Recruiting General Counsel: The essential interview questions

Author Olivia Courtney
september 20, 2023

When looking for a general counsel, most businesses are looking for someone with two main attributes: in-depth legal expertise and sound judgment. The third attribute, however, that many teams highly prize is business acumen. Company leaders believe a general counsel with these three attributes will be successful in the position and will be a valued strategic advisor to the company.

Finding a candidate who meets all of these expectations as well as the needs of the business can be difficult. Therefore, preparing responses to common interview questions can help you offer strategic and knowledgeable replies.

As a leading specialist legal search and recruitment consultancy, Taylor Root are experts at interviewing lawyers at all levels. Our job is to deliver a diverse slate of exceptional candidates with the qualifications necessary to meet our client’s needs and, as best as possible, the personality that will fit well within the organisation’s culture.

Here are some of the common interview questions that may be asked of General Counsel candidates during the interview process.

  1. What do you see as the most significant legal challenges or opportunities for our industry in the near future, and how would you address them?
    This question evaluates forward-thinking and industry awareness.
  2. How do you ensure that the legal department operates efficiently and cost-effectively while maintaining high-quality legal services?
    Tests ability to manage resources effectively.
  3. What is your approach to managing a legal team, and can you share an example of a successful team leadership experience?
    Evaluates leadership and management skills, essential for a General Counsel role.
  4. How do you handle ethical dilemmas or conflicts of interest that may arise in your role as General Counsel?
    Tests ethical judgment and integrity, which are crucial in this position.
  5. How do you stay current with changes in the legal landscape and industry regulations that may affect our organisation?
    Demonstrates commitment to staying informed and adapting to evolving legal requirements.
  6. Describe a complex legal issue or dispute you successfully resolved in your previous role. What strategies did you employ?
    This question evaluates problem-solving skills and ability to handle challenging legal matters.

These tried and tested questions will be helpful next time you need to prepare for your in-house interview, or for businesses preparing to interview candidates for a General Counsel role.

Click here to download our guide which includes technical-based questions, personal and motivational questions, value-based questions, as well as some tips and tricks to help you master the interview.

As always, please reach out to one of the Taylor Root In-house team if you or your organisation might benefit from our global search and recruitment services.

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