Interview Problems

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Anonymous User
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Interview Problems

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:57 am

I didn't want to hi-jack the "High-Risk, High-Reward" thread but I am having some similar problems that maybe TLS could help me with. Somehow, I bombed OCI.

Top 10% at a lower T14, secondary journal, federal judicial internship this summer, work experience (but nothing spectacular). I am also a bit older than average (early 30s, some grays give me away). I bid pretty conservatively for EIW: a mix of DC, NYC, and my secondary market. I did about 5 mock interviews, and generally got good feedback. Two of them thought I had a "like" problem, but I think I corrected it, and don't remember saying "like" during my interviews. In general I thought my interviews went well. I was relaxed, confident and had a nice conversation with each one of my interviewers. I was dressed conservatively, following TLS conventional wisdom pretty closely.

I have been thus far blocked out of NYC entirely and have done fairly well in my secondary market (but I didn't have many interviews there in the first place, compared to the others). Others with lower grades have gotten many more CB interviews than I have. My big concern is that whatever mistake I made during EIW will be repeated at my CBs. Heading into career services today for a diagnostic. I have some ideas on what the problems might have been:

1) Age? Or rather, Age combined with me doing nothing particularly impressive career-wise (some mid-level management stuff in marketing is about as high up as I've gone). Obviously no one asked me about my age (although I got a stealthy question, the import of which was: "Can you take orders from a younger dude?" I think I answered that one fine). Some interviewers didn't seem impressed by my experience. Some reacted positively.
2) Unknown undergrad? My undergrad is a completely unknown small state university. It doesn't even show up in the drop-down menus on some recruitment applications. I actually had a great experience there, but I'm wondering if this is hurting me. I also let my shitty undergrad GPA off my resume. Nobody asked me about my undergrad GPA.
3) Didn't sell myself hard enough? The interviews were so conversational that I felt like giving a real pitch would have been inappropriate. Still, I tried to get across that I am a hard worker, love litigation, and have good people skills in every interview. I have a great anecdote from my summer experience that gets across the first two. For the last, I rely on my sales/marketing experience.
4) My resume has secondary-market written all over it? Until LS (which is in a major metro area), I lived in my secondary market. Went to undergrad there. I didn't think ties mattered for NYC and DC, but who knows? Maybe it was easy to tell I didn't really want to move to NYC, even though my Why NYC was pretty enthusiastic.
5) My "why law school" anecdote is pretty long. It makes sense, but maybe my interviewers are tuning out halfway through.
6) There are a few other possibilities, but I would prefer to PM for fear of outing myself, but they all involve OCS-approved answers, FWIW.

Two big concerns:
1) How can I get more DC interviews? My DC interviews, due to the lottery process, were mostly with small and mid-sized DC firms (still "BigLaw" vault-ranked) not Hogan, Wilmer, etc. I feel like I have emailed my materials to these guys a thousand times. Is calling a terrible idea, a good idea, or pointless?
2) How do I not screw up CBs?

Thanks for all of the help this board has provided me, studying for the LSAT and succeeding 1L! Appreciate your help with this one.

keg411
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Re: Interview Problems

Postby keg411 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:14 am

OP, PM me. I had a lot of your problems last year.

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Re: Interview Problems

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:I didn't want to hi-jack the "High-Risk, High-Reward" thread but I am having some similar problems that maybe TLS could help me with. Somehow, I bombed OCI.

Top 10% at a lower T14, secondary journal, federal judicial internship this summer, work experience (but nothing spectacular). I am also a bit older than average (early 30s, some grays give me away). I bid pretty conservatively for EIW: a mix of DC, NYC, and my secondary market. I did about 5 mock interviews, and generally got good feedback. Two of them thought I had a "like" problem, but I think I corrected it, and don't remember saying "like" during my interviews. In general I thought my interviews went well. I was relaxed, confident and had a nice conversation with each one of my interviewers. I was dressed conservatively, following TLS conventional wisdom pretty closely.

I have been thus far blocked out of NYC entirely and have done fairly well in my secondary market (but I didn't have many interviews there in the first place, compared to the others). Others with lower grades have gotten many more CB interviews than I have. My big concern is that whatever mistake I made during EIW will be repeated at my CBs. Heading into career services today for a diagnostic. I have some ideas on what the problems might have been:

1) Age? Or rather, Age combined with me doing nothing particularly impressive career-wise (some mid-level management stuff in marketing is about as high up as I've gone). Obviously no one asked me about my age (although I got a stealthy question, the import of which was: "Can you take orders from a younger dude?" I think I answered that one fine). Some interviewers didn't seem impressed by my experience. Some reacted positively.
2) Unknown undergrad? My undergrad is a completely unknown small state university. It doesn't even show up in the drop-down menus on some recruitment applications. I actually had a great experience there, but I'm wondering if this is hurting me. I also let my shitty undergrad GPA off my resume. Nobody asked me about my undergrad GPA.
3) Didn't sell myself hard enough? The interviews were so conversational that I felt like giving a real pitch would have been inappropriate. Still, I tried to get across that I am a hard worker, love litigation, and have good people skills in every interview. I have a great anecdote from my summer experience that gets across the first two. For the last, I rely on my sales/marketing experience.
4) My resume has secondary-market written all over it? Until LS (which is in a major metro area), I lived in my secondary market. Went to undergrad there. I didn't think ties mattered for NYC and DC, but who knows? Maybe it was easy to tell I didn't really want to move to NYC, even though my Why NYC was pretty enthusiastic.
5) My "why law school" anecdote is pretty long. It makes sense, but maybe my interviewers are tuning out halfway through.
6) There are a few other possibilities, but I would prefer to PM for fear of outing myself, but they all involve OCS-approved answers, FWIW.

Two big concerns:
1) How can I get more DC interviews? My DC interviews, due to the lottery process, were mostly with small and mid-sized DC firms (still "BigLaw" vault-ranked) not Hogan, Wilmer, etc. I feel like I have emailed my materials to these guys a thousand times. Is calling a terrible idea, a good idea, or pointless?
2) How do I not screw up CBs?

Thanks for all of the help this board has provided me, studying for the LSAT and succeeding 1L! Appreciate your help with this one.


First, I have no experience with the DC market, but I hear it's tough as shit. Much harder than NYC.

Second, I don't think age and undergrad will hurt you as long as you can spin it. Basically, I find that you can tell when someone has looked at your resume before the interviewer, and made a note to themselves about that being a potential problem. You just need to sense when they are asking those questions directly or indirectly, and give a head-on answer. In other words, a little story that makes you come off as someone with nice work experience who has found a path he is passionate about, and not someone who is still aimless and just tried law for shits and giggles.

The secondary market thing may be killer. Do you have a separate resume for NYC firms? I would recommend that.

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Re: Interview Problems

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:18 am

keg411 wrote:OP, PM me. I had a lot of your problems last year.


Thanks Keg! Did you get my PM? It was part of our earlier conversation about something related.

Anonymous User
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Re: Interview Problems

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I didn't want to hi-jack the "High-Risk, High-Reward" thread but I am having some similar problems that maybe TLS could help me with. Somehow, I bombed OCI.

Top 10% at a lower T14, secondary journal, federal judicial internship this summer, work experience (but nothing spectacular). I am also a bit older than average (early 30s, some grays give me away). I bid pretty conservatively for EIW: a mix of DC, NYC, and my secondary market. I did about 5 mock interviews, and generally got good feedback. Two of them thought I had a "like" problem, but I think I corrected it, and don't remember saying "like" during my interviews. In general I thought my interviews went well. I was relaxed, confident and had a nice conversation with each one of my interviewers. I was dressed conservatively, following TLS conventional wisdom pretty closely.

I have been thus far blocked out of NYC entirely and have done fairly well in my secondary market (but I didn't have many interviews there in the first place, compared to the others). Others with lower grades have gotten many more CB interviews than I have. My big concern is that whatever mistake I made during EIW will be repeated at my CBs. Heading into career services today for a diagnostic. I have some ideas on what the problems might have been:

1) Age? Or rather, Age combined with me doing nothing particularly impressive career-wise (some mid-level management stuff in marketing is about as high up as I've gone). Obviously no one asked me about my age (although I got a stealthy question, the import of which was: "Can you take orders from a younger dude?" I think I answered that one fine). Some interviewers didn't seem impressed by my experience. Some reacted positively.
2) Unknown undergrad? My undergrad is a completely unknown small state university. It doesn't even show up in the drop-down menus on some recruitment applications. I actually had a great experience there, but I'm wondering if this is hurting me. I also let my shitty undergrad GPA off my resume. Nobody asked me about my undergrad GPA.
3) Didn't sell myself hard enough? The interviews were so conversational that I felt like giving a real pitch would have been inappropriate. Still, I tried to get across that I am a hard worker, love litigation, and have good people skills in every interview. I have a great anecdote from my summer experience that gets across the first two. For the last, I rely on my sales/marketing experience.
4) My resume has secondary-market written all over it? Until LS (which is in a major metro area), I lived in my secondary market. Went to undergrad there. I didn't think ties mattered for NYC and DC, but who knows? Maybe it was easy to tell I didn't really want to move to NYC, even though my Why NYC was pretty enthusiastic.
5) My "why law school" anecdote is pretty long. It makes sense, but maybe my interviewers are tuning out halfway through.
6) There are a few other possibilities, but I would prefer to PM for fear of outing myself, but they all involve OCS-approved answers, FWIW.

Two big concerns:
1) How can I get more DC interviews? My DC interviews, due to the lottery process, were mostly with small and mid-sized DC firms (still "BigLaw" vault-ranked) not Hogan, Wilmer, etc. I feel like I have emailed my materials to these guys a thousand times. Is calling a terrible idea, a good idea, or pointless?
2) How do I not screw up CBs?

Thanks for all of the help this board has provided me, studying for the LSAT and succeeding 1L! Appreciate your help with this one.


First, I have no experience with the DC market, but I hear it's tough as shit. Much harder than NYC.

Second, I don't think age and undergrad will hurt you as long as you can spin it. Basically, I find that you can tell when someone has looked at your resume before the interviewer, and made a note to themselves about that being a potential problem. You just need to sense when they are asking those questions directly or indirectly, and give a head-on answer. In other words, a little story that makes you come off as someone with nice work experience who has found a path he is passionate about, and not someone who is still aimless and just tried law for shits and giggles.

The secondary market thing may be killer. Do you have a separate resume for NYC firms? I would recommend that.


What sort of separate resume would you recommend? Should I just leave off the location of my jobs? Genuinely curious about how this would work. Thanks!

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acrossthelake
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Re: Interview Problems

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:25 am

Fwiw, I've actually been fairly surprised at how often I've been asked (especially on callbacks) whether I'm interviewing in my home secondary market. Whatever concerns they had were quickly alleviated when I told them (honestly) that I hadn't applied to a single firm in my home market, but it's possible that it's contributing to some issues for you.

Anonymous User
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Re: Interview Problems

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:26 am

How tailored are your interviews to each firm? OCS mock interviews might deal with generalities, tone, and appropriateness of answers but don't always go deep enough. If you're just giving generic answers to "why X firm" and "why X city" they might be throwing you in the WL/Ding pile. Merely talking about "culture" and "collegiality" or "great work" isn't always enough - some firms might want to hear that you know about specific cases, or internal firm policies, etc. The reason I bring this up is because, depending on your bidding strategy, you may be "to good" for lower ranked firms who are skeptical that you want to work there. DC is tough regardless.

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jessuf
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Re: Interview Problems

Postby jessuf » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:49 am

I am a transfer with great grades, LR, WE. Was told by previous interviewers that I am a great interviewer and outgoing. However, I had the same problem with having incredibly strong ties to a secondary market. I bid on 0 firms in my old secondary market because I want DC/NYC. I have a compelling reason to be in DC, but my NYC answer was more generic. Every single NYC firm asked me why I liked NYC if I'm from Florida, and many even flat out said that NYC is an acquired taste and that I'm viewed as a flight risk. TLS wisdom is that ties to NYC didn't matter, as you said, but I feel like being from the south really hurt me. I pressed that I had not bid on any firms in the south for my OCI and what x,y,z things I liked about the city/lifestyle. However, everyone seemed really skeptical. I didn't get very many NYC CBs. Not sure what my downfall was as my bidding strategy seemed spot on.

Anonymous User
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Re: Interview Problems

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:
What sort of separate resume would you recommend? Should I just leave off the location of my jobs? Genuinely curious about how this would work. Thanks!


Hmm, well I guess it may not be possible. But if for example you keep a "home address" on your secondary market one, you could leave that off, and just stick with your current address. Or if you ran out of space and had to remove a job, maybe you would aim to remove the hometown job.

If you can't though, just have a strong why NYC story. Make it clear that NYC is your goal.

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beachbum
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Re: Interview Problems

Postby beachbum » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:03 am

I'll add my voice to those saying the conventional TLS wisdom on NYC might not always hold true. My resume (minus my law school) is centered in one (non-NYC) geographic region. Following TLS wisdom, I bid heavily on NYC at OCI. And almost every interviewer asked why NYC, and whether I was interviewing/applying to firms in my home region (which I was/am).

And FWIW, based on my school/GPA, I've underperformed (pretty substantially) in NYC, but I've had a lot of success in my home region.

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GertieTheDinosaur
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Re: Interview Problems

Postby GertieTheDinosaur » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:22 am

Two big concerns:
1) How can I get more DC interviews? My DC interviews, due to the lottery process, were mostly with small and mid-sized DC firms (still "BigLaw" vault-ranked) not Hogan, Wilmer, etc. I feel like I have emailed my materials to these guys a thousand times. Is calling a terrible idea, a good idea, or pointless?


You need to mass mail. Search forum for how to do this. Emailing is not enough. You need to do this ASAP, as you'll already behind your classmates that have done this and gotten CBs from it. Don't call. It's pointless if they have your resume in front of them. Calling them is not going to change their mind that they don't want you. If they don't have you resume, you need to mail it (see above). Don't stop massmailing till you have an offer in your hand.

2) How do I not screw up CBs?


Practice, and approach you OCS with your results and ask them for a mock interview. Maybe your mock interviewers were trying to bolster your confidence so they didn't give you critical feedback. You need to tell OCS what happened and ask for what you can do moving forward, and practice their feedback until you have a job.



Also, for the NYC problem, if all of your record suggests a secondary market, why do you want to be in NYC? I can totally understand biglaw not buying a cheap story. You need to ask yourself if NYC is actually the right place for you. Wouldn't you be happier somewhere else? What reasons do you have?

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Re: Interview Problems

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:42 am

acrossthelake wrote:Fwiw, I've actually been fairly surprised at how often I've been asked (especially on callbacks) whether I'm interviewing in my home secondary market. Whatever concerns they had were quickly alleviated when I told them (honestly) that I hadn't applied to a single firm in my home market, but it's possible that it's contributing to some issues for you.


OP here: It actually didn't come up explicitly in an interview. Which is frustrating, because if it is hurting me, interviewers didn't really give me a chance to respond to their concerns.

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Re: Interview Problems

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:How tailored are your interviews to each firm? OCS mock interviews might deal with generalities, tone, and appropriateness of answers but don't always go deep enough. If you're just giving generic answers to "why X firm" and "why X city" they might be throwing you in the WL/Ding pile. Merely talking about "culture" and "collegiality" or "great work" isn't always enough - some firms might want to hear that you know about specific cases, or internal firm policies, etc. The reason I bring this up is because, depending on your bidding strategy, you may be "to good" for lower ranked firms who are skeptical that you want to work there. DC is tough regardless.


My interviews have been fairly tailored, at least for the "questions for the firm" part. I always did my research and had a few targeted questions, and usually a few questions about the interviewer's particular practice area. In retrospect, maybe I should have adjusted my style to the firm's culture throughout. For example, I was not nearly Type-A enough for Gibson Dunn or Quinn.

Anonymous User
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Re: Interview Problems

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How tailored are your interviews to each firm? OCS mock interviews might deal with generalities, tone, and appropriateness of answers but don't always go deep enough. If you're just giving generic answers to "why X firm" and "why X city" they might be throwing you in the WL/Ding pile. Merely talking about "culture" and "collegiality" or "great work" isn't always enough - some firms might want to hear that you know about specific cases, or internal firm policies, etc. The reason I bring this up is because, depending on your bidding strategy, you may be "to good" for lower ranked firms who are skeptical that you want to work there. DC is tough regardless.


My interviews have been fairly tailored, at least for the "questions for the firm" part. I always did my research and had a few targeted questions, and usually a few questions about the interviewer's particular practice area. In retrospect, maybe I should have adjusted my style to the firm's culture throughout. For example, I was not nearly Type-A enough for Gibson Dunn or Quinn.


OP again (the quoted post is mine too): I probably didn't do as fantastic with the "Why NYC." Mentioned my large network of friends in the area, how much I loved the city, and the appeal of being in the center of everything. I think I probably said a few times that I was "geographically flexible" (mainly to recruiters at hospitality suites), which is probably bad?

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Re: Interview Problems

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:52 am

unnecessary anon.

AllTheLawz
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Re: Interview Problems

Postby AllTheLawz » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:55 am

beachbum wrote:I'll add my voice to those saying the conventional TLS wisdom on NYC might not always hold true. My resume (minus my law school) is centered in one (non-NYC) geographic region. Following TLS wisdom, I bid heavily on NYC at OCI. And almost every interviewer asked why NYC, and whether I was interviewing/applying to firms in my home region (which I was/am).

And FWIW, based on my school/GPA, I've underperformed (pretty substantially) in NYC, but I've had a lot of success in my home region.


There is no TLS wisdom when it comes to anything besides improving an LSAT score. If I would have listened to TLS I would have missed out on a lot of options during EIP and cause myself a lot of stress.

Anonymous User wrote: My interviews have been fairly tailored, at least for the "questions for the firm" part. I always did my research and had a few targeted questions, and usually a few questions about the interviewer's particular practice area. In retrospect, maybe I should have adjusted my style to the firm's culture throughout. For example, I was not nearly Type-A enough for Gibson Dunn or Quinn.


You dont tailor your personality to a firm, you tailor your questions to them and give answers that show you know about the specific firm. If you think this is a good idea then you probably are not a very good interviewer.

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Re: Interview Problems

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:56 am

GertieTheDinosaur wrote:
Two big concerns:
1) How can I get more DC interviews? My DC interviews, due to the lottery process, were mostly with small and mid-sized DC firms (still "BigLaw" vault-ranked) not Hogan, Wilmer, etc. I feel like I have emailed my materials to these guys a thousand times. Is calling a terrible idea, a good idea, or pointless?


You need to mass mail. Search forum for how to do this. Emailing is not enough. You need to do this ASAP, as you'll already behind your classmates that have done this and gotten CBs from it. Don't call. It's pointless if they have your resume in front of them. Calling them is not going to change their mind that they don't want you. If they don't have you resume, you need to mail it (see above). Don't stop massmailing till you have an offer in your hand.

2) How do I not screw up CBs?


Practice, and approach you OCS with your results and ask them for a mock interview. Maybe your mock interviewers were trying to bolster your confidence so they didn't give you critical feedback. You need to tell OCS what happened and ask for what you can do moving forward, and practice their feedback until you have a job.



Also, for the NYC problem, if all of your record suggests a secondary market, why do you want to be in NYC? I can totally understand biglaw not buying a cheap story. You need to ask yourself if NYC is actually the right place for you. Wouldn't you be happier somewhere else? What reasons do you have?


OP here: Mass mail? Email not being enough? Nobody else (on this board, OCS, or anywhere else) has suggested to me that I should physically mail my materials to firms. I will consider it if others back you up on this point. I did send out a massive email bomb to everyone I didn't get interviews with at EIW. It helped me get a few interviews at EIW. I also did a mass email to my secondary market that met with some success. In addition, I have followed up with my favorite firms to give them an updated resume. I should probably send a follow-up to the other firms.

As far as practice, just went into OCS and got some good feedback. He was at a loss as to why I performed below expectations, but pointed out some minor problems, like being too long-winded. I am going to revamp my standard spiel and come up with some more concise answers.

Regarding the "Why NYC?" I like NYC and DC and my secondary market, all for different reasons. The firm's culture, the fit, the fit, and the type of work are all more important to me than geographical location.

Anonymous User
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Re: Interview Problems

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How tailored are your interviews to each firm? OCS mock interviews might deal with generalities, tone, and appropriateness of answers but don't always go deep enough. If you're just giving generic answers to "why X firm" and "why X city" they might be throwing you in the WL/Ding pile. Merely talking about "culture" and "collegiality" or "great work" isn't always enough - some firms might want to hear that you know about specific cases, or internal firm policies, etc. The reason I bring this up is because, depending on your bidding strategy, you may be "to good" for lower ranked firms who are skeptical that you want to work there. DC is tough regardless.


My interviews have been fairly tailored, at least for the "questions for the firm" part. I always did my research and had a few targeted questions, and usually a few questions about the interviewer's particular practice area. In retrospect, maybe I should have adjusted my style to the firm's culture throughout. For example, I was not nearly Type-A enough for Gibson Dunn or Quinn.


OP again (the quoted post is mine too): I probably didn't do as fantastic with the "Why NYC." Mentioned my large network of friends in the area, how much I loved the city, and the appeal of being in the center of everything. I think I probably said a few times that I was "geographically flexible" (mainly to recruiters at hospitality suites), which is probably bad?


(Guy you responded to)

For what it's worth, I have similar albeit not identical stats to you. I spent my bids on a non-NYC/DC major (so think Chi/SF-SV/LA/Bos). I had minimal, although not zero, ties to the area.

Interviewers seemed uniformly skeptical about my intentions until I told them that I was only interviewing in X market. I imagine if I had said "X and my home secondary," which are very different, they would have thrown me in the pile of kids looking for a flyout week vacation. If you're telling NYC/DC people (even recruiters) that you're looking around and your resume doesn't scream NYC/DC they could just be shuffling you aside. For better or worse, having them think that their city is the only place you're interviewing is huge when you don't have many ties.

Anonymous User
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Re: Interview Problems

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:59 am

AllTheLawz wrote:
beachbum wrote:I'll add my voice to those saying the conventional TLS wisdom on NYC might not always hold true. My resume (minus my law school) is centered in one (non-NYC) geographic region. Following TLS wisdom, I bid heavily on NYC at OCI. And almost every interviewer asked why NYC, and whether I was interviewing/applying to firms in my home region (which I was/am).

And FWIW, based on my school/GPA, I've underperformed (pretty substantially) in NYC, but I've had a lot of success in my home region.


There is no TLS wisdom when it comes to anything besides improving an LSAT score. If I would have listened to TLS I would have missed out on a lot of options during EIP and cause myself a lot of stress.

Anonymous User wrote: My interviews have been fairly tailored, at least for the "questions for the firm" part. I always did my research and had a few targeted questions, and usually a few questions about the interviewer's particular practice area. In retrospect, maybe I should have adjusted my style to the firm's culture throughout. For example, I was not nearly Type-A enough for Gibson Dunn or Quinn.


You dont tailor your personality to a firm, you tailor your questions to them and give answers that show you know about the specific firm. If you think this is a good idea then you probably are not a very good interviewer.


OP here: I generally agree with you on this point. However, a friend of mine had great success with this strategy. Went into Quinn and bro'd out, went into Cleary and nerded out, etc. He had CBs in the double-digits.

Anonymous User
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Re: Interview Problems

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
GertieTheDinosaur wrote:
Two big concerns:
1) How can I get more DC interviews? My DC interviews, due to the lottery process, were mostly with small and mid-sized DC firms (still "BigLaw" vault-ranked) not Hogan, Wilmer, etc. I feel like I have emailed my materials to these guys a thousand times. Is calling a terrible idea, a good idea, or pointless?


You need to mass mail. Search forum for how to do this. Emailing is not enough. You need to do this ASAP, as you'll already behind your classmates that have done this and gotten CBs from it. Don't call. It's pointless if they have your resume in front of them. Calling them is not going to change their mind that they don't want you. If they don't have you resume, you need to mail it (see above). Don't stop massmailing till you have an offer in your hand.

2) How do I not screw up CBs?


Practice, and approach you OCS with your results and ask them for a mock interview. Maybe your mock interviewers were trying to bolster your confidence so they didn't give you critical feedback. You need to tell OCS what happened and ask for what you can do moving forward, and practice their feedback until you have a job.



Also, for the NYC problem, if all of your record suggests a secondary market, why do you want to be in NYC? I can totally understand biglaw not buying a cheap story. You need to ask yourself if NYC is actually the right place for you. Wouldn't you be happier somewhere else? What reasons do you have?


OP here: Mass mail? Email not being enough? Nobody else (on this board, OCS, or anywhere else) has suggested to me that I should physically mail my materials to firms. I will consider it if others back you up on this point. I did send out a massive email bomb to everyone I didn't get interviews with at EIW. It helped me get a few interviews at EIW. I also did a mass email to my secondary market that met with some success. In addition, I have followed up with my favorite firms to give them an updated resume. I should probably send a follow-up to the other firms.

As far as practice, just went into OCS and got some good feedback. He was at a loss as to why I performed below expectations, but pointed out some minor problems, like being too long-winded. I am going to revamp my standard spiel and come up with some more concise answers.

Regarding the "Why NYC?" I like NYC and DC and my secondary market, all for different reasons. The firm's culture, the fit, the fit, and the type of work are all more important to me than geographical location.



Oh, don't physically send your shit to them via snail mail--emailing your resume/trascript/coverletter is fine (if you snailmail them shit they'll throw it away). I'm sorry, I misunderstood what you meant by "email" firms, as I thought you just sent them an email indicating your interest.

Also, it kinda sounds like NYC might not be a right fit for you. It's a very intense market where the money doesn't take you very far. You have so many ties to better places in terms of work-life balance, pay, and a social life and family. Maybe NYC firms are doing you a favor by dinging you?

Anonymous User
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Re: Interview Problems

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:06 pm

"Mass mail" just means e-mail. And don't just follow up. Go through NALP and e-mail every single firm in every single market that you would be willing to work at. Write cover letters. Highlight your GPA/School/Rank. Focus on firms that care more about "grades" than "fit".

Once you've done, this, then follow up with every NYC/DC firm that you've already mailed and haven't heard back from. For every single one of these, attach a cover letter, resume, transcript, and writing sample (only do the writing sample if you got a top LWR grade). Keep following up with Career Services and have them do a brutally honest mock interview with you. Make sure to own your secondary market CB's that you have.

Seriously, you're an ideal mass mail candidate. You have top grades from a good school; you basically just need to get a huge number of CB's and something will happen. Was your bid-list super conservative besides DC? And if your friend is a fantastic interviewer, did you ask him/her for advice? Maybe he/she can help you out.

Anonymous User
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Re: Interview Problems

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:18 pm

OP here: Thanks everyone! Would people recommend putting credentials in the subject line of my mass e-mail, i.e., "Top 10% School Name 2L Seeking Summer Associate Position for 2013." A trusted source recommended this, and I wanted to see if others thought it was too presumptous.

Yeah I plan on asking my friend for some advice. He did have better stats than me plus URM though.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Interview Problems

Postby somewhatwayward » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:41 pm

^
yes that is essentially the subject line i used last year although if there is an honor for top 10% (at CLS we have stone scholar which is top third), i would use that instead bc it is less aggressive-sounding

also, if you email and don't hear back for a week or two, email again or maybe call and reiterate your interest

Anonymous User
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Re: Interview Problems

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:56 pm

As someone in the bottom 40% of my T14 with double-digit callbacks (including 2 V5 firms) despite career services telling me I should expect very little success, what worked for me was the following:

1) Tailor each and every screener/callback to why you want to be AT THAT FIRM IN THAT CITY. Some people spent 15 minutes on firm research before screeners, an hour maybe most on callbacks. I spent 1 hour for EACH screener and 4-6 on callbacks. Maybe a bit excessive, but you know what, a few extra hours of my time now to ensure that I know the firm in and out and have tailored questions for each means the difference between a job opportunity or not, and that's why I went to law school. If you can rock exams, you can rock knowing a firm inside and out.

2) Something I've commonly seen work to the detriment of interviewees in and out of law is being too stubborn in their own personality traits. Okay, you're type-A, that's great. But feel out your interviewer... are they quiet but determined? Quiet and awkward? Lead the conversation in these moments but avoid being aggressive. Are YOU quiet? That's fine, but just show enthusiasm even if it's not a full on "bro" display. But definitely tailor your persona to respond appropriately to the interviewer. Remember, in firms your clients can be anyone, if you can't shape yourself to get along with the most bizarre of screener/callback interviewers, how can a firm have confidence in you to get along with clients?

M 2 cents. HTH.

09042014
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Re: Interview Problems

Postby 09042014 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:01 pm

acrossthelake wrote:Fwiw, I've actually been fairly surprised at how often I've been asked (especially on callbacks) whether I'm interviewing in my home secondary market. Whatever concerns they had were quickly alleviated when I told them (honestly) that I hadn't applied to a single firm in my home market, but it's possible that it's contributing to some issues for you.


It's a myth that NYC and DC firms don't care about ties. They don't care that much, but they've been burned by midwesterners, west coasters and southerners too often.

I'd recommend the old fake finance or may mom and dad just moved there routine if you really wanna go there and have no solid ties.




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