[Interviewing] Is it really just all about problem solving?

This blog post is part of the diary of an LPC Student Series on YCIL.

We had mixed reviews among friends with regards to our Interviewing examination. Many are huffing about incompetent clients and sometimes I wonder how we will all fare in the “real world”.

The format of our assessment involved a variety of actors playing the “client”; a role they had played all day – so if you were near the end of the day; it was clear that the client knew more than we did about the law, having listened to the same legal advice on repeat for the last 8 hours, they were the ones asking the questions, not us.

One thing that everyone agreed on though was that the law wasn’t the problem – the problem to solve was – how to deal with the client and keep them under control?

Tricky clients that we met included:

  • the know it all – who argues every point you make
  • the aggressive
  • the bored – who can’t be bothered answering questions
  • the ones that don’t listen
  • the ones that talk too much
  • the ones that are clueless and answer the questions wrong so you give the wrong advice
  • and the one that only focuses and one thing, and doesn’t get that you need to talk about other stuff first.

It really is all about problem solving, knowing how to treat you client so they respect you and avoiding getting too aggressive yourself. We’ve all done the assessment now, but this is a skill we need to build up throughout our careers and it is important to remember that.