2 strikes, 1 to go (help!)

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2 strikes, 1 to go (help!)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:30 am

I'm a transfer student at a T10 (coming from a t1 with better than top 5% grades) and I've been getting radio silence thus far through OCI. I've done about 2/3 of my interviews and I'm hoping I can salvage something, which is why I'm posting.

I'm not socially awkward or aspie. I think my biggest problem is lack of ties. I'm from a small city and hated it there. I want to be in a big city, whether that be New York, Chicago, or the Bay. I bid all three. Firms really seem to be focusing on the why our city question and, though I've been to each of these cities and have some family in Chicago and the Bay, my answer about wanting to live and work in a large city and loving theirs doesn't seem to cut it. I don't know what else to say, though, as that's the true answer. Sorry I wasn't born there, but I didn't have a choice...

Maybe my questions at the end of the interview suck? I usually ask about what traits they think enabled them to succeed in the firm, and what they look for in summers and junior associates. I ask about what they like most about their firm, and what keeps them coming back every day. I ask about their fondest memory at the firm, and what, if anything, they would do differently if they were back in my shoes today. Do theses questions suck and are they tanking me?

I know confidence is key and I'm usually very confident in myself, although this process is breaking that a bit. Just to be sure I'm not coming off as arrogant or overbearing, is it wrong to be leaning forward with my hands on the table? Should I be keeping my hands in my lap or something else like that?

There haven't been any awkward silences during my earlier interviews and some even felt pretty conversational, so I don't know why everyone but me seems to be getting CBs. Since it's probably relevant, I spent about a year working for a small firm before law school, spent this past summer writing for publication, have no hard science degree, and I'm not an underrepresented minority. I've been interviewing with firms throughout the Vault rankings. If any other info would be helpful, let me know.

NYstate
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Re: 2 strikes, 1 to go (help!)

Postby NYstate » Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:32 am

Your transfer status may be hindering you but there is nothing you can do about that.
If the problem is being from a small town then you need to be much more specific about why you want to be in the big city.

Come up with some reasons specific to the sophistication of the work available in larger cities as well as specific personal reasons such as hobbies you want to explore. Maybe you love to cook and you have a list of restaurants you want to try; or you love theater; or you love art. Say moe than you have always wanted to live in a big city. Everyone says that. Explain why you want to live in that city.

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Re: 2 strikes, 1 to go (help!)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:13 am

NYstate wrote:Your transfer status may be hindering you but there is nothing you can do about that.
If the problem is being from a small town then you need to be much more specific about why you want to be in the big city.

Come up with some reasons specific to the sophistication of the work available in larger cities as well as specific personal reasons such as hobbies you want to explore. Maybe you love to cook and you have a list of restaurants you want to try; or you love theater; or you love art. Say moe than you have always wanted to live in a big city. Everyone says that. Explain why you want to live in that city.


I've been talking about the type of work (i.e. transactional work in NYC) but have shied away from personal reasons. I have an interview with another NYC firm this afternoon, so I'll give it a shot then.

Any other suggestions? Did the questions I'm asking seem okay?

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Re: 2 strikes, 1 to go (help!)

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:26 am

Fondest memory of the firm seems a bit odd to me, honestly - I enjoy my work, but my fond memories are of times with my friends and family, not my work (I'm not saying you'd get dinged for that question, but it's not one I'd use). I ask what they like most and least about the job - obviously one isn't supposed to be negative but I don't think you're limited to questions about good things about the firm; you're interviewing them, too, and want to find out if the firm is the right place for you. I also ask something like where they see the firm going in the next 5-10 years, do they expect to expand/contract, what are its goals for the future, that kind of thing (none of those are brilliantly worded but I hope you get the idea). As for what they'd do differently if they were back in your shoes - I think in the sense that this means, "what do you know now that you wish you'd known then," it's not a terrible question, but it seems less connected to the firm and work at the firm than what a law student generically should know/do - maybe something more like "what do you know now about the firm now that you wish you'd known then," or "if you were interviewing at this firm now, what would you want to know?" (but the latter's getting a bit cute). If you're interviewing with someone relatively senior, asking how the firm has changed since they started gets into more about the firm, but also lets them talk about themselves (which interviewers like).

(I'm not saying the questions you've been asking suck, just that they're not exactly how I approach interviews, which of course is my 2 cents and you can ignore if it doesn't work for you.)

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Re: 2 strikes, 1 to go (help!)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:32 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Fondest memory of the firm seems a bit odd to me, honestly - I enjoy my work, but my fond memories are of times with my friends and family, not my work (I'm not saying you'd get dinged for that question, but it's not one I'd use). I ask what they like most and least about the job - obviously one isn't supposed to be negative but I don't think you're limited to questions about good things about the firm; you're interviewing them, too, and want to find out if the firm is the right place for you. I also ask something like where they see the firm going in the next 5-10 years, do they expect to expand/contract, what are its goals for the future, that kind of thing (none of those are brilliantly worded but I hope you get the idea). As for what they'd do differently if they were back in your shoes - I think in the sense that this means, "what do you know now that you wish you'd known then," it's not a terrible question, but it seems less connected to the firm and work at the firm than what a law student generically should know/do - maybe something more like "what do you know now about the firm now that you wish you'd known then," or "if you were interviewing at this firm now, what would you want to know?" (but the latter's getting a bit cute). If you're interviewing with someone relatively senior, asking how the firm has changed since they started gets into more about the firm, but also lets them talk about themselves (which interviewers like).

(I'm not saying the questions you've been asking suck, just that they're not exactly how I approach interviews, which of course is my 2 cents and you can ignore if it doesn't work for you.)


Thank's I'll give those questions a shot today. Mine obviously haven't been working for me.

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Re: 2 strikes, 1 to go (help!)

Postby 09042014 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:35 am

You shouldn't have bid on Chicago and Bay Area without strong ties. Start mass mailing the fuck out of New York, your hometown area, and other markets that don't care about ties as much, DC and Delaware, there might be more.

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Re: 2 strikes, 1 to go (help!)

Postby bk1 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:37 am

Part of selling on a city is selling on the type of work that city does (and by extension the firm you are interviewing with does). e.g. you want to work in SV because you love startups and tech companies, you want to work in DC because you are really interested in regulatory work, etc.

Also knowing the city fairly well is helpful. You don't have to have been born there but you should be knowledgeable about the city.

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Re: 2 strikes, 1 to go (help!)

Postby JamMasterJ » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:40 am

yeha, Chicago and the Bay were a bad move. See if you can pick up additional NY interviews

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Re: 2 strikes, 1 to go (help!)

Postby 09042014 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:41 am

JamMasterJ wrote:yeha, Chicago and the Bay were a bad move. See if you can pick up additional NY interviews


He also really has to learn more about NYC and come up with a reason to be there. NYC firms do ask about ties or reasons for NYC. They aren't as stringent, but you need a reason.

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Re: 2 strikes, 1 to go (help!)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:45 am

Desert Fox wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:yeha, Chicago and the Bay were a bad move. See if you can pick up additional NY interviews


He also really has to learn more about NYC and come up with a reason to be there. NYC firms do ask about ties or reasons for NYC. They aren't as stringent, but you need a reason.


So saying that I want transactional work (such as M&A or capital markets) and therefore want to be in NYC or that I want to work with start-ups and tech companies and therefore want to be in the Silicon Valley, etc., is not a legitimate reason? I have family in both the Bay and Chicago, have been visiting those cities throughout my life, and would be very happy living there. I don't see how saying I want to try such and such restaurants or enjoy the theatre (as was suggested above) brings anything more to the table, but I'm having zero luck so far so I guess I'll give it a shot.

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Re: 2 strikes, 1 to go (help!)

Postby JamMasterJ » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:yeha, Chicago and the Bay were a bad move. See if you can pick up additional NY interviews


He also really has to learn more about NYC and come up with a reason to be there. NYC firms do ask about ties or reasons for NYC. They aren't as stringent, but you need a reason.


So saying that I want transactional work (such as M&A or capital markets) and therefore want to be in NYC or that I want to work with start-ups and tech companies and therefore want to be in the Silicon Valley, etc., is not a legitimate reason? I have family in both the Bay and Chicago, have been visiting those cities throughout my life, and would be very happy living there. I don't see how saying I want to try such and such restaurants or enjoy the theatre (as was suggested above) brings anything more to the table, but I'm having zero luck so far so I guess I'll give it a shot.

have you talked about having family in those areas because that's considered a tie. Also, m&a interest should be useful for NYC. If you have some sort of tech background, that could work for S Valley, but it's not quite as easy as NYC. For NYC, just say "cause New York is the best" and they generally believe it (I'm exaggerating, but not much)

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Re: 2 strikes, 1 to go (help!)

Postby 09042014 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:55 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:yeha, Chicago and the Bay were a bad move. See if you can pick up additional NY interviews


He also really has to learn more about NYC and come up with a reason to be there. NYC firms do ask about ties or reasons for NYC. They aren't as stringent, but you need a reason.


So saying that I want transactional work (such as M&A or capital markets) and therefore want to be in NYC or that I want to work with start-ups and tech companies and therefore want to be in the Silicon Valley, etc., is not a legitimate reason? I have family in both the Bay and Chicago, have been visiting those cities throughout my life, and would be very happy living there. I don't see how saying I want to try such and such restaurants or enjoy the theatre (as was suggested above) brings anything more to the table, but I'm having zero luck so far so I guess I'll give it a shot.



No, the work related reasons are good at least for Nyc. Chicago and Bay are hard unless you lived there.

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Re: 2 strikes, 1 to go (help!)

Postby bk1 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:56 am

Desert Fox wrote:No, the work related reasons are good at least for Nyc. Chicago and Bay are hard unless you lived there.

SV you can do IP/tech/startup. SF though is tougher.

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Re: 2 strikes, 1 to go (help!)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:56 am

JamMasterJ wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:yeha, Chicago and the Bay were a bad move. See if you can pick up additional NY interviews


He also really has to learn more about NYC and come up with a reason to be there. NYC firms do ask about ties or reasons for NYC. They aren't as stringent, but you need a reason.


So saying that I want transactional work (such as M&A or capital markets) and therefore want to be in NYC or that I want to work with start-ups and tech companies and therefore want to be in the Silicon Valley, etc., is not a legitimate reason? I have family in both the Bay and Chicago, have been visiting those cities throughout my life, and would be very happy living there. I don't see how saying I want to try such and such restaurants or enjoy the theatre (as was suggested above) brings anything more to the table, but I'm having zero luck so far so I guess I'll give it a shot.

have you talked about having family in those areas because that's considered a tie. Also, m&a interest should be useful for NYC. If you have some sort of tech background, that could work for S Valley, but it's not quite as easy as NYC. For NYC, just say "cause New York is the best" and they generally believe it (I'm exaggerating, but not much)


I always bring up the family thing. I have family here in the Bay now, my parents plan to retire to the Bay, and many friends in the area, which I always comment on when asked why SF/SV/etc. One Chicago firm asked why Chicago and I brought up my family, my having lived in the area for over a year, my desire to live in a big city, my love of Chicago in particular, etc., and he just looked at me and asked "what else?" I had nothing, so I said that I loved the food in Chicago and that since leaving the area have been missing Portillo's like crazy. He told me that his foodie friends would never eat at that place. I nearly got up and walked out at that point.

I've also been telling NYC firms that I have a strong interest in M&A and that every time I've visited NYC I've been more and more impressed by the city and know that I could see myself there for the rest of my life.

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Re: 2 strikes, 1 to go (help!)

Postby 09042014 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
He also really has to learn more about NYC and come up with a reason to be there. NYC firms do ask about ties or reasons for NYC. They aren't as stringent, but you need a reason.


So saying that I want transactional work (such as M&A or capital markets) and therefore want to be in NYC or that I want to work with start-ups and tech companies and therefore want to be in the Silicon Valley, etc., is not a legitimate reason? I have family in both the Bay and Chicago, have been visiting those cities throughout my life, and would be very happy living there. I don't see how saying I want to try such and such restaurants or enjoy the theatre (as was suggested above) brings anything more to the table, but I'm having zero luck so far so I guess I'll give it a shot.

have you talked about having family in those areas because that's considered a tie. Also, m&a interest should be useful for NYC. If you have some sort of tech background, that could work for S Valley, but it's not quite as easy as NYC. For NYC, just say "cause New York is the best" and they generally believe it (I'm exaggerating, but not much)


I always bring up the family thing. I have family here in the Bay now, my parents plan to retire to the Bay, and many friends in the area, which I always comment on when asked why SF/SV/etc. One Chicago firm asked why Chicago and I brought up my family, my having lived in the area for over a year, my desire to live in a big city, my love of Chicago in particular, etc., and he just looked at me and asked "what else?" I had nothing, so I said that I loved the food in Chicago and that since leaving the area have been missing Portillo's like crazy. He told me that his foodie friends would never eat at that place. I nearly got up and walked out at that point.

I've also been telling NYC firms that I have a strong interest in M&A and that every time I've visited NYC I've been more and more impressed by the city and know that I could see myself there for the rest of my life.


Start embellishing. Your parents live in the bay area NOW. Your fiance lives in Chicago NOW.

Chicago and Bay Area is just sort of picky.

Fuck the guy who wouldn't eat at Portillos. Combo is godly.

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Re: 2 strikes, 1 to go (help!)

Postby NYstate » Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:07 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:yeha, Chicago and the Bay were a bad move. See if you can pick up additional NY interviews


He also really has to learn more about NYC and come up with a reason to be there. NYC firms do ask about ties or reasons for NYC. They aren't as stringent, but you need a reason.


So saying that I want transactional work (such as M&A or capital markets) and therefore want to be in NYC or that I want to work with start-ups and tech companies and therefore want to be in the Silicon Valley, etc., is not a legitimate reason? I have family in both the Bay and Chicago, have been visiting those cities throughout my life, and would be very happy living there. I don't see how saying I want to try such and such restaurants or enjoy the theatre (as was suggested above) brings anything more to the table, but I'm having zero luck so far so I guess I'll give it a shot.

have you talked about having family in those areas because that's considered a tie. Also, m&a interest should be useful for NYC. If you have some sort of tech background, that could work for S Valley, but it's not quite as easy as NYC. For NYC, just say "cause New York is the best" and they generally believe it (I'm exaggerating, but not much)



The restaurant suggestion was just an example. The point is NYC firms want to know that a person from a small town will be comfortable here and not flee home from unhappiness with the city.

Work is the most important aspect to bring up. Most sophisticated transactions, want to work with the best, learn from the best, etc.

My thought is based on an answer someone from a small town gave me. He said that growing up in a small town he had to develop many different interests/ hobbies to keep engaged because it isn't like the city where everything is just right there. One of his hobbies was training himself to be a chef and he gave very specific examples of things the city offered him. I had another person who mentioned an interest in Asian art and talked about the Asia Society and the collections at the Met.

These are only examples and they were very short answers. But they showed the person had thought about how they would engage with the city.


The work is the crucial point to mention. Having access to the best work, smartest people to work with, whatever.

The other points are just throwaway comments to back up your ability to engage with the city.

I would never ever suggest that you say you want New York simply because you want to eat at restaurants. It has to tie to you specifically and show a real connection.


Have you been researching firms to say why you want to work for them specifically? The person talking about Chicago was probably not going to give you a call back anyway.

Is there something wrong with your résumé? It may just be that the firm would never hire from your transfer school, so they aren't going to call you back. I'm not sure about that, but someone else should address it.

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Re: 2 strikes, 1 to go (help!)

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Aug 08, 2013 3:12 pm

It doesn't sound like you're doing anything horribly wrong from what you've said. Splitting bids with SF and Chicago was probably suboptimal but nothing to be done about it now.

You said you're 2/3 done with OCI. Does that mean you've been doing screeners this week? It may just be that you need to wait a bit. Firms don't always get back to you within 24 hours, especially non-NYC offices.

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Re: 2 strikes, 1 to go (help!)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 08, 2013 3:27 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:It doesn't sound like you're doing anything horribly wrong from what you've said. Splitting bids with SF and Chicago was probably suboptimal but nothing to be done about it now.

You said you're 2/3 done with OCI. Does that mean you've been doing screeners this week? It may just be that you need to wait a bit. Firms don't always get back to you within 24 hours, especially non-NYC offices.


Yeah, I've been doing screeners all week. I've received one ding (NYC firm) and heard that CBs for two other NYC firms that I interviewed with have already gone out, though I did not receive one from either. I've also heard that two CA firms, both of which I had screeners with, have sent out CB invites (again, I did not receive one from either).

I have two more interviews today and a full day tomorrow, bringing me to nearly 30 screeners by the end of the day tomorrow. I definitely threw some reaches in, but also bid the firms that will be at my former school.

I'm from California and want to end up here, so the vast majority of my interviews are with offices in the Bay. I had interviews with three Chicago firms and, though I bid heavily on NYC, only received interviews with five NYC firms. I've been mass-mailing for two weeks now, to no avail.

09042014
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Re: 2 strikes, 1 to go (help!)

Postby 09042014 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 3:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:It doesn't sound like you're doing anything horribly wrong from what you've said. Splitting bids with SF and Chicago was probably suboptimal but nothing to be done about it now.

You said you're 2/3 done with OCI. Does that mean you've been doing screeners this week? It may just be that you need to wait a bit. Firms don't always get back to you within 24 hours, especially non-NYC offices.


Yeah, I've been doing screeners all week. I've received one ding (NYC firm) and heard that CBs for two other NYC firms that I interviewed with have already gone out, though I did not receive one from either. I've also heard that two CA firms, both of which I had screeners with, have sent out CB invites (again, I did not receive one from either).

I have two more interviews today and a full day tomorrow, bringing me to nearly 30 screeners by the end of the day tomorrow. I definitely threw some reaches in, but also bid the firms that will be at my former school.

I'm from California and want to end up here, so the vast majority of my interviews are with offices in the Bay. I had interviews with three Chicago firms and, though I bid heavily on NYC, only received interviews with five NYC firms. I've been mass-mailing for two weeks now, to no avail.


CA firms aren't as quick at NYC. Sounds like you have 22 CA firms and only 2 sent out CBs. As a transfer, you might have a hard go of it. Keep working, keep mailing.

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Re: 2 strikes, 1 to go (help!)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:16 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:It doesn't sound like you're doing anything horribly wrong from what you've said. Splitting bids with SF and Chicago was probably suboptimal but nothing to be done about it now.

You said you're 2/3 done with OCI. Does that mean you've been doing screeners this week? It may just be that you need to wait a bit. Firms don't always get back to you within 24 hours, especially non-NYC offices.


Yeah, I've been doing screeners all week. I've received one ding (NYC firm) and heard that CBs for two other NYC firms that I interviewed with have already gone out, though I did not receive one from either. I've also heard that two CA firms, both of which I had screeners with, have sent out CB invites (again, I did not receive one from either).

I have two more interviews today and a full day tomorrow, bringing me to nearly 30 screeners by the end of the day tomorrow. I definitely threw some reaches in, but also bid the firms that will be at my former school.

I'm from California and want to end up here, so the vast majority of my interviews are with offices in the Bay. I had interviews with three Chicago firms and, though I bid heavily on NYC, only received interviews with five NYC firms. I've been mass-mailing for two weeks now, to no avail.


CA firms aren't as quick at NYC. Sounds like you have 22 CA firms and only 2 sent out CBs. As a transfer, you might have a hard go of it. Keep working, keep mailing.


Any idea on how much slower are CA firms are than their NYC counterparts? I know NYC seems to be fast, often within 24 hours, but I've had silence from some CA firms since Monday which I don't take as a good sign.




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