What are the most important skills for a paralegal?
In your paralegal interview answer include organization and planning, research and analytical skills, judgment and decision-making skills, attention to detail, strong communication skills, patience and perseverance, confidentiality and sensitivity.
What tools and methods do you use for the day to day organization and planning of your work?
Describe the systems you use to stay organized. How do you prioritize your workload? How do you plan and schedule your work tasks and activities? How do you stay focused and productive despite interruptions and conflicting demands on your time?
Give me a recent example of having to organize and analyze large volumes of data in order to prepare a report by a tight deadline.
A paralegal must analyze volumes of data in order to prepare written reports. They also have to be able to work under pressure. Describe the steps you took, using a specific example, to identify key issues from a base of information. Highlight how you applied relevant legal principals to the facts in your analysis of the information.
Tell me about a time you had to interact with a difficult client.
You represent the company to the public and your ability to act professionally at all times is important. Discuss the specific techniques you use to handle a difficult interaction including staying calm, getting all the necessary facts and information, discussing options and coming to agreement.
Describe a recent complex legal decision you had to make. Take me through the process you took to reach your decision.
You need to be able to make sound decisions independently. Steps include gathering all relevant information and pertinent facts, generating and exploring good alternatives, selecting the best alternative and checking the decision. Focus on presenting a logical and systematic decision-making process.
Tell me about your experience dealing with confidential and sensitive information.
A paralegal needs to use tact and diplomacy when dealing with sensitive and confidential issues and situations. Provide a specific example.
How do you check the accuracy of your work?
Highlight your attention to detail and your focus on all areas involved in the task no matter how small. Describe the systems and processes you use to check your work for accuracy and completeness.
Why are you the right person for this job?
Focus on what you can do for the organization – your legal knowledge, abilities, legal experience and skills. Highlight your particular strengths (analytical ability, specialist knowledge, research skills) and how they meet the needs of the job. Give examples of your past experience that relate directly to this job.
Why did you choose to become a paralegal? Why did you choose to specialize in this area of the law?
In your paralegal interview be convincing about your passion for the law. A paralegal position offers an opportunity to participate meaningfully in the legal process. It allows you to think critically and analytically and to optimize your communication skills. As a paralegal you will be constantly learning and growing.
Do your preparation. Use your research during the paralegal interview to convince the company that you are a serious and committed candidate. Find out about conducting company research at Preparing for a Job Interview