ARE YOU INTERVIEWING FOR YOUR FIRST GENERAL COUNSEL OR ASSISTANT GENERAL COUNSEL ROLE? PRACTICE THESE QUESTIONS BEFORE YOUR INTERVIEW.
- Walk me through your work history.
- What are the top three factors you attribute to your success?
- Where do you want to be in 5 years? How will this role help you get there?
- What is the most important advice you’ve recently given your CEO?
- What is the most challenging ethical dilemma you’ve faced and how did you resolve it?
- Tell us about an experience in which you had a limited amount of time to make a mission critical or politically sensitive decision with significant organizational impact.
- Tell us about a time when you made a bad decision. What was the impact of the decision? What did you do to correct or mitigate the impact of the bad decision?
- What is your definition of diversity and inclusion— and why is it important to have a good understanding of this in your role?
- Was there a diversity value at your past employer? If so, did you make an impact on this?
- One of the challenging aspects of this role is that our company has multi-sites in different locations/states/countries/etc. How do you build relationships with the business units?
- Tell us about a situation where you developed trust and respect with others throughout the organization
- How do you prioritize your workload when you have competing deadlines?
- What do you do when you do not know an answer?
- What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
- What is the latest book you’ve read?
- Give an example of a time that you streamlined a review or compliance process. What did you do to make your office more efficient?
- Give an example of a time that you gave direct feedback and pushback to your CEO. What was the result?
STUDY THE JOB DESCRIPTION BEFORE YOUR GENERAL COUNSEL INTERVIEW
In addition to the questions above, study the job description. For example, at the time of writing this article, Abercrombie and Fitch had a Assistant General Counsel opening. The first bullet point in the job description reads:
- Research and provide practical guidance on privacy and cybersecurity, marketing, and consumer protection statutes, regulations and pending legislation around the world
Assume that the person doing the general counsel interview could ask the question, “Tell me about a time that you provided practical guidance on cybersecurity. What specific guidance did you provide, how did you stay current on worldwide legislation and what was the result?”
Another example is Aon has a General Counsel role in Cleveland. The job description reads:
- Work in partnership with the company’s operational areas, including, as appropriate, investment due diligence, marketing, client reporting, finance and human resources.
Assume that they could ask you a question like, “Here at AON, our general counsel partner with our various operational areas. Tell me a specific example of a time that you worked closely with other departments to achieve a common goal”.”