If you are hiring at your law firm, it is critical that you hire the best applicants. The hiring decisions your firm makes can make or break your law firm. After all, the hiring decisions you make will directly contribute the quality of legal services your firm provides. It will contribute also contribute to the overall office environment and team approach.
When you are interviewing applicants, it’s important to have a list of questions you go through with all applicants for various positions in the first interview. Asking all the applicants a generally consistent set of questions can ensure that nothing is missing, that you’ve covered all your bases in the interview and found out what you need to know about the applicant.
Among other items, it is important to know what the applicant is seeking in a job. It’s important to know why an applicant may seek from this opportunity from their last or current job. It’s important to know what they are looking for in an office setting, what managerial style they like, the salary they are looking for in a position and various other items that may be important to the success of your law firm.
In trying to find out this information, some applicants may inevitably desire to turn the job interview into an interview of you and your firm. It’s as if they have presumed that they already have the job in the bag. In an initial interview especially, this is a red flag.
Obviously, if an offer is being made or in the late stages, it is appropriate of an applicant to ask some questions about the position, the pay, the benefits, etc. This is normal. However, in an initial interview especially, make sure you get the information you need versus letting the applicant turn the tables by interviewing you.
If you allow this, you will not find out the information you need to consider the applicant. You also send a message to the applicant that you may not be interviewing lots of candidates (even if you are) or that the applicant wouldn’t have to play by the firm’s policies and procedures if they were hired because they are not even playing by the rules in the interview.
If an applicant attempts to begin interviewing you in the interview, be polite and diplomatic. But make sure you take control back of the job interview by asking the questions you intended to ask and defer most of the questions asked until the offer stage (if the applicant even gets there).
You might decide as well that if an applicant does not take this well, that this might not be the applicant you want for your law firm in the first place.
If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.