Interview Tips: Questions to Ask

If your interview is going well, most interviewers will ask if you have questions.  This provides the employer the opportunity to see your thought process and for you to show that you are interested beyond the paycheck and have done your research on the employer.  You’ll need to tailor how you phrase the question based on the interviewer and the employer.  Here’s some questions you might consider asking:

  • What characteristics does it take to succeed in this firm/agency/organization?
  • Tell me how you picked working here for yourself?
  • How does each department of the firm acquire new lawyers?
  • How are new associates assigned to practice groups? Is there a rotation system?
  • How does each department develop new work?
  • At what point in an associate’s career here are you expected to bring in clients?/How do staff attorneys help with fundraising in this organization?
  • Does the firm/agency/organization have any program in place where new attorneys are given training in how to develop new clients/conduct client or community outreach?
  • How would you describe the culture at this firm/agency/organization?
  • What kind of projects will I typically be working on?
  • What was the most satisfying project you worked on this year?
  • What do you like best about this firm/agency/organization?
  • How will my performance be evaluated?
  • Who will supervise my work?
  • How is work allocated to [employees in my position]?
  • What training opportunities are offered to [an employee in my position]?
  • Does the summer program have a mentor program?
  • How are assignments distributed during the summer?
  • Do summer associates/new associates/interns/staff attorneys rotate among departments?
  • What percentage of summer clerks is typically offered positions with the firm/organization/corporation?
  • How fast is your firm growing?/How has the caseload for your agency/organization changed over the years?
  • Are some areas of your practice growing more than others?/Are there new challenges your clients are facing?
  • What are the criteria for advancement?
  • Are attorneys involved in outside activities (bar committees, pro bono work, charities)?
  • Does the firm have a pro bono policy? What is it?
  • Is there a formalized training program for new attorneys?
  • How soon does a new attorney have direct client contact?
  • How soon does a new attorney get experience in taking depositions/appearing in court?
  • How many years, on average, does it take to become a partner?
  • Describe a typical day for you.
  • How would you describe the firm/agency/organization and the people who work here?
  • How is the firm/agency/organization structured? Is there a management committee? Who is on that committee?
  • Do new associates/staff attorneys participate in committees within the firm?
  • Is there a mentor program?
  • How are associates/staff attorneys integrated into the firm?