A job interview is your chance to make a good impression to get hired as a Legal Assistant or Paralegal.
You only have one opportunity to get it right. If you blow it, there are never second chance interviews.
In an intense environment like an interview, it can be easy to say the wrong thing since you are under so much pressure.
Find out what not to talk about that might end your chances of getting the job.
When you have finished reading, explore our series of articles related to getting a Legal Assistant job, like questions you should ask during your interview, and what to wear to your interview.
1. “My old employer was a jerk.”
Don’t badmouth your old boss, even if that was the reason you left previous job. Not all attorneys are easy to work with. Saying that you hated your past employer not only lacks tact, but will not do anything to help entice a next employer to hire you.
Instead, talk about how you felt you had learned what you could in that position and are ready for new challenges and learning experiences as a Legal Assistant for this office.
2. “Will I be able to telecommute?”
Don’t ask about telecommuting if that was not in the job advertisement. While evolving technology has made it more possible for Paralegals to be able to do some tasks from home, most offices do not offer telecommuting at this time. There are still clients to meet with, papers to file with court, and trial binders to ready.
Don’t swear. Even if the interviewer does. No matter how casual the conversation may seem, you must remain professional with your choice of words at all times.
4. “I want to become a lawyer.”
When asked about where you see yourself in five years, don’t say that you are planning to go to law school. There will be plenty of time once you are hired to talk about your aspirations to become an attorney.
While plans for law school may make you sound ambitious, an interviewer wants to hear that you will still be with their firm five years from now.
5. “What I am looking for in a job is…”
Talking about what you want in a job or employer is inappropriate. A job interview is a time you are being examined as to whether or not you are suited to a specific position. You are not there to judge the employer, at least not verbally. If you have specific employment requirements, you may address them if you are offered the position.
6. “I’m really unorganized.”
When asked about your weaknesses, be sure not to name shortcomings that are a major part of the job description. Being organized is one trait that is especially important for Legal Assistants, since you will be managing case files, keeping track of court deadlines, and billable hours.
Tip: Name a weakness that can also be a strength in certain circumstances, such as being a perfectionist.
7. “I have 3 siblings, 10 cousins, an ex-husband, 2 kids, a dog and a cat…”
Don’t ramble. As an icebreaker, and to get to know you, an interviewer will often ask you to say a little about yourself. This is not an opportunity to tell your life story or talk about your personal relationships. Keep it succinct.
Use 3-4 sentences to give just a brief background or synopsis of yourself. Followed by a statement about your love for the law and legal work.
Here at BestLegalAssistant.com we have answers to all your questions about becoming a Legal Assistant or Paralegal.
Get help here finding jobs to apply for, creating your resume and cover letter, and getting ready for your interview.