Interview strategy when your grades suck?

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Anonymous User
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Interview strategy when your grades suck?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:06 pm

So I was hoping to gather some advice from the ever-knowledgeable folks here on TLS

I go to a Top-20 school and got a 1L GPA of around 2.8. That definitely lands me below median, but hopefully not in the last quartile (although I'm probably close).

OCI coming up and I really want to land a SA position. Here are my selling points:

- I landed a competitive 1L summer job (not at a big firm)
- I have work experience with firms in different legal areas (namely securities and tax)
- I had a part-time job during 2nd semester of 1L
- Secondary Journal/moot court
- I am "diverse"

So I figured I would try to appeal to those hiring/recruitment officers at "less" competitive firms with the "I'm not good in the classroom but I work really hard and get sh** done" approach.

Any thoughts on my likelihood of success? Any strategies/tips for interviewing (if I am lucky enough to get one, of course).

I know I am screwed. I am trying to think positively here. Optimism is incredibly appreciated.

Thanks!!

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Moxie
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Re: Interview strategy when your grades suck?

Postby Moxie » Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:OCI coming up and I really want to land a SA position. Here are my selling points:

- I landed a competitive 1L summer job (not at a big firm)
- I have work experience with firms in different legal areas (namely securities and tax)
- I had a part-time job during 2nd semester of 1L
- Secondary Journal/moot court
- I am "diverse"


What does that mean?

Renzo
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Re: Interview strategy when your grades suck?

Postby Renzo » Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:45 am

1)Don't bring up grades.

2) If they bring up grades, don't make excuses, and don't dwell on the subject. Acknowledge them and move on to something you do/have done well.

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thesealocust
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Re: Interview strategy when your grades suck?

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:45 pm

Renzo's advice is great in the abstract, but I think with a 2.8 at a T20 your realistically should be planning a job search that does not involve OCI at all. I can't imagine you landing interviews, much less a job, via OCI in the current economic climate.

Renzo
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Re: Interview strategy when your grades suck?

Postby Renzo » Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:04 pm

thesealocust wrote:Renzo's advice is great in the abstract, but I think with a 2.8 at a T20 your realistically should be planning a job search that does not involve OCI at all. I can't imagine you landing interviews, much less a job, via OCI in the current economic climate.


This is all true and good advice; however, a "diverse" applicant who killed a screening interview might do better than grades would predict at OCI, so it's worth being ready for.

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thesealocust
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Re: Interview strategy when your grades suck?

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:08 pm

Renzo wrote:
thesealocust wrote:Renzo's advice is great in the abstract, but I think with a 2.8 at a T20 your realistically should be planning a job search that does not involve OCI at all. I can't imagine you landing interviews, much less a job, via OCI in the current economic climate.


This is all true and good advice; however, a "diverse" applicant who killed a screening interview might do better than grades would predict at OCI, so it's worth being ready for.


Don't all T20s have 100% preselect, curve to a 3.3, and have smaller interview programs? I mean you're definitely right if interviews happen, but unless I'm missing something I don't see how interviews (from OCI) happen.

Renzo
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Re: Interview strategy when your grades suck?

Postby Renzo » Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:10 pm

thesealocust wrote:
Renzo wrote:
thesealocust wrote:Renzo's advice is great in the abstract, but I think with a 2.8 at a T20 your realistically should be planning a job search that does not involve OCI at all. I can't imagine you landing interviews, much less a job, via OCI in the current economic climate.


This is all true and good advice; however, a "diverse" applicant who killed a screening interview might do better than grades would predict at OCI, so it's worth being ready for.


Don't all T20s have 100% preselect, curve to a 3.3, and have smaller interview programs? I mean you're definitely right if interviews happen, but unless I'm missing something I don't see how interviews (from OCI) happen.


I honestly don't know, but you could be right.

taxguy
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Re: Interview strategy when your grades suck?

Postby taxguy » Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:20 pm

I can only tell you what worked for me.

I did NOT attend a top 20 law school. My grades, while good, weren't stellar. However, I almost always got job offers if I could get an interview. Why?

The key is to convey that you are mature and competent and to communicate these factors in a confident manner. You would be surprised at how many interviewees don't show these factors. If you have a bit of personality, using some humor can be very useful. Remember, these partners want to hire people who can not only do the job, but they also want people that they want to work with.

Also, research any firm and positions that you will be interviewing for. For example, if you are looking for an internship, emphasize your ability to find anything through research and in your ability to write memos.. If you are interviewing for a full time litigation job, emphasize your litigation strengths, which might include your successful moot court experience. Again, try to be that round peg for their round hole.

Probably the most important tip that I can give you is to LISTEN to what the interviewers are saying. Put yourself into their shows. A good listener can pick up on what you need to say and how you need to act. Don't forget to dress for success, look good and smell good. Everything about you should exude polish and maturity.

Admittedly, this all happened about 30 years ago. However,these interviewing skills will serve you well even in today's environment.

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dood
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Re: Interview strategy when your grades suck?

Postby dood » Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:41 pm

thesealocust wrote:
Renzo wrote:
thesealocust wrote:Renzo's advice is great in the abstract, but I think with a 2.8 at a T20 your realistically should be planning a job search that does not involve OCI at all. I can't imagine you landing interviews, much less a job, via OCI in the current economic climate.


This is all true and good advice; however, a "diverse" applicant who killed a screening interview might do better than grades would predict at OCI, so it's worth being ready for.


Don't all T20s have 100% preselect, curve to a 3.3, and have smaller interview programs? I mean you're definitely right if interviews happen, but unless I'm missing something I don't see how interviews (from OCI) happen.


all this ^ is true for GW. last year people under median didnt get any, maybe 1 or 2.




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