itbdvorm wrote:A few thoughts in no particular order:
1) If you are below our grade cut there are a number of circumstances where we may be forced to interview you. Maybe lottery, maybe partial lottery/pre-select, etc. You know how the day is rough on your end? It's rough on our end too. Why should either of us waste our time? Or even if you are above our grade cut, maybe we have 6 potential callbacks to give out and we know within the first five minutes that you're not going to make it based upon others with whom we've already met. What's the point? You're not going to change my mind.
No disrespect intended whatsoever - I'm just curious and you are knowledgeable - but If you're at a "V15", doesn't that imply a pretty large class size? (Unless this is like Boies or Wachtell or another idiosyncratic hiring pattern, but you seem to be targeting a more mainstream audience with your advice). So at your primary feeder schools, aren't we talking more like 60-100 CB's? Or do you mean just 6 on your schedule of like 13-15 interviews in one day?
Also, do you really form your complete impressions based on the first five minutes of the interview? I understand this time is crucial, but realistically you are evaluating past interviewees based on present performance and vise versa. Still, this seems crude (could be both crude and true).
[Different interviewer than the one that made the assertion, but I generally agree]
First, V15 does not imply a large class size. The designation refers to the firm as a whole. Callbacks/interviews are generally decided office-by-office (at least they are at my firm and I believe that's pretty standard). So, while the NY office may be looking for a class of ~25, the SF office may be looking for a class of 2. (Estimates of actual targets I heard bantied about in the hospitality suite over lunch. And no I won't say what firm...).
So, if you take it to the extreme of the class of 2, the partner conducting the interviews expected to make at most one call-back offer at the T10 where we interviewed--he still had 13 other T-14s to visit plus some other solid regional schools in the area. Grades or no grades it was going to take someone objectively special (not a subjective special snowflake) to pry a callback from that guy.
I interviewed for a larger office within the firm. But even so, out of our 20 interviews (plus whatever gets added on the side from the hospitality suite), we knew in the back of our heads we would only be able to call back 3 to 5. We didn't know in the first 5 minutes whether you would get a call back-- but I'd say in most cases we knew in 5 minutes that you would NOT get a call back. After each interview we gave a rough assessment of placement. We placed packets into two piles: Definite No and Maybe. We then discussed roughly where the person stacked relative to those in the Maybe pile. Our office doesn't have a grade cutoff-- but you'd be crazy to think that grades didn't matter. Remember--> the day after we conduct interviews, we meet with the hiring partner and have to justify who we are going to call back. We would have to have great justification to take someone from the bottom 1/3 of the class and generally a 20 minute interview does not present sufficient justification.