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BDB Pitmans Interview
Questions

27 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published June 10th, 2019 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Question 1 of 27
Talk about the most difficult work situation you have found yourself in and explain how you used sound judgement to find a great outcome?
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How to Answer
During your training and through your career up to this point, you have certainly faced some difficult situations that you could easily discuss with your interviewer. But your interviewer isn't so much interested in the situation here as they are in your ability to think on your feet and use your best personal judgement to make the situation better. In the example you give, be sure to prepare for a time where you can exemplify this ability with success.
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1.
Talk about the most difficult work situation you have found yourself in and explain how you used sound judgement to find a great outcome?
During your training and through your career up to this point, you have certainly faced some difficult situations that you could easily discuss with your interviewer. But your interviewer isn't so much interested in the situation here as they are in your ability to think on your feet and use your best personal judgement to make the situation better. In the example you give, be sure to prepare for a time where you can exemplify this ability with success.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Early in my career as a litigator for a large firm that handled criminal defense cases, I was slammed with a very large caseload almost always. In the months leading up to the Christmas period, I had three high profile trials that were all progressing to dates that would fall very near each other. After motioning to have some of the cases moved around with no leniency from the court, I had to think fast and work ahead as much as possible to ensure that all three cases were handled to the best of my ability. When crunch time came, I approached a colleague and their paralegal for all of the help I could get and they willingly obliged. With all three cases heading to trial without a hitch, I was very thankful for my resourcefulness and made sure to pay the favor back to my colleague the next time he needed it!"
Ryan's Answer #2
"During my time arbitrating employment disputes for the state of California and mostly handling unemployment cases, I encountered one particularly difficult situation where things got physical in the conference room of the county workforce resource center. My cases mostly involved disputes when companies would fight the payment of unemployment benefits based on malfeasance of the employee. During one particular case, a tow truck company was disputing a claim by a terminated employee and during arbitration, the supervisor from the company accused the terminated employee of harassing other employees and creating a fearful work environment. With that said, the terminated employee reached over the table and grabbed the supervisor by the collar of his shirt and started swinging. Being a female that is small in stature, my first instinct was to run and grab a member of the building's security team and they reacted quickly. When matters had settled, I immediately postponed the hearing and warned both parties that security would be present in a week when we met again. A final warning to the terminated employee was to let him know that charges would be pressed if any outbursts should occur the next time."
2.
What kind of people do you enjoy working with?
Culture fit is a critical factor when looking for a new position and life at BDB Pitmans is built around a culture that is supportive, proactive and driven. Talk to the interviewer about the types of personalities that you best work with and be sure to drive home thee fact that you enjoy working in an atmosphere that promotes . Be sure to remain positive and avoid using this as an opportunity to speak poorly of previous colleagues.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I best enjoy working with individuals who are driven, positive, energetic, and take accountability for their work. I do have the ability to work with a large variety of individuals; however, these are the ideal traits I would see in future colleagues as I am very driven to succeed in my job."
Ryan's Answer #2
"For me personally, I thrive in a collaborative environment where I can easily and readily bounce ideas off of my colleagues while also keeping my door open to do the same for others. We all have our areas of expertise in the field of law and we can help our clients, and the firm, the best when we are supportive and work with each other. If hired for this position, you can be certain that I would bring a team centered approach to my practice."
3.
Where do you feel you could use some improvement in the litigation/arbitration process at this point in your career?
While this may seem like the age old question of pointing out your biggest weakness, it is important for you to see this question as more of an opportunity to point out where you may have some inexperience or deficiencies. This gives you the ability to talk about personal growth in your career and what you have done or would like to do to grow professionally in this area.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Having come out of law school and began in a high stress, high case load environment for the past six years, I haven't been able to really hone in on and craft my time management skills to the point I would like to. I most often relied on our paralegals and office secretary to keep me organized when things were busy. Coming to this role with BDB Pitmans, I would look to learn from others about their best methods for time management without relying on the assistance of others."
Ryan's Answer #2
"As you can see from my experience on my resume, a majority of my litigation experience has come in the area of labor laws, work comp and FMLA. Now, I am at a point in my career where I'd love to branch out and hone my skills in other areas that interest me and I believe that opportunity exists for me here at BDB Pitmans. In talking with some of your colleagues here, I'd love to take on and be a part of cases that involve the environment and energy."
4.
Here at BDB Pitmans, we often have to work with very difficult clients. What would be your steps toward effectively working with a difficult client?
Clients going through the legal process can often be at their worst and for this question, your interviewer is looking to see how you specifically deal with clients that are difficult. Rather than focusing your answer on the details of the client in your example, highlight your techniques and qualities that make you effective in working with and handling difficult clients. Stress the importance of putting clients in this situation at ease to be able to move forward in a seamless working relationship.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Throughout my career to this point, I've worked with many clients that were experiencing a very difficult time and this has often translated into them being angry or sad. In these times, my ability to keep a level head and to be able to empathize with them is key to helping them get more centered in the moment. I hear them out and reflect back their feelings to show them that I care about their situation and understand what they are going through. When this sinks in with them, they are able to move forward from their feelings and start talking about the fine details of their situation."
Ryan's Answer #2
"With clients that are feeling stressed and angry about their situation, it is important for me to be as respectful and educational as possible and my tactic for doing this is to keep them focused on the future and moving forward rather than reflecting on their unfortunate situation the brings them to me. I always focus on their options moving forward and how I will work with them to achieve the best results possible and this always helps shift their focus to moving forward. This is vital to resetting their focus and changing their attitude towards hope rather than anger."
5.
What in particular about our firm here at BDB Pitmans interests you both personally and professionally?
BDB Pitmans and your interviewer are looking to find the perfect match for the position that you are interviewing for and to do this, they are looking to hear firsthand what truly interests you in the firm. Be sure to do your research on BDB Pitmans and be able to speak about an aspect or two that appeals to you both personally and professionally. Putting a personal touch on your answer will help your interviewer understand that you will be invested into your job and be more likely to stay for the long haul versus your competition for the position.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As I've been searching for the right firm to join, the one aspect about BDB Pitmans that really appeals to me is your international exposure and client base. My background and strong Spanish speaking skills could be a great asset to your firm and my desire to practice in international tax and corporate law would fit very well with what you are looking for."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In all honesty, this position is the only one that would pull me away from my current practice and that drawing factor that you have here at BDB Pitmans is your reputation. The class, dignity and knowledge that are present among the staff here is world class and definitely a practice that I would take great pride in being a part of."
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