do not have experience in a database the firm uses then explain your approach to upskill on that database.



Career Goals in Five Years

Question: What are your careers goals?
How to Answer: Be specific about your goals and how they align with the firm’s direction.

Staying Current with Legal Changes

Question: How do you stay up to date with changes to law?
How to Answer: Share how you stay updated on legal developments through seminars, journals, articles, and training.

Training or Mentorship from Firm/Company

Question: What do you expect with training and mentorship from us?
How to Answer: Express your desire for structured mentorship and growth opportunities within the firm / company.



Leadership Style

Question: What is your leadership style?
How to Answer: Define your leadership style and support it with examples.

Personal Core Values in Leadership

Question: What are your personal core values?
How to Answer: Identify your core values and explain how they guide you and your leadership.

Handling Misalignment of Core Values

Question: How do you handle misalignment of core values amongst team members?
How to Answer: Discuss your approach to managing conflicts within a team. If possible, provide an example of what this happened.




Question: How have you successfully worked within a team?
How to Answer: Share experiences highlighting your ability to work effectively in a team.

Client Communication

Question: Describe your experience in handling communications with clients or opposing counsel.
How to Answer: Emphasise your diplomatic communication skills, especially in challenging situations.


Question: Could you share a situation where your negotiation skills has a favourable outcome for your client?
How to Answer: Describe your negotiation skills with a real example of bridging gaps between parties.



Recent Developments or Landmark Cases

Question: Can you share a recent development in a particular area of law?
How to Answer: Demonstrate your awareness of recent legal trends or cases relevant to your practice area.

Hypothetical Legal Scenarios

Question: A firm/company may give you a hypothetical case study for you to respond to before your interview or they may ask you to respond to a hypothetical legal scenario on the spot.
How to Answer: Outline your approach to hypothetical legal scenarios, drawing on legal precedents and past experiences.



Ideal Work Environment

Question: What is your ideal work setting? How do you like to work?
How to Answer: Describe your ideal work setting.

Handling Stress and Pressure

Question: Could you explain a time when you were under stress/ pressure and how did you deal with it?
How to Answer: Explain your strategies for managing stress /pressure and maintaining work-life balance



In addition to the above, Lawyers being interviewed for Partnership Appointments may be asked the following questions:

Referrer Groups

Question: What types do your client referrer groups fall into?
How to Answer: Describe who your referrers are and how many referrers you have for example: Accountants, financial planners, bankers, other lawyers etc. This provides insights into your network and professional relationships.


Question: What type of clients do you service?
How to Answer: Provide percentage breakdowns where possible of the types of clients you service. This will provide the firm with an understanding of the range of industries and sectors you have experience in.

Percentage breakdown of clients

Question: Do you have a concentrated group of a few large clients or a large group of small to medium size clients?
How to Answer: Provide percentage breakdowns where possible. This will give the firm insight into your business model and revenue streams.


Question: How much in fees would your practice generate per annum?
How to Answer: Provide the total fees generated (excluding GST) per year for the last few years. This will provide the firm with information about your ability to generate revenue and will give them an understanding to your business acumen, market competitiveness, and potential contribution to the firm’s financial goals.


Question: What percentage profitability does your practice operate at?
How to Answer: Provide the firm with your percentage breakdowns where possible.


Question: What are your debtor days on your clients?
How to Answer: Provide the firm with your average debtor days. It helps assess your ability to manage accounts and debtors.


Some firms may include practical assessments as part of the interview process, such as:

• Drafting a legal document, letter or clause, or
• Reviewing a contract and identifying potential issues, or
• A written test on legal knowledge or ethical practices.

Thoroughly preparing for these questions will not only help you showcase your qualifications but also demonstrate your readiness to contribute effectively to the firm/company.


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