screwed up w/ answer during CB

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Anonymous User
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screwed up w/ answer during CB

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:05 am

how much influence does one of the five or so interviewers have over the prospect of getting an offer? i just had a callback where four interviews went well, and one was going well until i completely flubbed an answer to the "what are you looking for in a law firm?" question. for some stupid reason (boredom?) i decided to go in a different direction than my usual response, and i was just terribly inarticulate. i recovered okay for the rest of the interview. i'm feeling kind of screwed.

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patrickd139
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Re: screwed up w/ answer during CB

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:08 am

There's no possible way to answer this question without knowing more information (i.e. which firm, your school/rank, wtf "in a different direction" means). For example: at some firms, the CB is a mere formality. Others are looking for reasons to exclude people.

Playing the odds, I'd guess one errant answer in one interview at one CB is not going to be the end of the world.

kaiser
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Re: screwed up w/ answer during CB

Postby kaiser » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:11 am

If we don't know what your usual direction is, how could we understand what you mean when you say that you went a different direction?

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Re: screwed up w/ answer during CB

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:12 am

yeah well i'm keeping the details to a minimum for obvious reasons. just assume i flopped an answer, doesn't matter what exactly i said. i'm not looking for a confirmation whether or not my answer was crap, because i know that it was. firm is v10, and i'm a transfer to CCN. unfortunately, this is the only callback that i have.

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Re: screwed up w/ answer during CB

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:yeah well i'm keeping the details to a minimum for obvious reasons. just assume i flopped an answer, doesn't matter what exactly i said. i'm not looking for a confirmation whether or not my answer was crap, because i know that it was. firm is v10, and i'm a transfer to CCN. unfortunately, this is the only callback that i have.


I'm a transfer to CCN as well. Mass mailing far and wide would be a really good idea, and I'd do it right now if I were you. Tons of mid-size and smaller firms are still handing out interviews, and are happy to speak with CCN people.

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Re: screwed up w/ answer during CB

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:how much influence does one of the five or so interviewers have over the prospect of getting an offer? i just had a callback where four interviews went well, and one was going well until i completely flubbed an answer to the "what are you looking for in a law firm?" question. for some stupid reason (boredom?) i decided to go in a different direction than my usual response, and i was just terribly inarticulate. i recovered okay for the rest of the interview. i'm feeling kind of screwed.


This sounds exactly like one of my callbacks, down to the question that triggered the flub. I talked to 5-6 people. All were G-R-E-A-T interviews, I felt. Except one of them, who didn't mesh with me, or any of the other attorneys I met that day. A real weird dude.

Of course, he was the hiring partner. I got a rejection real fast.

So, to answer your question: It can matter.

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Re: screwed up w/ answer during CB

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:24 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:how much influence does one of the five or so interviewers have over the prospect of getting an offer? i just had a callback where four interviews went well, and one was going well until i completely flubbed an answer to the "what are you looking for in a law firm?" question. for some stupid reason (boredom?) i decided to go in a different direction than my usual response, and i was just terribly inarticulate. i recovered okay for the rest of the interview. i'm feeling kind of screwed.


This sounds exactly like one of my callbacks, down to the question that triggered the flub. I talked to 5-6 people. All were G-R-E-A-T interviews, I felt. Except one of them, who didn't mesh with me, or any of the other attorneys I met that day. A real weird dude.

Of course, he was the hiring partner. I got a rejection real fast.

So, to answer your question: It can matter.


Yeah this is what I'm afraid of. he was one of two partners i talked to, the rest were associates. i don't think he's on the hiring committee or anything like that. so who knows.

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patrickd139
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Re: screwed up w/ answer during CB

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:24 am

Anonymous User wrote:who knows.

TCR

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Re: screwed up w/ answer during CB

Postby Eco » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:26 am

Hope it goes well. What you should do is personalize your thank you note to him a bit better. You said some parts of the interview went well? In your thank you note, remind him which part went well. For example, "Thanks for the interview. I really feel I would be a great fit for your firm because of X ("X would be whatever it is that you said went well"). For example, I did this. Thanks!"

That might remind him of the good and less of the bad if they haven't made a decision yet.

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Re: screwed up w/ answer during CB

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:30 am

I would guess this is only a big deal if you were borderline to begin with. I imagine very few people answer all questions seamlessly and if I were an interviewer, those are the people I would be skeptical of.

I received an offer at a firm whose strength in one practice area I praised, only to be told that the office I was interviewing with did very little of it, "but you should think about DC." Oops, but you can recover from these things.

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Go_to_NYU
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Re: screwed up w/ answer during CB

Postby Go_to_NYU » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:32 am

One bad answer shouldn't sink you.

One bad review might, but tanking someone's review because of one weak answer is pretty harsh (I think).

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Re: screwed up w/ answer during CB

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:33 am

Eco wrote:Hope it goes well. What you should do is personalize your thank you note to him a bit better. You said some parts of the interview went well? In your thank you note, remind him which part went well. For example, "Thanks for the interview. I really feel I would be a great fit for your firm because of X ("X would be whatever it is that you said went well"). For example, I did this. Thanks!"

That might remind him of the good and less of the bad if they haven't made a decision yet.


Haha, I sort of did the opposite, in that I basically said "your practice [some detail learned in interview], which is exactly what i'm looking for in a law firm." I guess this could either make up for my terrible answer, or just remind him of it.

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Re: screwed up w/ answer during CB

Postby Eco » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:34 am

^ I think you'll be fine. Since its you're only CB I'm rooting for you to get that job! Let us know if it works out.

EDIT: Unless it's a job that I want! lol.

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Re: screwed up w/ answer during CB

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:yeah well i'm keeping the details to a minimum for obvious reasons. just assume i flopped an answer, doesn't matter what exactly i said. i'm not looking for a confirmation whether or not my answer was crap, because i know that it was. firm is v10, and i'm a transfer to CCN. unfortunately, this is the only callback that i have.


I'm a transfer to CCN as well. Mass mailing far and wide would be a really good idea, and I'd do it right now if I were you. Tons of mid-size and smaller firms are still handing out interviews, and are happy to speak with CCN people.


I keep getting the feeling that transfers to CCN who aren't doing well are either at Columbia or NYU. Chicago transfers have been cleaning up, it seems.

Anonymous User
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Re: screwed up w/ answer during CB

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:I would guess this is only a big deal if you were borderline to begin with. I imagine very few people answer all questions seamlessly and if I were an interviewer, those are the people I would be skeptical of.

I received an offer at a firm whose strength in one practice area I praised, only to be told that the office I was interviewing with did very little of it, "but you should think about DC." Oops, but you can recover from these things.


yeah, i'm just hoping i did recover. basically i was talking about the firm culture i desired, and i was trying to say that i wasn't into the whole alpha male aggressive environment (and the firm I was interviewing at is not known for this), but i'm just afraid it came off wrong. when he replied with his description of the firm's culture, i sort of pulled a "oh, that's actually what i meant when i said X", but i don't know if it was enough.

anyway, thanks to all for the encouragement, obviously no one can provide me with definitive answers but i was just looking to vent anxiety more than anything.

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Re: screwed up w/ answer during CB

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:03 am

Don't worry too much. I had a horrible CB with one partner (I interviewed with 6 partners that day) who grilled me on substantive legal issues from my 1L classes and I completely blanked. Caught me off guard. I don't think you're meant to have perfect interviews with everyone and that's why everything is taken into consideration when offers are made. Good luck!

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Re: screwed up w/ answer during CB

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:yeah well i'm keeping the details to a minimum for obvious reasons. just assume i flopped an answer, doesn't matter what exactly i said. i'm not looking for a confirmation whether or not my answer was crap, because i know that it was. firm is v10, and i'm a transfer to CCN. unfortunately, this is the only callback that i have.


I'm a transfer to CCN as well. Mass mailing far and wide would be a really good idea, and I'd do it right now if I were you. Tons of mid-size and smaller firms are still handing out interviews, and are happy to speak with CCN people.


I keep getting the feeling that transfers to CCN who aren't doing well are either at Columbia or NYU. Chicago transfers have been cleaning up, it seems.


can confirm this is not entirely true--some Chicago transfers are having a rough time.

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snailio
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Re: screwed up w/ answer during CB

Postby snailio » Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:how much influence does one of the five or so interviewers have over the prospect of getting an offer? i just had a callback where four interviews went well, and one was going well until i completely flubbed an answer to the "what are you looking for in a law firm?" question. for some stupid reason (boredom?) i decided to go in a different direction than my usual response, and i was just terribly inarticulate. i recovered okay for the rest of the interview. i'm feeling kind of screwed.


This sounds exactly like one of my callbacks, down to the question that triggered the flub. I talked to 5-6 people. All were G-R-E-A-T interviews, I felt. Except one of them, who didn't mesh with me, or any of the other attorneys I met that day. A real weird dude.

Of course, he was the hiring partner. I got a rejection real fast.

So, to answer your question: It can matter.



But odds are in your favor that it wasn't the hiring partner, and if you "meshed" with this person otherwise I wouldn't sweat this.

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Re: screwed up w/ answer during CB

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:yeah well i'm keeping the details to a minimum for obvious reasons. just assume i flopped an answer, doesn't matter what exactly i said. i'm not looking for a confirmation whether or not my answer was crap, because i know that it was. firm is v10, and i'm a transfer to CCN. unfortunately, this is the only callback that i have.


I'm a transfer to CCN as well. Mass mailing far and wide would be a really good idea, and I'd do it right now if I were you. Tons of mid-size and smaller firms are still handing out interviews, and are happy to speak with CCN people.


I keep getting the feeling that transfers to CCN who aren't doing well are either at Columbia or NYU. Chicago transfers have been cleaning up, it seems.


Michigan transfers have been owning overall too (I'm one of the strugglers and even I have a couple CB's through OCI and a bunch through pre-OCI mass mails).

As for whether you "screwed up" or not, it really depends on way too many factors. Also if the firm has a high CB:offer rate, there is probably nothing at all to worry about.

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Re: screwed up w/ answer during CB

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:yeah well i'm keeping the details to a minimum for obvious reasons. just assume i flopped an answer, doesn't matter what exactly i said. i'm not looking for a confirmation whether or not my answer was crap, because i know that it was. firm is v10, and i'm a transfer to CCN. unfortunately, this is the only callback that i have.


I'm a transfer to CCN as well. Mass mailing far and wide would be a really good idea, and I'd do it right now if I were you. Tons of mid-size and smaller firms are still handing out interviews, and are happy to speak with CCN people.


I keep getting the feeling that transfers to CCN who aren't doing well are either at Columbia or NYU. Chicago transfers have been cleaning up, it seems.


I don't know if this is true either. While there are some transfers at NYU struggling... there are also a lot with 10+ callbacks. I think it entirely depends on the person.

johndhi
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Re: screwed up w/ answer during CB

Postby johndhi » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:06 am

Good luck. I don't think giving an inarticulate answer should sink you - I was so tired during one of my interviews (albeit it with an associate) that I stopped in the middle of my answer and said, "uhh. sorry, I'm really tired. I forgot what I was saying just now." and got the offer.

On the other hand, a bad interaction with HR sunk me in another one!

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Re: screwed up w/ answer during CB

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:yeah well i'm keeping the details to a minimum for obvious reasons. just assume i flopped an answer, doesn't matter what exactly i said. i'm not looking for a confirmation whether or not my answer was crap, because i know that it was. firm is v10, and i'm a transfer to CCN. unfortunately, this is the only callback that i have.


I'm a transfer to CCN as well. Mass mailing far and wide would be a really good idea, and I'd do it right now if I were you. Tons of mid-size and smaller firms are still handing out interviews, and are happy to speak with CCN people.


I keep getting the feeling that transfers to CCN who aren't doing well are either at Columbia or NYU. Chicago transfers have been cleaning up, it seems.


I don't know if this is true either. While there are some transfers at NYU struggling... there are also a lot with 10+ callbacks. I think it entirely depends on the person.


Given the number of NYU transfers who came from T14s (or schools very slightly below the T14), I think there are two very distinct classes when it comes to success with callbacks/offers. Personally, I'm in a far worse boat now than if I'd stayed at my old school and let home market v100s fight over me. The small subset of those firms who weren't turned off by my out-of-market transfer represent the only success I've had.




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