Part of your interview preparation time should be spent on knowing which questions to ask during a paralegal interview. Preparation for an interview usually focuses on how the candidate will answer the interviewer’s questions. But there is one question that is always asked during the interview that you should take extra time to prepare for: Do you have any questions for me?
Your answer to that question should never be “no, I don’t have any questions – you pretty much answered the few questions that I did have coming into the interview.” Even if the interviewer did answer all of your questions, you should at least ask ONE question.
It would help to have a list of questions that you are prepared to ask during your paralegal interview so that you don’t answer their final question with a “no.” When they ask you that question though – do you have any questions for me…remember that you also want to be respectful of that person’s time. You don’t want to bombard them so many questions that the interview has now extended another 30 minutes.
Here are 10 questions to ask your interviewer during a paralegal interview.
- What type of person do you see as the best fit for this position?
- What circumstances led to this opening?
- How many attorneys would I be reporting to?
- How many paralegals are in this office/firm or on this team?
- How long have those paralegals been with the firm?
- What is the annual or monthly billable hour requirement?
- Do all of your paralegals easily meet that billable hour requirement?
- Does the firm provide training for paralegals?
- Is there a performance review process for the paralegals?
- Will most of the work come from the partners, associates, or other paralegals?
Which questions you choose to ask will depend on what information the interviewer has already supplied during the interview and what type of position you are applying for. For example, if you’re interviewing for an in-house paralegal position and you’re an experienced paralegal, then you obviously wouldn’t ask questions 6 or 7 because you already know there is no billable hour requirement. You’ll also want to keep in mind there are questions you should NOT ask during an interview.
Remember that this is also an opportunity for you to highlight some of your accomplishments and strengths that you might not have had a chance to cover during the interview. For example, if it was a paralegal position in a law firm with a billable hour requirement and you asked question 6 (What is the annual billable hour requirement for paralegals?) then this would be an opportunity to discuss how you typically exceed the billable hour requirement at your current firm.
Finally, if all of those questions have been answered throughout the paralegal interview, one question that you can always ask an interviewer is: What do you like most/least about working here? This gives them an open-ended opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of the firm culture. Just be sure to pay attention to their answer so that you can see how it fits within what you are looking for in a potential new employer.
April 2020 Update: We hosted a free Paralegal Resume Writing Workshop for paralegals who have been affected by the recent law firm layoffs. You can join our free Paralegal Job Search Series here. In this series, we’re starting with the paralegal resume and then holding sessions on drafting cover letters, getting a LinkedIn profile, and preparing for interviews.
About the Author
Ann Pearson is the Founder of the Paralegal Boot Camp, specializing in training for paralegals that focuses on the important paralegal skills not taught in certificate programs.
Ann started her paralegal career as a litigation paralegal and then was a manager of paralegals for many years prior to starting her own company in 2010.
When she’s not working, you can usually find Ann somewhere near an ocean – either scuba diving, boating, cleaning up a beach, or volunteering to help save sea turtles.