Researching your interviewer: smart or creepy?

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clone22
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Researching your interviewer: smart or creepy?

Postby clone22 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:47 pm

So what is the consensus on doing a bit of research on the people who will be interviewing you (for OCI and callbacks)? I've seen it mentioned on this board that you don't want to mention cases that people have done because it seems creepy. But isn't that why we are provided with a list of people who will interview us ahead of time?

Wouldn't the partner interviewing you get a bit of an ego boost if you manage to slide in some case that they've worked on or an article they've published? I'm not saying you should look up their date of birth or stalk their home address or something.

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fatduck
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Re: Researching your interviewer: smart or creepy?

Postby fatduck » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:50 pm

you have basically two options here:

1. ask non-personal questions that relate to their area of expertise or experience or whatever, so you know they'll have good, detailed answers

2. ask about their specific experiences directly (bad example, but, "so what was it like to work on X?" kind of thing)

it only gets creepy when you start trying to subtly sneak references to their past work in like you're old buds

Anonymous User
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Re: Researching your interviewer: smart or creepy?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:53 pm

nvm.

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jessuf
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Re: Researching your interviewer: smart or creepy?

Postby jessuf » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:59 pm

I brought up something I found in a bio in every interview I had. I don't understand how that would be creepy unless you said it all aspie-like. I was told by most recruiters in hospitality suites to research my interviewers beforehand.

clone22
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Re: Researching your interviewer: smart or creepy?

Postby clone22 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:02 pm

fatduck wrote:you have basically two options here:

1. ask non-personal questions that relate to their area of expertise or experience or whatever, so you know they'll have good, detailed answers

2. ask about their specific experiences directly (bad example, but, "so what was it like to work on X?" kind of thing)

it only gets creepy when you start trying to subtly sneak references to their past work in like you're old buds


Um, so how does one come up with good questions that relate to their area of expertise? For example tax, as a 1L I haven't taken a single course in it. I can read what the website says, but I feel like I don't know enough about the practice to be able to come up with a question that can't be answered by google, their firm website, or the chambers associate guide to practice areas.

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fatduck
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Re: Researching your interviewer: smart or creepy?

Postby fatduck » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:08 pm

clone22 wrote:
fatduck wrote:you have basically two options here:

1. ask non-personal questions that relate to their area of expertise or experience or whatever, so you know they'll have good, detailed answers

2. ask about their specific experiences directly (bad example, but, "so what was it like to work on X?" kind of thing)

it only gets creepy when you start trying to subtly sneak references to their past work in like you're old buds


Um, so how does one come up with good questions that relate to their area of expertise? For example tax, as a 1L I haven't taken a single course in it. I can read what the website says, but I feel like I don't know enough about the practice to be able to come up with a question that can't be answered by google, their firm website, or the chambers associate guide to practice areas.

are you looking to do tax, or just looking for some filler questions to ask? for the latter, i had an interview with a tax dude and i just said something like "so i'm curious, how did you end up doing tax? did you go into the firm planning on doing tax or did you sort of fall into it?" unfortunately for me, he was like "well i worked at the IRS for 20 years before law school" so there wasn't much room for follow-up, but i think that's a fine place to be direct. if you want to be more general, you could just ask "how did you choose your practice area?" it ends up being kind of a variation on the "well i'm interested in corporate but i realize i don't know much since 1L is so litigation-focused" type of question.

bdubs
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Re: Researching your interviewer: smart or creepy?

Postby bdubs » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:09 pm

Interviews are about your fit with their firm, not with the interviewer. I think interviewers get a bit weirded out when people start tailoring all of their questions toward them and not toward the firm/office generally. If you're really interested in the specific practice area that the interviewer works in, that will come out naturally during conversation. If the interviewer is corporate and you start asking about deals when you're more interested in litigation it will seem odd and look like you're trying to suck up instead of interview.

HeavenWood
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Re: Researching your interviewer: smart or creepy?

Postby HeavenWood » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:13 pm

As long as you can find it easily on their website, it's not creepy. I've led a couple questions in with "I saw on your firm bio page..." and the interviewer didn't bat an eye.

Anonymous User
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Re: Researching your interviewer: smart or creepy?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:16 pm

HeavenWood wrote:As long as you can find it easily on their website, it's not creepy. I've led a couple questions in with "I saw on your firm bio page..." and the interviewer didn't bat an eye.


Agreed, if its directly on the website its fair game. IF however, you go and dig up a Law review article they wrote just because it's listed on their bio, that's kinda weird.

The way I see it, if they can look at my Facebook/LinkedIn, I can look at/reference their work page without looking like I'm prying.

Anonymous User
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Re: Researching your interviewer: smart or creepy?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:17 pm

I wouldn't recommend doing the "I saw you work on X" questions. I've asked that kind of question three times, and two of the times the person said, "I actually didn't really work on that." Firm bios often inflate that kind of thing.

HeavenWood
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Re: Researching your interviewer: smart or creepy?

Postby HeavenWood » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I wouldn't recommend doing the "I saw you work on X" questions. I've asked that kind of question three times, and two of the times the person said, "I actually didn't really work on that." Firm bios often inflate that kind of thing.

I've been sticking to the more broad practice area/employment history questions.




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