Denver Bar Association
November 2005
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Quiz: Are Your Interviews Leading to Successful Hires?

by Marian Carlson

Hiring the wrong candidates can be costly — a lost investment of all the resources expended in
recruiting, training and integrating the unsuccessful candidate into the firm.

A carefully planned and focused interview process can dramatically improve your ability to identify lawyers who have what it takes to succeed at your firm. To determine whether your firm is making the most of its interview process, take the following quiz:

1. Has your firm created a profile identifying the qualities, behaviors and core competencies that have made its stars successful?

2. When your firm identifies a hiring need, does it prepare a detailed description of the skills and qualifications required for the position?

3. Before beginning the interview process, does your firm ensure that all interviewing attorneys are seeking the same skills and qualifications in each applicant?

4. Does your firm train its attorneys in effective interviewing skills?

5. Does your firm assign specific roles to the attorneys who interview a candidate, so they avoid repetition of questions and maximize the information obtained from the interviews?

6. Do your interviewing attorneys prepare an interview plan before each interview?

7. Do your interviewing attorneys know how to dig for in-depth information that goes beyond the qualifications on a resume?

8. Does your interview process elicit detailed information on the extent to which the candidate meets each of the requirements of the open position?

If you answered "no" to any of these questions, your firm may benefit from a more focused interviewing process. A few hours of training and planning may save thousands of dollars that can be lost by hiring the wrong candidate.

Marian Carlson is an attorney with Wheeler Trigg Kennedy, LLP. Carlson can be reached at

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