ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

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ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:23 am

Rising 3Ls, please let us noobs know.

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Re: ITT List questions they ask at OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:26 am

What made you want to go to law school?

Tell me about [x item on your resume].

Why [city this firm is located in]?

How do you feel about [y practice area]/ What practice areas are you interested in?

What was your favorite class?

Tell us about a time when [insert classic behavioral situation].

Do you have any questions for me?

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Re: ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:54 am

The above plus:

Why this firm?

What do you like to do outside of work/school?

Be prepared with solid answers to all of those questions, but don't make it seem rehearsed.

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edcrane
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Re: ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby edcrane » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:01 am

Also . . .

"What was the most challenging assignment you worked on over the summer?"

"What has been the most difficult aspect of law school for you?"

"What practice areas are you interested in?"

Infrequently:

"What would your friends say is your greatest weakness?" or some variant of this question.

"Why did you go to law school?"/"Why do you want to become a lawyer?"

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Re: ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby rando » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:15 am

the above are pretty solid...

What is the topic of your LR note? (that one threw me for a loop)

What is your leadership style?

Tell me about a time you screwed up and how did you fix it?

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Re: ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby 270910 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:19 am

Keep in mind that the order of these questions can make all the difference. It's one thing to get "Any questions?" 19 minutes into a 20 minute screener. It's another to get "So what can I tell you about the firm?" after the handshake but before you've sat down.

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Re: ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby rando » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:25 am

disco_barred wrote: "So what can I tell you about the firm?" after the handshake but before you've sat down.


The worst.

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Re: ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby Cavalier » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:27 am

tag

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Re: ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby Whitestone » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:55 am

disco_barred wrote:Keep in mind that the order of these questions can make all the difference. It's one thing to get "Any questions?" 19 minutes into a 20 minute screener. It's another to get "So what can I tell you about the firm?" after the handshake but before you've sat down.

What difference would that be?

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Re: ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby nealric » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:01 am

What difference would that be?


If they get to the "What can we tell you about the firm" at the beginning of the interview- it means they don't care about you- which means they aren't interested. More of an issue when there has been no pre-screening.

Protip: if they do that, just get them to talk about themselves. Usually, they will tell war stories for the 20 minutes. At least it makes the time go faster.


Other things: you may be asked to explain a bad grade, or you may be asked to talk about your journal (or lack thereof). Another common question was, so I see your GPA is x.xx, any idea where that places you in the ranking? This often happened when they had an excellent idea where my GPA was in the rankings because they had the top 33%/15%/10% honors cutoffs in front of them. Not sure why, I guess they were testing honesty.

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Re: ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby 270910 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:10 am

Re: the "So what can I tell you about the firm?" question as the first one - it's very hard to ask questions about firms. It's doable and you have to, but it takes a bit of research and they all sort of run together at some point. So you're instantly put on the spot. It also strongly indicates, as nealric pointed out, that the interviewer kind of doesn't give a shit and isn't really interviewing you. Maybe it's their style, but maybe they also clearly aren't interested and just need to pass the time.

nealric wrote:Another common question was, so I see your GPA is x.xx, any idea where that places you in the ranking? This often happened when they had an excellent idea where my GPA was in the rankings because they had the top 33%/15%/10% honors cutoffs in front of them. Not sure why, I guess they were testing honesty.


Now that is powerfully strange.

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Re: ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby d34d9823 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:15 am

disco_barred wrote:
nealric wrote:Another common question was, so I see your GPA is x.xx, any idea where that places you in the ranking? This often happened when they had an excellent idea where my GPA was in the rankings because they had the top 33%/15%/10% honors cutoffs in front of them. Not sure why, I guess they were testing honesty.


Now that is powerfully strange.

It could be one of those "are you taking this seriously" questions, but that would still be weird because obviously everyone is taking it seriously.

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Re: ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby 270910 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:16 am

d34dluk3 wrote:
disco_barred wrote:
nealric wrote:Another common question was, so I see your GPA is x.xx, any idea where that places you in the ranking? This often happened when they had an excellent idea where my GPA was in the rankings because they had the top 33%/15%/10% honors cutoffs in front of them. Not sure why, I guess they were testing honesty.


Now that is powerfully strange.

It could be one of those "are you taking this seriously" questions, but that would still be weird because obviously everyone is taking it seriously.


I'd be tempted to give a pithy "I don't spend time thinking about my rank in comparison with my peers, I just put forth my best effort. I think I'm above the _____ cutoff though so I'm satisfied with my efforts."

Pretending not to be neurotic FT(W/L)?

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Re: ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby NYAssociate » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:19 am

.
Last edited by NYAssociate on Tue Oct 05, 2010 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby Waterman47 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:21 am

rando wrote:
disco_barred wrote: "So what can I tell you about the firm?" after the handshake but before you've sat down.


The worst.


I think even worse than that is "why do you want to work for this firm?" With the "what do you want to know question," you can ask fairly generic questions about SA program, and it puts the ball back in their court and hopefully they'll ramble for 20 minutes. But the "why us" question puts the burden on you to say something that won't make you look like an idiot.

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Re: ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby d34d9823 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:22 am

Waterman47 wrote:
rando wrote:
disco_barred wrote: "So what can I tell you about the firm?" after the handshake but before you've sat down.


The worst.


I think even worse than that is "why do you want to work for this firm?" With the "what do you want to know question," you can ask fairly generic questions about SA program, and it puts the ball back in their court. But the "why us" question puts the burden on you to say something that won't make you look like an idiot.

Just say that they're the highest Vault ranked firm that you got an interview with :P

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Re: ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby Corsair » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:12 pm

..

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Re: ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby let/them/eat/cake » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:24 pm

NYAssociate wrote:Was never asked the rank question. And if I ever were asked it, I'd simply say "my school does not rank and gives us no estimation of where we stand, so I can't answer that question."

But it's safe to assume that if you are at a T14, the firm interviewing you has at least a very rough idea of your rank. I don't understand why they'd ask that question.


but obviously you can answer the question, at least approximately. you are able to. students won't answer the question bc CSO has told us not to answer the question.

that being said, firms must know after all these years when a school does not officially rank its students and tells its students not to give an approximate rank to interviewers, so it's rather silly that they even ask.

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Re: ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby Waterman47 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:26 pm

let/them/eat/cake wrote:
NYAssociate wrote:Was never asked the rank question. And if I ever were asked it, I'd simply say "my school does not rank and gives us no estimation of where we stand, so I can't answer that question."

But it's safe to assume that if you are at a T14, the firm interviewing you has at least a very rough idea of your rank. I don't understand why they'd ask that question.


but obviously you can answer the question, at least approximately. you are able to. students won't answer the question bc CSO has told us not to answer the question.


Not true. You could find out the answer if you do some research or hit up career services, etc. But if you don't make an effort to find out where you rank, it's quite possible for you to have no idea of your rank other than above/below/at median. And the employer can figure that out just as well as you can.

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Re: ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby General Tso » Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:05 pm

Cavalier wrote:tag


i thought tagging had been outlawed? better watch yo back

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Re: ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby profs<3mycomments » Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:13 pm

Any more? I am currently cutting and pasting these into a Word document and writing bullet points by each. Great thread so far.

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Re: ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby 270910 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:15 pm

profs<3mycomments wrote:Any more? I am currently cutting and pasting these into a Word document and writing bullet points by each. Great thread so far.


That's smartish, but if you want to be really ready make sure you go beyond written prep. TCR is to sit your ass down infront of a mirror and just talk or have somebody feed you questions. Practice makes perfect. You want to be flexible and to give speeches, but having said these things a few times will make you come across as much quicker on your feet / articulate.

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Re: ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby let/them/eat/cake » Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:18 pm

Waterman47 wrote:
let/them/eat/cake wrote:
NYAssociate wrote:Was never asked the rank question. And if I ever were asked it, I'd simply say "my school does not rank and gives us no estimation of where we stand, so I can't answer that question."

But it's safe to assume that if you are at a T14, the firm interviewing you has at least a very rough idea of your rank. I don't understand why they'd ask that question.


but obviously you can answer the question, at least approximately. you are able to. students won't answer the question bc CSO has told us not to answer the question.


Not true. You could find out the answer if you do some research or hit up career services, etc. But if you don't make an effort to find out where you rank, it's quite possible for you to have no idea of your rank other than above/below/at median. And the employer can figure that out just as well as you can.


very true, wasn't trying to argue that. just pointing out that anybody with a z-table, some cut-offs and a brain could give themselves a fairly accurate approximation of their rank in a manner of minutes. i would think people, even at schools that don't rank students, would be curious and want to know something more concrete than above/below median. just not knowing and playing coy with interviewers bc of school policy are two different things.

in any case, i doubt the question comes up that often bc interviewers, as was mentioned, have a rough idea from experience anyway, and probably know that schools instruct students to play dumb.

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Re: ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby badpixie » Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:45 pm

disco_barred wrote:Re: the "So what can I tell you about the firm?" question as the first one - it's very hard to ask questions about firms. It's doable and you have to, but it takes a bit of research and they all sort of run together at some point. So you're instantly put on the spot. It also strongly indicates, as nealric pointed out, that the interviewer kind of doesn't give a shit and isn't really interviewing you. Maybe it's their style, but maybe they also clearly aren't interested and just need to pass the time.


FWIW, having spent several years in HR and recruiting (non-legal), I have used the "So what can I tell you...?" question early in interviews to get a sense for how prepared the candidate was. It's a way of saying "tell me what you know about my company so I know you're serious" without coming across as a jerk. There have been many times over the years that I'd get a feeling that the person had applied for any and every possible position, had showed up for the interview just because they were told they'd gotten an appointment, and didn't bother to even look at the firm name until they were in the lobby trying to figure out which floor they needed to go to. (Sadly, I've had candidates come into an interview not even knowing what the position was, because they were sending resumes out so broadly, or because their recruiter was.) This type of question helped weed out the people who wanted to work for us, as opposed to those who just wanted a job. A good response to this question can even elevate a candidate who is borderline on paper, and give them a real shot at the position.

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Re: ITT List questions employers ask at OCI

Postby 270910 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:47 pm

badpixie wrote:
disco_barred wrote:Re: the "So what can I tell you about the firm?" question as the first one - it's very hard to ask questions about firms. It's doable and you have to, but it takes a bit of research and they all sort of run together at some point. So you're instantly put on the spot. It also strongly indicates, as nealric pointed out, that the interviewer kind of doesn't give a shit and isn't really interviewing you. Maybe it's their style, but maybe they also clearly aren't interested and just need to pass the time.


FWIW, having spent several years in HR and recruiting (non-legal), I have used the "So what can I tell you...?" question early in interviews to get a sense for how prepared the candidate was. It's a way of saying "tell me what you know about my company so I know you're serious" without coming across as a jerk. There have been many times over the years that I'd get a feeling that the person had applied for any and every possible position, had showed up for the interview just because they were told they'd gotten an appointment, and didn't bother to even look at the firm name until they were in the lobby trying to figure out which floor they needed to go to. (Sadly, I've had candidates come into an interview not even knowing what the position was, because they were sending resumes out so broadly, or because their recruiter was.) This type of question helped weed out the people who wanted to work for us, as opposed to those who just wanted a job. A good response to this question can even elevate a candidate who is borderline on paper, and give them a real shot at the position.


That makes a lot of sense. Just because it makes for a higher stakes preparation and potential uncomfortable interview moment doesn't mean it isn't very valuable for the employer. Something else to add to the "to do" / "to practice" list.




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