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March 5, 2019

10 Questions to Ask During Your Law Firm Interview

The average candidate will be interviewed three times before receiving an offer from a company. If you’ve been called in for an interview, your resume caught their attention. Now it’s time to put your best face forward. While you should always prepare by going over potential questions you’ll be asked in the interview, it’s important to show interest, and that means preparing questions of your own. Here are 10 questions that can help you stand out in an interview and learn more about a potential employer.

  1. What stood out most to you on my resume that led you to believe I might be a good candidate for the position?
    Gathering insights from your target audience – in this case, a potential employer – is a great way to ensure you’re coming across as you intended. Chances are, the interviewer may offer you some feedback you hadn’t thought of; perhaps a low-level position early in your career speaks highly of you in a way you hadn’t realized. The answer you receive could be telling. Maybe the position requires more technical abilities than the typical role, and your resume speaks to that type of experience. This will let you know exactly what the interviewer is looking for, and what’s important to them in filling the role.
  2. What qualities would make someone successful in this role?
    While the job description may have included recommended skill sets and experience, asking your interviewer directly can give you some insight into the qualities that are important to the firm and the position. It will also give you an opportunity to talk about any experience you have that directly speaks to those qualities, further cementing you as a viable candidate for the job.
  3. If I were in this position, with whom would I work most closely in the organization?
    Rather than asking what a “day in the life” looks like, this question will give you a more in-depth look into the role. It will also tell you who else within the firm you’ll need to get to know, what their roles are and how you can best work together.
  4. Is there a standard training period and what does that look like?
    Companies that have no protocol or standard training procedures might raise a red flag. Firms that invest in new employees by providing thorough training set you up for success from day one.
  5. How will my success in this position be determined?
    This question shows that you care about the value you can bring to a team and how it will be measured. Even if the interviewer can’t give you specifics, they’ll remember that you asked and appreciate your desire to succeed.
  6. Where do you see this firm five years from now?
    In terms of your own growth as a professional, it’s smart to consider what a potential employer wants to achieve as a company. The firm’s growth may also indicate more opportunities for your personal growth, as well.
  7. What are the biggest opportunities the firm has right now?
    Speaking of personal growth, a company with a solid track record of new business opportunities is a great sign that they can offer you a secure, stable environment. It can also signify a workplace that can offer you opportunities to advance your career. Asking this question shows the interviewer that you care about where the industry is heading and want to be a part of the firm’s success.
  8. What are the biggest challenges facing the firm right now?
    No company exists without bumps in the road. Industries evolve, technologies change and new strategies and challenges are par for the course. It’s helpful to understand what issues are top-of-mind for a potential employer and asking this question can help you identify areas where your skills can be used to help overcome those challenges.
  9. Do you have any concerns about me as a candidate that would disqualify me from the position?
    Companies typically have a specific checklist of skills and experience that satisfy the open position. You’ve been brought in for an interview because you meet at least some of those qualifications. But it’s possible that other candidates meet more of them. If you can determine what, if anything, might make an employer overlook you in their final decision, you have a chance to change their opinion. For example, maybe your last position was eliminated after just 10 months. Given the chance to explain this can help your interviewer gain a more complete picture of your background, and will prevent them from making assumptions that could disqualify you from the position.
  10. What is the next step in the hiring process?
    Next steps are always critical. At the end of most client meetings, a firm will cover next steps to ensure everyone is on the same page and the project at hand continues to move forward. In an interview, asking this question shows your eagerness to continue the process, and can give you a better understanding of the company’s timeline for hiring. Regardless of their next steps, though, your first next step is to write a thank you letter.

One question you should absolutely not ask? Anything having to do with salary. Unless your interviewer brings it up, steer clear of asking about salary or benefits during the first interview. Show a genuine interest for the company, the team, the clients and whether you would be a good fit. That will put you in a better position to talk money during your second or third interview and increase your odds of receiving a job offer.

If you’re searching for the perfect career opportunity in the legal industry, JurisTemps can help. We’ve been servicing St. Louis’ legal community for more than 20 years. Our long-time relationships with St. Louis-based law firms and enterprise companies can give you an edge on the competition. If you’re serious about your next career move, we’re serious about helping you find and successfully apply for your next position. Contact us today – we look forward to assisting you!

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