The Most Difficult Interview Questions and Answers

Interviews can be stressful enough, but trying to prepare for the questions that an interviewer may ask you can cause all kinds of anxiety. Especially in the legal field, employers want to know how you can think on your feet. They tend to ask questions that aren't straightforward and may take some thought to answer. I have compiled some of the most difficult questions that I (and my co-workers) have been asked over the years along with some answers that are sure to satisfy your potential employer. If you have any difficult interview questions that you would like answered - feel free to comment below!

What is your biggest weakness?
What do people most often criticize about you?
This is a very popular question that seems to stump a lot of people. You don't want to sound like you will be a bad employee, but saying that you don't have any weaknesses is clearly a lie. My best advice is to be honest, positive, and focused on solutions to this weakness. Talk about how you discovered this weakness, how you realized you needed to brush up on skills, and how you have decided to improve yourself. 

Answer Examples:
  • "When working on projects and cases, I don't just want to meet deadlines, but I prefer to complete what I am working on ahead of the due date. While I may never miss a deadline, sometimes I find myself rushed when I am working. I have learned to pay more attention to detail, slow down, be patient, and give every project/case the attention that it deserves."
  • "I can sometimes be a perfectionist and may spend a little too much time double-checking my work. I have recently learned to have a good balance when ensuring that I am doing quality work while also preventing myself from spending too much time on one project."
  • "Organization has been something I have struggled with. I have been inclined to prioritize tasks and maintaining organization of my work space is sometimes not at the top of my priorities. I have recently learned that a clean environment can also help boost my ability to focus, so I have implemented time in which I can organize the space around me."
What Motivates You?
Usually, when an interviewer asks this they want to know what drives you to succeed. Being honest can help reveal if your motivators are fit for your job duties and the company culture. When answering this keep your audience in mind and focus on bigger things than simply receiving a paycheck.

Answer Examples:
  • "I love seeing positive results from my clients, it really shows me that my hard work is paying off."
  • "Being in front of an audience/courtroom allows me to see how others respond to my ideas and is a thrill for me. I love making the connection between my ideas and how they come to fruition."
  • "I have been really driven by learning new things and discovering new ways to address problems. It allows me to grow and also think in a new unique way."
  • "I love providing positive client experiences. Having happy clients and positive results is something that makes me feel great and motivates me to keep working hard."

What did you dislike about your previous job?
What makes our company better than your previous job?
This can be an extremely difficult question because you don't necessarily want to speak negatively about your previous job. The best thing to keep in mind when answering questions like this is how you desire to move forward and advance your career. You can also mention how you are looking to tackle new challenges and learn new things about the industry.

Answer Examples:
  • "I felt that I was not being challenged enough at my previous job. Although it was a great opportunity in which I learned a lot, I feel as if I wasn't able to reach my full potential. There was no advancement in the company and I felt as if I could be challenged more elsewhere."
  • "Although I enjoyed the job, I would like to work more on a certain subject and specialized projects focused in this subject. I have a passion for this subject and I would love to work more exclusively in it."
  • "I felt as though the company was limited in size and structure and there were not as many opportunities available to me that I would have liked. I seek to advance my career and challenge myself and I felt that this was not possible at my previous job."
How much do you expect to get paid?
Do you have any salary requirements?
Salary negotiations can be one of the most uncomfortable times in a job interview. Before you begin salary negotiations you want to research salaries before discussing pay. Your goal should be to have your employer pay you appropriately for your skills and experience.

Answer Examples:
  • "Based on my qualifications and salaries of similar positions, I believe that $$$ would be a fair salary."
  • "Based on my extensive education and job experience, I believe that $$$ would be a fair salary. "
  • "I have done some research on similar job positions and qualifications and $$$-$$$ seems to be a fair range for a salary."

Why should we hire you?
What makes you a good fit for this position?
This question leads the perfect time for you to discuss your relevant qualifications and strengths for the job. Something that can also make you stand out from other applicants is talking about how passionate you are about the job field or position. You want to focus on the strengths that would make you a good fit for the position and stand out over someone else. Make sure you emphasize your reliability and ability to learn quickly. Focus on your uniqueness and try to show your skills instead of simply telling of your skills.

Answer Examples:
  • "Based on what you have told me about the position and the research that I have done, your company is looking for someone who is reliable, dedicated, and passionate about this field. I believe that my experience aligns well with that and makes me a great fit for the position. I not only have experience as a law clerk in this field, but I am very passionate about this job field. I believe that I would be of great value to your company."
  • "I think that my experience in criminal law and my ability to draft numerous legal documents make me a good match for this position. In my recent position I was able to research relevant case law, present ideas in court, and meet with clients. I believe this is extremely value experience to this position and therefore I would be a great fit for this position."
  • "You have explained that you are looking for an attorney that has experience working on personal injury cases. I have 3 years of experience working in personal injury litigation and have worked closely with attorneys to learn everything I can about this type of law. I have also worked on unique research projects that have exemplified my experience in the field."
How would you handle if your boss was wrong?
This can be an extremely difficult question because many times the person whom is interviewing you will end up being your boss or supervisor. You may want to use an example of something that happened at a former job or explain that while the situation is rare, you would explain it in a very professional manner. If this is something that has happened to you before you will also want to make a point to mention the positive result that came out of it.

Answer Examples:
  • "At my past job, my boss had assigned me a project but had failed to give us the correct data that we needed to complete it. I spoke with my boss privately and discussed the error, simply by showing him the data that we needed to complete the project. He thanked me and gave us the updated information."
  • "My former boss had been working with a client in which he copied me on most emails. I noticed that the emails were not easily readable or accessible on the receiving end. I discussed this issue with my poss and pointed out how receivers of the email were viewing it. He was extremely glad I pointed out this error and was able to change it before any problems arose."