FindLaw for Law Students - Legal Professional

INTERVIEW SKILLS

Introduction
Typical Questions for the Interviewee
Typical Questions for the Interviewer
Discriminatory Questions
Useful Online Publications / Sites

Introduction

Your resume and cover letter have gotten your foot in the door, and now you have an actual interview! For many law students, the interview is the great unknown. Because legal employers vary so much, it's difficult to predict how their interviews will unfold-but you can at least cover your bases by preparing some questions that are common to any interview situation.

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Typical Questions for the Interviewee

Prepare for job interviews by reviewing the following typical interview questions and formulating concise, intelligent yet unrehearsed answers.


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Typical Questions for the Interviewer

Solid preparation for any interview also dictates that you formulate some questions for the interviewer. You should ask these with honesty and sincerity and show real interest in hearing the answers. Avoid questions whose answers can easily be found on a website or in the employer's file in your law school's career services office, such as practice areas or number of lawyers.

Law Firms

Government/Public Interest Agencies

Corporate Law Departments/In-House Counsel

Judicial Clerkships

Summer Employment

Considering an Offer

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Discriminatory Questions

The single most important guideline for lawful interviewing is for interviewers to focus on job-related questions that can be asked of all applicants. Interviewers should take steps to avoid any questions that would be asked of only one group of applicants.

Generally, an employer is not trying to be discriminatory; many times they ask inappropriate questions out of ignorance or to promote conversation. If you are having a good interview and are asked an inappropriate question, answer it only if you feel comfortable. You should never, however, feel pressured to answer an illegal question. If you feel an employer is deliberately asking discriminatory questions, you have every right to confront him or her about it.

Always try to understand the interviewer's motivation. If you choose to respond to an offensive question, answer positively and focus on your professionalism and job ability. Your demeanor and handling of an offensive question could work in your favor and let the employer know why you are such a good candidate.

Some typical discriminatory questions and suggested responses include:

National Origin

Religion

Age

Marriage or Family

Race or Ethnicity

Gender or Sexual Orientation

Physical Impairments

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Useful Online Publications / Sites

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