This Paralegal interview profile brings together a snapshot of what to look for in candidates with a balanced sample of suitable interview questions.
Paralegal Interview Questions
Paralegals are found in a broad range of settings. They may be employed by solo practitioners and by large firms. They may work in law offices, or in in-house legal departments. Their law expertise also varies. They may specialize in corporate law, labor law, litigation, family law, etc.
Keep an eye out for candidates with a certificate of completion from a credible paralegal program. This is a good idea because some states in the US have strict requirements for hiring paralegals. It’s also a way to weed out candidates who have resorted to embellishing applications in a highly competitive job market.
Consider the following interview questions a starting point for hiring the right paralegal for your firm. These are open-ended and situational questions that will help you evaluate the extent of their paralegal experience. For best results, add your own questions based on your specific law specialty.
Operational and Situational questions
- What interests you about being a paralegal?
- Why did you choose to specialize in this area of law?
- What education and training has prepared you for this role?
- How have you kept up with your continuing education requirements?
- What’s your familiarity with paralegal software? Which ones have you used?
- What kinds of legal documents have you drafted?
- What problems or language would you look for in [standard legal document]?
- In as much detail as possible, describe a time you parsed large volumes of data to prepare a report in the face of tight deadlines.
- Recall a complex legal decision you had to make. Describe the process you used to make your decision.
- If you report to multiple attorneys, how do you decide which assignment to do first?
- How comfortable are you with handling confidential information?
- Some paralegal tasks are repetitive. How do you stay focused?
- Describe a time you worked with a difficult client. How did you handle it?
- Describe a time you turned a negative situation with a client into a positive one.