Questions & Answers with former CSO Dean

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MikeSpivey
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Questions & Answers with former CSO Dean

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:28 pm

All,

I am going to do something similar here as I have done on the admissions board, as I am very grateful and lucky to have done both admissions and career services for 3 law schools. Here is a link of how we did this in the admissions chats:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=197451

I hope we can do something similar here and that I can help as many people as possible. I will also try to blog more in the next month on OCI and legal employment advice at :

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/

there are already some articles in there on job search advice and a tweet a good deal of links to advice I find helpful.

On caveat, I have been extremely busy with clients of late so apologies of my responses are not always rapido. Let the fun begin!

-Mike

sharrin7
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Re: Questions & Answers with former CSO Dean

Postby sharrin7 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:58 pm

Thanks for doing this.

In your opinion, what are the top three things that get a candidate to a callback, assuming grades and extras (LR, moot court, etc.) are on par with firm standards.

On an opposite note, what are the top three things that can stop an interview cold.

Thanks again!

colerain
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Re: Questions & Answers with former CSO Dean

Postby colerain » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:59 pm

Thank you for doing this.

Concerning callbacks, if you directly apply to a firm and receive a "callback" for multiple office locations, are you at a disadvantage because the firm doesn't actively recruit from your school? Similarly, are you at a disadvantage because these callbacks are conducted well before the normal recruiting process?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Questions & Answers with former CSO Dean

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:02 pm

sharrin7 wrote:Thanks for doing this.

In your opinion, what are the top three things that get a candidate to a callback, assuming grades and extras (LR, moot court, etc.) are on par with firm standards.

On an opposite note, what are the top three things that can stop an interview cold.

Thanks again!


Sharrin, thanks for the inaugural question!

I'll do the (1) best and (1) worst right now and finish as soon as I have a bit more time.

The BEST thing you can do is to relate to the person(s) interviewing you. This is backed up by substantial research (I read HR journals on this all the time -- wow life changes as you get older and into your career). For example, one study showed that on a scale of 1-10 (10 being highest/best) if you relate to the interviewer "10" and the skills you bring to their organization are a "1", you are much more likely to get offered the job than if you relate 1 and skills are 10. It makes very little rationale sense, but nonetheless holds true and the study has been replicated time and time again.

So the next question is obviously "how do you do this?" Well, I would not just agree with everything they say, of course. But, let me give two small but important pieces of advice. Actually I'll give a really nuanced but cool third piece.

1. Make a warm first impression. Smile, shake their hand with confidence, say their name (again research here, people love their name to be said to them). Here is a blog I wrote on this:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/why-a- ... may-think/

Hiring partners do not typically get paid more to do their job in recruitment (a few exceptions come to mind e.g. Alston Bird), they do it because they are outgoing and like to meet other people (and care about their firm). All of this means the can relate to a warm, confident introduction.

2. If they same something that you also have a passion or experience with, BINGO, stay on it. Tell their your story, impression, experience, etc. If they say "I like turtles" then dear goodness talk about turtles if you do too, and do not pass up the opportunity because you think "well that is aside from the scope of this interview." If you sincerely get a buzzy feeling inside because you have the same passion go for it! They will get that same buzzy feeling once you do = huge elevation.

3. Read the Wall Street Journal for a week before the interview. Odds are high that they do too and odds are pretty good something will come up in the interview that relates to what you have recently read. "Oh yea, I think they discusses something similar in last weeks WSJ on ..." is about the most professionally elevating thing you can do because the 12 people interviewing after you will not be able to do that -- trust me. I have told students this and they have done exactly this. Before I was telling a small number (at my school), but even now 99% won't take this advice to practice. And I promise you it will help!

_________________________

Ok how about what not to do. #1 is so, so easy. Here are a recent blog:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/and-th ... ss-begins/

The absolute worst thing you can do to get yourself cut from a call-back is to spam the people who interviewed after your OCI. This sounds so obvious but wait one week after interviewing and get back to me. You will be dying to reach out. The thing is, you will have this incredible urge NOT because it helps you get the job, but because of the tremendous anxiety you are feeling by not knowing...because of the wait. I blame video games and their instant constant feedback they give us (someone should find and challenge me at Scambles with friends I am not very good). Resist it. Every year hundreds of students actually go from "likely call-back" to "no way" because they give in to this urge. Yes you can send a thank you card, but after that just let the experience ride out. Don't do the "Hey I will be in the area and would love to stop by and say hi" email. It creeps out hiring partners and they forward these emails to me with a cease and desist joke.

Is this helpful? More soon, I promise!
Last edited by MikeSpivey on Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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guano
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Re: Questions & Answers with former CSO Dean

Postby guano » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:06 pm

Other than OCI, does the CSO do anything of value for any students?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Questions & Answers with former CSO Dean

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:17 pm

guano wrote:Other than OCI, does the CSO do anything of value for any students?


Are you asking a serious question or voicing a complaint? I honestly can not tell.

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guano
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Re: Questions & Answers with former CSO Dean

Postby guano » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:31 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
guano wrote:Other than OCI, does the CSO do anything of value for any students?


Are you asking a serious question or voicing a complaint? I honestly can not tell.

Both. It seems (in my experience) that apart from OCI and managing a job bank (which have tremendous value, don't get me wrong) the rest is lip service. Résumé critique that's paint by number, job search strategies that can be written on a post-it, etc. I also get the feeling that easily half of the CSO couldn't find a job themselves and dont really know what to do to get one (especially true of recent hires).

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Re: Questions & Answers with former CSO Dean

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:32 pm

Thanks for taking questions, you're correcting a lot of what I consider to be bad advice given to me by OCS.

I've networked with four attorneys (two independently, lunch with two others) at my dream firm. What's a good way to mention this at OCI without coming off as desperate? Should I narrow it down to the people/person I think has the most pull, the best connection, or does meeting with 4 people actually look good to an interviewer?

If it helps, my grades are under their traditional cutoff, but they have been known to dip significantly below my grades (basically, I'm not in a position where they will be suspicious of my desperation).

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Re: Questions & Answers with former CSO Dean

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:11 am

Several part question with the premise that I have awful handwriting and so an email is much more feasible.

1) Thank you emails for screener interviewers?
2) Thank you emails for callback interviewers?
3) Should the email just be a thank you note or should it also include a question or something else to prompt them to respond?'
4) Do callback interviewers (or someone else in the process) compare questions you asked them and/or thank you emails you sent? (i'm thinking of the recycling questions during callbacks and thank you emails concern).

Anonymous User
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Re: Questions & Answers with former CSO Dean

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:16 am

Quick question. I have a callback scheduled during OCI. Early morning interview, callback an hour later, and 4 hours after that another interview. Did I fuck up by scheduling the callback between interviews? Will I run myself ragged? Should I try to ask CSO if I can move up that last interview?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Questions & Answers with former CSO Dean

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:44 am

guano wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
guano wrote:Other than OCI, does the CSO do anything of value for any students?


Are you asking a serious question or voicing a complaint? I honestly can not tell.

Both. It seems (in my experience) that apart from OCI and managing a job bank (which have tremendous value, don't get me wrong) the rest is lip service. Résumé critique that's paint by number, job search strategies that can be written on a post-it, etc. I also get the feeling that easily half of the CSO couldn't find a job themselves and dont really know what to do to get one (especially true of recent hires).


I'll give both sides to this answer --where I think CSO's matter beyond OCI and where I think they really fall down, but it will take awhile. Hopefully I will get in the right mindset and bang this out in the next week, it's an area I not only feel pretty strongly about but one law schools have me consult on how to process improve, and there needs to be improvement!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Questions & Answers with former CSO Dean

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:Quick question. I have a callback scheduled during OCI. Early morning interview, callback an hour later, and 4 hours after that another interview. Did I fuck up by scheduling the callback between interviews? Will I run myself ragged? Should I try to ask CSO if I can move up that last interview?


Yes I would move it. I have about as much energy as anyone and interviews still enervate me (and just about everyone else).

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Questions & Answers with former CSO Dean

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:Several part question with the premise that I have awful handwriting and so an email is much more feasible.

1) Thank you emails for screener interviewers?
2) Thank you emails for callback interviewers?
3) Should the email just be a thank you note or should it also include a question or something else to prompt them to respond?'
4) Do callback interviewers (or someone else in the process) compare questions you asked them and/or thank you emails you sent? (i'm thinking of the recycling questions during callbacks and thank you emails concern).


I am a fan of the thank you card. I would send one, snail mail, and type it out. OR, have someone with beautiful hand-writing write what you dictate (I have what I think the medical community would call dysgraphia so I can relate)

I would be wary on 4 of recycling questions. Some HPs take it really seriously and do just that, compare questions.

Anonymous User
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Re: Questions & Answers with former CSO Dean

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:03 am

MikeSpivey wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Several part question with the premise that I have awful handwriting and so an email is much more feasible.

1) Thank you emails for screener interviewers?
2) Thank you emails for callback interviewers?
3) Should the email just be a thank you note or should it also include a question or something else to prompt them to respond?'
4) Do callback interviewers (or someone else in the process) compare questions you asked them and/or thank you emails you sent? (i'm thinking of the recycling questions during callbacks and thank you emails concern).



I would be wary on 4 of recycling questions. Some HPs take it really seriously and do just that, compare questions.


This might explain why i'm able to crush screeners but seem to struggle with callbacks despite each component interview going very well. Do you have any tips on good callback questions to ask? I seem to run in to problems because i'm able to find an answer to almost every question that I have somewhere on the internet. By the time the last interview in the CB comes around, i've used up my 9-10 firm specific questions and literally have nothing else to ask about (other than the generic questions like "what drew you to x firm"). This is especially pronounced when interviewing with a firm that doesn't give out interviewer info beforehand (so I can't prep questions on their practice).

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Questions & Answers with former CSO Dean

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Several part question with the premise that I have awful handwriting and so an email is much more feasible.

1) Thank you emails for screener interviewers?
2) Thank you emails for callback interviewers?
3) Should the email just be a thank you note or should it also include a question or something else to prompt them to respond?'
4) Do callback interviewers (or someone else in the process) compare questions you asked them and/or thank you emails you sent? (i'm thinking of the recycling questions during callbacks and thank you emails concern).



I would be wary on 4 of recycling questions. Some HPs take it really seriously and do just that, compare questions.


This might explain why i'm able to crush screeners but seem to struggle with callbacks despite each component interview going very well. Do you have any tips on good callback questions to ask? I seem to run in to problems because i'm able to find an answer to almost every question that I have somewhere on the internet. By the time the last interview in the CB comes around, i've used up my 9-10 firm specific questions and literally have nothing else to ask about (other than the generic questions like "what drew you to x firm"). This is especially pronounced when interviewing with a firm that doesn't give out interviewer info beforehand (so I can't prep questions on their practice).


You could easily go with "I was really interested when you were talking about ___blank, could you elaborate specifically on blank?" Just don't be like Phillip J Fry and actually say the word "blank"

But think about the above. You are paying attention and also interested on what interests them. And lawyers do love to talk in detail about what interests them.

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Re: Questions & Answers with former CSO Dean

Postby jetsfan1 » Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:12 pm

Tag

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Re: Questions & Answers with former CSO Dean

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:38 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
sharrin7 wrote:Thanks for doing this.

In your opinion, what are the top three things that get a candidate to a callback, assuming grades and extras (LR, moot court, etc.) are on par with firm standards.

On an opposite note, what are the top three things that can stop an interview cold.

Thanks again!


Sharrin, thanks for the inaugural question!

I'll do the (1) best and (1) worst right now and finish as soon as I have a bit more time.

The BEST thing you can do is to relate to the person(s) interviewing you. This is backed up by substantial research (I read HR journals on this all the time -- wow life changes as you get older and into your career). For example, one study showed that on a scale of 1-10 (10 being highest/best) if you relate to the interviewer "10" and the skills you bring to their organization are a "1", you are much more likely to get offered the job than if you relate 1 and skills are 10. It makes very little rationale sense, but nonetheless holds true and the study has been replicated time and time again.

So the next question is obviously "how do you do this?" Well, I would not just agree with everything they say, of course. But, let me give two small but important pieces of advice. Actually I'll give a really nuanced but cool third piece.

1. Make a warm first impression. Smile, shake their hand with confidence, say their name (again research here, people love their name to be said to them). Here is a blog I wrote on this:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/why-a- ... may-think/

Hiring partners do not typically get paid more to do their job in recruitment (a few exceptions come to mind e.g. Alston Bird), they do it because they are outgoing and like to meet other people (and care about their firm). All of this means the can relate to a warm, confident introduction.

2. If they same something that you also have a passion or experience with, BINGO, stay on it. Tell their your story, impression, experience, etc. If they say "I like turtles" then dear goodness talk about turtles if you do to, and do not pass up the opportunity because you think "well that is aside from the scope of this interview." If you sincerely get a buzzy feeling inside because you have the same passion go for it! They will get that same buzzy feeling once you do = huge elevation.



I'm the poster that asked the 4 part question earlier. Had a CB today and followed your advice, especially the saying their name trick. CB went much better than any prior ones (if I don't get an offer i'll be shocked). Any more psychological tips like that?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Questions & Answers with former CSO Dean

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:43 am

sharrin7 wrote:Thanks for doing this.

In your opinion, what are the top three things that get a candidate to a callback, assuming grades and extras (LR, moot court, etc.) are on par with firm standards.

On an opposite note, what are the top three things that can stop an interview cold.

Thanks again!


Ok, on to the "2's".

To recap, the best (1) thing was relate back to the interviewer(s).
The worst (1) was to pester after interview.

The best number 2, exude cool confidence. What I mean by that is to be self-assured, relaxed and personable without coming across as entitled or arrogant. Again with the research, most people do not brag enough about themselves in interviews, especially at the entry level stage (hard to think of a starting job for up to 185k as entry level, but it is). But research aside, after watching OCI's unfold for a few years I quickly began to notice, grades aside, who the people who got the call-backs were. They were the ones chatting up their friends, coming over and shaking my hand, etc etc, before the interview started. The people pacing frantically in the corner or going over their notes on the firm until the second the interview started struggled. It was hard to predict who would be whom; in other words people who I thought would be relaxed often were not. Even more difficult still, I am not sure how to tell you on paper how to be calmly confident. But, this is important and if you can get yourself in this state you will greatly increase your odds of a call-back. Edit update. I can do this on the phone a bit, i.e. calm people down and happy to do so for free before an OCI, but I need to have it on my schedule can not do so ad hoc.

The number 2 worst is to show even an ounce of entitlement. The is the one word that when i traveled around the nation and got to know HPs and MPs I heard every single time. They hate it. I heard numerous times "we stopped going to 'X' law school because their students were just too entitled." So what does it mean? Yes be confident in YOURSELF, but don't act like you control the situation, do not act like the job is yours already, do not talk about how many other firms you are interviewing with, and please for the love of humility do not act like the firm owes you anything (I have heard stories of "so where are you taking me out to dinner tonight and "do I get a corner office as a 1st year" from hiring partners). If you are #1 in your class and say these things you will not get a call-back.

JenWins
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Re: Questions & Answers with former CSO Dean

Postby JenWins » Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:12 pm

Hello all,
I am a new member of the Spivey Consulting team (just left the Colorado Law CSO; JD from UCLA, Summer Assoc/Assoc at MoFo LA, stint as a legal headhunter for Major Lindsey & Africa). Mike's been buried in admissions stuff ('tis the season), so I thought I'd hop on this thread to see if y'all had any questions. -Jennifer

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Questions & Answers with former CSO Dean

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:03 am

I posted this on the admissions board, which makes no sense. FYI:

We have a new twitter account because we now have a full-time person (Jennifer Winslow/JenWins on TLS and Scrambles with Friends) on employment.

@SpiveyCoEmploy

We are going to entirely post open jobs and job search advice on that account. The two biggest value adds are that I, at times, have hiring partners and managing partners call me/email and say "Hey Spivey have anyone for us?" ...which will now go on that account. If anyone is interested in a higher education jobs, that comes to me directly with even greater frequency. I hope it helps!

Mike




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