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Court Clerk Interview
Questions

25 Questions and Answers by Heather Douglass

Updated August 20th, 2018 | Heather has over 20 years experience recruiting and hiring candidates,
specifically in the health care industry.
Job Interviews     Careers     Government    
Question 1 of 25
How do you handle stressful situations?
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How to Answer
Stress management will be essential for you to be able to handle tight deadlines, massive amounts of paperwork and demanding clients. Before answering this question, think of some tools that have helped you manage your stress. What will you do when you can't take a break when you need it? How will you stay calm when dealing with those challenging personalities? Share any helpful techniques that you use every day to remain clear-headed in some of the most stressful scenarios.
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Answer Examples
1.
How do you handle stressful situations?
Stress management will be essential for you to be able to handle tight deadlines, massive amounts of paperwork and demanding clients. Before answering this question, think of some tools that have helped you manage your stress. What will you do when you can't take a break when you need it? How will you stay calm when dealing with those challenging personalities? Share any helpful techniques that you use every day to remain clear-headed in some of the most stressful scenarios.

Heather's Answer #1
"I've learned not to take words or actions of stressed clients personally. Even when I'm feeling rushed or overwhelmed by a deadline and being pulled in too many directions, I can ground myself to ensure that my work is correct and properly filed."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"If I am faced with stressful situations I've found that asking for help is beneficial. Being able to share the load makes the situation easier. In return, I am always willing to help my colleagues when they need it."
Anonymous Answer
"First, I prioritize my work. Make sticky notes referring to them to remember the next important task and start working on it. I resorted to quick snacks like dry fruits while working and step out of the public eye to flex my muscles and kept myself hydrated and take a couple of minutes to visit the washroom and wash my face and eyes to deal with the computer screen. Just simple measures that make a huge difference and help me rejuvenate and get back on track."
Rachelle's Answer
Your dedication to your work is unmatched! This answer shows an enormous amount of care and loyalty to your responsibilities.
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Anonymous Answer
"I handle stressful situations by making lists and making a plan. It’s easy to get caught up in a stressful situation when you don’t have a vision on how to complete something. Coming up with a plan from the beginning can be your own personal guide. Sometimes those plans may not turn out how you expect them to, so it’s important not to be afraid to ask for help."
Rachelle's Answer
A great approach to handling stress! Asking for help, and being prepared are very good answers. Well done.
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2.
How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?
The interviewer would like to know if you are satisfied with your interview performance. Be honest when you answer this. If there have been awkward lulls in your interview, or poor answers, you both know that it has happened. Own up to those moments and do your best to recover!

If you feel that your performance in the interview is going well: "I believe that this interview has been quite informative and I am happy with my performance. Is there anything that I can clarify for you from this conversation?"
Heather's Answer #1
"I believe that this interview has been quite informative and I am happy with my performance. Is there anything that I can clarify for you from this conversation?"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"If you feel that your performance in the interview is not going well: "I am not sure if I have been able to portray myself 100% accurately in this interview; although, I am trying my best. If there is anything more that I can clarify for you, I would be happy to do so."
Anonymous Answer
"I believe that this interview is going well so far. Is there anything that you would like me to clarify from the previous questions?"
Rachelle's Answer
Perfect!
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3.
Have you ever broken a confidentiality agreement?
Companies will have confidentiality agreements for a variety of reasons. These could be to protect their trade secrets or to ensure that you do not bring clients over on the occasion that you leave their company. Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on confidentiality agreements.

Heather's Answer #1
"I never have, to my knowledge, broken a confidentiality agreement. Despite my reasons for leaving a position, I would never choose to hurt a previous employer in any way."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"No. I have only once had a confidentiality agreement and had no problem adhering to it."
Anonymous Answer
"I have never broken a confidentiality agreement. Confidentiality, especially in this line of work, is very important."
Rachelle's Answer
It's great that you took the time to solidify the importance of confidentiality in this line of work. Good answer!
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4.
Tell me about your experience managing confidential information.
As a court clerk, you have worked in clinical or legal positions where you were responsible for managing client information. Tell the interviewer about administrative roles dealing with health, security or government information. When you talk about your experience, be sure to discuss how it pertains to the job description. You can also show off your skills and strengths by highlighting your accomplishments or awards for your performance and consistency.

Heather's Answer #1
"When managing confidential information I'm careful to follow state and federal laws of securing documentation. I always hand -deliver documentation within the building as well as properly storing it in my office."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I handle all my paperwork and information confidentially. My job is to safeguard the information that I'm managing and preparing for cases."
Anonymous Answer
"My experience as a Legal Assistant and Human Resources Assistant have given me a great deal of experience handling confidential information. Everyone deserves confidentiality. I do have experience using software designed for safeguarding as well."
Alexandra's Answer
This is a good answer. I would expand on what types of information you had to keep confidential (financial, personal, legal info). Expanding on specifics helps create a stronger visual for the interviewer, and those specific examples could make it easy for the interviewer to connect your experience to the requirements of the job for which you are interviewing.
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Anonymous Answer
"While interning at the police department and juvenile detention center, I dealt with confidential information all the time. Living here for most of my life, there were, of course, names and people that I recognized. It was important for me not to share information of every name and case I came across with outsiders for their confidentiality and the confidentiality and trust of the organizations."
Rachelle's Answer
Your answer showcases your strong ability to use discretion - a very good response! I like that you are adding specific examples when answering your questions. This approach helps to bring your background to life, for the interviewer.
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5.
How many days were you absent from work last year?
A part of being a diligent employee is to ensure that you are always on time and present when expected. It's great to even be 10 minutes early rather than just showing up right on the dot. Talk to the interviewer about your attendance.

Heather's Answer #1
"I had zero unexcused absences last year. In total, I took 12 vacation days out of my 15 allotted days. I was sick just 2, and a note from my doctor accompanied those. Once I was late due to a terrible snow storm, and I always try to be 10 minutes early for my shift."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I cannot recall the exact number, but I think it was around three days total. All absences were excused and with notice."
6.
Why do you want this job?
Interviewers just want to hear that you are committed to this role and that you intend to be there long-term. A simple 'I want this job' can do more for you than you may think!

Show the interviewer that you are committed to this interview by discussing what you learned from their website and talking about what intrigues you about the role. Openly share with the interviewer why this job is the best opportunity for you.

Heather's Answer #1
"I want this job. Aside from it being close to my home, this role aligns perfectly with my post-secondary training and long-term career interests. If you were to offer me this role, you would not be disappointed."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am looking for a great start to my career as a court clerk and have heard excellent things about your team. I believe this is the best possible start to my career, and I look forward to showing you what I can do!"
Anonymous Answer
"I want to improve the quality of service by providing the public who comes to the court with respect and professionalism through the use of my skills and knowledge."
Alexandra's Answer
Great answer! This question is meant to gauge your interest in the position. Interviewers want to move forward with candidates who are excited and passionate about the position.
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Anonymous Answer
"The process of court proceedings has interested me since I was able to witness them myself. I believe that this is a very important line of work within the criminal justice system to move along criminal procedures. I believe that my passion for being involved in this community and my passion for starting a career within the criminal justice system will take me far here."
Rachelle's Answer
A wonderful response that steers very far from the generic answers that most candidates give. Great detail and reasoning.
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7.
Most people that come into the court room already have a high level of stress, how will you treat them to help calm their nerves?
The interviewer is asking this question to hear how you handle stressful situations and difficult personalities. As a court clerk, you handle stressed out, angry or frustrated individuals on a regular basis. Explain any experience you have either in an office environment or a customer service role. Tell the interviewer some ways you help others to feel more relaxed. What qualities do you have that others find helpful when they are experiencing stress or anxiety? Having a calm demeanor and thick skin can help you deal with some of the most difficult people and situations. Share your experience and show off your strengths!

Heather's Answer #1
"When clients are visibly stressed when they enter the courtroom, I take a moment to remind them to take a breath and relax quietly. I let them know that I'm there for them and just to ask if they need anything. I've found by simply reassuring the client it brings their stress level down."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Coming prepared and not frazzled shows the client that you are organized and ready to tackle their case. Being able to focus on them and not the fact that you are unorganized puts them at ease."
Anonymous Answer
"I would treat them with patience and make sure they feel that they are being listened to. Many people can calmly say how they feel when they are being heard and that they are your main priority at the moment. The disconnect happens when those you are dealing with can sense any distraction or indifference."
Rachelle's Answer
Your answer shows a lot of awareness when it comes to the psychology behind people and communication. Very well done!
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Anonymous Answer
"I would assure the client to relax and take a deep breath and that I will be here if I can be at any help to them."
Rachelle's Answer
Knowing they have help is often very calming. It seems you are caring and patient!
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8.
How has your post-secondary education prepared you for this job?
While attending post-secondary studies, you likely learned some core skills that would be transferable to any position. Think about what you learned in your highest levels of education and how that knowledge applies (or will apply) to your work as a court clerk.

Some of these skills could include:

- Time Management
- Creative Thinking
- Business Writing
- Public Speaking
- Presentation Building
- Independent Learning
- Academic Research
- Self-Motivation

Heather's Answer #1
"I've earned my BS in Criminology and utilized my degree in my last court clerk position. In addition to understanding the legal jargon and other components related to this career path, my post-secondary education also molded my abilities in research, writing, and communication."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I just finished my degree in Criminology. In addition to the knowledge base, I also learned excellent time management and research habits. I look forward to being able to use my degree and my last year of volunteer experience at this courthouse."
Anonymous Answer
"I graduated SAIT with a legal assistant diploma in 2016. I have learned many areas of law, such as criminal, family, wills and estate, real estate, and litigation, as well as legal software, legal writing, and typing."
Rachelle's Answer
Nice details! Listing some of your coursework will help the interviewer to see exactly where your knowledge is a fit.
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Anonymous Answer
"I received my bachelor’s in psychology and my master’s in criminal justice. I did this because I believe when dealing with people, you not only have to know the criminal justice system, but you also have to know how to interact with those within the system. The combination of these two degrees prepares me for the interpersonal communication aspects and the knowledge of the misdemeanor offenses that are dealt with here."
Rachelle's Answer
Your formal education seems perfectly aligned with this career path. I like that you come from a place of wanting to understand others vs. the clout of a specific degree. This approach shows sincerity.
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9.
In any team you have people that do not perform. How do you manage an under-performer?
As a court clerk, you may have had the opportunity to supervise an individual that you found challenging. Briefly discuss why this employee was challenging without using their name or too many details. Similar to questions asking about problem-solving or when you made a mistake, focus your answer on the solution. Your reaction to the situation is far more important to the interviewer than the problem itself. Explain your approach and why you decided to handle the situation in that manner.

Heather's Answer #1
"When I encounter a difficult employee, especially in a group setting, I like to observe the situation so I can evaluate the members' strengths. Once identified I could re-direct them to work on something that they will excel at instead of bringing down the team."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have not had the opportunity to be a manager as of yet; however, I would handle an under-performing employee the way I have observed my professors working with under-performing students. You give them the tools to succeed; however, you cannot hold their hand through the entire process."
Anonymous Answer
"If someone is under-performing, it is important to observe why that may be. The position you have them in may not be beneficial to the team. When managing a team, it is important to take into consideration everyone’s strengths and apply them where they will excel."
Rachelle's Answer
Your answer shows a willingness to work with others based on strengths rather than instantly moving to frustration or assuming they are incapable. This shows maturity and a great ability to work in a team environment where skill levels vary.
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10.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
It's impossible to know where you will be in 5 years but do assure the interviewer that, given all possible circumstances, you could see yourself as a long-term fit for their position.

Heather's Answer #1
"Ideally, five years from now, I would love to see myself growing into a more prominent leadership role within the court system. My career interests align very nicely with your company's goals which helps me to see a great long-term fit here."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"In 5 years I would like to be seen as an authority in the clerk department. I would like to be well-connected and trusted when it comes to my work here."
Anonymous Answer
"In 5 years, I'd like to be seen as someone with deep expertise with my Bachelors, and I know that's something that I'll have an opportunity to do here."
Alexandra's Answer
Good answer! It might be helpful to expand on your goals within this specific position. Do you want to use your expertise to move up in this role or help train new court clerks? By putting your goals in the frame of the position/company you're interviewing for, it shows the interviewer that you have the desire to grow there.
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Anonymous Answer
"Five years from now, I see myself progressing my way through the court system, whether that be advancing to a leadership position or deciding to pursue a law degree and becoming a judge one day."
Rachelle's Answer
You sound very ambitious! The interviewer should be happy to hear that your career goals go far but still within this line of work.
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11.
How would you describe your work ethic?
When the interviewer asks about your work ethic, they are looking for specific examples or keywords they can relate to. When you read the job posting or job description, do they refer to particular organizational ethics? Talk about their values and how those align well with your personal work values.

Heather's Answer #1
"I am a very dedicated and loyal employee. I saw on your website that you describe your vision as honest, transparent and you go the extra mile for your clients. My work ethic is the same. I am honest, flexible, and come ready to work hard for my employer every day."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am honest, dependable, and hard working. I am sure that any of my coworkers would agree."
Anonymous Answer
"I would describe my work ethic as reliable, dedicated, and driven. I think that all of my previous employers would say the same as well."
Rachelle's Answer
Well done! It's a nice addition to mention how your employers would agree.
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12.
When entering a new job, describe how you build relationships with your new coworkers and supervisors.
Due to a wide variety of personalities, relationships can take time to form. How do you ensure that you have a strong line of communication with your co-workers and supervisors, right from the start?

Heather's Answer #1
"I understand that some relationships come quickly and others take time to nurture. When starting a new job all that I can do is be my true self and let my personality, integrity, and reliability speak for itself."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I show up on time and dressed appropriately. I spend as much time as I can getting to know my new coworkers and telling them about myself and my family. It is important to understand people on a bit of a personal level to know how to approach them."
Anonymous Answer
"When entering new jobs, I build relationships by earning trust. I do this by proving that I am reliable, capable of being a team player, and honest in my interactions. Without having trust in your coworkers and supervisors, it can be difficult to find common ground to be able to work together successfully."
Rachelle's Answer
Your approach to building relationships sounds genuine and respectful. Very nice answer.
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13.
Describe your experience working in a court environment. What do you like about it? What do you dislike?
The interviewer wants to know more about your work history. When asked by the interviewer about your career, focus on the positive! Explain how this environment is a perfect fit for you as you talk about what you enjoy. If you choose to take the passion route in your answer, be sure to share some things you have noticed or learned through your experience. When you share anything you dislike, make it constructive. Try not to focus on aspects of the environment that are trivial.

Heather's Answer #1
"I have had an extremely positive experience in my court clerk career so far. My interest in the judicial system and being a part of something that can make a greater impact is so meaningful to me. Every job has its ups and downs but, honestly, I prefer to focus on the meaningful and fulfilling parts of this career path."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have one year of experience as a court clerk. Because I'm a very organized and detailed oriented person, I enjoy being able to pull of the documentation for the case and review it for accuracy. I dislike the long hours it can create, but it is all worth it at the end."
Anonymous Answer
"While I do not have experience working in a court environment, I do have experience being in a court environment. While interning with the police department, I got opportunities to get a behind the scenes look on the process that leads to trials, including the processing evidence and the process of selecting a jury. I also got opportunities to see the process of cases that did not go to trial. I appreciated seeing everything that needs to take place before some cases can make it to the courtroom."
Rachelle's Answer
It sounds like you have a very well rounded view of what's happening in the court environment, and everything that goes on in plain sight, and behind the scenes. This is an excellent response that should make any interviewer feel very confident in your abilities!
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14.
Give me an example that demonstrates your attention to detail.
Attention to detail is vital to your role as a court clerk. You will be managing essential documents and information that affects individuals livelihood as well as businesses and government entities. Assure the interviewer that you embody precision and accuracy.

Heather's Answer #1
"I noticed an error in a legal document just hours before the deadline when I was proofing the info for a big case. It was missing some information, and I could not get a hold of the lawyer. I searched my records and pulled my resources to fill in the missing information."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"When completing my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice, I am proud to say that I graduated top of my class. My attention to detail, ability to meet deadlines and particular research skills are what earned me that status."
Anonymous Answer
"I noticed significant errors on multiple legal documents as I was walking to the courthouse ready to file. I went back to the office looking for the lawyer, but he steps out for a scheduled meeting. Right then, I opened the electronic records and began fixing the mistakes, and filed before closing time."
Alexandra's Answer
Great answer! This shows that you have attention to detail and were proactive in fixng the error.
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Anonymous Answer
"I completed half of my undergraduate courses online, and all of my graduate courses online and attention to detail was very important. When completing online courses, it was essential to pay attention to all the instructions given for an assignment or exams so that you could successfully submit the assignments. It is very easy for things to get lost in translation when you are not communicating with someone face to face. For that reason, it was important to read, re-read, write down, and confirm when unsure of a certain set of instructions. With my experience working with children all these years, attention to detail is the most important factor. When parents trust you enough to leave their children with you, they trust you to pay attention to the little details that they tell you when they drop their kids off. They trust you to understand any allergies their children may have or any activities that their children can’t participate in. Those details are very important in making sure that not only are the parents satisfied but the children are happy as well."
Rachelle's Answer
This is a very complete answer that not only shows your ability to be organized but also meticulous and aware of the needs of others. Nicely done!
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15.
What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
As a successful court clerk, you have many accomplishments. Tell the interviewer that you set goals for yourself and work towards achieving them. Show that you can follow through and that you are ambitious. Give an example of an achievement that shows these characteristics of yourself. Think about a project or a training you completed that was challenging and share your process for tackling the challenge.

Heather's Answer #1
"When I enrolled in college to become a court clerk I knew it would take me awhile as I was only able to attend night classes. I gave myself a time frame for school and was realistic about how I would be able to complete the training while working full time. I set a deadline for when I wanted to complete my certification and studied hard to get there."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My greatest accomplishment has been getting back into school and preparing to enter law school. I have a few years to go, but I'm excited to reach that next goal that I've set."
Anonymous Answer
"My greatest accomplishment has been getting back to school to work on my Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice Administration."
Alexandra's Answer
Cool answer! Be prepared to explain why this is your biggest accomplishment - what about it is special and makes you proud? That's what I would ask if I were the interviewer.
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Anonymous Answer
"My greatest accomplishment so far is getting my master’s in criminal justice. I decided to complete it online so that I could also work, and it was the most rewarding experience I’ve had so far. I learned a lot about commitment and dedication towards myself and the things that I wanted to accomplish throughout the program."
Rachelle's Answer
Good for you! This is a fantastic accomplishment that you should be very proud of. Completing a master's online takes a lot of discipline, so this characteristic will undoubtedly shine through.
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25 Court Clerk Interview Questions
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Interview Questions
  1. How do you handle stressful situations?
  2. How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?
  3. Have you ever broken a confidentiality agreement?
  4. Tell me about your experience managing confidential information.
  5. How many days were you absent from work last year?
  6. Why do you want this job?
  7. Most people that come into the court room already have a high level of stress, how will you treat them to help calm their nerves?
  8. How has your post-secondary education prepared you for this job?
  9. In any team you have people that do not perform. How do you manage an under-performer?
  10. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
  11. How would you describe your work ethic?
  12. When entering a new job, describe how you build relationships with your new coworkers and supervisors.
  13. Describe your experience working in a court environment. What do you like about it? What do you dislike?
  14. Give me an example that demonstrates your attention to detail.
  15. What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
  16. Why should we hire you as our next court clerk?
  17. How do you determine priorities when you have multiple projects due?
  18. How would you describe your written communication skills?
  19. Explain how you handle jurors in a trial.
  20. Do you prefer doing work on a routine day-to-day basis or do you prefer mixing up your routine occasionally?
  21. Tell me about your leadership qualities.
  22. Tell me about a time when you had to research a problem. How did you identify the best solution?
  23. Tell me about a challenge you faced as a court clerk. How did you overcome it?
  24. Give me an example of a time when you had to be extra diligent in order to meet a deadline.
  25. How many words can you type per minute? How accurate are you at that speed?
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