It is not too difficult to get success in the interview for a Paralegal position, yet it is quite challenging. This is because we usually get quite confident (or should we say overconfident?)
There is little more important than preparation for an interview. If you have some idea of what you might be asked, you can quickly prepare the answers.
This is easy if you have been through the job description carefully. That said, if you know what an employer needs from you, you can quickly adapt your answers accordingly.
Being called for a paralegal interview does not guarantee a job, but if you give all the right answers, you do have a great chance at employment. The trick is to “know” what you will be asked.
22 Common Paralegal Interview Questions and Answers
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I hold a degree in law and possess 2 years of experience in a paralegal position. I started out with a short internship, and have quickly made my way up to a role with more profound duties.
2. What duties have you performed as a paralegal in the past 2 years?
In the past 2 years, I have performed many duties such as performing research, preparing affidavits, and organizing and maintaining documents. Also, I have been busy meeting with clients to determine their specific legal needs, and handling case details. Moreover, my work includes investigating facts, searching public records, and preparing cases for attorneys.
3. What skills do you bring to the table?
I am a highly analytic individual, who can handle case details with great attention. I am also well-versed in handling research that requires deep digging. Additionally, I am competent in providing excellent clerical and administrative support to attorneys’ offices to ensure that it remains in good operational order.
4. What do you like most about this work?
I love the fact that I can work in a highly charged environment. There is always something going on, and I love the hub-hub of things.
5. What do you dislike about this work?
I do not dislike this work one bit. In fact, I enjoy it immensely, which is why I have worked during the weekends too – completely at my own will.
6. How do you handle conflict in the workplace?
Workplace conflict is not an issue if you keep your cool. With so many clients coming in, and so much tension, conflict is a given.
7. What do you do to ensure that you remain organized at all times?
I never leave any work for later. I make sure that I do everything on time, and not procrastinate.
8. What motivates you?
I am motivated by a lot of things, including smooth work processes, and work well-done.
9. What demotivates you?
Actually, I find motivation in almost everything in the world. It is not easy to demotivate me. However, I like to work in an environment where micromanagement is not a thing.
10. What is your greatest strength?
My greatest strength is my ability to work long hours without compromising on the quality of my work.
11. What is your greatest weakness?
My greatest weakness is not being able to leave anything alone until I am done with it. Sometimes, this takes time away from other things that I have to do. But I am working on taking regular breaks and setting realistic goals for myself.
12. What has been your greatest achievement so far?
There was a case that an attorney that I was helping with was working on which seemed quite futile. The court date was the next day, and the attorney had considered a defeat. The night before, I managed to unearth some evidence which proved to be instrumental in getting a lost case won. This has been my greatest achievement so far.
13. What would you change about your current workplace?
My current workplace has great systems in place. However, I wouldn’t mind changing the way they handle documentation.
14. Describe your perfect work environment.
I do not feel that perfect environments exist. One has to make environments perfect in order to get them to work in your favor. And that is what I do. I strive to make an environment perfect, and then I ensure that it remains that way so that my work is easy to manage.
15. What area do you want to specialize in?
My area of interest is criminal law and that is what I want to specialize in.
16. If you report to multiple attorneys, how do you decide which assignment to do first?
I set priorities for all the assignments that are handed over to me. I ask each attorney about the deadline, and then I work in accordance with that.
17. Have you ever been late for a deadline?
No, my work is meticulously on time. I have never been late in submitting my work.
18. How good are you with handling confidential information?
Working in legal capacity requires one to be highly careful of confidential information. If measured on a scale of 1 to 10, I am 11!
19. Describe a time when you handled a difficult situation with a client?
It was actually a witness, who suddenly decided that he didn’t want to appear in court. His testimony was crucial to the case that we were running against. I sat him down, and calmly explained why he must do his civic duty. I also assured him that no harm would come to him if he appeared in court, which is what he was most concerned about. In the end, he gave his testimony, and I kept my side of the promise too.
20. If we decide to hire you, when can you join us?
I can join you within 45 days of handing in my notice.
21. Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
I see myself working as a criminal lawyer, with many interesting cases to my name.
22. Do you have any questions for me?
I am interested in knowing about the different types of cases that your firm has won over the last few years.
A paralegal will be asked many technical and non-technical questions when appearing for an interview. Hence, it is important to prepare for the process in advance, so that you come across as someone who knows the work, and will excel at it.
During the interview process, you will be judged on your knowledge of providing support to attorneys in terms of administration, research, and client liaison.
As a paralegal, your responsibilities will be in a support role, which is why you have to prove it to the interviewer that you can handle support work efficiently.
Concentrating on your skills in researching precedents, and ensuring that pleadings are properly filed is important when asked questions. Also, you must show your organizational and communication skills when responding to questions asked at the interview.