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Do You Have Any Questions?


By Jennifer A. Jeffries, Esq.

When it comes to a job interview, the questions you ask your interviewer are just as important as the questions you answer. Asking intelligent questions during an interview not only demonstrates your interest in the company you are interviewing with but also goes a long way towards making you more memorable as a candidate.

Skilled interviewers evaluate applicants' questions to gauge the strength of their analytical skills. So the next time an interviewer asks, "Do you have any questions?," just imagine how unimpressed he or she will be if "No, I think all of my questions have been answered" is your response. This type of response reflects poorly on an interviewee's ability to think on his or her feet; it may also give the interviewer the impression that the applicant does not take the job seriously.

Asking a series of carefully crafted questions is a great way to show interest in a potential employer. In everyday conversation, people tend to make inquiries when the topics being discussed are of interest to them. Accordingly, when you pose insightful questions to interviewers, they will assume you are genuinely interested in their companies.

It is always best to customize your questions to the particular position you are applying for, but here are a few examples of questions you might consider asking:

1. How would you describe the firm culture in this office?
The culture of a law firm is almost impossible to understand until you experience it for yourself. Asking this question in an interview can help you to get a feel for the atmosphere at a firm prior to accepting an offer.

2. How do you train new attorneys? Do you take more of a hands-on or hands-off approach?
Asking this question is especially beneficial if you are interviewing with the person who will be your supervisor if you are hired. His or her answer will give you the opportunity to know ahead of time how your boss will manage you. It may also give you an idea of the types of interactions you will have with the other attorneys in the firm.

3. Is there room for growth here?
The answer to this question can be quite revealing. The interviewer's response will give you a sense of some of the opposition you might face if you accept an offer with the company. It may also familiarize you with the growth potential of the organization as a whole.

4. What will be our next step?
Although you should avoid inquiring about things such as vacation time, benefits, and your proposed salary, it is completely acceptable to ask questions about the interviewing process. You should never leave an interview wondering what comes next or spend weeks waiting by the phone for feedback. Before you leave, ask about the next step. If you do not hear back from the firm within a few days of the indicated time, make sure to call your interviewer to follow up.

The questions listed above should get you started, but there is no one precise set of questions to ask at the end of an interview. In fact, asking questions that focus on the specific employer you are interviewing with is a great way to show your familiarity with the company. You want to make sure your questions communicate your knowledge of the company and demonstrate that you have put thought into what you are asking. It all comes down to interview preparation; arriving at your interview with some well-thought-out questions is a great way to impress your interviewer and end the interview on a positive note.

Best of luck!




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