Call back tips... please?

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Call back tips... please?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:23 pm

Hi guys,
I have a callback interview scheduled soon at a large firm. I'm not a super-outgoing person and I am making myself pretty nervous about the whole process. I have a few questions:

1. Aside from looking at the firm's website, how do you guys prep for CBs?
2. Aside from saying, "I'm interested in litigation," how specific do you get when speaking about your career interests?
2. I'm not into sports -- do any other pop culture/ current events type of questions come up frequently?
3. Should females leave suit jackets on when eating lunch at the firm?

Thanks! I appreciate it :)

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MC Southstar
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Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby MC Southstar » Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi guys,
I have a callback interview scheduled soon at a large firm. I'm not a super-outgoing person and I am making myself pretty nervous about the whole process. I have a few questions:

1. Aside from looking at the firm's website, how do you guys prep for CBs?
2. Aside from saying, "I'm interested in litigation," how specific do you get when speaking about your career interests?
2. I'm not into sports -- do any other pop culture/ current events type of questions come up frequently?
3. Should females leave suit jackets on when eating lunch at the firm?

Thanks! I appreciate it :)


Men will automatically be innately doubtful of your ability to talk about sports if you talk about sports anyway as a woman. It's like begging and pleading for sexist thoughts to go into his head.

Anonymous User
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Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:31 pm

haha, good to know.

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MC Southstar
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Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby MC Southstar » Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:35 pm

I haven't done any CBs yet, but many firms try to arrange meetings with people who work in areas you are interested in. You can request this yourself if they don't ask, and hope they accommodate. If the firm is more specialized within their litigation group, you can be more specific. If you have no idea what you want to do, like literally no idea, then you should still talk to the person who is interviewing you about something they know.

I think generally, CBs are more about the interviewer and their personality/experience than sucking up to the firm's taglines and website gloating.

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Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby johndhi » Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:50 pm

MC Southstar wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi guys,
I have a callback interview scheduled soon at a large firm. I'm not a super-outgoing person and I am making myself pretty nervous about the whole process. I have a few questions:

1. Aside from looking at the firm's website, how do you guys prep for CBs?
2. Aside from saying, "I'm interested in litigation," how specific do you get when speaking about your career interests?
2. I'm not into sports -- do any other pop culture/ current events type of questions come up frequently?
3. Should females leave suit jackets on when eating lunch at the firm?

Thanks! I appreciate it :)


Men will automatically be innately doubtful of your ability to talk about sports if you talk about sports anyway as a woman. It's like begging and pleading for sexist thoughts to go into his head.


What the fuck is wrong with you? Get out of here.

OP:

I've been very successful at CBs. This is the way I do things, so it might not work for you (but it will). I'll give you some general pointers then address your questions.

You do not want a drop of pretension or arrogance in your presentation. Yesterday I saw a guy stomp into the administrative area after me with an arrogant smile on his face and tell the receptionist who he was here to see. She told him that person was on the 27th floor and to go up there and began to give instructions for how to get there. His response was to turn his back, walk away and say "Yeah. I used to work here." You do not want this. Let's re-do this in a good way:

You walk into the reception area with a warm smile and bright eyes. You don't stomp through like you own it; in fact, maybe you're a little unsure where to go, since this is your first time in the reception area. Say hello to the receptionist, ask them how their day is going, and make a situational comment (weather, how excited you are to step foot in the firm for the first time, how nice the lobby is). They'll ask if you want water; if you want water, get some. Use the bathroom, whatever.

This is, obviously, not the interview itself and not a hard and fast way to do things. But it's a general idea of how to approach the people you meet. What I do before walking into the building is visualize, in my head, the three qualities I want to portray when I meet with people. I adapt these, sometimes, before each interview, based on my perception of the person I'm going to meet with. For example, I always want to be warm and friendly, so I'll close my eyes imagine having a warm smile that seems happy and light-hearted. Then I'll practice making that smile. If I'm going to be meeting with a nerdy-seeming person, I'll think back to when I was a nerd and maybe even run through different little stories I can tell about myself to show what a nerd I am (my friends and I used to put LAN parties together; I loved the teamwork of building things in a group, but also the competitive aspect of playing games against each other = I'll be a good litigator). That said, if I'm meeting with the ex-captain of the football team and chair of the students' Republican committee, I'm not going to mention the fact that during 1L I lit a candle every night, meditated and looked at my prayer beads. I'll more likely talk about having non-law school friends with whom I could watch sports and get away from the academic environment momentarily to refresh myself, which helped me do as well as I did ( = I'll be able to remain focused during long hours).

Then moisturizer, then an anti-aging eye balm followed by a final moisturizing protective lotion.

In terms of substantive prep for CBs, I like to have a few points from each interviewer's resume I can bring up. "That's right - and I know you also participate in white collar cases - do those tend to go hand-in-hand with the civil claims from the same client?" Or even as far as, "I saw you wrote a law journal article on x, how funny, I am interested in x prime and, early last semester, I did y!"

As for being interested in litigation, here are my favorite ways to show it. These are sort of stolen from my career services people: I love a teamwork environment; in my prior work experience, I did got the chance to bounce ideas back and forth off my coworkers and found my work product was improved simply by opening my mind up to the idea exchange between the parties." Make that one more personal, obviously. Or you like the discrete goals in litigation - the way your mind works, you tend to focus on one piece of the puzzle at a time (jig-saw puzzle story/analogy time?) - it makes sense to you to have a motion to dismiss be the biggest thing in the world and when it's over, it's gone, and it's time for discovery. Then summary judgment.

Re sports, people aren't going to ask you about sports. If you're at a lunch with two bros, they might start talking sports and it would be worth something to be able to participate. But you can score equally well by steering the conversation to something you know about and can be excited about. These guys aren't looking that you have sports knowledge, but rather that you can engage in an interesting and personal conversation. If you're into collecting marbles and can talk about it passionately, people will be interested. Excuse my candor, but last week I got laid by talking about how into Game of Thrones I am. The girl had never read a fantasy novel, and probably though it's weird and nerdy to do so, but because I was so enamored with the storyline and made it interesting - people love to see passion - she thought it was really cool when I told her about Tyrion Lannister's imprisonment with Lysa Ayrn.

Suit jackets while eating lunch. I'm a guy so I may not be able to answer. I've taken it off once and left it on once. I took it off when I was with two young associates who were super chill, but left it on when I was at a swankier place and noticed older guys around who were keeping theirs on. I think it's save to leave it on. Remember to un-button when you sit down. (keep in mind, talking from a guy's perspective so I may be missing The Rules here).

Good luck. My inspiration to go deep into this came from the "... please?" in your title. That emotion is pity. You don't want that from interviewers. So drop the needy attitude; if this thread were an interview, you want the title to be something like, "Interview Tips." Manners and politeness are exceedingly important, but not being a wuss is also important.

GLHF

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MC Southstar
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Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby MC Southstar » Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:57 pm

I'm sure you didn't come across as an arrogant prick at all. LOL.

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Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby johndhi » Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:00 pm

MC Southstar wrote:I'm sure you didn't come across as an arrogant prick at all. LOL.


Just trying to make things funny. It's the Internet. But I did think your comment was sexist - or at least perpetuating sexism - and that isn't cool.

edit: this isn't to say my advice above wasn't serious, it was. I just threw in some Patrick Bateman.

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MC Southstar
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Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby MC Southstar » Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:05 pm

johndhi wrote:
MC Southstar wrote:I'm sure you didn't come across as an arrogant prick at all. LOL.


Just trying to make things funny. It's the Internet. But I did think your comment was sexist - or at least perpetuating sexism - and that isn't cool.

edit: this isn't to say my advice above wasn't serious, it was. I just threw in some Patrick Bateman.


Gotcha. Just to be clear, it's not my direct opinion at all. I hate bro interviewers too because I only somewhat care about sports. I just live with bros and I know how they react when women talk about sports, despite being otherwise very liberal open-minded people.

I totally whiffed on the reference.

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daesonesb
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Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby daesonesb » Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:12 pm

Another rando tip: Try and introduce yourself to support staff.
Last edited by daesonesb on Sun May 06, 2012 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby johndhi » Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:22 pm

daesonesb wrote:I'd like to echo the above poster too: My first thought is conveying that I'm friendly and polite. Immediately after, my goal is to try and convey that I've got the kind of skill set they are looking for. I think it's important to try and make a connection and seem like a down to earth person. That said, I don't think you should go too far with that. Remember you're in an interview, sit up straight, and don't let your guard down as you might say something you didn't mean to. There's a fine line to walk between being "the kind of guy who I like, but also will trust to get hard work done" and "the kind of person I would love to go drink with, but wouldn't trust with really important work or to be within 50 feet of a client."


Thanks - that's something I left out above. The first thing I try to focus on is friendliness, but the second and third are things like hard work and relevant experience. For the former it's stories about undergrad thesis or working on a discovery dispute at a law firm ("staying late with the team hammering out oppositions to motions to compel"); for the latter really digging into civil procedure (good for litigation) or working on an employment lawsuit if you're interested in that practice group.

Good luck.

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Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:54 pm

Do look up the bios of the people with whom you're meeting, if you get that information ahead of time. BE SURE TO MEMORIZE IT, at least info like how senior they are, their practice area, and any special committees they're on (pro bono partner, etc.). I did this research and took some notes, but totally failed to account for the fact that I wouldn't have time to review the notes between interviews at the callback, like I did at OCI. It led to some awkward moments where I was trying to fish for responses that would clue me in on my interviewer's practice areas.

Have questions prepared, but be willing to go where the conversation leads you. You want to ask different questions and glean different information from each interviewer. I have found that a good way to do this is to ask broad questions tailored to your interviewer's background. If they're an older partner who lateraled in, ask about what made them choose to come to this firm (I have found this to be a good topic of discussion at firms that don't fit the typical biglaw profile, either because they are smaller, or have a single office, or more specialized, or pride themselves on some aspect of their culture). If they work across multiple unrelated areas, hint at that; they will probably be happy to talk about how they like working at a place where they get to do the work they like and to continue to learn without being pigeonholed. Ask about how they have staffed juniors on their recent projects and what kind of responsibility they had. Associates can be a little tougher to crack because they don't necessarily know anything about the big-picture stuff of the firm, but you can ask the flip side of the staffing/responsibility question. Also questions about training, how work assignment functions, how specialized or generalized they're encouraged to be. Talk about the people. Ask how it's been to work in (such a large office with such great high profile work/such an intimate smaller office where everyone knows each other/a branch office with the best of both worlds where you get individualized attention but have access to the mothership's resources).

Otherwise, be nice to literally everyone you meet. You may be escorted around by people's secretaries; TALK TO THEM.

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Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby englawyer » Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:19 pm

look up the law school activities/post law school activities of the interviewers. Especially journal work, moot court, clerkships. Try to bond over commonalities (oh, I'm thinking about clerking after law school. how was that?).

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Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:49 pm

1. Mimic what the interviewer is doing. Is he talking quietly and sitting upright? You talk quietly and sit upright. Is he more boisterous and leaning back in the chair with his legs crossed? You do the same.

2. Look them in the eye.

3. If, 15 minutes into a 30 minute interview, he throws up his hands and says "So, what can I tell you about Firm X?" don't panic. The trick here is to ask a very high level question as follows:

- If the person has been there a long time: "How has the firm changed since you first started here?"
- "How do the different offices work together?"
- "How do the different practice groups work together?"

Then, take their answer and have it lead into the next question. I think that interviews become awkward when they answer you and then you ask a completely unrelated question. The better interview will flow like a conversation, meaning you lead into a similar question based on the one you just asked or follow up based on something they said.

4. When all else fails, ask them about themselves. These folks bill by the hour, believe me, they don't mind talking and certainly don't mind talking about themselves.

5. Firm handshake before and after interview.

6. Order light at lunch.

7. Thank you notes.

8. Be very nice to the reception area staff, etc. and notice how the attorneys treat them. Don't do this because they "might tell the partner you were nice." Do this because it's the right thing to do.

9. Keep something in mind- you are evaluating them just as much as they are evaluating you. This doesn't mean that you can act aloof, but it should give you the requisite amount of confidence to not come across as desperate which is mission critical.

10. Relax.

I would never do the following:

1. Ask about work/life balance. It will not be a 9-5, you know that. The firms I respected the most during this process were the ones that did not hide the fact that they work hard. I really appreciated that. One guy told me he was probably going to work the weekend when I asked what he was doing this weekend. I really, really respected that. I know exactly what the deal is at these places, I appreciated the honesty. I hated when, at an earlier CB, the junior associate was telling me how laid back everything is and how he never had to work weekends yet about 80% of his work stories involved working weekends. Odd.

2. Ask about pro-bono unless the firm really prides itself on it. This is not the time to share your lifelong passion of Antarctic Penguin Environmental Litigation.

3. Give any indication that you may not be there for very long. Law firms are going to invest in you and you should make it seem like it will be worth their while.

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Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:53 pm

Excuse my candor, but last week I got laid by talking about how into Game of Thrones I am. The girl had never read a fantasy novel, and probably though it's weird and nerdy to do so, but because I was so enamored with the storyline and made it interesting - people love to see passion - she thought it was really cool when I told her about Tyrion Lannister's imprisonment with Lysa Ayrn.


This was a joke, right? Wow.

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Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby traydeuce » Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:2. Ask about pro-bono unless the firm really prides itself on it. This is not the time to share your lifelong passion of Antarctic Penguin Environmental Litigation.


Don't ask, you mean. My pitfall tends to be asking tons of questions about how much appellate they do, though I've curbed that a lot recently.

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Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby downstream » Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:02 pm

traydeuce wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2. Ask about pro-bono unless the firm really prides itself on it. This is not the time to share your lifelong passion of Antarctic Penguin Environmental Litigation.


Don't ask, you mean. My pitfall tends to be asking tons of questions about how much appellate they do, though I've curbed that a lot recently.


Yes, that's right *don't* ask about pro-bono unless they pride themselves on it. Appellate work would be another no-no. That is just not going to be the bread and butter rainmaking litigation work for any law firm. The appellate shop is often the crown jewel of these firms but you aren't going to be doing that work unless you have a clerkship that begins with a number.

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Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:05 pm

downstream wrote:
traydeuce wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2. Ask about pro-bono unless the firm really prides itself on it. This is not the time to share your lifelong passion of Antarctic Penguin Environmental Litigation.


Don't ask, you mean. My pitfall tends to be asking tons of questions about how much appellate they do, though I've curbed that a lot recently.


Yes, that's right *don't* ask about pro-bono unless they pride themselves on it. Appellate work would be another no-no. That is just not going to be the bread and butter rainmaking litigation work for any law firm. The appellate shop is often the crown jewel of these firms but you aren't going to be doing that work unless you have a clerkship that begins with a number.


I have a very good shot at a clerkship that begins with a number - lesser shot at a clerkship that begins with a DC, but I'm optimistic. What I've moved to saying is litigation w/some appellate, and that, in the course of externing for two court of appeals judges, I've come to find that I (a) really enjoy working with the record, which I hadn't expected going into those jobs, and (b) question whether I'd enjoy a solely appellate diet of work.

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Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:12 pm

I would qualify the pro bono thing somewhat. A lot of firms (not all, but many) seem to pride themselves on having younger associates do pro bono to get courtroom experience and other early responsibility. I have had some positive reactions from attorneys when asking them a little bit about this; I worked in public interest over the summer and had a ton of responsibility so I've tied that story in with saying that I'd look forward to having some chances to do similar work here and there while at a firm, to continue to have some substantial responsibility early in my career. I think you can do it safely so long as you focus on the experiential aspect of it, and not on the do-gooder aspect, because they want people who are mainly interested in business-oriented work.

That said, I just went on my first callbacks over the last couple of days and haven't gotten an offer yet, so take this with a grain of salt.

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Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby johndhi » Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:35 pm

Re pro bono I bring it up only at firms that pride themselves on it and do it like so: "do you feel pro bono is a good opportunity to get early experience?" I originally invented the question to figure out whether the associates feel like they NEED pro-bono to get early experience. If the response is, "heh... I get enough early experience as it is" it's a good sign (if that's what you're looking for).

Re appellate, I don't know why you'd ask about it when it's something so clearly available on the web. Gibson Dunn and Mayer Brown are good at appellate. What more do you need to know? My understanding of entering the top appellate practices is that the dance begins when you're participating in a top clerkship and are approached by firms. My friend told me that when he was at the 9th Cir. the court would sometimes post the ridiculous letters firms send to the clerks seeking them out.

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Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby traydeuce » Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:15 pm

johndhi wrote:Re pro bono I bring it up only at firms that pride themselves on it and do it like so: "do you feel pro bono is a good opportunity to get early experience?" I originally invented the question to figure out whether the associates feel like they NEED pro-bono to get early experience. If the response is, "heh... I get enough early experience as it is" it's a good sign (if that's what you're looking for).

Re appellate, I don't know why you'd ask about it when it's something so clearly available on the web. Gibson Dunn and Mayer Brown are good at appellate. What more do you need to know? My understanding of entering the top appellate practices is that the dance begins when you're participating in a top clerkship and are approached by firms. My friend told me that when he was at the 9th Cir. the court would sometimes post the ridiculous letters firms send to the clerks seeking them out.


Well obviously "are you good at appellate" wasn't the question I was asking. It was more saying that my interest was largely appellate, or asking specific questions about the appellate practice group, etc. Of course, I only did this in interviews with firms with great appellate practices - but even then, it isn't the greatest idea.

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Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby daesonesb » Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:00 pm

fa
Last edited by daesonesb on Sun May 06, 2012 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:14 am

johndhi wrote:
MC Southstar wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi guys,
I have a callback interview scheduled soon at a large firm. I'm not a super-outgoing person and I am making myself pretty nervous about the whole process. I have a few questions:

1. Aside from looking at the firm's website, how do you guys prep for CBs?
2. Aside from saying, "I'm interested in litigation," how specific do you get when speaking about your career interests?
2. I'm not into sports -- do any other pop culture/ current events type of questions come up frequently?
3. Should females leave suit jackets on when eating lunch at the firm?

Thanks! I appreciate it :)


Men will automatically be innately doubtful of your ability to talk about sports if you talk about sports anyway as a woman. It's like begging and pleading for sexist thoughts to go into his head.


What the fuck is wrong with you? Get out of here.

OP:

I've been very successful at CBs. This is the way I do things, so it might not work for you (but it will). I'll give you some general pointers then address your questions.

You do not want a drop of pretension or arrogance in your presentation. Yesterday I saw a guy stomp into the administrative area after me with an arrogant smile on his face and tell the receptionist who he was here to see. She told him that person was on the 27th floor and to go up there and began to give instructions for how to get there. His response was to turn his back, walk away and say "Yeah. I used to work here." You do not want this. Let's re-do this in a good way:

You walk into the reception area with a warm smile and bright eyes. You don't stomp through like you own it; in fact, maybe you're a little unsure where to go, since this is your first time in the reception area. Say hello to the receptionist, ask them how their day is going, and make a situational comment (weather, how excited you are to step foot in the firm for the first time, how nice the lobby is). They'll ask if you want water; if you want water, get some. Use the bathroom, whatever.

This is, obviously, not the interview itself and not a hard and fast way to do things. But it's a general idea of how to approach the people you meet. What I do before walking into the building is visualize, in my head, the three qualities I want to portray when I meet with people. I adapt these, sometimes, before each interview, based on my perception of the person I'm going to meet with. For example, I always want to be warm and friendly, so I'll close my eyes imagine having a warm smile that seems happy and light-hearted. Then I'll practice making that smile. If I'm going to be meeting with a nerdy-seeming person, I'll think back to when I was a nerd and maybe even run through different little stories I can tell about myself to show what a nerd I am (my friends and I used to put LAN parties together; I loved the teamwork of building things in a group, but also the competitive aspect of playing games against each other = I'll be a good litigator). That said, if I'm meeting with the ex-captain of the football team and chair of the students' Republican committee, I'm not going to mention the fact that during 1L I lit a candle every night, meditated and looked at my prayer beads. I'll more likely talk about having non-law school friends with whom I could watch sports and get away from the academic environment momentarily to refresh myself, which helped me do as well as I did ( = I'll be able to remain focused during long hours).

Then moisturizer, then an anti-aging eye balm followed by a final moisturizing protective lotion.

In terms of substantive prep for CBs, I like to have a few points from each interviewer's resume I can bring up. "That's right - and I know you also participate in white collar cases - do those tend to go hand-in-hand with the civil claims from the same client?" Or even as far as, "I saw you wrote a law journal article on x, how funny, I am interested in x prime and, early last semester, I did y!"

As for being interested in litigation, here are my favorite ways to show it. These are sort of stolen from my career services people: I love a teamwork environment; in my prior work experience, I did got the chance to bounce ideas back and forth off my coworkers and found my work product was improved simply by opening my mind up to the idea exchange between the parties." Make that one more personal, obviously. Or you like the discrete goals in litigation - the way your mind works, you tend to focus on one piece of the puzzle at a time (jig-saw puzzle story/analogy time?) - it makes sense to you to have a motion to dismiss be the biggest thing in the world and when it's over, it's gone, and it's time for discovery. Then summary judgment.

Re sports, people aren't going to ask you about sports. If you're at a lunch with two bros, they might start talking sports and it would be worth something to be able to participate. But you can score equally well by steering the conversation to something you know about and can be excited about. These guys aren't looking that you have sports knowledge, but rather that you can engage in an interesting and personal conversation. If you're into collecting marbles and can talk about it passionately, people will be interested. Excuse my candor, but last week I got laid by talking about how into Game of Thrones I am. The girl had never read a fantasy novel, and probably though it's weird and nerdy to do so, but because I was so enamored with the storyline and made it interesting - people love to see passion - she thought it was really cool when I told her about Tyrion Lannister's imprisonment with Lysa Ayrn.

Suit jackets while eating lunch. I'm a guy so I may not be able to answer. I've taken it off once and left it on once. I took it off when I was with two young associates who were super chill, but left it on when I was at a swankier place and noticed older guys around who were keeping theirs on. I think it's save to leave it on. Remember to un-button when you sit down. (keep in mind, talking from a guy's perspective so I may be missing The Rules here).

Good luck. My inspiration to go deep into this came from the "... please?" in your title. That emotion is pity. You don't want that from interviewers. So drop the needy attitude; if this thread were an interview, you want the title to be something like, "Interview Tips." Manners and politeness are exceedingly important, but not being a wuss is also important.

GLHF


Holy.shit. Please tell me this post is real and not a blatant flame?

OP, if you ever wanted any interview advice at all, it's to ignore everything homeboy here just said. If this dude thinks getting laid off GAme of Thrones is good interviewing tactics, were in trouble.

Additional, I'm skeptical of anybody who prefaces their CB posts with "I'm very successful at cbs" right after saying "don't be pretentious." (pardon the paraphrasing). Guarantee u the dude this poster described as daring to have the audacity to know how to get around a building he apparently had already worked in at some point had a better cb.

Relax. Be yourself. A firm brought you in. They like you. If u try to force anything, it's insincere to urself and a potential future employer. There is no magic trick to cbs. You'll do great by just relaxing and having a conversation. The firm has already decided u meet their qualification bottom line. Now they want to know you.

Relax, good luck, and please god ignore the advice above.

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Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby daesonesb » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
johndhi wrote:
MC Southstar wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi guys,
I have a callback interview scheduled soon at a large firm. I'm not a super-outgoing person and I am making myself pretty nervous about the whole process. I have a few questions:

1. Aside from looking at the firm's website, how do you guys prep for CBs?
2. Aside from saying, "I'm interested in litigation," how specific do you get when speaking about your career interests?
2. I'm not into sports -- do any other pop culture/ current events type of questions come up frequently?
3. Should females leave suit jackets on when eating lunch at the firm?

Thanks! I appreciate it :)


Men will automatically be innately doubtful of your ability to talk about sports if you talk about sports anyway as a woman. It's like begging and pleading for sexist thoughts to go into his head.


What the fuck is wrong with you? Get out of here.

OP:

I've been very successful at CBs. This is the way I do things, so it might not work for you (but it will). I'll give you some general pointers then address your questions.

You do not want a drop of pretension or arrogance in your presentation. Yesterday I saw a guy stomp into the administrative area after me with an arrogant smile on his face and tell the receptionist who he was here to see. She told him that person was on the 27th floor and to go up there and began to give instructions for how to get there. His response was to turn his back, walk away and say "Yeah. I used to work here." You do not want this. Let's re-do this in a good way:

You walk into the reception area with a warm smile and bright eyes. You don't stomp through like you own it; in fact, maybe you're a little unsure where to go, since this is your first time in the reception area. Say hello to the receptionist, ask them how their day is going, and make a situational comment (weather, how excited you are to step foot in the firm for the first time, how nice the lobby is). They'll ask if you want water; if you want water, get some. Use the bathroom, whatever.

This is, obviously, not the interview itself and not a hard and fast way to do things. But it's a general idea of how to approach the people you meet. What I do before walking into the building is visualize, in my head, the three qualities I want to portray when I meet with people. I adapt these, sometimes, before each interview, based on my perception of the person I'm going to meet with. For example, I always want to be warm and friendly, so I'll close my eyes imagine having a warm smile that seems happy and light-hearted. Then I'll practice making that smile. If I'm going to be meeting with a nerdy-seeming person, I'll think back to when I was a nerd and maybe even run through different little stories I can tell about myself to show what a nerd I am (my friends and I used to put LAN parties together; I loved the teamwork of building things in a group, but also the competitive aspect of playing games against each other = I'll be a good litigator). That said, if I'm meeting with the ex-captain of the football team and chair of the students' Republican committee, I'm not going to mention the fact that during 1L I lit a candle every night, meditated and looked at my prayer beads. I'll more likely talk about having non-law school friends with whom I could watch sports and get away from the academic environment momentarily to refresh myself, which helped me do as well as I did ( = I'll be able to remain focused during long hours).

Then moisturizer, then an anti-aging eye balm followed by a final moisturizing protective lotion.

In terms of substantive prep for CBs, I like to have a few points from each interviewer's resume I can bring up. "That's right - and I know you also participate in white collar cases - do those tend to go hand-in-hand with the civil claims from the same client?" Or even as far as, "I saw you wrote a law journal article on x, how funny, I am interested in x prime and, early last semester, I did y!"

As for being interested in litigation, here are my favorite ways to show it. These are sort of stolen from my career services people: I love a teamwork environment; in my prior work experience, I did got the chance to bounce ideas back and forth off my coworkers and found my work product was improved simply by opening my mind up to the idea exchange between the parties." Make that one more personal, obviously. Or you like the discrete goals in litigation - the way your mind works, you tend to focus on one piece of the puzzle at a time (jig-saw puzzle story/analogy time?) - it makes sense to you to have a motion to dismiss be the biggest thing in the world and when it's over, it's gone, and it's time for discovery. Then summary judgment.

Re sports, people aren't going to ask you about sports. If you're at a lunch with two bros, they might start talking sports and it would be worth something to be able to participate. But you can score equally well by steering the conversation to something you know about and can be excited about. These guys aren't looking that you have sports knowledge, but rather that you can engage in an interesting and personal conversation. If you're into collecting marbles and can talk about it passionately, people will be interested. Excuse my candor, but last week I got laid by talking about how into Game of Thrones I am. The girl had never read a fantasy novel, and probably though it's weird and nerdy to do so, but because I was so enamored with the storyline and made it interesting - people love to see passion - she thought it was really cool when I told her about Tyrion Lannister's imprisonment with Lysa Ayrn.

Suit jackets while eating lunch. I'm a guy so I may not be able to answer. I've taken it off once and left it on once. I took it off when I was with two young associates who were super chill, but left it on when I was at a swankier place and noticed older guys around who were keeping theirs on. I think it's save to leave it on. Remember to un-button when you sit down. (keep in mind, talking from a guy's perspective so I may be missing The Rules here).

Good luck. My inspiration to go deep into this came from the "... please?" in your title. That emotion is pity. You don't want that from interviewers. So drop the needy attitude; if this thread were an interview, you want the title to be something like, "Interview Tips." Manners and politeness are exceedingly important, but not being a wuss is also important.

GLHF


Holy.shit. Please tell me this post is real and not a blatant flame?

OP, if you ever wanted any interview advice at all, it's to ignore everything homeboy here just said. If this dude thinks getting laid off GAme of Thrones is good interviewing tactics, were in trouble.

Additional, I'm skeptical of anybody who prefaces their CB posts with "I'm very successful at cbs" right after saying "don't be pretentious." (pardon the paraphrasing). Guarantee u the dude this poster described as daring to have the audacity to know how to get around a building he apparently had already worked in at some point had a better cb.

Relax. Be yourself. A firm brought you in. They like you. If u try to force anything, it's insincere to urself and a potential future employer. There is no magic trick to cbs. You'll do great by just relaxing and having a conversation. The firm has already decided u meet their qualification bottom line. Now they want to know you.

Relax, good luck, and please god ignore the advice above.



Some people have trouble relaxing and need a battle plan. To each their own. Maybe you are a natural, but some people would benefit from some advice. Being friendly and interested in your interviewers is really not bad advice at all.

johndhi
Posts: 358
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:25 am

Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby johndhi » Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:25 am

daesonesb wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Holy.shit. Please tell me this post is real and not a blatant flame?

OP, if you ever wanted any interview advice at all, it's to ignore everything homeboy here just said. If this dude thinks getting laid off GAme of Thrones is good interviewing tactics, were in trouble.

Additional, I'm skeptical of anybody who prefaces their CB posts with "I'm very successful at cbs" right after saying "don't be pretentious." (pardon the paraphrasing). Guarantee u the dude this poster described as daring to have the audacity to know how to get around a building he apparently had already worked in at some point had a better cb.

Relax. Be yourself. A firm brought you in. They like you. If u try to force anything, it's insincere to urself and a potential future employer. There is no magic trick to cbs. You'll do great by just relaxing and having a conversation. The firm has already decided u meet their qualification bottom line. Now they want to know you.

Relax, good luck, and please god ignore the advice above.



Some people have trouble relaxing and need a battle plan. To each their own. Maybe you are a natural, but some people would benefit from some advice. Being friendly and interested in your interviewers is really not bad advice at all.


This is an interesting statement that leads to some good self-reflection. Thanks :) Your response is also more eloquent and parsimonious than what I'm about to say.

To the anon guy who can't spell, your paraphrasing is pardoned. Yes, everything I said was for real. I'm reading the second book in the series now. It hasn't gotten me laid yet but we'll see what it can do. There are reasons other than the book that it happened - we both found each other charming and build a relationship of trust and attraction, for example. My point was that sometimes (law school analogy!!) substance matters less than procedure: the details of what you're talking about tend to be less important than the enthusiasm or focus with which you present them.

You're welcome to guarantee that I had bad results, but I didn't. To some extent in real life I am the same arrogant dickhead I play on this forum, but in case you hadn't noticed, good litigators are often arrogant dickheads. I guess I just love competition. When it comes to CBs, I want to feel prepared enough that I can just breeze into the office and have absolutely nothing on my mind when I talk to people; no motives other than the intent to work with you. This is the stuff that gets me there.

edit: this is getting ... a little out there, but I realized a little bit of what's going on here. The guy who was flaming me probably also does well in CBs because he shares something with me. We both have a "strong frame," (here's a really bad link describing this: http://www.mindreality.com/having-a-str ... me-control). In other words, we both kind of know what we want and give off this vibe like the world as we see it is correct. This can also make (and probably has for both of us) you look arrogant, but I think it's a nice aspect to show off a little bit in firm interviews - that you're kinda the boss.

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

Re: Call back tips... please?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:09 pm

Your callback will be remarkably similar to your screening interview except that you do several screening interviews and a lunch. Have some questions prepared for your interviewers, have good reasons for wanting to work at their firm, and enjoy the process--I'm sure you'll be fine.

I didn't read the entire thread, but I saw that someone said not to ask about work life balance. I disagree with this to some extent. If you ask it in a way that makes it seem like you're hoping that they tell you you don't need to be in the office past 5 pm, then that's probably not a good thing to do. But I think that a good question can be asking about how they or how they have seen other people maintain other things like community involvement and hobbies with their busy work schedule. Employers like to see that you are passionate about things other than school and work, and the answer could say a lot about the kinds of people that work there.




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