Cheat sheet

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Anonymous User
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Cheat sheet

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:23 pm

Keep hearing about this- just curious, do you actually look at/use it during the screening interview? Is it ok to take notes etc... during the interview?

Anonymous User
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Re: Cheat sheet

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:26 pm

I often jot some things down during an interview. As long as you look back up from time to time to show you are still listening, it is fine. Best part is that it gives you a chance to "cheat" and look at points you might have forgotten to mention or questions you forgot to ask. It makes you look even more interested in their responses if you are keeping track of some of the speaker's points. But in general, this "cheat sheet" is for before the interview. You want to look down as little as possible, and everything should ideally be in your head.

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straxen
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Re: Cheat sheet

Postby straxen » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:34 pm

I think a lot of this is style but I personally wouldn't take notes during an interview or refer to anything short of something very specific that nobody would expect you to remember like..."here's a phone number of someone to talk to about that" or "the name of the case I worked on is xxx v. xxx." It runs the risk of making you look disengaged (or worse, like you're interrogating the firm), may throw off the rhythm of the interview, etc. For a callback you may be able to get away with it but I think definitely not for a screening interview. Really, cheat sheets are to review right before an interview.

Geist13
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Re: Cheat sheet

Postby Geist13 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:09 am

Seriously. How in the world is taking notes conducive to engaging in a conversation with someone? You know that stupid leather notebook everyone says you have to carry around? When you get to your interview, put it down and don't think about it again until it's time to leave. If you can't remember specific things you wanted to ask questions about, you should have enough generic questions memorized to get by. Also, you should be listening to the interviewer with enough attention to come up with responsive questions on the fly. You know, like you are talking to an actual person and actually interested in what they are saying.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Cheat sheet

Postby DoubleChecks » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:19 am

i have to agree with not taking notes during the interview. take them right after if you need to remember something, but you look distracted if you're looking down all the time to jot words or 'peak' at a cheat sheet. in fact, dont refer to a cheat sheet DURING the interview either -- come on, we're in law school, you can memorize a few lines of facts and talking points before an interview...

ResIpsa21
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Re: Cheat sheet

Postby ResIpsa21 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:23 am

Geist13 wrote:You know that stupid leather notebook everyone says you have to carry around? When you get to your interview, put it down and don't think about it again until it's time to leave.


THIS!!!

Screeners are not about learning what cases the interviewer worked on. That's what a website is for. And even if the interviewer is telling you about one of his/her cases, there is NO reason to write it down! You should be making eye contact, giving cues that you are listening carefully and coming up with good questions in response. Also, the chances that the interviewer is going to give you a phone number to talk to someone is somewhere between zero and forget about it.

Long story short: you need to make a connection if you want the interviewer to like you. You have twenty minutes to do that. Wasting a single second doing anything that does not contribute to your rapport with the interviewer is foolish. Good luck getting a smile out of an interviewer while you are looking down at a legal pad. And seriously, if you can't remember five questions to ask about the firm, then you really haven't done your research and you have bigger problems than taking notes during the interview.

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straxen
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Re: Cheat sheet

Postby straxen » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:55 am

ResIpsa21 wrote: Screeners are not about learning what cases the interviewer worked on. That's what a website is for. And even if the interviewer is telling you about one of his/her cases, there is NO reason to write it down! You should be making eye contact, giving cues that you are listening carefully and coming up with good questions in response. Also, the chances that the interviewer is going to give you a phone number to talk to someone is somewhere between zero and forget about it.


I think you misinterpreted the qualification to my advice. I wasn't saying write down cases, I was using it as an example of the extremely rare occasion that one quick note might be appropriate, I've had instances where interviewers and I have come across a common interest and had to tell me to I just HAD to check out random xxx website/case/person/restaurant/whatever that was on point to whatever conversation we were having. In those cases, I would write xxx down so as to not be rude rather than because I had a burning desire to follow through with it.

ResIpsa21
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Re: Cheat sheet

Postby ResIpsa21 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:36 am

straxen wrote:I think you misinterpreted the qualification to my advice. I wasn't saying write down cases, I was using it as an example of the extremely rare occasion that one quick note might be appropriate, I've had instances where interviewers and I have come across a common interest and had to tell me to I just HAD to check out random xxx website/case/person/restaurant/whatever that was on point to whatever conversation we were having. In those cases, I would write xxx down so as to not be rude rather than because I had a burning desire to follow through with it.


Understood, that sounds fair enough & certainly a reasonable time to write something down. But I would still say, otherwise, keep your portfolio closed during the interview unless, as in this situation, the interviewer practically says "write this down."

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Re: Cheat sheet

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:30 am

I see nothing wrong with jolting down something once in a while and peaking at my notes in that process. I've done it and gotten callbacks. When you have several interviews in a day, sometimes with no break in between, it becomes hard to mentally keep track of who is who.




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