When the interviewer asks you if you have any questions for them, don’t go silent! Having thoughtful and interesting questions to ask shows that you are prepared and enthusiastic about the firm.
Remember this is also you opportunity assess whether the firm is a good fit for you. Now is your opportunity to ask your burning questions about the firm, the practice group, and what it’s like to be an attorney at this firm.
One additional (and very important) point to keep in mind. Attorneys (and people in general) love to talk about themselves. When asking questions, try to make it specific to the interviewer’s experience, and show your interest in what they have to say – that will make the interviewer like you and have a great time with you as a captive audience listening about their career or practice.
Here are some example topics to use for questions:
- What drew you to this practice group?
- What drew you to this firm?
- What skills or traits make a standout associate?
- What are your firm’s DEI initiatives?
- How has your practice changed over the years given [x][relevant to that industry]?
- What do the junior associates on your team do?
- How would you describe the firm’s culture?
- How would you describe the group’s culture?
- Have you personally worked on any interesting pro bono matters?
- What has kept you engaged and interested in your work at the firm?
Keep in mind, it is best to not ask basic questions that can be researched online. Many questions can be “super-charged” by showing off a little preparation and tying it to the interviewer’s experience.
For example, for #9 above, instead of just asking about pro bono work that the firm does, you can show that you read about some of the firm’s pro bono work and, as an added bonus, give the interviewer a chance to speak from personal experience. This question can be along the lines of: “I read that the firm worked on X pro bono matter, which I thought was fascinating. Curious if your group works on any interesting pro bono matters.” Or, for #5: “I read that [x] has changed in [y] industry – curious if you’ve seen that in your practice.”