No longer does the ability to quickly analyze a court opinion or a lawyer's status on law review earn a guaranteed spot in a summer program. Though still important, intertwined with questions about GPA and resumes are ones that probe how attorneys will handle tough or unexpected situations. They are pretty typical for a job interview, but the goal for law firms now is to see how new attorneys can handle the sometimes stressful law firm environment and, even more, whether they can provide real world value to clients beyond just handing in strong work product.
The concept is called behavioral interviewing and helps interviewers gauge future job performance on how interviewees handled previous situations. It is also called competency-based interviewing, which falls right in line with law firms' move toward competency-based advancement."