OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273572
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:22 pm

On interviews I usually bring a black folder thing with my resume, transcript etc.. and some notes on the place im interviewing with. I usually open it up and have a pen in my hand during the interview and sometimes take some notes. I was told not to have anything with me for the OCI interviews from career advisor. Is this TCR?

I just feel having something in front of me makes me feel more comfortable, and I don't see why its a bad thing?

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby Helmholtz » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:On interviews I usually bring a black folder thing with my resume, transcript etc.. and some notes on the place im interviewing with. I usually open it up and have a pen in my hand during the interview and sometimes take some notes. I was told not to have anything with me for the OCI interviews from career advisor. Is this TCR?

I just feel having something in front of me makes me feel more comfortable, and I don't see why its a bad thing?


Not sure if serious.....

But if so: seriously, do not take notes during the interview.

03121202698008
Posts: 3002
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:07 am

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby 03121202698008 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:25 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:On interviews I usually bring a black folder thing with my resume, transcript etc.. and some notes on the place im interviewing with. I usually open it up and have a pen in my hand during the interview and sometimes take some notes. I was told not to have anything with me for the OCI interviews from career advisor. Is this TCR?

I just feel having something in front of me makes me feel more comfortable, and I don't see why its a bad thing?


Not sure if serious.....

But if so: seriously, do not take notes during the interview.


+1. The only time I think it'd be acceptable is if the interviewer gives you a name or something to follow-up with.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273572
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:33 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:On interviews I usually bring a black folder thing with my resume, transcript etc.. and some notes on the place im interviewing with. I usually open it up and have a pen in my hand during the interview and sometimes take some notes. I was told not to have anything with me for the OCI interviews from career advisor. Is this TCR?

I just feel having something in front of me makes me feel more comfortable, and I don't see why its a bad thing?


Not sure if serious.....

But if so: seriously, do not take notes during the interview.


I was serious.. and I got every interview I ever went on before at some very good places. But anyway, my main question was can I bring the interview folio thing with me.. with some of my own notes in there to look at and can i have it open during the interview.

User avatar
Bronte
Posts: 2128
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:44 pm

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby Bronte » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:34 pm

You should bring a padfolio and a pen with you to the interview. You should have copies of your resume, transcript, writing sample, etc. You should also have cheat sheet for the firm. I would open the padfolio and set it on the desk in front of you, but leave the pen in the slot so as not to fidget with it. Take "notes" when the interviewer tells you something that's he will likely think should be written down, which will probably tend to be nothing.

The advice to not bring anything with you to the interview is obviously incorrect. It conflicts with the prevailing advice to have a cheat sheet and to have resume, transcript, etc. on hand if requested.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273572
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:38 pm

Bronte wrote:You should bring a padfolio and a pen with you to the interview. You should have copies of your resume, transcript, writing sample, etc. You should also have cheat sheet for the firm. I would open the padfolio and set it on the desk in front of you, but leave the pen in the slot so as not to fidget with it. Take "notes" when the interviewer tells you something that's he will likely think should be written down, which will probably tend to be nothing.

The advice to not bring anything with you to the interview is obviously incorrect. It conflicts with the prevailing advice to have a cheat sheet and to have resume, transcript, etc. on hand if requested.


Thank you. What I thought and usually do. My advisor said to bring resume, etc. But to not have anything open during the interview (meaning closed padfolio and no notes on firm). Anyway, thanks!

03121202698008
Posts: 3002
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:07 am

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby 03121202698008 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Bronte wrote:You should bring a padfolio and a pen with you to the interview. You should have copies of your resume, transcript, writing sample, etc. You should also have cheat sheet for the firm. I would open the padfolio and set it on the desk in front of you, but leave the pen in the slot so as not to fidget with it. Take "notes" when the interviewer tells you something that's he will likely think should be written down, which will probably tend to be nothing.

The advice to not bring anything with you to the interview is obviously incorrect. It conflicts with the prevailing advice to have a cheat sheet and to have resume, transcript, etc. on hand if requested.


Thank you. What I thought and usually do. My advisor said to bring resume, etc. But to not have anything open during the interview (meaning closed padfolio and no notes on firm). Anyway, thanks!


I agree with having it with you...but I wouldn't refer to notes during the interview itself.

User avatar
mths
Posts: 1098
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:24 am

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby mths » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:49 pm

Don't take notes.

For the love of god, don't take notes.

User avatar
Cavalier
Posts: 1994
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:13 pm

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby Cavalier » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:50 pm

mths wrote:Don't take notes.

For the love of god, don't take notes.

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby Helmholtz » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:52 pm

blowhard wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thank you. What I thought and usually do. My advisor said to bring resume, etc. But to not have anything open during the interview (meaning closed padfolio and no notes on firm). Anyway, thanks!


I agree with having it with you...but I wouldn't refer to notes during the interview itself.


+1

Wholeheartedly agree. I would not have anything open and would never look at any notes during the interview. Eye contact + acting like your answers and questions are not canned = important.

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby Grizz » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:54 pm

Cavalier wrote:
mths wrote:Don't take notes.

For the love of god, don't take notes.


+1

Asking the interviewer if he can send you the audio copy of the interview is the accepted method.

User avatar
Bronte
Posts: 2128
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:44 pm

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby Bronte » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:55 pm

Cavalier wrote:
mths wrote:Don't take notes.

For the love of god, don't take notes.


It would be more helpful to elaborate a little bit rather than make unequivocal quips. For example, if an interviewer said, "Oh, you're interested in XYZ, well you should email John Doe at blahblah.com" or "You should check out our most recent case in that area, Shmoe v. Doe," you think it would be a taboo to write that down?

Edit: And maybe I was off base about opening the folio. (Although I tend to think it's not gonna be a big deal.) Having an open folio and making the requisite eye contact are not mutually exclusive.

User avatar
mths
Posts: 1098
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:24 am

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby mths » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:58 pm

Bronte wrote:
Cavalier wrote:
mths wrote:Don't take notes.

For the love of god, don't take notes.


It would be more helpful to elaborate a little bit rather than make unequivocal quips. For example, if an interviewer said, "Oh, you're interested in XYZ, well you should email John Doe at blahblah.com" or "You should check out our most recent case in that area, Shmoe v. Doe," you think it would be a taboo to write that down?

The only acceptable thing to do is ask for their card at the end of the interview. They will likely not give you tips on what to check out in an area that you will be expected to know things about anyways. He would ask you "Oh, you're interested in [insert area]? What did you think about so-and-so case?"

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby Helmholtz » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:04 pm

Bronte wrote:Having an open folio and making the requisite eye contact are not mutually exclusive.


It seems like it would serve as a distraction. If not to you, then possibly to the interviewer.

IMO, if you need to write something down, open your portfolio, write it down, and then close portfolio. I might even preface it with, "Do you mind if I write that down? Blah blah would hate to forget that useful piece of advice blah blah." I've done a fair share of pre-OCI callbacks and screeners now. I can't think of a time where I even remotely needed to write something down.

User avatar
BackToTheOldHouse
Posts: 862
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:03 pm

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby BackToTheOldHouse » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:08 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
Bronte wrote:Having an open folio and making the requisite eye contact are not mutually exclusive.


It seems like it would serve as a distraction. If not to you, then possibly to the interviewer.

IMO, if you need to write something down, open your portfolio, write it down, and then close portfolio. I might even preface it with, "Do you mind if I write that down? Blah blah would hate to forget that useful piece of advice blah blah." I've done a fair share of pre-OCI callbacks and screeners now. I can't think of a time where I even remotely needed to write something down.

Plus, if you need to take any notes, you can just type them into your smart phone.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273572
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:28 pm

I had an open folio and took some, but not extensive, notes in every interview I did. I never found it distracting and enjoyed having a few things written down that would job memories about particular practice areas or programs.

Eye contact is important but you don't want to be staring people down either, it can be just as uncomfortable to never avert your gaze as it can be to never make eye contact. Writing down occasional pieces of information isn't going to disrupt the interview flow for most people.

I did a practice interview with an attorney from a big firm (Wilkie) before the real deal and asked about my practice and he said it hadn't been distracting at all.

At the end of the day I don't think this is a bright line thing. I see the merits of what the people saying don't take notes are saying, I just don't think it's so obvious.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273572
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:46 pm

OP. I might have phrased my original question/comment. I never sit there and take notes as the interview is going on. If I found some important thing to write down, I would. However, it is very rare that it happens.

My main point was that I do have my portfolio open. It makes me feel more comfortable to have something in front of me. And I only gaze at it If i need to. My mock interviewer said my eye contact was on-point. Going in with nothing is just awkward.

User avatar
yinz
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 8:36 pm

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby yinz » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:46 pm

So, to sum up here:
1. Neither take notes nor open padfolio. But maybe take notes, if you can fit it on your smartphone. Think about asking whether to request transcript of interview. Probably shouldn't ask for transcript;
2. Actually, don't open padfolio at all;
3. Okay, maybe open padfolio, but only if the interviewer isn't mesmerized by the site of a portfolio that is padded. BUT DO NOT TAKE NOTES. EVER.
4. Wait, maybe scratch a note if something REALLY IMPORTANT comes up. That likely won't happen, so, probably ignore;
5. Keep eye contact at all times. But don't stare. Look at left eye first, if possible.
6. Rehearse answers such that they don't sound not rehearsed.
7. Toward the end of the interview, remove suit jacket to show finely pressed, double starched shirt.

Think about wraps this one up fellers. See ya at the offer party.

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby Grizz » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:50 pm

To be completely safe, request only phone interviews.

User avatar
Cupidity
Posts: 2214
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:21 pm

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby Cupidity » Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:04 pm

Bring the folder, its a professional way to transport your resume, etc. Remove pages, hand them to interviewer, close folder. I've been told by a few friends who are conducting interviews that they auto-ding people for it. Only open the folder if the interviewer explicitly tells you to write something down like, "I think you should contact Partner McPartnerson because he manages what you are interested in."

Anonymous User
Posts: 273572
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I had an open folio and took some, but not extensive, notes in every interview I did. I never found it distracting and enjoyed having a few things written down that would job memories about particular practice areas or programs.

Eye contact is important but you don't want to be staring people down either, it can be just as uncomfortable to never avert your gaze as it can be to never make eye contact. Writing down occasional pieces of information isn't going to disrupt the interview flow for most people.

I did a practice interview with an attorney from a big firm (Wilkie) before the real deal and asked about my practice and he said it hadn't been distracting at all.

At the end of the day I don't think this is a bright line thing. I see the merits of what the people saying don't take notes are saying, I just don't think it's so obvious.


Replying to myself because I knew we'd been through this once before:

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=128576

User avatar
YourCaptain
Posts: 719
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:26 pm

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby YourCaptain » Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:00 pm

Cupidity wrote:Bring the folder, its a professional way to transport your resume, etc. Remove pages, hand them to interviewer, close folder. I've been told by a few friends who are conducting interviews that they auto-ding people for it. Only open the folder if the interviewer explicitly tells you to write something down like, "I think you should contact Partner McPartnerson because he manages what you are interested in."


this is credited.

the folio is a good way to transport your materials, but that should be the extent of it. it looks strange otherwise.

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby Grizz » Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:08 pm

Cupidity wrote:Bring the folder, its a professional way to transport your resume, etc. Remove pages, hand them to interviewer, close folder. I've been told by a few friends who are conducting interviews that they auto-ding people for it. Only open the folder if the interviewer explicitly tells you to write something down like, "I think you should contact Partner McPartnerson because he manages what you are interested in."


My folio has an outer pocket. I put the stuff in there before the interview usually so I don't have to fumble in my folder, where I keep all my notes and whatnot.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273572
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:33 pm

Yikes. I Never really thought about this... I just thought it looked professional and like you were paying attention with the folio open. We had an off campus interview day in which I had 12 interviews throughout the day. I had my folio stuffed with my materials and a separate packet that I had 3-4 quick notes on each firm I was interviewing with that I glanced at every now and then. I suppose it's a different situation rather than just having one or two to think about during the day, but I'm pretty sure I would have blown a few of the interviews without my notes.

On the other hand, callback chances may now be doomed :evil:

Anonymous User
Posts: 273572
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: OCI Interview Tips / Cheat Sheet

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:45 pm

My best friend did OCI 2 years ago and told me that he made individualized manila folders (which he labeled and kept in a padfolio) for each firm with his resume, transcript, and any other requested materials. He said a couple of the interviewers really liked it and felt that it made him look organized. Any reason not to do this? Will it make me stand out in a bad/weird way?




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.