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In a panel interview, What kind of questions do you ask associates at the end of an interview? I am prepared with questions for the partners, but what do you really ask the senior associates in the team?

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If interviewing for an associate role, I generally turn to the associate on the interview panel with questions like (worded a little cleaner): Can you give me a run down of what an associate’s typical day-to-day at this firm looks like? As an associate, are you looking for (or hoping to avoid) any particular traits in your fellow associates? What do you think a successful associate looks like at this firm?

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Pretty much any question you have about what is expected of you. Types of assignments they’ve gotten. Any challenges they’ve experienced and how they overcame them. Integration. For partners I try to limit it to the practice area, the types of matters they’re handling, what types of matters they expect I’ll work on, what makes a valuable and successful associate, etc.

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Ask how they chose their practice group, what types of clients they prefer to work with and why, where they see the industry going, how they manage mid and junior associates, how often they see their spouse & children. Kidding on the last one. Sorta.

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Day-to-day work, communication up and down the chain, group dynamic, etc. really anything

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Associates want to work with people they like so I would ask questions that show your interest in having strong working relationships with other associates and wanting to work with great people who are empowering, supportive and likeable. For instance, you could say "I would love to hear more about how the associates in this practice group support one another professionally and personally" OR "I would love to hear more about the associate work culture at the firm and within this practice group. Do you feel like there is a strong sense of community amongst your peers? To what extent do associates empower and support one another?"

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I always ask people what they’re working on to get a sense of the cases or matters at the firm. Those answers can lead to how matters are staffed, what sorts of responsibilities different level associates are given, cultural issues, etc.

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We recently had interviews for another associate in my practice area. I frequently got asked what my day-to-day looked like, how I got work assigned to me, how feedback is given, etc. Basically questions about being an associate.

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I was fine with the questions. I view the interview process as a two-way street. While we need to figure out if they’ll be a good fit, I want to be confident that they think we’re a good fit too. But I’m not in biglaw, we’re a regional office of a 75+ atty firm so I’m looking more for fit than checking boxes.

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