Landing an interview, dressing to impress, and confidently answering interview questions are only part of the equation of a successful interview. It’s important that candidates show an interest in the law firm or organization and treat the interview like a conversation. One of the best ways to do this is by asking thoughtful questions--not just questions whose answers readily appear on the firm’s or organization’s website. To help jumpstart the process, below find 21 interview questions to ask during a legal job interview.
1. How did you become interested in X practice area/subject matter?
2. Did you focus on X while you attended law school? Do you recommend any courses or clinics that would enhance my understanding of X field?
3. Why did you choose this firm/organization over others?
4. What do you like most about this firm/practice group/organization?
5. What makes someone successful in this role?
6. Tell me about the firm/practice group/organization culture.
7. How is work distributed/how will I receive assignments?
8. What type of assignments do attorneys of my level typically work on?
9. Will I work with the same partners/senior attorneys often or will I be assigned to projects with different partners/senior attorneys?
10. How will my work be evaluated? What kind of feedback can I expect to receive?
11. How do you think the firm will grow in the next five years?
12. Is there a shadowing or training period?
13. How does the firm train junior attorneys to develop business?
14. What makes this firm/organization unique from other similar firms/organizations?
15. Tell me about a memorable case/deal/issue you worked on while working at this firm/organization.
16. Can you explain the firm’s/organization’s management structure to me in greater detail? Does the headquarter office dictate the actions of the other offices?
17. What type of interaction do attorneys in this office have with attorneys at the firm’s/organization’s other offices?
18. What do you find most challenging about your practice?
19. What are the biggest challenges facing the firm/organization right now?
20. What is the next step in the hiring process?
21. Do you have any concerns about me as a candidate that would disqualify me from the position?
Remember, it is important to do research so that questions don’t seem “canned,” but rather reflect a genuine interest in the specific firm or organization. Customize the above questions so that they are relevant to the job for which you are interviewing and reflect your own speaking style. Do not ask the interviewer too many questions about salary and benefits or partnership or exit opportunities. It is too early in the hiring process; check out Vault’s survey responses instead. Best of luck!
Perhaps the most dreaded question in any job interview is the one that turns the tables, "Do you have any questions for me? " While it is a time to learn more about the firm to help you make a more informed decision, it is simultaneously an opportunity to set yourself apart by asking insightful questions of your interviewer.