is it ok to ask employer the reasons for rejection?

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cattail
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is it ok to ask employer the reasons for rejection?

Postby cattail » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:39 pm

I'm waiting to hear back from a biglaw after the screening interview (1L). they told me they would let me know within a week, but it's been a little over a week now. so i'm assuming a rejection. I am really interested in this firm and would want to work there for the 2L summer. Is it ok to ask them about the areas I can work on to have a better chance at the 2L program?

2LLLL
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Re: is it ok to ask employer the reasons for rejection?

Postby 2LLLL » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:42 pm

You can ask one of your interviewers, but I would wait until after you receive a formal rejection, and do so in a very polite manner. You probably want to approach the person in terms of looking for feedback and advice for your 1L and 2L summer job searches.

Though, since it was a 1L interview, the reason for rejection was probably that they interviewed 578959648 students for 1 position.

Renzo
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Re: is it ok to ask employer the reasons for rejection?

Postby Renzo » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:42 pm

Yes, but don't expect a useful answer. They're going to say something like, "your application was great, we just had too many qualified applicants and we had to make some tough choices. But, good luck."

Anonymous User
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Re: is it ok to ask employer the reasons for rejection?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:43 pm

No.

If things go really badly, your career services office can get in touch, but you never should on your own. Very unprofessional.

Recruiting is a little bit of kabuki, but it's pretty rare that there's anything in your short term control you can change. Firms get hundreds of applicants and probably only a small fraction are unqualified or bad. The key is standing out to get hired in a competitive field, and changing your answer to "what was your favorite 1L course" isn't likely to put you over the edge or have dinged you.

In terms of numbers, the firm I'm working at (big NYC firm, 2L recruiting) made ~5 offers from 80 interviews it did on campus. One firm I applied to (1L recruiting) did 20 interviews here plus more elsewhere and only made 1 offer. It's silly to assume you did anything wrong when you're rejected, it just means you weren't the perfect match.

Of course there are exceptions - you may have particularly bad demeanor or dress habits which career services could figure out for you and/or help correct (I've heard of this happening). But based on one firm not getting back to you within a week you're just like almost everyone else who applies to a firm: waiting nervously and not likely to get any good news or feedback.

Renzo
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Re: is it ok to ask employer the reasons for rejection?

Postby Renzo » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:No.

If things go really badly, your career services office can get in touch, but you never should on your own. Very unprofessional.

Recruiting is a little bit of kabooki, but it's pretty rare that there's anything in your short term control you can change. Firms get hundreds of applicants and probably only a small fraction are unqualified or bad. The key is standing out to get hired in a competitive field, and changing your answer to "what was your favorite 1L course" isn't likely to put you over the edge or have dinged you.

In terms of numbers, the firm I'm working at made ~5 offers from 80 interviews it did on campus. One firm I applied to did 20 interviews and made 1 offer. It's silly to assume you did anything wrong when you're rejected, it just means you weren't the perfect match.

Of course there are exceptions - you may have particularly bad demeanor or dress habits which career services could figure out for you and/or help correct (I've heard of this happening). But based on one firm not getting back to you within a week you're just like almost everyone else who applies to a firm: waiting nervously and not likely to get any good news or feedback.


1. This is nonsense. There is no reason in the world not to ask someone why they didn't hire you, and it is decidedly not "very unprofessional." Just ask google this question--you'll get dozens of reputable career advice sources telling you that you should ask.
2. It's Kabuki, not kabooki
3. No reason for anonymous

2LLLL
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Re: is it ok to ask employer the reasons for rejection?

Postby 2LLLL » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:50 pm

No.

If things go really badly, your career services office can get in touch, but you never should on your own. Very unprofessional.



Now that I read that OP only did a screening interview I partially agree with you. Not because I think it is unprofessional (I'd only try it with an alum of your LS or UG though), but simply because a 1L screening interviewer probably wouldn't have anything useful to say.

HOWEVER, as a 2L I reached out to the hiring partner of one of the firms that I had a callback interview with, and found that to be a very illuminating experience. The partner told me that he was glad I contacted him and offered to even take me to lunch to discuss. He gave me very good feedback on my interviewing style, including concrete and specific examples that I was able to put to use in a subsequent interview and land a law firm job for the summer. He also offered to call up some connections, which I ultimately didn't need because I found a job, but was really nice.

cattail
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:12 am

Re: is it ok to ask employer the reasons for rejection?

Postby cattail » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:54 pm

Renzo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:No.

If things go really badly, your career services office can get in touch, but you never should on your own. Very unprofessional.

Recruiting is a little bit of kabooki, but it's pretty rare that there's anything in your short term control you can change. Firms get hundreds of applicants and probably only a small fraction are unqualified or bad. The key is standing out to get hired in a competitive field, and changing your answer to "what was your favorite 1L course" isn't likely to put you over the edge or have dinged you.

In terms of numbers, the firm I'm working at made ~5 offers from 80 interviews it did on campus. One firm I applied to did 20 interviews and made 1 offer. It's silly to assume you did anything wrong when you're rejected, it just means you weren't the perfect match.

Of course there are exceptions - you may have particularly bad demeanor or dress habits which career services could figure out for you and/or help correct (I've heard of this happening). But based on one firm not getting back to you within a week you're just like almost everyone else who applies to a firm: waiting nervously and not likely to get any good news or feedback.


1. This is nonsense. There is no reason in the world not to ask someone why they didn't hire you, and it is decidedly not "very unprofessional." Just ask google this question--you'll get dozens of reputable career advice sources telling you that you should ask.
2. It's Kabuki, not kabooki
3. No reason for anonymous


lol. thanks!
I know it's probably just the sheer number of applicants. the thing is though, I was applying to a very specialized practice where I had some experience before. I felt that at the interview I did not show enough commitment to the sub practice area that they were trying to recruit (I didn't know better). I am curious to find out if it's b/c of my lack of commitment/ignorance/stupidity and if that hurts my chance at the 2nd summer.

cattail
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:12 am

Re: is it ok to ask employer the reasons for rejection?

Postby cattail » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:56 pm

2LLLL wrote:
No.

If things go really badly, your career services office can get in touch, but you never should on your own. Very unprofessional.



Now that I read that OP only did a screening interview I partially agree with you. Not because I think it is unprofessional (I'd only try it with an alum of your LS or UG though), but simply because a 1L screening interviewer probably wouldn't have anything useful to say.

HOWEVER, as a 2L I reached out to the hiring partner of one of the firms that I had a callback interview with, and found that to be a very illuminating experience. The partner told me that he was glad I contacted him and offered to even take me to lunch to discuss. He gave me very good feedback on my interviewing style, including concrete and specific examples that I was able to put to use in a subsequent interview and land a law firm job for the summer. He also offered to call up some connections, which I ultimately didn't need because I found a job, but was really nice.



this is very helpful info, thanks!

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Kohinoor
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Re: is it ok to ask employer the reasons for rejection?

Postby Kohinoor » Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:21 pm

2LLLL wrote:
No.

If things go really badly, your career services office can get in touch, but you never should on your own. Very unprofessional.



Now that I read that OP only did a screening interview I partially agree with you. Not because I think it is unprofessional (I'd only try it with an alum of your LS or UG though), but simply because a 1L screening interviewer probably wouldn't have anything useful to say.

HOWEVER, as a 2L I reached out to the hiring partner of one of the firms that I had a callback interview with, and found that to be a very illuminating experience. The partner told me that he was glad I contacted him and offered to even take me to lunch to discuss. He gave me very good feedback on my interviewing style, including concrete and specific examples that I was able to put to use in a subsequent interview and land a law firm job for the summer. He also offered to call up some connections, which I ultimately didn't need because I found a job, but was really nice.

Weird. I was under the impression that they were coached heavily to shut mouth to avoid lawsuits.

Younger Abstention
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Re: is it ok to ask employer the reasons for rejection?

Postby Younger Abstention » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:16 pm

^ Yeah, that is probably quite unusual. I have heard of a case where a guy who got rejected reached out to the firm and asked for criticism and they told him that his interviewing was awful... I'd rather hear that than not hear it.

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Kohinoor
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Re: is it ok to ask employer the reasons for rejection?

Postby Kohinoor » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:31 pm

Younger Abstention wrote:^ Yeah, that is probably quite unusual. I have heard of a case where a guy who got rejected reached out to the firm and asked for criticism and they told him that his interviewing was awful... I'd rather hear that than not hear it.

I was never able to coach myself to not yawn when bored.

2LLLL
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Re: is it ok to ask employer the reasons for rejection?

Postby 2LLLL » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:33 pm

Weird. I was under the impression that they were coached heavily to shut mouth to avoid lawsuits.



Yeah, I was kind of surprised at the candor I got. Really the only reasons that I felt comfortable reaching out was because (a) he went to my law school and talked it up during the interview, (b) he seemed like a really nice and outgoing guy whose ego would be somewhat stroked by me looking for advice, and (c) he was the hiring partner and I knew his part of the callback wasn't where I messed up.

That being said, you want your e-mail to this person to be in terms of what can I do going forward, asking for advice. If you come right out saying what did I do wrong you might blow it.

CanadianWolf
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Re: is it ok to ask employer the reasons for rejection?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:34 pm

Yes, but don't expect a truthful answer.

Journeybound
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Re: is it ok to ask employer the reasons for rejection?

Postby Journeybound » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:26 am

Yes, you can. After OCI this year my career services office told me to call up the recruiting managers and politely ask them for feedback. I was very nervous about doing so, but hey, I had nothing to loose. It turned out that all of the recruiting managers were very happy to help me out. They said that they would call me back within a few days, and most did. They had looked over the feedback written by the interviewers, and they commented on my weak and strong points. Anyways, I would recommend doing it as long as you are professional about it. And it is probably best to contact the recruiting manager of a firm, not the attorneys themselves.




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