Interview Problems

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Interview Problems

Postby 09042014 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:03 pm

One question I have is how conservatively did you bid? Bidding only on smaller less selective firms is probably worse than only bidding on top firms with someone with your grades.

Though, it's almost impossible to bid DC too conservatively.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273422
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Interview Problems

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:28 pm

OP here: I guess by "bid conservatively," I mean spread things out geographically/had a few safeties. I think most of the NYC firms I interviewed with were right on target (looking at grade history, etc.): Skadden, PW, Simpson Thatcher, Ropes. I had a few that were a little bit below that in terms of grades, but had more idiosyncratic hiring practices, like Kaye Scholer. So maybe I was qualified but not a shoo-in for anyone, and the person interviewing after me had similar credential + charisma/beauty.

The DC firms I interviewed with (with the exception of Gibson Dunn and W&C) were smaller and less grade-selective, but seemingly more focused on Hill experience (Patton Boggs, maybe K&L Gates, Steptoe?). I didn't know this coming in so that may explain my poor results. That having been said, I bid the big DC firms (Hogan, Wilmer, etc.) pretty darned high, but didn't get screeners.

Regarding the fake fiancee, etc., I'm assuming that's just a joke, right?

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Interview Problems

Postby 09042014 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Regarding the fake fiancee, etc., I'm assuming that's just a joke, right?


If your why NYC is "I LIKE TALL BUILDINGS" then I'd probably lie.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273422
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Interview Problems

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:58 pm

I've been asked about NYC ties in most of my NYC interviews, and I went to UG in NYC. So definitely have something prepared that isn't completely stupid.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273422
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Interview Problems

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote: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.


Obviously your strategy worked. Your post is helpful, so thanks. But I ask this seriously, and not to be a wiseass -- what exactly can you do for 4-6 hours? There's the firm website, Chambers, Vault, and TLS/XoXo. Unless you're talking about speaking to people at the firm (which seems awkward to me before the CB stage unless you already know them), I'd really like to know what I can be doing to research that would take this long. I'm looking more at major markets that don't require a ties explanation for me, so maybe that would be different, and you're talking more about learning about secondary markets.

I mean I could try to sound passionate about a particular practice area, but I've heard that's a bad idea because you never know whether the firm is hiring there. When it comes to big firms, grabbing stuff off of Chambers seems contrived since a lot of firms use similar systems, and saying "Well, I really like the formal work assignment system" doesn't seem like it'd convince a firm you're uniquely a fit for them. And I don't know what you're supposed to say to compliment a culture beyond "I've heard the culture is collegial." Especially when you're interviewing in a large major market firm, and will have no idea if that's true until your summer. But if you have any "tailoring" tips, I'd appreciate it.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273422
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Interview Problems

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: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.


Obviously your strategy worked. Your post is helpful, so thanks. But I ask this seriously, and not to be a wiseass -- what exactly can you do for 4-6 hours? There's the firm website, Chambers, Vault, and TLS/XoXo. Unless you're talking about speaking to people at the firm (which seems awkward to me before the CB stage unless you already know them), I'd really like to know what I can be doing to research that would take this long. I'm looking more at major markets that don't require a ties explanation for me, so maybe that would be different, and you're talking more about learning about secondary markets.

I mean I could try to sound passionate about a particular practice area, but I've heard that's a bad idea because you never know whether the firm is hiring there. When it comes to big firms, grabbing stuff off of Chambers seems contrived since a lot of firms use similar systems, and saying "Well, I really like the formal work assignment system" doesn't seem like it'd convince a firm you're uniquely a fit for them. And I don't know what you're supposed to say to compliment a culture beyond "I've heard the culture is collegial." Especially when you're interviewing in a large major market firm, and will have no idea if that's true until your summer. But if you have any "tailoring" tips, I'd appreciate it.


OP here: would love to hear more on this as well. Good god, "What do you know about us?" is such a dumb way to make decisions--firms should really be telling us about them and we should be telling firms about us, not the other way around. In any event, I felt like I did a lot of research for each screener (not as much as the quoted guy, though), and that the few times when I went too in detail (talking about particular cases, niche practice areas, or whatever) it might have actually hurt me, because the screener didn't know what the hell I was talking about.

Would like to note that American Lawyer and other similar publications (available on LexisNexis) are decent resources for firm research, since they have profiles, etc., as is Google News. But what the hell do I know, I effed up OCI big-time.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273422
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Interview Problems

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:49 pm

Ditto. There were interviews where I was specific/tailored, and struck out. And there were interviews where I committed the supposed "error" of asking about stuff that was on the website/getting it wrong (e.g. a work assignment system), and got a callback. My screener conversion rate, like yours, was not very good. So I am really looking to put in whatever effort I need to do well in callbacks. I just don't know where to start.

- 3:44




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.