in Careers Advice, Interviews

Legal Job Interview Question and Answer – Are you Aggressive?


This is almost a challenge and is again one of those interview questions that can really only be considered in a negative fashion.  There are obviously jobs where aggression is considered to a certain extent as a positive at certain levels, but this question really is one to determine negative and not positive issues.  Probably the best way of approaching it would be to confirm that you are not aggressive. However you can then go on to clarify that this does not mean that you are a passive person at work.  Alternatively you could say that you are aggressive at pursuing your goals and will work hard to achieve these as required, or that you are aggressive when the need arises. The last answer obviously opens up further questioning to ask you to give specific examples of when you have needed to be aggressive which can cause problems.  Specific examples of answers would be;

Examples of Answers

“No.  I feel that aggression in the work place does not contribute towards productive work or outstanding results.  Working through negotiation, encouragement and team work either with colleagues or other interested parties, suppliers or clients, is a much better way of carrying out day to day business.”


“Yes, when the need arises.  For example if I have a client who insists on a specific fee level and I am unable to give him this as it is not economically viable, I will aggressively respond to the request and be firm with my responses.”


“Yes. I pursue my work aggressively and make sure I have completed what I set out to do at the start.  I feel that a bit of aggression is very important in doing this together with stamina and willpower.”

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