You’re hired! What to expect from the in-house lawyer interview

November 25, 2020 10:53 am Published by

You’re hired! What to expect from the in-house lawyer interview – So, you’ve secured an interview. You’ve got your best suit ready and you know you’ll arrive on time. What next? Landing the much coveted in-house lawyer role comes down to your interview. So let’s go through what’s likely to happen.

Why do you want to be an in-house lawyer?

You can almost guarantee this question will come up. So be prepared to give them an answer that shows you’re not just in it for the easier working life. Even if that’s true! I’m sure the idea of leaving behind time recording and clocking your fees is appealing, but you’ll need to offer up something more valuable to them in your answer. Here are some options:

  • More variety of work
  • Getting to know their business in depth
  • Focusing on one client
  • Seeing projects through from beginning to end
  • The previous legal deals you’ve researched interest you.

Be honest in your answer too. You’ll be doing all these things if you get the job so make sure you have the passion to work with this company.

Are you a people person?

This may not be directly asked in the interview, but your ability to work across departments and communicate well and share ideas will be skills the company is looking for. It’s good to demonstrate how you communicate well with people from different departments and can speak on behalf of the company with shareholders, for example.

And the chances are your interview won’t just be with the legal team, or even the general counsel. There’ll probably be someone from legal on the panel to see if you’d work well with the team. But you may also meet people from other areas of the company you’re likely to work with. They’ll want to know you can communicate your ideas well and value their input.

What can you do for us?

This isn’t just about proving you’re the most qualified and experienced lawyer. The interview is an opportunity to tell them what they gain from having you work for them. So research the company and understand their goals, strategies and ethos. That way, you can tell them how employing you will help them grow as a company and lead them in the direction they want to go.

What are your leadership skills?

If you’re interviewing for a senior role, the chances are they’ll expect you to have management skills. So come prepared with examples of when you’ve stepped up to that level of responsibility. Some examples might be:

  • Mentoring a junior lawyer
  • Managing legal budgets
  • Giving constructive feedback after a project
  • Delegating effectively
  • Recruiting top talent to the team

Give them examples of your experience that demonstrate your management style and the importance of your roles within the profession.

Why should we hire you?

At a law firm you generate revenue. As an in-house lawyer you’re no longer doing that. Instead you’ll be an overhead costing them money. So be aware of the bottom line and think about the value you’ll bring to them for the money they’ll be spending.

Keep this in mind and good luck. I’m sure you’ll smash the interview and not the office furniture.


JMC specialises in in-house legal recruitment. If you’re looking for the best in-house legal jobs in Bristol, London or anywhere in the UK, we’ve got you covered. And if you’re searching for the perfect in-house lawyer, we have the expertise you need. Call us today for confidential advice on 0203 865 2113 or click here for more information.

Related: Employee to Entrepreneur – Become your Own Recruitment Boss

Jason Connolly set up JMC Legal Recruitment in 2016 when he was still in his 20s. JMC Legal quickly established itself as one of the big players in the industry and Jason has also become a well-known fixture in the press, offering advice and support.

JMC Partners is looking for recruiters interested in starting a business partnership under the JMC brand. Find out more here or contact our office for more information.

This post was written by rubenwilde

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