fxb wrote:Danger Zone wrote:How do you appropriately answer the "what happened in contracts" question? Making excuses seems like you're blaming anyone but yourself, but saying something like *shrug* "luck of the curve I suppose" makes you seem like you can't accurately assess your own weaknesses. And bringing up any weakness seems like a bad idea too.
Good question. Answer isn't simple because there are so many possibilities (and because, as I suggested in my previous response, this isn't a question I would ask of an interviewee). But off the top of my head, depending on how bad the grade is, maybe the best you can do for a mediocre-but-not-failing grade is short and sweet -- "I've been over the exam since then, trying to figure that out myself, and I think I just misread/overthought one or two of the questions."
The idea is to try to convey that you were interested in the class, had a good grasp of the material, and just missed something. The nice thing about the words "overthought" or "misread" or other similar ways of putting it is that they don't necessarily come across as, "well, my answer was brilliant, the professor just didn't understand it," but they don't make you seem dumb either.
Depending on the tenor of the interview, maybe even just saying that you had an "off day" would work, if your other grades show that it really was an outlier.
Biggest point is that what will not work is, "I was sick that day," "my girlfriend dumped me the night before," "it was my third day in a row having an exam and I also had a paper due." I would also be careful about saying something like, "I guess Contracts just isn't my subject!" I think that we all understand that law school grading is a little random and that anyone can have an off day or can miss the point of a question, but what would be unforgivable is you suggesting that a subject was simply unlearnable and beyond your grasp.
Geez, I couldn't disagree with this answer more. Once someone gave me the "overthought" angle and I dung them for it. Overthought is excuse making. The strongest answer is "Just wasn't my day - I went back and got the exam and went over it with the professor, and it just wasn't as good as my other exams." That's (a) most likely the true answer, so it has the advantage of not bullshitting me and (b) takes ownership. "Overthought" is too close to citing perfectionism as your biggest flaw.
Obviously, as this thread indicates, YMMV even among V15 interviewers, which is why getting jobs ain't easy.