What a Company Recruiter Should be Prepared to Answer at an Interview | Gcconsulting.com
General Counsel Consulting
About us Attorney resources Employer resources Job listings Submit resume Contact Us
General Counsel Consulting
Sign In
Email:
Password:
Forgot your password?
New User?
Signup
 
2016
Most Influential
Legal Recruiters By
GCC
General Counsel
Consulting
provided
exceptional
service in helping
my organization
recruit for a hard
to fill position.
They did extensive
work on the front
end to understand
our needs and
our culture and
began referring
highly qualified
candidates almost
immediately.
 
Melinda Burrows
Deputy General Counsel
- Litigation and
Compliance, Progress
Energy Service Company
LLC
 

Jobs for Law Students
Law Student - Law Firm in San Jose, CA
USA-CA-San Jose
File Clerk The candidate will be organizing and filing documents for client files. Creating compute.... [more]


 
Click here
 

Job of the Day
Sr. Legal Counsel, IP Litigation - 114427203
Cupertino California United States

Job Summary: Imagine what you could do here. At Apple, new ideas have a way of becoming great produ...


Employer Articles
Article Archives

What a Company Recruiter Should be Prepared to Answer at an Interview

  DOWNLOAD PDF         EMAIL TO FRIEND
 
  
 
When hiring in-house counsel, certain things are obviously different due to the stature of the candidate, but there are other steps that are formal and need to be conducted in line with organizational realities. In these steps, little difference can be made between an ordinary candidate for an executive post, or a lawyer. However, the manner in which such steps are conducted can differ between candidates for executive posts and lawyers.

For example, in regular jobs, background checks are essential and a formalized part of the process only after a candidate has been shortlisted for possible employment. However, while hiring in-house counsel, it is prudent to run harmless internet checks on social networks and other published activity before conducting an interview without making direct published queries. One of the best methods to check the background of a lawyer before an interview is to put his/her name in quotes and search in Google News. Usually, such a search brings up a lot of information about the candidate, including previous roles and employers, without upsetting etiquette or protocols.

In-house counsel are hired mostly through lateral recruitment or references for senior positions. But, with e-recruitment becoming the most popular and cost-effective method of reaching a wider talent pool, it is also not surprising to find out-of-state candidates applying for in-house positions. In such cases, reference checks and other formal background checks including checks on social networks and news become mandatory before arranging an interview.

In this article, we have focused on a topic which is well-recognized, but rarely discussed: How an interviewer should prepare to answer questions at an interview.

Why do you, as an interviewer, need to be ready to answer questions when interviewing in-house counsel?

While every recruiter knows that an interview is no more a one-way process with the interviewer asking questions and the interviewee providing answers, interviewing lawyers has very different dimensions: things can quickly get out of hand, if the interviewer is not well prepared. Lawyers, and especially good lawyers, are expected to possess forceful personalities and to be able to command their presence on negotiation tables. Thus, it is not uncommon to find inexperienced interviewers handing over the reins of the interview to potential candidates unknowingly. The usual result of such a happening is loss of a potential candidate or a wrong hire.

Candidates for jobs of in-house counsel are people trained to be aware of the significance of, and reaction to, each question asked, and people who know well enough how to cross-examine or pose leading questions to others.. If, as an interviewer, you are not ready with answers to questions you might face while interviewing an in-house counsel, you'll likely find yourself in a situation similar to being on the dock. So, be prepared with your answers before you go to interview an in-house counsel.

Common questions that interviewers need to be ready to answer when conducting an interview of in-house counsel

Be sure that a lawyer appearing for an interview has done his/her homework on your company and offered job, and would like to find out how the offered role matches his/her skills, interests, and career objectives. Good lawyers value their own skills and abilities, and won't jump at just any job, even though they might be facing financial difficulties.

Whether a candidate for your in-house counsel job actually asks you the following questions or not, it is prudent for you to be prepared to answer them, and having answers to the following questions would also help you to keep command of the interview.

1. Questions about your organization


Questions that a potential in-house counsel can ask you during the interview would obviously include questions about the organization including questions on work-environment, company philosophy, and strengths and weaknesses . Mind you, it is natural for a potential in-house counsel to ask such questions because a good lawyer would proactively seek out ways to contribute to a new organization and find the organization-to-person fit.

Other ordinary organizational questions faced by the interviewer would include questions about competitors, equal employment opportunities, expectations from employees, business targets, organizational hierarchy, reporting authorities, management style, short and long-term goals, and how the job role and responsibilities offered fit in with company goals.



It would also be prudent to be ready to answer questions on future expansion plans, interrelation of the legal department with other departments, violations of corporate culture, and work/life balance, among other things.

2. Questions about the offered job


More than questions about money, the first questions that interviewees tend to ask include learning about work hours, the average hours worked by others in similar jobs in the company, why did the last person on the job leave, or what were the problems the company had with the last person who was in the job. Some of these questions might be uncomfortable to answer if you are not prepared. While you may not expect an ordinary candidate to ask such questions, when it comes to in-house counsel, be ready.

Around the offered job position, the interviewee could also ask about co-workers, and the reporting authority. Keep in mind, in-house counsel candidates are truly inventive when it comes to asking questions to the interviewer. This happens because the study of law and logic creates an insight into human affairs, and lawyers, when they feel they need to learn something, can be very blunt and to the point.

Lawyers would ask questions of the interviewer like “why do you need people like me? Why do you think a new law graduate won't be able to do this job?” and floor you, if you are unprepared. That simple question is geared to make you admit the exact requirements, which the candidate can rely upon during negotiations of salary.

Other ordinary questions about the job can include questions on opportunities, restrictions, competitive benefits, foreseeable challenges, job performance evaluation, and who would be an ideal employee for this job, among other things.

One question, which lawyers are particularly prone to ask of interviewers is “what would be my first task if I am hired?” If the interviewer fumbles, he is likely to lose the candidate. If he says somebody else knows the answer, then he/she immediately diminishes in stature and the interview loses its importance.

3. Questions about reward systems and growth opportunities


These are questions, of course, recruiters are ready to handle in the course of any interview, but lawyers might posequestions that can still make an interviewer uncomfortable. For example, there may be direct questions, not only about salary and non-salary components, but about how the reward system is tied to individual vis-à-vis team-based performance. While other candidates would be happy to get a job, even a penniless lawyer could ask you directly about your rewards given for exceptional performance.

4. Direct questions about the interviewer


Very often potential in-house counsel would like to formally acquaint themselves with the interviewer (lawyers are always networking, and even if they don't get the job they would still create a network acquaintance) and can ask you questions like when you joined the company, how long have you worked, how long did it take you to get promoted to where you are, why do you like it in the company, and a little slip during those innocuous questions can have far reaching effects.

So, when preparing to interview a lawyer for the post of an in-house counsel, carefully prepare a list of all possible questions the interviewee might ask you and be ready with your answers before you walk into the interview room.

Best of luck.

Source:

Diane Arthur, Recruiting, Interviewing, Selecting and Orienting New Employees (New York: AMACOM, 2006)



Facebook comments:

  
 
Related Articles

The Benefits of Working with a Legal Recruiter Rather than Conducting a DIY Search for In-House Counsel

No one knows the value of professionals more than those who run businesses. In every business today, there is a paramount need to optimize time. For business leaders, the optimized use of personal tim...

How to Attract Quality In-House Counsel to Your Company

Even though, to the knowledge of everyone concerned, including that of your boss, colleagues, or partners, the market is overflowing with qualified lawyers available at the going rates of a dime a doz...

In-House Counsel Join the Blogosphere

Millions of Internet users post or read online blogs, and that number is slowly beginning to include in-house counsel.Of the 147 million Americans who use the Internet, about 57 million read blogs and...

Evolving Role of In-House Counsel: Adding Value to the Business

Recent events in the United States, United Kingdom and elsewhere have fostered a global discussion about the role of lawyers inside companies. Corporate general counsel and law departments face new r...

How Much Can You Tell your In-house Counsel?

Any company or employer who can use a good in-house counsel to full effect benefits enormously, but many employers trip up during that exercise. Many HR employees as well as managers take it as grante...

Five Tips for Hiring Great In-house Counsel

The quality of people in the in-house law department of a business, and their reputation for effectiveness as well as performance, contribute significantly and in a critical manner to the health of th...

In-House Counsel Retention: The Only Way to Retain Wolves is by Building a Pack

When it comes to retaining in-house counsel, many strategy aspects and problems are similar to those of other employees and many are not....

Choose an In-House Counsel as You Would Choose a Business Partner

Actually, when you choose a general counsel, you are choosing a business partner, whether you admit it or not. Unless you are way off in understanding why you need in-house counsel at all, you’d kno...

Why Hiring an In-House Counsel Can Help Your Business

Businesses and business owners often wonder, especially during their formative years, whether they should at all hire an in-house counsel or not, and whether an in-house counsel is an unnecessary over...

Creating and Conducting a Structured Interview

For any employer or business, a structured interview has higher validity and reliability, than an interviewer asking random questions to different candidates. Structured and hand-tailored interview qu...


Article ID: 120300

Article Title: What a Company Recruiter Should be Prepared to Answer at an Interview

Comment not found for this article......
+ Add Comment

  • Share this story:


  • BlinkList
  • blogmarks
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Sphinn
  • MySpace
  • NewsVine
  • Simpy
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • E-mail this story to a friend!
  • Print this article!
  • Faves
  • Furl
  • Netvouz
  • Slashdot
  • Spurl
  • Yahoo! Buzz



 
 

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it, you will land among the stars.