Paraprofessionals play an important role in the success of many businesses and industries. Typically, such positions require less formal education or training than professional ones, and provide support and technical assistance to those with higher degrees. When interviewing for such a position, it is important to be prepared with answers to commonly asked questions, to show your employer you have what it takes to do the job correctly.
Your interviewer will almost certainly ask about your educational background. Although it is not necessary to have a four-year college degree for a paraprofessional position, an associate's degree, usually earned in two years, is common. Your resume will include your education, so the interviewer may not ask many specifics about your degrees.
Also, formal education may not be the only kind the interviewer values. If you have taken extra classes or courses directly related to the position for which you are applying, mention them, along with any skills or insight gleaned. Expect questions less about your education itself than about what you have learned from it, and how it can be applied to this job. Your interviewer may also ask to see proof of your education, so bring transcripts or signed letters from a registrar to the interview.
Another common interview question for paraprofessionals is about their experience. Again, the specifics are on your resume. The interviewer will want to know whether your experience has prepared you to understand the common tasks and challenges of the specific job you are seeking.
Answer by trying to relate your previous experience as directly as possible to the job for which you are applying. Such things as customer service experience, skill in working with people, and knowledge of special processes such as medical billing codes and handling invoices are worth mentioning, depending on the type of paraprofessional job you are seeking.
Paraprofessionals usually do not work in a vacuum; they often function as part of a team. Not only must you be ready and willing to help the professional herself, but you are often on the front lines in dealing with conflicting demands from clients and other staff members. Most employers want to hire "team players." They may ask you to give an example of a problem that arose between people at your last job and how you solved it, or would have solved it if you had the authority. Be sure your answer reflects positive thinking and comfort in working with others.