V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:05 am

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:At the CB stage, how much is it about fit vs. credentials?

Let's say that I exceed the firm's grade cutoff, but don't have something like LR. But I get a CB. Can the lack of LR ding me at the CB stage?


Probably not. If the firm is picking between two people it likes for one offer slot and the other person has law review, that might give him/her a bump. But if you nail your callback interviews you'll almost certainly get an offer (at least from us)


how important is the lunch w/ associates?

assuming you got along well (you thought at least...) with everyone else

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:22 am

Had my first CB on this past Thursday, met with 6 people. 5 went really well (recruiting coordinator, 3 associates, 1 partner) and 1 that went meh (partner). How much weight do partners v associates have on the process, will one mediocre review sink me?

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:27 am

SBL wrote:How often--if ever--do you change GPA cutoffs for schools you interview at in response to changes in rankings? (Full disclosure: I am a 3L at UC Davis, and we've gone from ~40 to 23 in the past few years, but I ask this because I suspect that employers don't much care.)


I honestly don't know on that one. I doubt it moves that much. Frankly I think either way once you get beyond the top few schools it takes a top performance to get an offer from us. Maybe the movement you describe means top 10% instead of top 5% but I'm honestly not sure.

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I don't really get the law review fascination. In my own case, it seems especially misplaced, because as a transfer, I couldn't grade on and there were only two spots left for transfers anyway, out of a huge transfer class. So I ended up in a secondary and now I'm the Managing Editor. But even for the typical non-transfer student, it's just one writing contest, vis-a-vis the eight or so exams you've taken and the 1-2 semesters of legal writing in which you have grades. So can't they tell a whole lot better whether you can write/think from that than from how you did in a single write-on, graded by students?


Aren't most law reviews a combo (grades + writing competition)?


To give the example of my own school (NYU, where law review is ridiculously hard to get due to the large class size):

15 slots are grade-on only (writing doesn't matter)
15 slots are write-on only (grades don't matter)
5 slots are mixed (grades and writing matter)*
12 slots are for diversity (only need to be in the top half of the class in grades and on the writing competition, diversity is based solely on personal statement)

*In practice, these slots go to the next 5 students who didn't grade on directly, so it's almost all about grades here, too.

I think this is a fairly typical system, although the particulars may vary. Not very many students or schools are ever judged on a combination of writing and grades; it's usually one or the other.


Fair enough. Still means I guess that, diversity aside, you've either got fantastic grades or are one of the top 15 writers in the class. No idea how the diversity piece breaks down in total...

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:At the CB stage, how much is it about fit vs. credentials?

Let's say that I exceed the firm's grade cutoff, but don't have something like LR. But I get a CB. Can the lack of LR ding me at the CB stage?


Probably not. If the firm is picking between two people it likes for one offer slot and the other person has law review, that might give him/her a bump. But if you nail your callback interviews you'll almost certainly get an offer (at least from us)


how important is the lunch w/ associates?

assuming you got along well (you thought at least...) with everyone else


Important. Can't make you but can easily break you. Don't be obnoxious to anyone during it.

itbdvorm
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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:Had my first CB on this past Thursday, met with 6 people. 5 went really well (recruiting coordinator, 3 associates, 1 partner) and 1 that went meh (partner). How much weight do partners v associates have on the process, will one mediocre review sink me?


Can totally depend. Different partners have different levels of importance, and "meh" means different things depending on who it was. Certainly the partner's view will mean more than the recruiting coordinator's. But don't always be so sure about it, you can't always be confident how it went...

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:26 pm

I rounded my GPA up on my resume because my career service counselor told me that it was appropriate to do so (by .005 to the next number so that my GPA is listed as a 3.38 instead of a 3.375. Should I have the GPA to the exact decimal of what it is on my resume instead? I only rounded it up because of my counselor's advice, and now I'm wondering if I should have followed it.

Also, I'm most likely below the GPA cutoff for a firm, but I ended up with a CB there (sheer luck?). At the CB stage, does my lower GPA still put me dead in the water?

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I rounded my GPA up on my resume because my career service counselor told me that it was appropriate to do so (by .005 to the next number so that my GPA is listed as a 3.38 instead of a 3.375. Should I have the GPA to the exact decimal of what it is on my resume instead? I only rounded it up because of my counselor's advice, and now I'm wondering if I should have followed it.

Also, I'm most likely below the GPA cutoff for a firm, but I ended up with a CB there (sheer luck?). At the CB stage, does my lower GPA still put me dead in the water?


First part doesn't matter. Recruiting staff probably re-ran numbers and no one will care about the distinction (I'd be shocked if any firm has a grade cut at 3.38 at your school)

Second part, no, not dead in the water, but you may need to bring your A game. But don't "try too hard". Go through the callback as if you've earned it but be your best you. You wouldn't be in the door if you didn't have a shot.

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:41 pm

It has probably been asked, but what about thank you letters? I really connected with one person in my callback and feel like I should email her (we interned for the same judge) but would I have to send thank you's to the other 4 interviewers? Or better to not send any? Thank you!

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:46 pm

Does your firm generally reject people right away they arn't interested in and then go on a rolling basis for the remainder of the candidates? I have been on quite a few CBs and haven't heard a thing. It has been two weeks for some and one week for others. Do you think they're waiting for some people to reject their offers to open up new spots? Thanks

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:02 pm

I sent a thank you note after a CB. Interviewer replied, one line, "Nice to meet you as well, good luck with the recruitment process."

Is that as bad as it sounds?

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It has probably been asked, but what about thank you letters? I really connected with one person in my callback and feel like I should email her (we interned for the same judge) but would I have to send thank you's to the other 4 interviewers? Or better to not send any? Thank you!


If you did really connect I think it's OK. Interviewers probably barely remember who you are, much less who else interviewed you. But thank yous really don't matter much IMHO

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Does your firm generally reject people right away they arn't interested in and then go on a rolling basis for the remainder of the candidates? I have been on quite a few CBs and haven't heard a thing. It has been two weeks for some and one week for others. Do you think they're waiting for some people to reject their offers to open up new spots? Thanks


At the callback stage sometimes we see definite yes', definite no's and a big hunk of maybes. With people still flowing in we could certainly take longer to make a decision until we've seen more people (or in the case of a school we might take only one person from, more people from that school).

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I sent a thank you note after a CB. Interviewer replied, one line, "Nice to meet you as well, good luck with the recruitment process."

Is that as bad as it sounds?


no. again...we get busy. be glad they wrote you back at all!

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:30 pm

I have prior experience working in a foreign country with a bank/consulting firm. I also have language skills - think Japanese, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian - that a lot of firms have brought up in a positive fashion during screeners and callbacks.

Often during callbacks I've been asked "Do you want to pursue international opportunities in the future?" I don't know how to respond; the truth is that I just want to work for the firm. My resume has a very international bias and I'm afraid they think I am some sort of flight risk.

Anyone have suggestions/help? I have a couple more interviews and this question is common enough that I am curious if anyone has advice.

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have prior experience working in a foreign country with a bank/consulting firm. I also have language skills - think Japanese, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian - that a lot of firms have brought up in a positive fashion during screeners and callbacks.

Often during callbacks I've been asked "Do you want to pursue international opportunities in the future?" I don't know how to respond; the truth is that I just want to work for the firm. My resume has a very international bias and I'm afraid they think I am some sort of flight risk.

Anyone have suggestions/help? I have a couple more interviews and this question is common enough that I am curious if anyone has advice.


See, that's a complicated question and it depends on the firm. At some places (say, a regional shop, or a firm with only one-two offices) saying that you would be interested in international opportunities in the future might be deemed negatively (you'll hang out there for a brief period and then bolt). But at other places that could certainly be a good thing. A number of firms are expanding internationally - your potential willingness to move to one of their middle east, russian, brazilian, etc. offices in the future could be a positive.

You say you "just want to work for the firm." Which firm? Any firm? Why that firm? Be honest with them about what drew you to your international work in the past and what you're looking to do in the future (long and short term). If you're open to potentially going abroad in the future, say that. If you didn't love the experiences you had internationally but learned xyz from them, say that. If you want to spend the next several years in city X before going abroad (or before taking stock of next steps), say that.

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:26 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have prior experience working in a foreign country with a bank/consulting firm. I also have language skills - think Japanese, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian - that a lot of firms have brought up in a positive fashion during screeners and callbacks.

Often during callbacks I've been asked "Do you want to pursue international opportunities in the future?" I don't know how to respond; the truth is that I just want to work for the firm. My resume has a very international bias and I'm afraid they think I am some sort of flight risk.

Anyone have suggestions/help? I have a couple more interviews and this question is common enough that I am curious if anyone has advice.


See, that's a complicated question and it depends on the firm. At some places (say, a regional shop, or a firm with only one-two offices) saying that you would be interested in international opportunities in the future might be deemed negatively (you'll hang out there for a brief period and then bolt). But at other places that could certainly be a good thing. A number of firms are expanding internationally - your potential willingness to move to one of their middle east, russian, brazilian, etc. offices in the future could be a positive.

You say you "just want to work for the firm." Which firm? Any firm? Why that firm? Be honest with them about what drew you to your international work in the past and what you're looking to do in the future (long and short term). If you're open to potentially going abroad in the future, say that. If you didn't love the experiences you had internationally but learned xyz from them, say that. If you want to spend the next several years in city X before going abroad (or before taking stock of next steps), say that.


Thank you so much, this is genuinely helpful to me.

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have prior experience working in a foreign country with a bank/consulting firm. I also have language skills - think Japanese, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian - that a lot of firms have brought up in a positive fashion during screeners and callbacks.

Often during callbacks I've been asked "Do you want to pursue international opportunities in the future?" I don't know how to respond; the truth is that I just want to work for the firm. My resume has a very international bias and I'm afraid they think I am some sort of flight risk.

Anyone have suggestions/help? I have a couple more interviews and this question is common enough that I am curious if anyone has advice.


See, that's a complicated question and it depends on the firm. At some places (say, a regional shop, or a firm with only one-two offices) saying that you would be interested in international opportunities in the future might be deemed negatively (you'll hang out there for a brief period and then bolt). But at other places that could certainly be a good thing. A number of firms are expanding internationally - your potential willingness to move to one of their middle east, russian, brazilian, etc. offices in the future could be a positive.

You say you "just want to work for the firm." Which firm? Any firm? Why that firm? Be honest with them about what drew you to your international work in the past and what you're looking to do in the future (long and short term). If you're open to potentially going abroad in the future, say that. If you didn't love the experiences you had internationally but learned xyz from them, say that. If you want to spend the next several years in city X before going abroad (or before taking stock of next steps), say that.


Thank you so much, this is genuinely helpful to me.


My pleasure

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Heartford » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:28 pm

What's the weirdest/most awkward/most inappropriate thing that an interviewee has done during an interview? (Feel free to change details to preserve anonymity)

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:56 pm

Heartford wrote:What's the weirdest/most awkward/most inappropriate thing that an interviewee has done during an interview? (Feel free to change details to preserve anonymity)


Made an obscene joke using my firm name. I'd advise against that.

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Heartford » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:59 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
Heartford wrote:What's the weirdest/most awkward/most inappropriate thing that an interviewee has done during an interview? (Feel free to change details to preserve anonymity)


Made an obscene joke using my firm name. I'd advise against that.


Was it funny, at least?

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:13 pm

Heartford wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Heartford wrote:What's the weirdest/most awkward/most inappropriate thing that an interviewee has done during an interview? (Feel free to change details to preserve anonymity)


Made an obscene joke using my firm name. I'd advise against that.


Was it funny, at least?


Nope. Just awful all around.

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:24 pm

I was not as successful at obtaining callbacks as I should have been. I am in the top 10% of the class at CCN and only got 4 callbacks. I am trying to figure out why. I am not the greatest interviewer but I didn't think I was that bad. I worked before law school for several years and had never had trouble getting jobs before.

A few theories I have are that my resume is too public-interest heavy, I am on a secondary journal (my school only has a few LR slots that are a combo of grades and competition), and I may have seemed too unsure of what I wanted to do and too flexible on the location (i.e. expressing interest in other offices).

Do any of those theories seem right to you?

I am preparing for the callbacks I do have, and could use some advice about a few things:

1) Is it ok to say that I want to explore a variety of practice areas because I think it's hard to really know what you want to do until you have tried it?
2) I was very prepared to answer the question of why I want to work at a firm when my resume is so PI-heavy, but have not been asked it. Should I try to find a way to preemptively answer it? My answer is that I really enjoyed Corporations class last semester, and I realized I was more interested in transactional work. Is that a good answer, and should I give it even without being asked?
3) If I am asked what other firms I have callbacks with, should I lie and add a few more to the list? I don't usually believe in being dishonest but I am afraid my low number of callbacks and the wide variation in the firms that did call me back in terms of location, vault rank and practice area strengths is a red flag. I am thinking that they probably don't verify your answer to that question, right?
4) Several firms have still not gotten back to me either way. Some of them have dinged other people. Is there any hope at this point?

Thanks so much!

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was not as successful at obtaining callbacks as I should have been. I am in the top 10% of the class at CCN and only got 4 callbacks. I am trying to figure out why. I am not the greatest interviewer but I didn't think I was that bad. I worked before law school for several years and had never had trouble getting jobs before.

A few theories I have are that my resume is too public-interest heavy, I am on a secondary journal (my school only has a few LR slots that are a combo of grades and competition), and I may have seemed too unsure of what I wanted to do and too flexible on the location (i.e. expressing interest in other offices).

Do any of those theories seem right to you?

I am preparing for the callbacks I do have, and could use some advice about a few things:

1) Is it ok to say that I want to explore a variety of practice areas because I think it's hard to really know what you want to do until you have tried it?
2) I was very prepared to answer the question of why I want to work at a firm when my resume is so PI-heavy, but have not been asked it. Should I try to find a way to preemptively answer it? My answer is that I really enjoyed Corporations class last semester, and I realized I was more interested in transactional work. Is that a good answer, and should I give it even without being asked?
3) If I am asked what other firms I have callbacks with, should I lie and add a few more to the list? I don't usually believe in being dishonest but I am afraid my low number of callbacks and the wide variation in the firms that did call me back in terms of location, vault rank and practice area strengths is a red flag. I am thinking that they probably don't verify your answer to that question, right?
4) Several firms have still not gotten back to me either way. Some of them have dinged other people. Is there any hope at this point?

Thanks so much!


Sorry to hear that on the callback front - that actually is pretty surprising. Were you only focused on the most hyper-selective firms or cities (DC, SF)? Also, is top 10% not generally good enough for LR at your school (and/or how do you know you're top 10%, I didn't think CCN ranked?)

The PI-nature of your resume could be a red flag; did you ask about pro bono opportunities as well? That can be a killer combo (especially if you're not a great interview). The secondary journal shouldn't be an issue generally, and the "too many offices" would only be an issue if you were SUPER unsure (saying NY, but open to other offices, for example, shouldn't be an issue).

On question 1, totally fine (and I think it was my answer) though it'd be surprising if you didn't at least have a "lean". 1L year generally drives people one way or the other - totally OK to be flexible unless you're interviewing at one-practice shops.

On question 2, were you asked other things that sorta drove to that question? That's honestly not a very good answer (especially if the first one is so open). You've got a huge PI background, been doing that your whole life, now went to law school (presumably because you wanted to go do PI stuff) and it all changed based on one class? That strikes me as odd and possibly not true.

On question 3, don't lie but be somewhat evasive. I doubt places will flat out ask you (I find it to be unusual). If a firm verified your question (someone called a friend) that would be awful (though I really don't think this happens much). Fantastic answer might be "I'm still meeting with a few different places, though I think [YOUR FIRM] is possibly my top choice due to [REASON]"

On question 4...maybe. Don't know for sure but no ding is always better than ding...

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:33 pm

Two questions:

1. How bad is it that I genuinely don't know what I want to do? My summer experiences were less than spectacular (really bad, in fact - though I don't mention it in interviews, obviously) and have left me with no particular direction I want to go in law. I think I would prefer transactional just because I don't want to be in a courtroom, but apart from that, I really don't know.

2. How important is the "Why this city?" question for you? A lot of my interviews have been with firms in a large market. Really, the best answer I can come up with is that my entire family lives in the region (~6 or less hours away), and I really want to stay close to them. However, my family is not in the same state, and I think my lack of a good answer to this question has also hurt me.

Thanks for any insight!




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