in Careers Advice, Interviews

Legal Job Interview Question and Answer – describe a situation in which you influenced or motivated people.


This is another relatively easy question because if you have prepared your approach to interview effectively you should have a number of examples that will cover this question already stored in your mind. It is a good time to get over the point that you are a team player who contributes effectively to a team even when not managing the team or directly responsible for it. It is a time to give a situation where you have made a valuable suggestion which has been actioned upon but that you have needed to influence the other members of the team in order to get that suggestion over.

This question is again a STAR (Situation Task Action Result) competency based interview question and response so you should be giving a situation, describing the task you specifically had within that situation, the action that was taken by you and generally by the group or team and what the result was.

Examples of Answers

“When I worked for Smith Architects as an intern I was involved in a re-development of a shopping centre in Basildon. My role within the team working on the project was simply to follow the tasks set by the senior architects and technicians. During the project we had a meeting with the managers of the shopping centre who had a number of specific queries relating to the design, some of which they were insisting needed changing. Having worked on the specific areas of the project very closely I knew that a couple of these points were invalid and the senior architects within the team gave me permission to explain these to the clients and to detail why the design had been done in the style it had. I was able to influence the managers to accept the design from our firm through carefully explaining the reasoning behind certain design decisions. The result of this was that the project was signed off without further delay.”

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