in Interviews

Interview Question – Would you describe yourself as ambitious?

I have to confess I asked someone this once, and he said “oh no, I have never been ambitious – I just want to earn some money”, which is an honest enough answer! In fact most employers would love this as in reality this is what they are looking for – a solicitor who is not going to recruit half their clients and set up over the road in a few years time. However as an interviewer I would not recommend this approach – although it is ideal, and I realise that this is very clear and helpful, at the same time it made me wonder about this person’s approach to the work – afterall if you have no ambition, would you put as much effort into your work as someone with ambition to succeed?

Again, another question with an answer that clearly is v.obvious, but one that may not be as clear cut once you think about it from the employers perspective. I have to concede that an ambitious lawyer may be one to offer partnership to, and may also be interested in taking over your caseload at some stage in the future..

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