Chapter 19 Sample interview questions

Essential economics and finance

The economy and financial institutions provide rich pickings for interview questions of various types.

The first two questions are intended to test your current awareness of the economy (and do not underestimate Brexit). You would not be expected to be an expert, but you need to show some understanding of the issues involved.

Comment on the current state of the economy in relation to law firms

This question looks at the economy in relation to the legal profession. It is more likely to be asked in a corporate setting. It not only requires some basic economic knowledge (read Chapter 19.1 to understand basic economic concepts), but is also a disguised Brexit question.

However, you could also use this question as a way of demonstrating knowledge of wider trends within the legal profession, e.g. globalisation and the growth of legal tech (see Chapter 20).

How do you think the Governor of the Bank of England dealt with the immediate impact of the Brexit vote?

This question is historic, but it has been included here as a cautionary tale. A similar question was asked to candidates applying to a medium sized London commercial firm. Only one knew who the Governor of the Bank of England was (then Mark Carney, who will be replaced by Andrew Bailey in March 2020), let alone what he had done. Make sure you do not make a similar mistake! (Another question could be “What did you think about the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s latest Budget?”. Do you know who the Chancellor is (now Rishi Sunak following the controversial resignation of Sajid Javid)? Do you know what the purpose Budget is – let alone the main points of the latest one? Are you aware of the political controversy following the resignation of Sajid Javid?)

Again, even if you know the answer, this is not an opportunity to air your political views. Make sure you give a balanced reply.

The next two questions are slightly easier. The first is a ‘hypothetical’ type question, but both require you to have a basic level of knowledge and understanding, and tests your ability to explain complex issues clearly and succinctly. Read Chapter 19.2.

Describe the City to a Martian.

Explain in layman’s terms the difference between a bull and a bear market.

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