When you interview for a position as a paralegal, you will need to answer all of the questions confidently and correctly. The following paralegal interview questions and answers are designed to help your potential employer gauge your abilities and knowledge of core competencies that apply to the career, regardless of your area of specialty.
What Are the Most Important Skills a Paralegal Should Possess?
This may seem like an opportunity to list the skills you feel a paralegal should have, but it is more of an opportunity to showcase your own skills and how you will apply them to your career. “I feel that a successful paralegal should be organized, have above average researching and analytical skills, should be detail oriented and possess strong communication skills. I also feel that paralegals need to be confident, patient and sensitive. I have worked hard to develop and hone these skills, and this is why I feel that I am the best candidate for the job” is a thorough answer that is sure to impress your interviewer.
How Do You Stay Organized and Plan Your Day?
Since organization is so imperative to success as a paralegal, your potential employer will likely want to know the methods you use. This is a great time to discuss your filing systems, note-taking methods and even the paralegal software with which you are familiar. If you are familiar with Lexis/Nexis, CaseMap or Concordance, you should provide this information. Similarly, you should also discuss the ways in which you stay focused on the task at hand despite interruptions.
Can You Interact Positively with a Difficult Client?
Despite your attempts to be friendly and provide information, some clients will be much more difficult than others. Perhaps a settlement offer that was agreeable last week is now not good enough. It could also be that your client wants a trial by jury instead of taking a plea agreement even when the plea is the best option. “I will do my best to ensure that the clients have all of the information they need to make the best possible decisions. I will listen closely to disgruntled or irate clients before offering solutions to their issues. If I cannot resolve the issue on my own, I will use all of the resources available to me” is one of the best answers possible.
Do You Have Experience with Personal or Confidential Information?
As a paralegal, you will often have access to information that is considered confidential. Just like a lawyer, you are legally bound to uphold lawyer and client confidentiality. “I understand that personal and confidential information is commonplace in this industry. I study the laws that pertain to such information regularly and I have developed filing systems that restrict access to this information” is a great answer that shows your interviewer that you not only stay abreast of changes in laws, but that you also work hard to maintain your clients’ privacy.
An interview for a position as a paralegal can be complex, but as long as you arrive prepared and ready to answer any questions you are asked, you should be able to prove your worth and land the position you want.