Q: What do lawyers think is the hardest interview question to answer?
A: Oddly to me, most lawyers hate an interviewer’s invitation to “Tell me about yourself.” I say oddly, because as practiced as we are in introducing others, or in describing our clients, lawyers might turn to jelly or rattle on without strategy, when asked, in an open-ended way, about themselves.
This is an interview opener you can anticipate. Identify two or three main points you want to make about yourself to ground the conversation from the start. Keep your conversational response short though not curt, and set a tone as well as impart facts.
For example: I chose a career in litigation not knowing how satisfying it would be to help clients seek redress in areas of such import to them…and have spent the last X years enhancing my ability to write, advocate for, and stand by them throughout many types of cases. At this juncture, I want to work with you—on behalf of your clients—because you concentrate in ____ litigation, which I especially enjoy and have decided to focus in on.
At this point, stop talking, cede the floor to the interviewer, and listen intently for the next question, knowing you have helped kick off the conversation well, having “[told] something about yourself” that was responsive, cogent, and compelling.