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How to Sell Yourself Effectively

Answer The “why” Question

Very often, an interviewer may ask why you want to work at a particular firm or organization or why he or she should hire you. Occasionally, this question comes in a more subtle form.

One hiring partner revealed to us that he asks every interviewee, from the most junior summer associate candidate to a senior lateral partner, two questions. The first one is, “Imagine we hired you. Several months later, at a cocktail party, I ask your colleagues what they think about working with you. What would they say?” His follow-up question is, “Now, imagine, at the same party, I ask you what you think about the firm so far.” This partner is not looking for any particular response. But a one-sided, rehearsed, cookie-cutter answer about how great you and the firm are may disqualify you. What he wants is a genuine answer that gives two sides of the story. After discussing your strengths, what do your colleagues think you could do better? After mentioning the things you really like (hope to like) about this firm, do you have any suggestions for improvement?

To every interviewer, “why” is the most important question. Your answer must demonstrate thoughtfulness, confidence, your good fit with the firm, and your genuine desire to work there. This is not the time to retreat, give a disingenuous response, or rest on a short, one-sentence answer. This is the time to sell yourself by explaining that you are a hard worker, and that your particular skills make you ideal for the job. Because your answer must be well-researched and sufficiently detailed, preparation is key.

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Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesLaw Job InterviewsHow to Sell Yourself Effectively - Emphasize Your Strong Points, Address Your Weak Points, Answer The “why” Question, Distinguish Yourself