8 Questions You Should Ask When Interviewing for a Legal Support Job

When you prepare for an interview in legal support, you’re probably thinking about your planned answers, not your questions. Maybe you’ve even typed “answers to legal support interview questions” into your favorite search engine to see what comes up.

Everyone who goes into a legal support interview will have prepared answers. To stand out among competing candidates, it’s equally important to prepare your questions. Here are questions you should ask your recruiter and the employer when interviewing for a legal support position:

Ask Your Recruiter

Your recruiter can provide a wealth of information about a potential employer – but only if you ask. Find out what you need to know with questions like:

  1. “May I see a copy of the job description?” The job description should include a short version of the core functions of the job. By obtaining an updated version, you’ll start to understand what the employer expects from you day to day. In the interview, talk about accomplishments that parallel those on the job description.
  2. “What are the top three traits the employer is looking for?” The answer you receive will help you build a picture of the employer’s overall culture, as well as provide insight on the traits required to succeed in this position. When you know what skills and traits are on the employer’s “must have” list, you can tailor your interview presentation to match.
  3. “Why is this position available now?” The answer may reassure you – or raise red flags. An organization that is expanding may need to add a legal support team member; a position may have opened up because a member of the support team retired or moved. If several people have “cycled” through the position in a short time, dig deeper – is it because the employer doesn’t seem to know what he wants, or is something else going on?
  4. “What (else) can you tell me about the organization?” This is a great question to ask twice: once when you hear about the opening, and again after you’ve done some research of your own. Your recruiter can help you get an overview and can also help you “fill in the gaps” on key questions you can’t answer elsewhere.

Ask Your Interviewer

Your recruiter will advocate on your behalf to the employer. But when you enter the interview, the responsibility for selling your skills and demonstrating enthusiasm for the job falls on you alone. Here are four probing questions that will help you do just that:

  1. “Can you describe a successful candidate in this position? What are they like?” Like the “top three traits” question to ask your recruiter, this question gives you an overview of the candidate the organization would most like to hire. It allows you to discuss any of the named traits that your previous answers may have missed.
  2. “What are the career opportunities available for candidates who succeed in this position?” Many legal support positions dispense with the standard “promotions” track, but many still offer the opportunity to deepen your knowledge, expand your connections, and continue to grow as an experienced professional. Find out what opportunities the organization offers to develop your skills and career.
  3. “How will my performance be evaluated, and by whom? How will I know I’m succeeding?” In the “daily grind” of addressing clients’ needs and meeting deadlines, some organizations lose sight of their legal support team’s overall progress and success. When you know what the goals are and how to measure your progress, you can do better work.
  4. “What are the greatest challenges faced in this position?” Established legal support professionals can often name the greatest general challenges faced on the job – but you may not know what the greatest challenges will be in the context of this employer’s work. Learn more about the details by asking about the job’s greatest challenges and successes.

At Kent Legal, our recruiters specialize in matching qualified legal support staff with the right employers. Contact us to learn more about our legal support recruiting services, or browse our great legal support job openings in Toronto today!

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