Law firm hiring is ridden with twisted logic. Many firms believe that a lengthy interview process ensures that the successful candidate is one who truly wishes to come aboard. The idea here is that a person willing to endure nine rounds of interviewing is a person with unshakable dedication to the job on offer. In reality, the opposite is often true.
Statistics show that 60% of job seekers withdraw from the application process. This is not because they lack the gumption to see it through to the end. It is often because while awaiting the eighth round of interviews, they land a position at a company that respects their time and readily acknowledges their potential. In today’s legal landscape, top talent need not demonstrate perseverance; rather, firms aspiring to be the best need to demonstrate courage. This said, without vision, courage is a liability, which is why careful thought is required when restructuring your law firm hiring process.
How to Conduct a Job Interview Like A Pro
Everyone knows that, at the same time you are interviewing a candidate, the candidate is interviewing you. What’s more, just as you are not interviewing one single person, they’re not interviewing at just one single firm. Candidates leave you with a first impression and, in turn, they leave with a first impression of their own. Top talent talks, so if you want your firm to remain in good repute, you need a curated approach.
Screening interview questions are the core of any interview, which can reveal volumes about your firm. Harvard Law School has published a lengthy list of questions that candidates may be asked (and which they may ask themselves). Naturally, you don’t want to simply regurgitate all that you find on HLS’s page when conducting an interview; instead, choose questions for both their content value and for what they say about you.
Renowned philosopher and media scholar Marshal McLuhan once famously stated that “the medium is the message.” This means that new communication technology changes communication itself. However, his idea applies just as well to matters of tone and style. How you ask a question says as much as the “nuts and bolts” of your inquiry. Accordingly, you need not only carefully select your screening interview questions, but you also must pay close attention to the mode of delivery.
For example, asking a candidate why they left a prior job is looked at as interrogative. However, offering the candidate the chance to explain their experience at a previous position is invitational. The difference in these two modes of delivery says a lot about how your firm manages communication in general.
Next-generation talent is no longer looking for just a salary and benefits package; they are looking for a position that aligns with their values, lifestyle goals, and personality. Law firm hiring has gained holistic dimensions, and this is especially true in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. Endless rounds of interviews show that you’re not with the times, and you’ll end up leaving a lasting impression…not just on candidates, but on all those with whom these candidates share their frustration.