The following is a list of open-ended sample interview questions for use when preparing to hire a new staff member or associate. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, and should be amended or added to as appropriate for your work environment.

Staff Interview questions – general

  • What do know about lawyers and the legal profession? 
  • What is your opinion of lawyers and the legal profession?
  • Define or describe good customer service.
  • Have you had any experience working with a customer or client centered group?
  • What is important to you in a job?
  • When you are under a lot of stress, what is your typical reaction?
  • What motivates you the most?
  • Have you ever made an error in judgment that you had to address with your employer? How did you handle it?
  • What do you expect to find at this law firm that you don’t have in your current or last job?
  • How do you measure your own success?
  • What causes you the most stress in the workplace?
  • What are two examples of tasks that you do not particularly enjoy doing? How were you motivated enough to complete those tasks?
  • Tell me about your software skills — the programs you know and what you can do with them.
  • Tell me about the best boss you ever had. Now tell me about the worst boss. What made it tough to work for him or her?
  • Have you ever been in a situation where a document you drafted was returned due to errors? What effect did this have on you?
  • If you took out a full-page ad in the newspaper and had to describe yourself in only three words, what would those words be?
  • Have you ever had to resolve a conflict with a coworker? How did you resolve it?
  • What can you tell me about email and file encryption? Are there other security issues you are aware of with electronic filing and email?

Interview questions for new associate

  • What interests you in the position and working here?
  • What have you liked and disliked about being a lawyer?
  • Do you have marketing experience? What has worked/not worked for you?
  • What has been the most challenging aspect of your career?
  • Do you have experience with technology and social media?
  • Tell me about your professional network.