Q: Do I have to answer every interview question asked?
A: You don’t have to answer illegal questions but like every other question asked, I suggest you respond, even if you don’t directly answer, in a way that preserves rapport and keeps you in the running. For example, if the interviewer asks if you’re fully available to travel…even if you think s/he’s asking about your parenting responsibilities…you could say something like: I always love packing my suitcase. Other questions may be better narrated than answered…such as when you’re asked about your greatest strength. Rather than mentioning common lawyering abilities (like being a fast learner or a great writer), you might say: I have the traditional strengths of a lawyer but I really prize my enjoyment of practicing law—something I know so many of my counterparts really don’t share. I think that makes me a better hire and a better colleague.
The art of interviewing to get an offer goes beyond just answering questions. That’s what you really have to do.