Ed. Note-this week we are running a series of Guest Posts by Milou Lammers. She is new to the compliance field and new to the legal profession, having just passed the bar. (A Big Congrats!) She has written an ongoing series about who journey to secure a job in the compliance profession. Today, she explores some of the questions, problems and issues interviewers have been asking her and presenting to her that she has faced in the interview process. 

I have written a couple of posts about trying to get a job in compliance in the hopes that I may help others looking to enter the field and create some resources for future young professionals. I have been fortunate enough to start the interview process after applying and waiting and thought I would touch on what interviewers are asking today and what you should be asking them.

A few years ago, when I was in my second year of law school, I flew out to New York to interview for a summer associate position at a finance firm and the first question one of the interviewers asked was “what is 1 million divided by 100 divided by 100?” I quickly blurted out 100 and we moved on. After that stress-inducing experience, I hoped that as long as I steered clear from finance firms that I would avoid the more challenging interview questions, however that does not seem to be the case.

During the interview phase of my current job hunt I have been asked to complete math assessments, logical reasoning tests, video recording interviews, and yet I have been the most challenged during my in-person interviews. The questions interviewers have asked me have ranged from: How do your skills and past experiences translate into a good fit for this role? What attracted you to this position? What speaks to you about our mission? The questions have been challenging because they aim to ask about your experience and reveal how much research you did about the position and the company beforehand. In order to be most prepared I would recommend that you know exactly what the job description is, what the company’s core values are, and think about a few key experiences you have had that you think they should hear because it applies to why you are a good fit for the job.

I would also recommend that you brush up on your improv skills. Just this week, as I arrived for an interview and got settled into the conference room, the recruiter came in and handed me a presentation prompt and gave me about 15 minutes to prepare a presentation on the topic before my interview began with the team members. Fortunately the prompt was a neutral topic and most everyone would be able to prepare something on it to present on, which means that this task was less about seeing if you crack under pressure but focused more on assessing your public speaking skills and creative quick thinking. Make sure you think about how you would deal with that scenario and prepare ahead of time by asking others to pose random questions or scenarios to you so that you can prepare. Then I would try to be as confident as possible in yourself because you have made it this far in the process and you can trust that you are there for a reason.

Tomorrow we will consider the questions you should be asking in the interview process.

Please feel free to comment or reach out to me directly at miloulammers@mac.com to further this discussion.