Are you ready for that interview?

With a tough job market comes more competition and a greater need of preparation for the job seeking, application and interviewing process.  It is important to consider your answers, if not practice your responses to, questions that a potential employer or interviewer may ask.  In talking to attorneys, paralegals and others, I have gathered some sample questions.  I make no promise that these are the questions you will be asked; however, they are probably similar to some that you will be asked.

1.  What is your greatest strength?

2.  What is your greatest weakness?

3.  Where do you see yourself five years from now?

4.  What is the last book you read?

5.  What is the last movie you saw?

6.  What technology/software are you familiar with?

7.  Why did you leave your last job?

8.  If I went out right now and looked in your car, what would I find?

9.  What is the subject of CCP section 2034?  (A question for a person who claims to have experience as a litigation paralegal.)

10.  Do you have any questions?

The “correct” answer to these questions will depend on the interviewer and the situation, but you could prepare yourself by considering what you might respond to some or all of these questions.  It is important to prepare for as much as you can.  Your preparation will be obvious to the interviewer.

Published in: on March 19, 2010 at 7:29 pm  Comments (8)  
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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Another good tip for interviews that I have found helpful is to research the company before you do the interview. I think they are very impressed when you can recite what the corporation’s mission statement is or the main heads by name. Most companies or law firms have a website with all kinds of information that can only be found by searching their site. This not only shows initative but also shows how resourceful you can be along with your research skills.

    • Excellent point!

  2. In addition to being prepared for questions such as those noted, we have also discussed in Law 173 that your attitude and appearance can mess everything up even if you have great answers to their questions. During my internship experience I was told by my employer that the main reason he chose me over other candidates was because I showed such a positive attitude and a lot of enthusiasm. He told me that it made me a pleasure to mentor and that it was an attribute that would take me far in this industry.

    • Unfortunately, attitude and enthusiasm are hard to fake. I guess that is why employers often respond to them in candidates.

  3. Very true, that attitude and enthusiasm are hard to fake! Very good list to help prepare for an interview. It has been awhile since I have interviewed…have to go clean my car!

  4. I must agree with Gina, researching the company not only impresses the employer but also makes you feel more comfortable during the actual interview. Having some background on the company that you are interviewing for helps you better answer any questions that may be thrown at you.

  5. Law 56 has taught me certain technical skills needed in the legal field but I’ve also learned many wonderful tips for job interviews that may make or break you.

    Tip 1- Yes as mentioned by Gina Torres, a very good start is to plan ahead and do much research about the company beforehand. Research the company,the position in question, and if possible get information about the corporate recruiter or hiring manager.You can never have too much information about the company and it it very important to know everything possible about the position in question in case it is mentioned during the interview,it most likely will be!

    Employers look for key factors such as knowledge about the company and it is always nice to have background information about the recruiters or managers so they wont seem like complete strangers during the interview. This will not only impress them if relevant information is broughten up but make you feel more comfortable being secluded from everyone else during the interview process.Being in a room full of strangers who are there to judge you can be quite intimidating.

    Tip 2- Another tip I learned about is having eye contact during the interview. This is very important and can tell potential employers a lot about a person. By maintaining a positive attitude and keeping eye contact with them implies that someone is showing interest about the company and the job position. They like to see someone who has a positive attitude and looks interested rather than someone spacing out and looking nervous. I used this technique very often during my speech courses and not only did it make me seem more credible but it gave me the confidence needed to maintain a positive attitude.

    Tip 3- It is very important to pay full attention during the interview and keep an open mind. Try to stick to the questions being asked and do not go off topic. The answers given to them must be fully answered and completely relevant to the topic. Staying on task and keeping focus on the employers will lead the interview process very smoothly.It is also very important that someone presents themselves in a professional manner and adapts to their interviewers accordingly. Yes you want to be unique but not stand out in a negative way.

    Tip 4- The last and most important tip for an interview is time management. It a crucial that someone preparing for an interview arrives extra early,at least 30 minutes before the interview is scheduled.Most potential employers will address their secretaries about a 1/2 hr before the interview and check to see if the person scheduled is there.If they are not there chances are they will be judged negatively. 1st impressions are very significant and will be taken into consideration. So remember if you are there on time, you are considered late. Devote your time effectively and present yourself as a dedicated profession paralegal during the interview,and you just might ace the interview!
    -Hope this helps everyone.

    • Great information! Thanks.

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