Cravath Callback - What to expect?

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Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:50 pm

I have a Cravath CB and I'm freaking out a little bit because I didn't expect to get anything from the screener based on my credentials.

Can anyone who has done a Cravath callback tell me what to expect? It's an all-day affair, so I'm trying to get a better feel for what it is actually all about.

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:53 pm

You're dropped off in the Amazon with only a bowie knife and a piece of string. If you find your way back to the NYC office, you get a job.

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:You're dropped off in the Amazon with only a bowie knife and a piece of string. If you find your way back to the NYC office, you get a job.

OP here - I might prefer that over getting grilled on corporate shit I have no clue about for 8 hours.

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Transferthrowaway » Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:You're dropped off in the Amazon with only a bowie knife and a piece of string. If you find your way back to the NYC office, you get a job.

OP here - I might prefer that over getting grilled on corporate shit I have no clue about for 8 hours.


sack up, dude.

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:43 pm

You won't get grilled about corporate stuff you know nothing about, unless you put it on your resume or act like you know all about it during the interviews. I found the Cravath interviews to be much more informal and conversational than other callbacks, because there's no set schedule. Interviewers don't just have 30 minutes to get to know you. My shortest interview was almost an hour. You can't fill an hour with questions about your resume followed by "What can I tell you about the firm?" Try to get to know your interviewers, what they do, and why they do it. Ask them what they like about their area of expertise, clients, etc. Ask about their hobbies and how they fit them into their schedule (obviously without making it look like you're planning on checking out every weekend). Despite the fact that the interviews are really long, I found them to be more relaxed than most of my other callbacks.

Hope that helps.

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:23 pm

For what it's worth, not everyone has super-long interviews. At my CB, the recruiting people actually cut most of my interviews off at about half an hour by knocking on the door; only two of the five interviews went for well over that time, and both ended up pretty conversational.

In addition to you not knowing anything beforehand, your interviewers don't see your resume until you step into their offices, so the interviews are also different in that no one will ask you more than one or two questions about yourself before asking you what you want to know (because they haven't reviewed your resume beforehand and thought of topical questions). I found that that made the interviews more unusual than the longer time period, especially since most of the interviews weren't that much longer than the ordinary CB interview.

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:33 pm

Do they ask 'behavioral' questions ("tell me about a time you had to work with someone you didn't get along with" or "have you ever had to convince someone of a point of view they disagreed with", etc.)? I know for callbacks some firms give every interviewer one question like that to ask. Any experience either way on this at Cravath?

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do they ask 'behavioral' questions ("tell me about a time you had to work with someone you didn't get along with" or "have you ever had to convince someone of a point of view they disagreed with", etc.)? I know for callbacks some firms give every interviewer one question like that to ask. Any experience either way on this at Cravath?


No.

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do they ask 'behavioral' questions ("tell me about a time you had to work with someone you didn't get along with" or "have you ever had to convince someone of a point of view they disagreed with", etc.)? I know for callbacks some firms give every interviewer one question like that to ask. Any experience either way on this at Cravath?


No.

Thanks; I'm not a fan of those, hard to answer without sounding like a phoney.

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:40 pm

I had nothing behavioral. Do your research on some of the more senior partners in the practice area you're interviewing for because there's a very good chance you'll be interviewing with them. Just try to connect on a blended personal/professional level. Connect with them about what about their work really resonates with them. I found myself doing that on a couple of my interviews (for litigation) and I think that did the trick for me. Don't rely too heavily on caned questions. Try to ask questions about things that organically arise out of the conversation. I don't know if this is how it always goes, but I got an offer at the end of the day.


Also, don't freak out if the interviews are shorter than some of the ones you've been hearing about. Some of mine were long, some were quite short. You don't know what phone call the partner has planned or whether they need to pull you away to have you meet with the recruiting partner at a particular time. It's not necessarily a bad sign if things wrap up quickly.

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:26 pm

Here are my observations from my callback:

Personal and Preparation: When they say it is an all-day affair, they mean it. I was there from the morning until 6PM or so on the day of my callback. You definitely want to make sure you are hydrated and well-rested. Having to be on your A-Game that long can be fairly tiring. Since you won't know who you are interviewing, I did no preparation in terms of learning about the senior people or anything like that in the off-chance you might interview with them. There are just too many variables (vacations, away for work, no time to meet somebody). They really don't expect you to know anything about them and you are likely to waste a lot of time learning a lot about people you will likely never meet. That said, you should do as much research about the firm's rotation system and culture. The biggest thing, though, is to have a LOT of questions prepared. I had two full pages of questions I wrote down, split between what I would ask associates and what I would ask partners. Questions prepared is by far the best preparation you can do.

The Process: You will start by checking in at reception, as usual. Then the recruiting department will take you to the first interviewer. As already mentioned, your interviewer will not have seen your resume or transcript before you walk in and the recruiting person gives them your packet. The interview commences and can last as long as the interviewer wants it to last. I had a couple in the range of 30 minutes and I had at least one that lasted over an hour. When they are done talking to you, they will call recruiting and somebody will be sent to come grab you. During that time, the recruiting department starts calling other people to meet with you. They honestly have no real idea who will be meeting you throughout the day until they start making these calls. Sometimes you may be asked to wait in a hospitality suite area by recruiting until they have your next interviewer locked in, but if so, it will generally only take five minutes or so. There is water and the like in this area, as well as computers you can use and some reading material. (But pick up after yourself-I found it to be rude that some people would leave their used water bottles on the table when they got called out instead of putting it in the nearby trash can) You will also have lunch with two associates, which is your typical callback lunch scenario. As the interviewers are done with you, it is my understanding they are immediately sending their evaluation into the hiring guys. Generally, the understanding is if you end the day by talking to either of the two hiring partners (Damien Zoubek or Gary Bornstein), then you are getting an offer before you leave. This happened to me, but I have heard anecdotally that it happens a little less often than it used to in the past. For everybody else, you will wrap up with recruiting and be sent on your way, to hear back a few days later.

The Interviews: In general, the interviews were like any other callback interview. They will ask a few questions about you and there were no real surprises -- why law, what do you like about law school, tell me about this experience on your resume, etc. There were no behavioral questions and they really just wanted to get a feel for you you are. After that, they'll allow you to ask questions. While I am not sure why, I felt what made the Cravath callback more different than others was a feeling that I needed to give more than superficial answers to their questions. I got the sense they really wanted to understand more about the way my thoughts developed and to provide thorough answers. As for the questions you ask, I generally asked questions from three categories. The first were questions specific to how they PERSONALLY handled things under the rotation system, since I knew each partner would likely handle things a little differently and I wanted to compare the responses. The second set of questions were more on career advice, like "What do you think the biggest challenges a junior associate hear has in adapting to the Cravath system?" etc. The third set of questions were more like those I would typically use in an informational interview--things like they found to be the unique challenges or skills used in their practice area and so on. Since you have unlimited time and people generally like talking about themselves and their practice, I felt these were good at extending the time and learning some new things about different practice areas and the like. Because of the lack of time limits, your interviews are much more likely to turn into actual conversations, rather than the typical question and answer session that predominates most interviews.

Do not feel like you have to keep asking questions ad inifinitum until they get tired of talking to you. In a couple of my interviews, I asked a series of questions, got some good responses, and said I didn't have anymore for them, which resulted in the interview ending at that point. They didn't seem to mind it getting to that point as long as I had some insightful questions to ask beforehand. Lastly, try to come up with something from your conversation or based on what you see in their office for small talk at the end of the interview. Once you are done and they call recruiting to pick you up, you may be sitting there for up to three minutes or so until the recruiting person gets there. Try to avoid the situation being awkward by toning down the conversation and talking about hobbies, the weather, or something. Show that you are a person.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Helmholtz » Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:36 pm

Just for Men: Touch of Gray brushed along the sides of your hair = offer

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby nealric » Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:42 pm

Be prepared to learn the Cravath walk.

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Here are my observations from my callback:

Personal and Preparation:....

Hope this helps.


OP Here - This is great. Thank you!

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Eco » Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:51 pm

That post was really helpful :).

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Here are my observations from my callback:

Personal and Preparation:....

Hope this helps.


OP Here - This is great. Thank you!

+1, a fantastic post, thanks for taking the time!

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:24 pm

I agree with the posts above but want to add a couple things.

There are a number of unique attributes that distinguish Cravath from other law firms. These should provide ample material to discuss with your interviewers. I also had pages of notes and questions going into my Cravath interview. (The most I had for any other firm interview was one page.)

Order coffee after lunch.

If you're going to ask "lifestyle" questions, ask them of the associates. I found the associates to be candid in their assessment of their training, the hours they worked, how they were treated by partners, etc. Obviously, don't go overboard on these types of questions.

Good luck.

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:32 pm

If one doesn't meet with a hiring partner at all over the course of the callback, is a rejection all but assured? I met with recruiting at the end of my day, and was told that they hadn't collected all of the feedback from my interviews. They also told me to keep them apprised of other offers.

My callback was several days ago, and I have yet to hear anything. I am likely dinged, yes?

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If one doesn't meet with a hiring partner at all over the course of the callback, is a rejection all but assured? I met with recruiting at the end of my day, and was told that they hadn't collected all of the feedback from my interviews. They also told me to keep them apprised of other offers.

My callback was several days ago, and I have yet to hear anything. I am likely dinged, yes?


I knew a couple of other people with that same type of experience. They got dings, but it's far from a large sample.

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If one doesn't meet with a hiring partner at all over the course of the callback, is a rejection all but assured? I met with recruiting at the end of my day, and was told that they hadn't collected all of the feedback from my interviews.


On my interview day, I know that some people were receiving same-day offers. I left feeling miserable because I wasn't one of those people, but I did receive an offer about four or five days later. In my case, I know that one of my interviewers left shortly after my interview and may not have had time to submit comments. So, their explanation seems reasonable.

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:35 am

I was in New York this week for another interview. I was walking down a random street looking for lunch and I stopped to check my email. Something inside said to look left and there it was: Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:02 am

For what it's worth, I was explicitly told the hiring partner was on vacation while I was there as an explanation for why I wasn't meeting with him (partially because I'm interested in tax, and he's a tax partner, so it would have been natural to meet him anyway).

I didn't get a same-day offer, though. Still waiting :/

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:For what it's worth, I was explicitly told the hiring partner was on vacation while I was there as an explanation for why I wasn't meeting with him (partially because I'm interested in tax, and he's a tax partner, so it would have been natural to meet him anyway).

I didn't get a same-day offer, though. Still waiting :/


ugh. well its been nearly a week now for me. i'm still crossing my fingers though. i will post here if i receive an offer next week.

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Noval » Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:42 pm

Interviewer: What makes you unique ? Tell me about it.

Me: The hair, i got beautiful hair...

Interviewer: You start on monday, congratulations !


That's how you herp derp your way to victory ^

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Re: Cravath Callback - What to expect?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:59 pm

Dinged after a Cravath CB. All of my interviews were like pleasant long screeners, like the above posters have said, except for 1. That partner really grilled & challenged me, especially on my answers for why law & why Cravath. Nothing I said seemed to be good enough for him. Plus, the answers for why Cravath MUST be specifically for Cravath alone. At one point, the partner said that what I said would apply to WLRK & S&C as well, so my answer was not good enough. I have found that such answers that apply to a handful of firms are good enough for interviewers at other firms, where I have received multiple offers, but not CSM. He also asked some substantive "gotcha" questions & tried to trip me up w/ some hypos, like a law school prof. That being said, I think CSM was a reach for me anyway, not to mention the fact that I probably would not want to work for the partner I met. I got a snail mail ding about a week afterward. Hope this helps.




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