Whether you are interviewing for a paralegal position in Oakland, California or anywhere else in the country, you want to be well-prepared for the questions to come. Being prepared will give you the confidence and composure you need to put your best foot forward and get the job you want. Here are some questions you can expect in your upcoming paralegal job interview and the tips to help you succeed.
Preparation is Key
As you prepare for your paralegal interview, know there will be questions related to your experience. With that in mind, you should have examples of your experiences regarding time management, multi-tasking, the care of confidential information, and your work ethic. Your interviewer will also likely ask about your capabilities including organization skills, research abilities, writing proficiency, decision-making, and analytical abilities.
Every firm is unique and will ask questions related to their areas of expertise, but here is a compilation of common paralegal interview questions for your review. As you plan and prep for your interview, rehearse your answers so you sound prepared and confident for the interview.
- If this is your first paralegal position, you might be asked why you want to be a paralegal as well as how you feel your education has helped to prepare you for the position.
- If you’ve already worked as a paralegal, you’ll be asked about your experience in the field as well as if you are planning to eventually apply to law school. The interviewer will also ask why you are leaving your present position as well as your salary expectations.
- Many interviewers will ask about specific experiences in this way:
- Tell me about a time you had to research and analyze data in preparation for an impending deadline.
- Describe to me how you ensure the accuracy of your work.
- Tell me about your handling of confidential information.
- Describe a time you had a difficult employer and your handling of the situation.
- Tell me about a time you had to research and provide a solution for a complex legal issue.
- Describe your most stressful job thus far.
- Tell me about a time you had a conflict with a co-worker and how you resolved the situation.
- What is your ideal workplace?
- What areas of law spark your interest the most?
- Are you comfortable working on the defense of suspected criminals?
- Do you prefer working on a team or alone?
- Tell me where you see yourself five years into the future.
In addition to paralegal-specific questions, the paralegal skills in which you are proficient will be asked about as part of the interview process and should be incorporated into your resume as well. There will also be general interview questions which may include queries about your former employment, your education, your strengths and weaknesses, as well as your former achievements and your future goals.
Tips for Success
Going over the questions above will prepare you for your interview, but these simple tips can also help.
- Dress appropriately for your interview – for the position and the firm
- Avoid excessive perfume or cologne
- Don’t bring your coffee or drink into the interview
- Turn off your cellphone
- Be appropriately friendly and open
- Listen carefully to the interviewer – don’t want them to repeat questions
- Following your interview, thank the interviewer and ask for contact information to which you can send a formal thank you email or letter
Finding the Right Opportunity
Working for The Barnes Firm can take your career aspirations to the next level. To view the opportunities available and submit your resume, contact The Barnes Firm personal injury attorneys at our Oakland office today!