Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

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Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:06 pm

I just did a mock interview and had a really hard time showing my personality. I'm normally a goofy, sarcastic guy and have no problem making friends and being social, but when I'm asked questions like "tell me about your experience as a research assistant" and try come off as a professional individual that you would want to put in front of a client, I immediately become a robotic, yawn-inducing aspie.

I haven't done a lot of interviews in my life which is likely why I'm having such difficulty. Nonetheless, I obviously need to fix this before OCI. How do you get off the usual question/answer path and start having a real conversation?

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The Brainalist
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Re: Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby The Brainalist » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:09 pm

Zzzzzzzzzzz

Huh?

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Re: Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I just did a mock interview and had a really hard time showing my personality. I'm normally a goofy, sarcastic guy and have no problem making friends and being social, but when I'm asked questions like "tell me about your experience as a research assistant" and try come off as a professional individual that you would want to put in front of a client, I immediately become a robotic, yawn-inducing aspie.

I haven't done a lot of interviews in my life which is likely why I'm having such difficulty. Nonetheless, I obviously need to fix this before OCI. How do you get off the usual question/answer path and start having a real conversation?


Not OP, but I'm right there with you. People have always described me as "charming" and "personable" in my day-to-day dealings. But when interviews come around, I rub off as "used car salesman". There is something about interviews that have just never seemed conversational to me.

I'm not a bad interviewer; I think generally I'm a good interviewer. I'm just too...polished to be considered a great interviewer.

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Re: Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I just did a mock interview and had a really hard time showing my personality. I'm normally a goofy, sarcastic guy and have no problem making friends and being social, but when I'm asked questions like "tell me about your experience as a research assistant" and try come off as a professional individual that you would want to put in front of a client, I immediately become a robotic, yawn-inducing aspie.

I haven't done a lot of interviews in my life which is likely why I'm having such difficulty. Nonetheless, I obviously need to fix this before OCI. How do you get off the usual question/answer path and start having a real conversation?


Read Emotional Intelligence 2.0. It will rock your world.

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Re: Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:19 pm

I know that if I were interviewing someone and they sounded the way I did today, I wouldn't be calling them back. I don't come off as a used-car salesman (shady?), I come off as someone with zero personality. I don't know how to talk about how my work experience with a law firm or as a research assistant in a way that allows me to be my usual fun and social self.

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Re: Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I just did a mock interview and had a really hard time showing my personality. I'm normally a goofy, sarcastic guy and have no problem making friends and being social, but when I'm asked questions like "tell me about your experience as a research assistant" and try come off as a professional individual that you would want to put in front of a client, I immediately become a robotic, yawn-inducing aspie.

I haven't done a lot of interviews in my life which is likely why I'm having such difficulty. Nonetheless, I obviously need to fix this before OCI. How do you get off the usual question/answer path and start having a real conversation?


Read Emotional Intelligence 2.0. It will rock your world.


Downloaded it onto my iPad just now.

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Re: Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:25 pm

I used to have this exact same problem with interviews - I would get super clammed up and start babbling like an idiot and sound totally not like myself.

This might sound crazy, but I got a ton better at interviewing (employers have commented on several occasions how strong of an interviewer I am) when I stopped treating it like an interview and pretended that I was on a first date instead. When the focus is more on getting to know the person across the table and on sharing who you are and what you care about, I think it helps your real personality come out and you don't sound as much like a salesman or a bore. Plus, employers really like when your focus is on getting to know them better and figuring out if you're a good fit for them (just like you would on a date).

I'm not sure if this trick will help anyone besides me, but feel free to give it a shot during a mock interview if you think it might help.

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Re: Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby KdRw19 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I immediately become a robotic, yawn-inducing aspie.


I really love this brutally honest self-assessment.

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Re: Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I used to have this exact same problem with interviews - I would get super clammed up and start babbling like an idiot and sound totally not like myself.

This might sound crazy, but I got a ton better at interviewing (employers have commented on several occasions how strong of an interviewer I am) when I stopped treating it like an interview and pretended that I was on a first date instead. When the focus is more on getting to know the person across the table and on sharing who you are and what you care about, I think it helps your real personality come out and you don't sound as much like a salesman or a bore. Plus, employers really like when your focus is on getting to know them better and figuring out if you're a good fit for them (just like you would on a date).

I'm not sure if this trick will help anyone besides me, but feel free to give it a shot during a mock interview if you think it might help.


I like this advice, but how do you fit it in with interview-style questions. When someone asks you to tell them about your experiences working at X firm, as a research assistant for X professor, or whatever other "relevant" things are on your resume, how do you spin your answer into a way that focuses on getting to know the person across the table?

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Re: Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby BVest » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:40 pm

--ImageRemoved--

... but there's a lot of better advice above.

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Re: Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I used to have this exact same problem with interviews - I would get super clammed up and start babbling like an idiot and sound totally not like myself.

This might sound crazy, but I got a ton better at interviewing (employers have commented on several occasions how strong of an interviewer I am) when I stopped treating it like an interview and pretended that I was on a first date instead. When the focus is more on getting to know the person across the table and on sharing who you are and what you care about, I think it helps your real personality come out and you don't sound as much like a salesman or a bore. Plus, employers really like when your focus is on getting to know them better and figuring out if you're a good fit for them (just like you would on a date).

I'm not sure if this trick will help anyone besides me, but feel free to give it a shot during a mock interview if you think it might help.


I like this advice, but how do you fit it in with interview-style questions. When someone asks you to tell them about your experiences working at X firm, as a research assistant for X professor, or whatever other "relevant" things are on your resume, how do you spin your answer into a way that focuses on getting to know the person across the table?


I guess that's more the "sharing about yourself" portion of a first date. You want them to know what you do and what you enjoyed about it and make it sound like you do something interesting and impressive, and generally stay away from negativity.

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Re: Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I used to have this exact same problem with interviews - I would get super clammed up and start babbling like an idiot and sound totally not like myself.

This might sound crazy, but I got a ton better at interviewing (employers have commented on several occasions how strong of an interviewer I am) when I stopped treating it like an interview and pretended that I was on a first date instead. When the focus is more on getting to know the person across the table and on sharing who you are and what you care about, I think it helps your real personality come out and you don't sound as much like a salesman or a bore. Plus, employers really like when your focus is on getting to know them better and figuring out if you're a good fit for them (just like you would on a date).

I'm not sure if this trick will help anyone besides me, but feel free to give it a shot during a mock interview if you think it might help.


I like this advice, but how do you fit it in with interview-style questions. When someone asks you to tell them about your experiences working at X firm, as a research assistant for X professor, or whatever other "relevant" things are on your resume, how do you spin your answer into a way that focuses on getting to know the person across the table?


I guess that's more the "sharing about yourself" portion of a first date. You want them to know what you do and what you enjoyed about it and make it sound like you do something interesting and impressive, and generally stay away from negativity.



Hmmmm.....flirting with potential employers. This sounds genius.

But in all seriousness, I think this is awesome advice. Sometimes I forget the whole "we are also looking for someone that fits us" idea, and get into the "please god hire me" thinking.

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Re: Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:50 pm

Just be yourself! Treat it like a conversation. I like the aforementioned first date approach. Don't try to rehearse for it. I know that is easier said than done, but just keep in mind that your interviewers are normal people. Most of them are just trying to make conversation with you.

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Re: Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby tfer2222 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just be yourself! Treat it like a conversation. I like the aforementioned first date approach. Don't try to rehearse for it. I know that is easier said than done, but just keep in mind that your interviewers are normal people. Most of them are just trying to make conversation with you.


+1

just try to imagine someone you'd want to interview if you were on the other side of the table.... and then.... be that person.

people want to work with people they like being around. so be yourself (if people generally like you in everyday life as you say they do). just relax.

I personally always tried to avoid that point where they're forced to say "so what questions do you have for us."

I'd either try to segway into a conversation about them/their own experiences (people like to talk about themselves) or just take the floor myself and tell them exactly why I am where I am and why I want to work for that firm.

Make it interesting, make yourself stand out in any (normal) way you can. During OCI they have to sit through tons of generic interviews with passive interviewees all day long. try to make yours not so generic. be confident and engage.

I got lots of callbacks, FWIW.
Last edited by tfer2222 on Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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.

Postby Another » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:01 pm

.
Last edited by Another on Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:21 pm

Get cocky. Don't act it out of course, but think it. Know that you have this, that they should be convincing you why you should choose them - and maybe you'll relax. You aren't relaxed. You got this shit. And consider - maybe the interviewer was a fricken bore and that was the problem? I connected well with some interviewers, didn't with others, but the job I got eventually was perhaps the most formal feeling interview I had - so just roll with it.

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Re: Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:22 pm

tfer2222 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just be yourself! Treat it like a conversation. I like the aforementioned first date approach. Don't try to rehearse for it. I know that is easier said than done, but just keep in mind that your interviewers are normal people. Most of them are just trying to make conversation with you.


+1

just try to imagine someone you'd want to interview if you were on the other side of the table.... and then.... be that person.

people want to work with people they like being around. so be yourself (if people generally like you in everyday life as you say they do). just relax.

I personally always tried to avoid that point where they're forced to say "so what questions do you have for us."

I'd either try to segway into a conversation about them/their own experiences (people like to talk about themselves) or just take the floor myself and tell them exactly why I am where I am and why I want to work for that firm.

Make it interesting, make yourself stand out in any (normal) way you can. During OCI they have to sit through tons of generic interviews with passive interviewees all day long. try to make yours not so generic. be confident and engage.

I got lots of callbacks, FWIW.


Absolute this - 100%. The question "how did you end up where you are now" will kill 20 minutes every time. It was almost too easy, and I don't even like people. You'd think interviewers would see it coming, but now that I'm interviewing people, heres something weird I learned - the interviewer might not be comfortable either. Meeting strangers is weird, especially when they WANT something from you, and are nervous, and scared of blowing it. So put them at ease - make them think you don't really give a shit if you get THAT job or not, but just want to know more about them. It's fricken crazy how well it worked.

The dating metaphor is truly apt - women don't want desperation, they want the dude that could have any chick in the room. They want the dude who acts like he's too good for them. He's not mean, he might be a little bit of an asshole, he might not even be the best looking guy in the room, but he doesn't give a shit about them and they can't figure out why (because every other dude always wants them), and goddamn it drives them crazy, leaves them wanting more. But one whif of fear or desperation - forget it. Be the alpha. Have a secret. This sounds so cliche but there it is.

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Re: Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby Bronte » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:41 pm

You've received some good advice ITT. Also note that at OCI you will do so many interviews that the nerves will subside (not completely, but a lot) and you'll start to feel like a pro.

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Re: Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:46 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:
tfer2222 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just be yourself! Treat it like a conversation. I like the aforementioned first date approach. Don't try to rehearse for it. I know that is easier said than done, but just keep in mind that your interviewers are normal people. Most of them are just trying to make conversation with you.


+1

just try to imagine someone you'd want to interview if you were on the other side of the table.... and then.... be that person.

people want to work with people they like being around. so be yourself (if people generally like you in everyday life as you say they do). just relax.

I personally always tried to avoid that point where they're forced to say "so what questions do you have for us."

I'd either try to segway into a conversation about them/their own experiences (people like to talk about themselves) or just take the floor myself and tell them exactly why I am where I am and why I want to work for that firm.

Make it interesting, make yourself stand out in any (normal) way you can. During OCI they have to sit through tons of generic interviews with passive interviewees all day long. try to make yours not so generic. be confident and engage.

I got lots of callbacks, FWIW.


Absolute this - 100%. The question "how did you end up where you are now" will kill 20 minutes every time. It was almost too easy, and I don't even like people. You'd think interviewers would see it coming, but now that I'm interviewing people, heres something weird I learned - the interviewer might not be comfortable either. Meeting strangers is weird, especially when they WANT something from you, and are nervous, and scared of blowing it. So put them at ease - make them think you don't really give a shit if you get THAT job or not, but just want to know more about them. It's fricken crazy how well it worked.

The dating metaphor is truly apt - women don't want desperation, they want the dude that could have any chick in the room. They want the dude who acts like he's too good for them. He's not mean, he might be a little bit of an asshole, he might not even be the best looking guy in the room, but he doesn't give a shit about them and they can't figure out why (because every other dude always wants them), and goddamn it drives them crazy, leaves them wanting more. But one whif of fear or desperation - forget it. Be the alpha. Have a secret. This sounds so cliche but there it is.


Brilliant. I guess the sooner that question comes out, the better. How do you work that question in organically before the "Do you have any questions for me?" stage?

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Re: Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
NotMyRealName09 wrote:
tfer2222 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just be yourself! Treat it like a conversation. I like the aforementioned first date approach. Don't try to rehearse for it. I know that is easier said than done, but just keep in mind that your interviewers are normal people. Most of them are just trying to make conversation with you.


+1

just try to imagine someone you'd want to interview if you were on the other side of the table.... and then.... be that person.

people want to work with people they like being around. so be yourself (if people generally like you in everyday life as you say they do). just relax.

I personally always tried to avoid that point where they're forced to say "so what questions do you have for us."

I'd either try to segway into a conversation about them/their own experiences (people like to talk about themselves) or just take the floor myself and tell them exactly why I am where I am and why I want to work for that firm.

Make it interesting, make yourself stand out in any (normal) way you can. During OCI they have to sit through tons of generic interviews with passive interviewees all day long. try to make yours not so generic. be confident and engage.

I got lots of callbacks, FWIW.


Absolute this - 100%. The question "how did you end up where you are now" will kill 20 minutes every time. It was almost too easy, and I don't even like people. You'd think interviewers would see it coming, but now that I'm interviewing people, heres something weird I learned - the interviewer might not be comfortable either. Meeting strangers is weird, especially when they WANT something from you, and are nervous, and scared of blowing it. So put them at ease - make them think you don't really give a shit if you get THAT job or not, but just want to know more about them. It's fricken crazy how well it worked.

The dating metaphor is truly apt - women don't want desperation, they want the dude that could have any chick in the room. They want the dude who acts like he's too good for them. He's not mean, he might be a little bit of an asshole, he might not even be the best looking guy in the room, but he doesn't give a shit about them and they can't figure out why (because every other dude always wants them), and goddamn it drives them crazy, leaves them wanting more. But one whif of fear or desperation - forget it. Be the alpha. Have a secret. This sounds so cliche but there it is.


Brilliant. I guess the sooner that question comes out, the better. How do you work that question in organically before the "Do you have any questions for me?" stage?


Hmm, tough to give a generic answer, but maybe like this - "So tell me why you want to be a lawyer." "Blah blah blah my dad was wrongly convicted of murder / social justice / want to help people. Did you always know you wanted to (thing from their bio)?"

Or "Why do you want to work for our firm?" "Well I'm interested in your (bullshit), but as a 1L it's honestly difficult to know exactly where I want my legal career to go so I like that your firm gives SAs broad exposure to different practice areas. How did you end up doing (thing from their bio)? OR "I really like the (thing about their firm.) What was it that drew you to the firm yourself?"

It'll happen organically, don't force it - sometimes you have to get through their standard list of questions before you can ask it, sometimes the interviewer might not care to ask you questions and just open the floor early. Just approach the whole thing with a confident mindset - you're dating around casually, playing the field, having fun.

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Re: Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:07 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:It'll happen organically, don't force it - sometimes you have to get through their standard list of questions before you can ask it, sometimes the interviewer might not care to ask you questions and just open the floor early. Just approach the whole thing with a confident mindset - you're dating around casually, playing the field, having fun.


I'm going to make this my official motto for OCI.

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Re: Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:09 pm

Original anon here. This is great. I would not have ever thought to ask why the interviewer became interested in the firm or a career in law during my response to his asking me that same question. So simple and obvious. Facepalm.

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Re: Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby Bronte » Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Original anon here. This is great. I would not have ever thought to ask why the interviewer became interested in the firm or a career in law during my response to his asking me that same question. So simple and obvious. Facepalm.


In general this is the number one practical way to turn an interview into a "conversation," as one is so frequently admonished to do. You can do it with essentially any question. "Why firm X? Well, this, that, and the other thing. Have you found this to be true?" But be careful not to turn it into an inquisition. On balance they should be asking more questions. Also, if their responses to questions are terse, may be best to abort that strategy.

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Re: Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:21 pm

Bronte wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Original anon here. This is great. I would not have ever thought to ask why the interviewer became interested in the firm or a career in law during my response to his asking me that same question. So simple and obvious. Facepalm.


In general this is the number one practical way to turn an interview into a "conversation," as one is so frequently admonished to do. You can do it with essentially any question. "Why firm X? Well, this, that, and the other thing. Have you found this to be true?" But be careful not to turn it into an inquisition. On balance they should be asking more questions. Also, if their responses to questions are terse, may be best to abort that strategy.


I often have the opposite problem. Sometimes I feel like I think short answers aren't genuine enough and probably "over answer" questions. I've since learned that saying "I wanted an engaging career that presented more, intellectually challenging issues and problems" was a perfectly acceptable "Why law school?" question (I used to turn it into a fuckin' thesis). I still have a tendency to delve into wordiness if I haven't answered a question in short form enough times.

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Re: Help: I'm a bore during interviews.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Bronte wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Original anon here. This is great. I would not have ever thought to ask why the interviewer became interested in the firm or a career in law during my response to his asking me that same question. So simple and obvious. Facepalm.


In general this is the number one practical way to turn an interview into a "conversation," as one is so frequently admonished to do. You can do it with essentially any question. "Why firm X? Well, this, that, and the other thing. Have you found this to be true?" But be careful not to turn it into an inquisition. On balance they should be asking more questions. Also, if their responses to questions are terse, may be best to abort that strategy.


I often have the opposite problem. Sometimes I feel like I think short answers aren't genuine enough and probably "over answer" questions. I've since learned that saying "I wanted an engaging career that presented more, intellectually challenging issues and problems" was a perfectly acceptable "Why law school?" question (I used to turn it into a fuckin' thesis). I still have a tendency to delve into wordiness if I haven't answered a question in short form enough times.


I actually over-corrected my rambling, which might have been part of the issue. My answers were so concise that they didn't offer an opportunity for a real conversation. There's a happy medium between rambling and brevity and I'm working on finding it.




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