- On January 12, 2019
Interviewers want to know about your skills and concrete successes. See this recent interview with an Apple global HR specialist explaining the magic formula for answering interview questions in four steps: (1) describe a situation you were in, (2) outline what you had to do, (3) detail what you executed, and (4) explain how this result was successful through clear numbers.
It’s easy for lawyers to explain issues they faced, but stumble on the fourth point quantifying their achievements. Indeed, legal results are notoriously hard to quantify, e.g., how do you show you avoided disaster?
Below are four ways you can describe your impact:
- Litigators can talk about their cases and resolution, e.g., number and size of wins, percentage of success, dismissals, jury verdicts, money at stake, happiness of clients (e.g., favorable settlement, increased representation, etc.), and notable cases they were staffed on, e.g., trials of the century. Sometimes the absence of something is ok to cite, e.g., no charges filed, or no material fines issued.
- Deal lawyers can talk about the number and size of transactions they closed, e.g., number and valuation of M&A matters over the year, or largest deal [sale, partnership, acquisition, etc.] of the decade/year/quarter.
- Client statistics are helpful, e.g., the valuation of the company, its size, growth, number of people, products/services, and market share. This information can help the audience gauge the significance of your role once they know about your client’s industry, needs, matters, etc.
- Scaling is a valuable skill. You can explain how you helped a client grow (revenue, people, products, services, regions) over what period, particularly times of hypergrowth. Raise processes, technology systems, and/or playbooks you developed, and note the results, like the number of deals closed increased and time spent on negotiations decreased. For clients looking for management experience, cite increase in direct reports as well as indirect reports (cross-functional teams, execs counseled).