Treat An Interview As A Conversation
The best interviews dont feel like interviews, but instead like compelling conversations. Remember that its just as important for you to learn about the company as it is for the company to learn about you.
Extensively research the company or firm that is hiring. It will give you a sense of whether its a place that aligns with your goals and values, and it will also allow you to ask more thoughtful questions at the end of the interview. Here are a few interview questions that you should consider asking:
- What are the companys values?
- What does success look like in this position, and how do you measure it?
- Who will I be working with directly?
- What do you consider the most challenging part of this position?
- Are there opportunities for professional development? If so, what are they?
Have You Ever Missed A Deadline What Do You Think You Could Have Done Differently To Avoid That
Just like the tenth question, the interviewer wants to know if you can learn from past mistakes.
Tip #1: Draw from any experience that shows that you understand how important deadlines are.
Tip #2: Show that you are a critical thinker.
At one point in Johnsons & Burkley, I was working on a large database of case data for an attorney. A different attorney told me to prepare slides for his deposition before I was done. Due to the two concurrent orders, I lost track of time and didnt finish the first promptly. If I were to find myself in the same situation, I would fully commit to the most urgent one and ask for help on the other.
Have You Ever Interacted With A Difficult Client
The Interviewer wants to know if you can handle difficult clients.
Tip #1: Give a relevant experience
Tip #2: Highlight how you escalated the situation.
One client was unhappy by the way an attorney was handling his case. He wanted the attorney to handle the case to meet his liking, but the lawyer refused. I had a sit-down with the client and explained why the lawyers way was the most correct. I employed lots of diplomacy and persuaded the client, who later accepted the attorneys way. He was happy with the outcome.
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Prepare Prepare And Prepare Again
The most important thing you can do before walking into any interview is to prepare. As you practice outlining your thoughts for these questions and answering them, you will be able to develop more confidence and readiness for the interview. With enough preparation, you wont really need luck anymore but either way, we at Cestar College wish you the best of luck
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What The Interviewer Wants To Know
Your intervieweroften an attorney at the firmwill be interested your training, experience, and whether you would be a good fit on their current team.
You may also be asked questions designed to gauge your grace under pressure, your ability to multi-task, and your availability to work overtime or on weekends should your caseload require this.
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What Does The Average Day Look Like For You In Your Current Role
Your interviewer is trying to find out about the specific tasks that you have experience of, as well as the level of responsibility and autonomy you are granted in your current position. When preparing your answer, revisit the job advert and identify which duties of the new job you carry out in your current role. Highlight these in your response to demonstrate your suitability.
Why Did You Pursue A Career As A Paralegal
Your answer helps employers discover what motivates you. Think of it as an opportunity to show potential employers how passionate you are about your career path and what first sparked your interest in the profession. You could also discuss previous jobs youve had that helped push you toward your career choice.
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Why Are You Interested In This Role
This is a common interview question that seeks to uncover your motive for rendering your application and whether you are a perfect fit.
Tip #1: Focus more on what you can do for the company and not yourself.
Tip #2: Do not mention the benefits of the position, such as prestige or money.
Having worked in several law firms in the past ten years and gained vast experience, I believe that I have what it takes to handle the tasks related to this job. I have also wanted to work for your company ever since I graduated, and it will be an honour if given a chance to serve here.
Knock Their Socks Off Seven Important Interview Tips For Paralegals
Director of Career Placement Services
Youve finally landed a big interview. Youre ready to knock their socks off, but how? Most will advise you to do your homework, but what does that mean, exactly? In paralegal school, it means learning the right answers for an assignment or test. In an interview, however, the preparation process is much more extensive. No procrastinating. No winging it. You get the job or you don’t . Here are some surefire ways to ace your interview
1.Prepare, prepare, prepare.
For a paralegal interview, that means researching everything you can about the institution or firm: its specialty areas, the attorneys, and the specifics of the job that you are seeking. Next, conduct a more comprehensive online search of the firm, reading the annual reports, press releases, and any other relevant articles.
— Drive to the office the day before to be sure you know exactly where to park and will arrive on time the day of the interview.– Bring along multiple copies of your resume and any work samples.– Prior to the interview, check in with people you are planning to list as references. — Gather the contact information of pertinent people and send a thank you note as soon as possible following your interview.
2.When in doubt, dont wear it.
While you wont lose points for wearing a classic suit to an interview, you can lose major points for accidentally wearing the wrong outfit for the proposed paralegal job.
5. Ask questions.
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New To The Field Answering Paralegal Interview Questions To Sell Yourself Even When You Lack Experience
A note to the fresh-out-of-school paralegals out there: A lack of experience is something you need to work around and compensate for in other ways, but it doesnt have to get in the way of landing an outstanding paralegal position and starting a new job.
Pull from your experience in school, work and life, and be prepared to sell yourself using examples from past jobs in any area, and the unique life experiences youve had. A statement like, I held a full-time job throughout my paralegal associate degree program yet still graduated at the top of my class, and loved every minute of it, can say a lot more about you and your attitude and work ethic than you might realize.
If you have no experience, consider volunteering or interning before you dip your toe in the field. Paralegal internships are widely available . And charitable organizations that provide low-cost or free legal services or legal advocacy groups are always looking for volunteers. For example, check out the Protection and Advocacy Systems and Client Assistance Programs in your state.
Also, dont automatically dismiss applying for an entry-level position as a file clerk or legal secretary in a law firm of interest these positions are a great way to get acclimated with the firms environment while you gain valuable experience and wait for that terrific paralegal job youve had your eye on to open up.
Paralegals Are Vital In Making Sure An Attorney Is Able To Focus On The Most Important Part Of Their Job In Order To Provide As Much Value To Their Supervisor As Possible A Skilled Paralegal Will:
- Perform their due diligence to provide accurate facts and statements during a case
- Possess an eye for detail when handling legal documentation
- Communicate clearly and effectively with their supervisor, staff, and the parties involved with a case
- Possess a strong work ethic in order to manage their workload
- Stay highly organized to effectively manage multiple clients at a time
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What Steps Do You Plan To Take To Be Updated On Legal Developments In Your Field
The learning of a paralegal never stops. Aside from continued learning being a desirable trait in a job applicant, it may also be required depending on where you practice. For instance, the Law Society of Ontario requires licensed paralegals who provide legal services to complete at least 12 hours of Continuing Professional Development every year.
But continued learning can be incorporated into regular habits like perusing the relevant rulings in the local law journal or as simple as educating oneself immediately when one encounters unfamiliar concepts over the course of the job.
What Are The Most Crucial Skills For A Paralegal
This question assesses whether candidates understand the expectations of the role. Look for candidates who show excellent organization, attention to detail, and strong communications skills. What to look for in an answer:
- Specific technical and soft skills required of a paralegal
- Understanding of the legal industry
- Being organized
Based on my experience, I believe being organized is a crucial skill for a paralegal. Research and analytical skills also play a crucial role in finding key information for a case. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills have helped me diffuse tense situations, and allow me to work well in a team.
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Can You Give Me An Example Of A Time Recently When You Had To Organize And Analyze A Lot Of Data That Had To Be Used Within A Tight Deadline
Most likely this type of situation will happen regularly as a paralegal. Show that you can produce quality results under pressure.
“In my previous position, we had a case where we were representing a plaintiff with a quickly approaching court date. The case involved the purchase of a new home and the seller did not disclose to our client that there was a termite infestation in the home. The conflict was whether or not the seller had an affirmative duty to share that information with our client. While researching, I found a similar case where the plaintiff won and I proposed we use the common law system in our favor. My process was to create a report documenting a condensed case summary and relevant legal principles that can be used to our advantage.”
How Do You Keep Motivated
What keeps you coming to the office daily despite the occasional workload?
Tip #1: Avoid mentioning the perks that come with the job as your motivating factor.
Tip #2: Treat this as a chance to sell yourself.
One needs to stay motivated to perform the roles of a paralegal. I believe that no work should be carried over, and all deadlines must be met, which comes in handy. I also take occasional rests when I feel overwhelmed to reenergize.
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Its Surprising To Note The Number Of Prospective Applicants That Attend An Interview And Completely Forget The Most Fundamental Principles Of Interviewee Technique
Amanda Hamilton, CEO of the National Association of Licenced Paralegals , shares her insights on how first-time legal jobseekers can give a good impression in interviews.
The experience of being interviewed, as we all are aware, is exceptionally stressful even for the most experienced among us and at whatever age. It certainly doesnt get any easier. Sometimes you may be confronted by two or more interviewers and the fear-factor may even make you forget your own name!
So what are the basic principles of interview technique? Well, before we go into this in detail, lets try to dispel some of the myths to help you understand the one main principle of attending an interview, which is:
You wouldnt be asked to attend if your qualifications and experience hadnt already spoken for themselves. In other words, you dont have to prove your right to be there. You are attending on merit, just like everyone else. You have a level playing field with all other applicants. So the question arises: what is the purpose of holding an interview? The answer is quite simple: to see if your personality fits with what they are looking for.
On the basis of understanding this one premise, we can now discuss some tips to help you get through this process.
You wouldnt be asked to attend if your qualifications and experience hadnt already spoken for themselves.
So what advice can we extrapolate from these interview examples? There are some fundamental tips to bear in mind:
What Made You Decide To Pursue A Career As A Paralegal
This question assesses a candidate’s understanding of the role and what motivates them to pursue a legal career. Driving factors are different for everyone, but candidates should express genuine interest and passion for the profession. What to look for in an answer:
- Ambition and enthusiasm for a career in the legal field
- Desire to make a difference
- Specific motivating factors or inspirations
Being a paralegal puts me in the best position to contribute positively to society. I’m inspired by helping people have the right to a fair trial andby finding justice for victims. This position requires someone committed, organized, reliable, confidential, analytical, and attentive to detail. I pursued this career because I have all those traits and want to make a difference.
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Why Are You Here
No matter what job it is, some interviewers like to lead with this question. Avoid answering this by saying that you have been called for an interview then stopping there. Instead, this is a great opportunity for you to express what got you interested in working for the company or legal firm. How did you know about them and what makes them stand out from other options? Talk about how potentially working here aligns with your vision for your career, including what contributions youd like to make or what skills youd like to further develop in this position.
Paralegal Interview Questions You Need To Know
Once you earn your paralegal degree, youre ready to start looking for your first job in law. Here are seven paralegal interview questions to prepare for!
Once you earn your paralegal degree, youre ready to start looking for a job. Theres a lot of preparation that goes into finding the right position, even for someone who has years of experience in the field. You can network with family and friends to find employers, attend career fairs and visit various career sites to help you find a potential job and hopefully help you land that first interview.
Interviewing with a company is an exciting experience. Interviews a way for you to highlight your skills and the strong qualities that you will bring to the position. Its important to make a good first impression, especially as a legal professional. This is why its a good idea to prepare for common interview questions and ones specific to your experience as a paralegal.
Here are seven paralegal interview questions to prepare for:
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How Do You Manage Your Workload And Meet Deadlines
Employers want people who can deliver. Convince the interviewer that you can meet deadlines.
Tip #1: Show that you are competent
Tip #2: Show prowess.
I normally use the available paralegal software to organize my cases and make a timeline for each cases deadlines. I also prioritize work based on urgency.
How Do You Stay Updated In The Legal Field
Paralegals need sound legal knowledge and a deep understanding of the industry. They need to stay up to date on changes to local and federal laws. A successful paralegal understands case law and sector-specific regulations. What to look for in an answer:
- Examples of professional development opportunities
- Involvement in the legal community
- Research skills and desire to stay current with legal knowledge
To keep up with trends and development in the legal field, I follow key rulings in both local and international law journals. If I encounter something I’m not familiar with, I research and learn about it. I also take advantage of professional development opportunities, such as webinars and conferences.
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In Your Own Words What Are The Operational Duties Of A Paralegal
Questions that ask you to describe in your own words are an opportunity to demonstrate an understanding of complex topics. This particular question seeks to ensure you understand the daily duties of a paralegal and that their company aligns with your ideas about what a paralegal does.
Example:A paralegal is an essential part of a lawyers legal team. This person must be dedicated, organized and reliable. Paralegals have to be deadline-oriented and are expected to know how to use technological resources for research and organizing data. These employees might also be involved in interviewing clients or witnesses, investigating cases and collecting any information that could help a client win their case.
Paralegal Interview Questions And Answers:
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