There is one question you can always expect during your legal job interview: Do you have any questions for us? Preparing thoughtful, well-researched questions for this part of your interview is a great way to show your interest in the legal employer and that you have done your homework. But there are certain questions that should never ask—or that you sould only ask at the appropriate time (such as after you receive a job offer). Below are some questions to avoid during the legal interview process or that you should wait to ask until you have an offer in hand.
Questions You Should Never Ask:
• Basic questions that could be answered if you had conducted research on the firm’s website or via other sources. If you don't know basic information about a firm, such as the key practice areas or office locations, your interviewer will have a hard time taking you seriously as someone who really wants to work there.
• Questions pertaining to confidential issues between a firm and its clients. You can ask general questions about the firm's practice areas or matters published on their site, but avoid prying into details that aren't public knowledge.
• Questions about firm or company scandals and/or gossip—and same goes for questions about scandals and/or gossip relating to other firms/companies, lawyers, or law schools.
• Questions about your interviewer's personal life (e.g., questions about their relationship status, religious observances, children, etc.). If you're trying to build rapport, keep the questions more surface level—ask about their hometown, law school experiences, or hobbies.
Questions You Should Only Ask After You Receive a Job Offer:
• Questions about salary, benefits, vacation time, leave policy, and billable hours. These are important things to consider in your decision about whether to accept an offer, but they should be saved for when you have an offer in hand.
• Questions that request special treatment if you’re hired (asking for time off for a nonrefundable vacation, upcoming wedding, etc.)
Remember, a job interview is where you will make your first impression. Show the employer that you have good judgment in your questions and have done your research.
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