LAW firms with fewer spots for new lawyers are increasingly scrutinising job hunters' personalities to sort potential candidates.
Firms are sending out more senior people to meet with potential candidates than in the past, and are using behavioural questions in on-campus interviews of students.
The more rigorous approach to interviews and recruitment has been covered by the American Lawyer.
"We're seeing better-prepared interviewers, more senior people" coming on campus, Bruce Elvin, director of career and professional development at Duke University School of Law told American Lawyer.
The firms are still relying on law school results and grade point averages, but they are also turning to behavioural interviewing where they haven't before. They are keen to learn how students have performed in specific situations, he said.
"Tell me about a time when you had a setback and how you dealt with it" questions and "give me an example of a time" questions are becoming more prominent in law firm interviews.
“As for the interview itself,” the American Lawyer reports, “it's no longer about whether you like the same sports teams, at least not at places like Vinson & Elkins and McKenna Long & Aldridge.”
According to a Vinson & Elkins hiring partner, Thomas Leatherbury, who was interviewed by the American Lawyer, firms will increasingly turn to behavioural interviewing. "It's much more substantive," he said.
Even in traditional interviews, Elvin said, law students can and should adopt a behavioral focus: "Students can benefit themselves by talking about challenges they've overcome, decisions they've made. It shows you are taking ownership."