in Interviews

Interview Question – What can you contribute to a team?

A cursed question to anyone who has not worked with business speak before. The reality is that the concept of teamwork is somewhat different in a law firm – the majority of decisions are made at senior level, and although more junior staff are informed that they need to be ‘team players’, very often the people who make this sort of comment are not at all in any way!

The concept of teamwork can be – if you smile when you make me a cup of tea, you are clearly a team player, but if you glare at me and drop it in my lap and then smile, you clearly lack social skills.

The contribution you make to a team must be that you offer up your experience, enthusiasm and skills, and that if you are qualified these are going to be extensive. However if you are unqualified, these are going to be limited until you have some experience under your belt.

I cannot see any other way to answer this – you don’t want to be a social misfit and say you are a business oracle for other members of the team to consult, or a thinker who carefully considers all options. If you have any suggestions, feel free to let me know!

Author: Jonathan Fagan MIRP MAC Cert RP LLM Solicitor (non-practising) – Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment ( – save time, skip the legal job boards and register with us!  Jonathan Fagan is a specialist legal recruitment consultant, author of the Complete Guide to Writing a Legal CV and the Guide to Interviews for Lawyers. He has recruited for law firms across the UK and overseas in all shapes and sizes. If you have any questions that we have not covered above, please email us at

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 20 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at You can contact Jonathan at