September 9, 2021
10 Questions to Ask During Your Law Firm Interview
On average, you’ll interview two to three times with a company before receiving an offer. 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 practice answers to common interview questions, it’s important for you to show interest in them, and that means preparing questions of your own. In fact, nearly half of candidates fail a job interview because they didn’t have enough knowledge about the company and position to which they applied. Here are 10 questions that can help you stand out in an interview, learn more about a potential employer, and land the job.
- What stood out 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.
- 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 understanding of 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.
- If I’m hired for this position, who would I work most closely with in the organization?
Rather than asking what a “day in the life” looks like (and receiving a typical “every day is different” response), 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- What are the workplace expectations for this role?
The pandemic led many organizations to change their workplace policies. While some still require employees to work in an office, others moved to remote work, and the majority have created a hybrid workplace. Knowing the expectations of the role can help you determine whether it’s the right fit for you. If the role you’re applying for is remote or hybrid, ask about the resources provided to get a better understanding of the employee experience.
- What is the next step in the hiring process?
Asking this question at the end of your interview shows your eagerness to continue the process, and will 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.
While we don’t recommend asking about salary during your first interview, we do understand needing to know whether the position meets your needs. Working with a recruiter can help, as we typically have that information up front and can share details with you without worrying about how the request is perceived. If you’re conducting your job search alone and want to ask, start by expressing your excitement about the opportunity and your desire to continue the interview process. Then explain that you don’t want to waste their time and ask if they could share the salary range for the position so that you can determine whether it meets your needs. Chances are, they’ll ask you what salary you’re looking for, and you can provide them with a range at that time.
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 and prepare for your next position. Click here to submit your legal resume.