1. What does a typical day in this role look like?
Ultimately you want to be able to imagine yourself doing the job, to have a clear picture of the different tasks you will do day-to-day, who you will interact with, what systems or tools you might use, what challenges are likely to come up, and what knowledge and skills you will use regularly. This will help you assess whether your interests and strengths will be well matched to this job. Examples of questions that work well here are:
• Can you please give me an idea of the variety of tasks I could expect on a daily basis?
• What matters would I be working on in the role?
• How much of my time would be spent on autonomous tasks versus team activities?
• What would success look like in this job – six months down the line?
2. What is it like to work in this organisation?
As well as understanding the accountabilities and tasks of the job itself, you will want to know what the work environment is like. People often refer to this as company culture, and it can be influenced by many factors such as how the company is structured, whether it is big or small, the physical workspace, and how different divisions and people interact with each other. Companies will often talk about the positives of their culture and values on their website, and the interview is a great way to find out how this resonates in the day-to-day. Try questions like:
• What do you think employees like best about working here?
• How do employees find out about important information from the leadership team?
• How would you describe the work environment?
• How do you think the company culture differs here, in comparison to other law firms?
• How does the organisation support employees with their professional development?
3. What is it like to work in this team?
A big part of any job is the interactions you have with your immediate team, including your manager. Usually you will have a chance throughout the interview process to meet the partners or senior associates, and sometimes you will also meet other team members. See this as a chance to observe their style as they interact with you, and to ask one or two questions about how they like to work. Remember that each team has their challenges, so rather than looking for perfection, reflect on whether you will get something positive from working with this team, whether it be a challenge, fun, cohesion or new skills. You may like to ask questions such as:
• Are you able to give me an idea of the different roles within the team and how they work
• How regularly does the team meet and what are the meetings like?
• What sort of background and skill sets already exist within the team?
• How would you describe your management style with the team?