Podcast: SL@P 004 - Interviewing Job Candidates

Podcast: SL@P 004 - Interviewing Job Candidates

Interviewing Job Candidates

If your law firm is anything like mine, finding and hiring the right people is key to ensuring that your practice succeeds. While I am not the best at conducting employee interviews, we have discovered that certain questions give potential employees an opportunity to open up so that you can take a glance inside their mind. The goal is to ask better questions to ensure that you elicit a better response from the applicant.

It is worth noting that these questions are not intended to make the process or interview difficult or make the applicant uncomfortable.

Here are the questions:

Can you tell me about yourself? – This question allows an applicant to get comfortable in the interview. It also allows the interviewer an opportunity to focus the applicants future answers on their value to the business when the applicant inevitably starts talking about their pet cat and collections of beanie babies. Moreover, it allows the interviewer to get some insight into the mind and world of the applicant before redirect them.

How often do you check your email outside of work? – Overeager applicants love to boast about how much they work outside of work or how available they are after hours. This is a great question for getting a closer look at how the applicant plans to find a work life balance, which is needed in a fast pace legal environment. There are better ways for applicants to show loyalty or willingness to work.

What did you do to prepare for this interview? This question is designed to determine whether the applicant is trying to join your team or simply trying to find a job to pay some bills. A successful applicant will show you that they understand what the firm does, who works at the work and which clients the firm typically prefers.

What is your dream job? Ask this question and let the applicant discuss what they want to do each and every day. This question will allow you to see whether an applicant is a people person or whether the applicant is ambitious.

Why did you leave your last job? Beware of the applicant that speaks ill of their former employer. Be sure to try and get the whole picture from the the applicant by asking follow up questions and ask open ended questions and let the applicant explain what they know, think, and feel.


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Jared Pierce hung his own shingle right out of law school and has spent every minute since then discovering the joys and difficulties of chasing success. Anyone who has ever met Jared will tell you h


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