Once you have earned your paralegal degree, now is the time to find a job yourself, law firms and lawyers look for someone open to new opportunities, improvement, and learning. It’s great when lawyers can find a paralegal that strikes the perfect balance between fast and accurate, smart and open to learning, and big picture savvy. But how do you make an impression like that, how would you prepare for your perfect interview? If all these questions are something you are pondering then this blog is for you.
Interviewing for a law firm is an exciting experience, acing in the interview is a great way to make a great first impression, as a professional paralegal you should demonstrate all your qualities including your organizational skills, and personal values, and how you can be an asset to the firm.
Preparing an exceptional CV is one part of the job but preparing for an interview is the part candidates often struggle with. We have worked with legal industry professionals for almost a decade now and in this blog we would like to share with you the most sought-after questions and how you can prepare for them. But first, let’s dig into the skills you should demonstrate and what law firms mostly look for in paralegals.
Most Common Paralegal Interview Questions to Expect.
1. Why do you want to be a paralegal?
This is a fairly straightforward question but this answer helps employers what motivates you, you should take this opportunity to showcase your experience if you have any, why paralegal is the field of your choice, what you like the most about it and how you can make a difference while you work with the firm as a paralegal. Try to turn your answer into a story, when employers hear what inspired you in your own words they tend to understand it better.
2. What work experience do you have? What legal tasks have you been responsible for in a previous or current position?
If this question is something you can’t relate to, in other words you are interviewing for your first job then don’t worry, just take the opportunity to show them how you will take this job role and make a difference in their firm and how they can benefit by hiring you. For those who already have experienced this chance to make an impression with your previous work with other firms, keep in mind that when you discuss working at others companies don’t say anything negative.
3. Why did you apply to this firm?
In this question, you need to show your knowledge about companies and how the company’s working environment and values motivated you. This question-answer should separate you from the other candidates. Share information about how the clients at the firm interest you and the working environment is something that you wish to be a part of, and how the company’s brand image and value align with your values.
4. How do you deal with a problematic client?
The legal industry is a dynamic ever-growing industry, you never know what kind of problematic client you face, most interviewers will ask a version of this question to assess your strategic thinking and your logical reasoning. Make sure to include both empathy and logic in response. This will let the interviewer know that you take a decision likewise.
5. How are your legal research skills?
A lawyer has a lot of work in a single day to align with a lawyer, a paralegal should have enough research skills to comply with the law firm’s working model. You need to be familiar with the legal process, any software the firm and you are using, how you can handle a packed workday, and other such factors. You highlight all such expertise you have had in the past about how you added your input and what were the results of it.
6. What areas are you interested in the most?
Paralegals are responsible for legal research, candidate should show interest in a particular practice area in which your law firm deals in, you can be honest say you have an interest in criminal law but the law firm deals with elder law clients, this won’t serve their purpose, it may or may not work negatively in your interviewer. Try to go through the company’s pain points and provide a solution and how you will be part of the solution.
7. Do you have experience in law firm management software?
This one is an important question, gone are the days when lawyers and law firms did not use technology in their practice, as important in any other profession software is important in the legal industry too. In response to this question highlight the software you have used in the past and if not then take an overview of some famous software like law practice management software in the legal sector and their functionalities like bulk invoice generating,secure client portals, and all such features.
8. How do you stay up to date with trends and legal changes in the legal industry?
The legal industry is growing and changing more than ever. One must know legal reforms and changes in the industry, highlight what resources you refer to, books you read, and blogs you go through. This opportunity is great to show that you regularly update yourself with facts and reforms. You can also tell which legal blogs you refer to and so on.
Quick strategies for interview preparation
You should study more in addition to the questions given above to increase your selection chances.
- Exercise the interview with your family and friends.
- Find YouTube videos about how to maintain your confidence during an interview.
- Assess your shortcomings after receiving input.
- Practice conducting various interview settings.
Don’t second-guess your decision; you may have the qualifications and are participating in the interview process because of that. Answer with assurance, being sure not to exaggerate any facts, and being precise and accurate.
Make yourself more assured in the live interview by practicing in front of a mirror before it happens. Keep your cool and approach the interview with the understanding that if they need you, they will also be attempting to impress you.
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Paralegal opportunity is an exciting experience, now you have the expected questions but that’s not just it, you also need to prepare yourself up with how you are going to prepare yourself before the interview, here are some tips that might help you,
Ask others feedback on your response to questions
Practice your interview mockup with a friend
Dress appropriately, formally, and professionally.
Go through different interview videos and ask others who already gave it about their experience
Well we hope this blog helps you in some or the other way, these are just basic tips and tactics so just be confident and curious and keep in mind they should be impressing you too as being employed in a great working environment and with great people is something that holds weightage.