Right after you get your degree as a Paralegal, you’ll be running around scouring job portals to identify which job fits you well.
It’s essential to carefully look through the job description, the skills required, paralegal qualifications, the type of firms, and other related factors when you start applying.
To get started, you will also need to prepare for job interviews and discover ways to ace them.
Interviews are crucial when it comes to knowing about the job role, highlighting your experience, mentioning your strengths and weaknesses, and so much more. But if you go without any prior preparations, there are chances that you might lose a good job opportunity.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common and important interview questions that are asked consistently for a Paralegal role and how you can answer them better:-
#1 How are your legal research skills? How do you ensure your work is accurate?
It’s important for a Paralegal to have stellar research skills, and this is a great opportunity where they can prove their qualities in research.
A Paralegal can, for example, give references of good attention to detail, focus, and ability to navigate through relevant software and editing tools for research.
#2 What areas of law interest you the most?
This question helps the employer learn about your interest areas and how you’re willing to contribute your services to the company. It also shows whether it’s the firm size, values, or location that drives Paralegal interest in that specific law firm.
Employers also get to know whether or not a Paralegal is willing to work alongside the attorney’s areas of work.
#3 How do you stay updated in the legal field?
It’s crucial for employers to know whether a candidate prefers consistent growth through legal education. Employers also get to know whether you are well-versed with publications, blogs, articles, or other ways of keeping yourself informed.
Read More: Paralegal Tips To Fast Track Your Career
#4 What legal management software have you used in the past?
This question indicates whether a Paralegal is equipped with technical skills or not. Legal Tech and other management software cover legal operations from each end, hence a Paralegal who can make decisions around legal software is always considered preferable by employers.
Employers get to know whether a Paralegal has the flexibility to navigate through different tools and technologies to finish desired projects.
#5 What does your typical day at work look like?
When answering this specific question, a Paralegal must enlighten the interviewer about his organizational, multi-tasking, and analytical skills, with references.
For paralegals, scheduling interviews and preparing and organizing different sets of documents are some of the most important tasks on a normal day at work.
A job employer also expects a Paralegal to be flexible enough to navigate through different research portals when required, know the technicalities and be able to multitask.
Read More: What do Paralegals Do?
#6 What legal tasks have you been responsible for in the previous or current position?
A Paralegal can be seen doing multiple tasks, such as:-
- Conduct client interviews
- Assist with drafting documents, agreements, contracts, etc.
- Investigate cases through legal research, pieces of evidence, etc.
- Write and file petitions, depositions, etc.
#7 Please take us through the process you follow for making complex decisions.
Considering the fact that Paralegals work in a supportive capacity for attorneys, most of the time, they are actively involved in making complex decisions for the firm.
However, the complex decision-making process depends on a few factors, such as:-
- Taking into account several rules and regulations
- Considering a significant amount of information
- The potential impact of such decision-making
#8 What type of legal documents have you drafted so far?
A Paralegal is skilled to draft various types of documents; some fine examples of the same are:-
- Request for production
- Bills of particulars
- Request of admissions
These, however, are only a few of the documents that a Paralegal is expected to draft. As the work demands, there can be other documents as well.
Read More: Paralegal Requirements
#9 Have you answered discovery requests before, if yes, explain the process.
Answering discovery requests is an important aspect of a Paralegal’s role, but it comes with a process, which includes:-
- Reviewing a file in a detailed manner, which may include photographs, client statements, medical records, documentation, etc.
- Scheduling a meeting with a client and gathering all the necessary information
- Reviewing any question to ensure no irrelevant information is released
- How organized are you, and how do you make sure your work is accurate?
As mentioned above, Lawyers rely on Paralegals to a greater extent, and hence they also wanna be sure that the information provided by Paralegals is accurate and precise.
Note – If you’re confused about how the roles of a lawyer differ from a Paralegal, read more about it here – Paralegal vs Lawyer
The main tasks of a Paralegal include drafting legal documents, filing documents, contacting clients, and assisting them with legal cases.
As a Paralegal, you should be active in showing your employer that you are detail-oriented and reliable.
#10 Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult situation.
With this question, the employer wants to check if you’re able to handle tough situations in professional life, the pressure, deadlines, etc. Keep yourself prepared for any such instance with a client or have worked on a very tight deadline. Tell the employer what made that particular situation tough for you and how you dealt with that.
In such cases, it’s always recommended to stick with professional experience as employers want to see whether you’re a strong contender for this job or not.
#11 Why did you apply to this firm?
This is the most important question that sets you apart from other candidates. You can talk about the clients that the firms work with, their expertise, the value they put to the table, and how the firm can contribute to your professional growth. While this question revolves much around a firm’s role and expertise, you can also tell them in which position you see yourself after a few years.
This not only proves you’re thoughtful but also shows your credibility and will stick to a longer period of time.
#12 What are your plans?
This answer differs from person to person based on growth plans and other related aspects. However, you should always show your curiosity to learn, grow and help the company expand.
The company should not feel like you’re someone who is only chasing the status quo and also as if you don’t give importance to the long-term vision.
#13 Are you planning to eventually apply for law school?
This question can be also answered differently from person to person; few people consider focusing on only working and less on further education. However, most employers take into account the option of consistent learning and how you would keep yourself professionally updated.
It’s always a good idea to let the employer know about your education-related plans and what goals you’ve set for yourself in the future.
Read More: Paralegal Degree
#14 How do you maintain your attention to detail when completing repetitive tasks?
The employer is always eager to listen to how you manage your tasks and if you have the ability to multitask. In this case, you can emphasize your time management skills, document drafting skills and modify them as and when required.
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