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Interview questions

Legal Secretary

For the interview

A positive opener to start

Why did you want to become a Legal Secretary?

What is your favourite part about being a Legal Secretary?

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your career path so far.

Behavioral Questions

  • How do you deal with stressful situations? Can you give an example?
  • A key skill for any Legal Secretary is that they have to be able to deal with stressful situations. Some days the phone just keeps ringing and the emails just keep coming in. This question helps you understand how they deal with such days.
  • Tell me about a time you provided great customer service.
  • Customer contact is key in this job position. This question gives the interviewee the opportunity to explain how they went above and beyond for a client.
  • How would you prioritise your tasks if multiple lawyers would give you the same deadline for their individual tasks?
  • A Legal Secretary often supports a number of lawyers at the same time, who all have their own tasks and deadlines. Finding ways to meet everyone’s needs is incredibly important in this role, making this a great Legal Secretary interview question.
  • If you are given the choice, do you prefer communicating with a client in person, via email, or by phone? Explain your choice.
  • This question tells you a little bit more about what kind of person the candidate is and how they will operate within your company.

Soft Skills

  • A (potential) client starts yelling at you on the phone. How do you respond?
  • The Legal Secretary often has to deal with (potential) clients and, unfortunately, clients can sometimes get angry. Learning how the candidate handles these situations gives you a good idea of how they will perform within your organisation.
  • How do you manage to stay organised and prioritise your tasks?
  • Legal Secretaries are often the main point of contact in a business, so their organisational and prioritisation skills are crucial for them to perform well in this role.
  • Describe a time you had to deal with extremely sensitive information. How did you handle this?
  • A Legal Secretary works with a lot of confidential information. How they deal with this information and what processes they follow to ensure confidentiality tell you a lot about how good a fit they are for the job.

Hard Skills

  • What word-processing software are you familiar with, and what is your average typing speed?
  • As this is an administrative role the right candidate will need to have experience in using word-processing software and be able to type at high speed.
  • Give me examples of details that should be included in a subpoena.
  • A Legal Secretary has to be able to draft or at least proofread legal documents. Asking them a knowledge question like this is a great way to test their skills.
  • What kind of legal transcription experience do you have so far?
  • This Legal Secretary interview question tells you more about the specific experience the candidate has in this field.

Operational / Situational Questions

  • A lawyer is in a rush to get to court and asks you to print several documents needed for the trial. You try to print it but the machine is broken. What do you do?
  • This is a fictional situation to test their problem-solving skills, as well as how they handle stress. It’s a great way to force them to come up with a solution on the spot.
  • You are in the middle of writing an urgent email when the phone rings. What do you do?
  • As a Legal Secretary, you have to be able to prioritise tasks effectively and make judgement calls on what to do first. This is a great example of what such a situation would look like.
  • Why do you want to work at this firm/company?
  • The Legal Secretary often becomes the face of the firm/company, so you want to ensure that they have a clear understanding of your firm/company and why they want to work there.

Best interview questions for a Legal Secretary

Legal Secretary Interview Questions

A Legal Secretary handles the administrative side of a law firm or business and is in large part responsible for ensuring the organisation runs smoothly. Legal Secretaries (sometimes referred to as Legal Assistants) are often the first point of contact for potential clients contacting the firm, which means they have to have impeccable people skills. The Legal Secretary further maintains calendars, schedules appointments, and transcribes recordings or meeting notes.

With such a high impact on the efficiency and day to day running of the organisation it’s important that you hire the perfect person for the role. To find that person, you need to make sure you ask your interviewees the right Legal Secretary interview questions. In the list below, you’ll find a bunch of potential questions you can ask your candidates during the interview.

When asking your legal secretary candidates these questions it’s important to look out for the following skills and qualities:

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Solid understanding of legal terminology
  • Great organisational skills and a highly structured way of working
  • Ability to multitask and prioritise tasks effectively

Interviewing a Legal Secretary

As soon as you’ve received enough applications for the outstanding position it’s time for the next step in the interview process: inviting potential candidates to a job interview. That also means it’s time for you to start preparing a bunch of Legal Secretary interview questions and answers to ask your candidates.

We’ve done the research for you and prepared a list of questions that will help you determine whether a candidate is the right person for the job. Remember though that these are fairly general questions for the earlier stages of the interview process.

How to open the Legal Secretary job interview

Before you dive straight into difficult situational questions and elaborate skill tests you might want to instead start with a few opening questions. Think about it. Job interviews are stressful, no matter how many years of work experience you have. At the start of the interview, most candidates will be full of nerves and anxiety. So to get the most out of the interview (and to show some kindness), you’re often better off starting the interview with some positive openers to let them ease into the conversation.

For the interview

A positive opener to start

Why did you want to become a Legal Secretary?

What is your favourite part about being a Legal Secretary?

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your career path so far.

Behavioral Questions

  • How do you deal with stressful situations? Can you give an example?
  • A key skill for any Legal Secretary is that they have to be able to deal with stressful situations. Some days the phone just keeps ringing and the emails just keep coming in. This question helps you understand how they deal with such days.
  • Tell me about a time you provided great customer service.
  • Customer contact is key in this job position. This question gives the interviewee the opportunity to explain how they went above and beyond for a client.
  • How would you prioritise your tasks if multiple lawyers would give you the same deadline for their individual tasks?
  • A Legal Secretary often supports a number of lawyers at the same time, who all have their own tasks and deadlines. Finding ways to meet everyone’s needs is incredibly important in this role, making this a great Legal Secretary interview question.
  • If you are given the choice, do you prefer communicating with a client in person, via email, or by phone? Explain your choice.
  • This question tells you a little bit more about what kind of person the candidate is and how they will operate within your company.

Soft Skills

  • A (potential) client starts yelling at you on the phone. How do you respond?
  • The Legal Secretary often has to deal with (potential) clients and, unfortunately, clients can sometimes get angry. Learning how the candidate handles these situations gives you a good idea of how they will perform within your organisation.
  • How do you manage to stay organised and prioritise your tasks?
  • Legal Secretaries are often the main point of contact in a business, so their organisational and prioritisation skills are crucial for them to perform well in this role.
  • Describe a time you had to deal with extremely sensitive information. How did you handle this?
  • A Legal Secretary works with a lot of confidential information. How they deal with this information and what processes they follow to ensure confidentiality tell you a lot about how good a fit they are for the job.

Hard Skills

  • What word-processing software are you familiar with, and what is your average typing speed?
  • As this is an administrative role the right candidate will need to have experience in using word-processing software and be able to type at high speed.
  • Give me examples of details that should be included in a subpoena.
  • A Legal Secretary has to be able to draft or at least proofread legal documents. Asking them a knowledge question like this is a great way to test their skills.
  • What kind of legal transcription experience do you have so far?
  • This Legal Secretary interview question tells you more about the specific experience the candidate has in this field.

Operational / Situational Questions

  • A lawyer is in a rush to get to court and asks you to print several documents needed for the trial. You try to print it but the machine is broken. What do you do?
  • This is a fictional situation to test their problem-solving skills, as well as how they handle stress. It’s a great way to force them to come up with a solution on the spot.
  • You are in the middle of writing an urgent email when the phone rings. What do you do?
  • As a Legal Secretary, you have to be able to prioritise tasks effectively and make judgement calls on what to do first. This is a great example of what such a situation would look like.
  • Why do you want to work at this firm/company?
  • The Legal Secretary often becomes the face of the firm/company, so you want to ensure that they have a clear understanding of your firm/company and why they want to work there.

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