Here’s the Number One Job Interview Question
If you plan to be interviewing for a law job anytime soon, billionaire Mark Cuban says you should be prepared to answer one question.
What did you do during the Great Pandemic?
Specifically, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and star of television’s Shark Tank says you should be able to articulate how you adapted to these unprecedented times and what strengths you developed as a result.
“The first question every interviewer is going to ask you is: ‘What did you learn during the pandemic of 2020?’” says Cuban in this CNBC article. “What skills did you add during the pandemic of 2020?’”
Some other COVID-era job-hunting tips from the Shark Tanker:
- Keep adding to your skill-set.
- Get off the couch and connect with people – if only by phone or email.
- Don’t give up; new opportunities will emerge from this crisis.
- Take a job, even if it isn’t your dream job, in order to get yourself into the market.
- Think outside the box by mind-mapping other ways you can use your skills and experience.
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8 Law Job Interview Questions
Following are some other law interview questions to prepare for, as suggested by attorney Alison Monahan, author of The Girl’s Guide to Law School (quotations are from this article by her):
- How Do/Did You Like Law School? “If I’m interviewing someone who tells me with vehemence how much they hated law school, I’m probably not going to hire them for a legal job. The only appropriate answer to this question is some variant of, ‘In general, I enjoyed it and found it challenging. Of course, it was tough at times, but I learned enough to make it worthwhile.’ Don’t be a Pollyanna (no one will believe that you lovedevery second of law school) but try to be generally upbeat about the experience.”
- What Were Your Favorite Law School Classes? “It doesn’t matter how you respond to this, as long asthe courses you offer have a reasonable relationship to the job you’re interviewing for.”
- What Type of Law Are You Interested In? “‘I’m not sure,’ is not a good answer! If you have to, make something up. But have a reasonable answer ready to go.”
- Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job? “I hate my boss is not a good answer. Be tactful and focus on the growth opportunities the new role you’re interviewing for will permit (or focus on some other practical issue, such as the need to move to a new location).”
- Tell Me About Your Law Review Note or Moot Court Competition Brief. “Anything on your résumé is fair game for discussion!”
- Why Is This Job a Good Fit for You? “It’s unlikely you’ll be asked this question directly, but it’s likely to be asked obliquely. (‘Why Organization X?’) It is where you get to showcase the research you did on the organization and job description. You want to show that a) you know what the job description requires and b) that you’re a good fit.”
- I See You Like Baking. What Type of Things Do You Like to Bake? “The most important information on your résumé actually has nothing to do with law at all — it’s your hobbies and interests. If well selected, these can fill a good chunk of time in an interview and allow you to make a more human connection with the interviewer. However, you have to actually do these things!”
- What Is Your Opinion on the Holding of James v. Smith? “Just kidding! You’ll hardly ever be asked substantive law questions in an interview. You might encounter behavioral questions along the lines of, ‘Tell me how you’d handle this situation with opposing counsel,’ but you’ll almost never be quizzed on legal topics. So don’t stress over them.”
Jay Reeves is author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World. He practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. Now he writes and speaks at CLEs, keynotes and in-firm presentations on lawyer professionalism and well-being. He runs Your Law Life LLC, a training and consulting company that helps lawyers add purpose, profits and peace of mind to their practices. Contact email@example.com or 919-619-2441.