Anonymous User wrote:Are there other people who haven't heard back from firms they did screeners with? I'm still waiting to hear from three firms. Obviously I don't have high hopes from them at this point, but unclear why they won't just ding me already (2 I know have given CB's and rejections, and the other I haven't heard anything about, on this thread or otherwise).
Here’s something that’s a bit counter-intuitive. Resist the temptation to over-research a firm or the interviewer. After a total of 26 screeners and 8 CB’s, I can say that I was NEVER grilled on firm facts, whether direct or implied.
For OCI, all you need to know about a firm is the basics: key core practice areas in the particular office/market, and a simple 2-sentence explanation of how and why these areas are of particular interest to your career goals. For the screener, just know his or her practice area.
For Callbacks, same for the firm, but for the interviewer, maybe a tiny bit more specifics about his/her area.
The REALLY important info is something you won’t know until you actually meet the interviewer, and has nothing to do with the firm or practice area: it’s the personal info you glean from what he/she says about herself/himself during the conversation. Because the key concern is whether you can carry a normal conversation, relate to people so that they get comfortable, and have conversation skills that draw people out, you can rely on the fact that most people enjoy talking about themselves.
Therefore, take every opportunity to respond to an interviewer’s statement or question with a query about themselves. For example, if an associate tells you she’s recently married/engaged, congratulate her first, but also follow up with queries about her fiancé, whether he’s a lawyer, and yeah, how she managed (or plans to) juggle marriage and a 90-hour work-week. If he talks about sports, you can tell him about your favorite sport, but quickly shift the focus on him by asking the extent of his participation, presently and during his earlier years. Even the nightmare question of “Well, do you have any questions for me?” can be easily deflected by queries about the interviewer’s past experience, both ancient and recent, his lifestyle, his career path (whether he started at the firm as an SA or lateralled over), his reasons for choosing the firm……. You get the idea…….focus on them, them, them..
I would estimate that the amount of time spent on talking about the firm or practice areas is less than 10-15 percent (5 minutes out of 30. The rest was general non-legal conversation.)
Of the 8 CB’s I went through, I can say that the most positive ones were two firms that didn’t give me any advance notice of whom I’d be meeting that day.
Hope this helps…..including those still going through their CB's