Job Interview Tips When Applying for a Legal Assistant Position

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Job Interview Tips When Applying for a Legal Assistant Position

Interviewing for a legal assistant position is not much different than applying for other jobs. As with any job interview, you should prepare well, present yourself effectively, and make sure you make a good impression on the interviewer. However, if you want to increase your chances of landing a legal assistant job, there are a few key points you must keep in mind. Here are some helpful tips for a successful interview.

do your homework

Before interviewing, it’s important that you do some research on the organization and gather information about the company’s background, performance and future plans. Learn all about the company through personal contact, written material or the Internet. It’s a good idea to learn about the biographies, accomplishments, and legal practices of lawyers you might work with in the future. During the interview process, you should ask relevant questions to show the interviewer that you have indeed done enough research on the company. Also, be sure to find out what laws the firm specializes in. For example, if the position of a legal assistant is real estate law, then you should have an understanding of closing and real estate law.

refresh your memory

Most people tend to forget certain terms over time. Either you’ve been out of work for a long time, or you simply haven’t come across all the technical or legal jargon at your previous or current job. Time to go back to your old notes and books and refresh your memory with some of the legal jargon the interviewer might use during the interview.

Wear appropriate business attire

You should dress in appropriate business attire. While law firms have a business-casual attire, it is still advisable to appear presentable when interviewing. Have the relevant materials ready that you will need to take with you, such as a complete portfolio that includes copies of your resume, copies of your records, certificates, letters of recommendation, and other relevant materials that show your accomplishments. Also, make sure you have a pen and paper with you so you can take notes during the interview.

be on time

Show your enthusiasm for joining the company and let your interviewers know that you are very interested in their work and what they have to offer. In the legal world, time is of the essence. Never be late for an interview; you should arrive at least 15 minutes early. This will show the interviewer that you are serious about the job you are applying for.

Emphasize your best qualities and keep calm at all times

Try to present yourself as a helpful, considerate and trustworthy person. Remember, paralegals are required to keep business information confidential, so discretion is very important. Remember to always maintain eye contact, listen attentively to the interviewer’s questions and take the time to organize your thoughts. Make sure you engage in an interesting conversation about the company, your work, and yourself. Relax and remain calm throughout the interview.

Link qualifications to company needs

When you are asked questions about your qualifications or experience as a legal assistant, you should answer directly with what you know about the firm and relate your strengths and accomplishments to the firm’s needs. Provide specific examples of your seniority as a paralegal and, if possible, a full description of the different projects you have completed in the past, your responsibilities within those projects, and the importance of these projects to your previous work environment as a paralegal.

Don’t pass judgment on your former employer

Never speak ill of your current or former employer. Always remember, the legal world is small. Who knows, the person you hate might be a friend or relative of the interviewer.

Show interest in the job you’re applying for

As the interview draws to a close, you should let the interviewer know that you are fascinated by what the company has to offer and ask about the next steps needed to complete your application for a legal assistant position. It’s also good to ask when you can expect to hear from them about your application. Also, don’t forget to write a thank you email within 24 hours of the interview.

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