OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

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law321
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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby law321 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:19 pm

Elston Gunn wrote:
Kage3212 wrote:The "tell me about yourself" question seems to garner a lot of conflicting advice as to how to approach it. What is your suggestion?

Should I give you a summary of where I grew up (ie how I am tied to the area), take you through my college education (where I found my initial aspiration to pursue a career in law), and then my most recent working experience (where I solidified my desire pursue my legal education to become an attorney)?

OR

Should I somehow tie in an unrelated legal thing about myself, such as that I am a nutrition nut and a recreational bodybuilder?

Thanks for doing this.

Bumping this because I have a similar question, and I thought you might have missed it. Thanks.



I think I addressed this one. In short, I look for a brief biographical overview, which may certainly include interesting personal facts, such as that you are a recreational bodybuilder.

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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:45 pm

If my summer experience was not that great in the sense that I didnt get a lot of opportunites to do legal research and writing, is that something that will be held against me?

Also, if I'm asked about this I'm planning on being candid as possible "it was an interesting experience, but i wish i could have gotten more substanative legal skills out of it. However, to offset what i missed out on, i am volunteering with an attorney who can give more opportunities to do legal research and writing " Your thoughts on that response?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

NYstate
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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby NYstate » Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If my summer experience was not that great in the sense that I didnt get a lot of opportunites to do legal research and writing, is that something that will be held against me?

Also, if I'm asked about this I'm planning being candid as possible "it was an interesting experience, but i wish i could have gotten more substanative legal skills out of it. However, to offset what i missed out on, i am volunterting with an attorney who can give me some more opportunites to do legal research and writing" Your thoughts on that response?


No no no. Never talk down a past experience in your interview. Everything was great at your summer job. Also you are volunteering.

Edit: again, let the firm compare your experience with other candidates. They probably don't care how much research and writing you did.

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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:16 am

I saw you answered this about how you personally approach the screeners (grades aren't on your mind) but you also said it might just be your personal approach. I was looking over the CB thread and was wondering if you could speak about the callback stage. I have a CB for a firm that, at very least, I must be on the low end of the people they take grade-wise. I really love what I have been able to learn about this firm and I really want to do well in this CB as this firm was a definite reach for me.

Is it likely I still need to worry about my grades now at the CB stage? I think my super enthusiasm for the firm played a large part in getting a CB so I guess I'm asking if firms will call back people they may still be considering the grades of, and if I might need to ""overcome" my grades or if it is more about fit at this point.

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Danger Zone
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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby Danger Zone » Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:17 pm

Is it advisable, if all that you've talked about the entire interview is law/the firm/professional stuff, to try to push the conversation to a more personal level? I've had about six interviews now, and my most recent one was the first time that all the interviewer wanted to talk about was law. It was a pretty painful conversation.

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Tom Joad
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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby Tom Joad » Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:57 pm

Danger Zone wrote:Is it advisable, if all that you've talked about the entire interview is law/the firm/professional stuff, to try to push the conversation to a more personal level? I've had about six interviews now, and my most recent one was the first time that all the interviewer wanted to talk about was law. It was a pretty painful conversation.

I like these because I love the law, and I want to convey that passion.

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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:06 pm

What do you recommend in this situation:

After turning in my OCI resume, I noticed a very minor typo. After freaking out and coming down off the ledge, I began considering my options. I've considered updating my resume to hand out at OCIs, but decided against it because it was minor and I didn't want to draw attention to it.

I have now had a few interviews that went well and have a callback. Any suggestion? Should I give out an updated resume at callbacks? I actually have one other thing I could legit add anyone so I am considering it.

Thanks!

law321
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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby law321 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I saw you answered this about how you personally approach the screeners (grades aren't on your mind) but you also said it might just be your personal approach. I was looking over the CB thread and was wondering if you could speak about the callback stage. I have a CB for a firm that, at very least, I must be on the low end of the people they take grade-wise. I really love what I have been able to learn about this firm and I really want to do well in this CB as this firm was a definite reach for me.

Is it likely I still need to worry about my grades now at the CB stage? I think my super enthusiasm for the firm played a large part in getting a CB so I guess I'm asking if firms will call back people they may still be considering the grades of, and if I might need to ""overcome" my grades or if it is more about fit at this point.


While I obviously cannot be sure how that firm works, I would think at this juncture grades are less important than fit. Callbacks are expensive for law firms, and firms generally do not offer callbacks to students whose credentials are not likely to pass muster. To the extent your grades may be on the lower side, the screeners saw something in you they liked. Take the same attitude to the callback.

law321
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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby law321 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:59 pm

Danger Zone wrote:Is it advisable, if all that you've talked about the entire interview is law/the firm/professional stuff, to try to push the conversation to a more personal level? I've had about six interviews now, and my most recent one was the first time that all the interviewer wanted to talk about was law. It was a pretty painful conversation.



What do you mean by more personal? If you mean asking the interviewer questions about his/her career (experience at XYZ firm, his/her career trajectory, etc.) then by all means.

law321
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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby law321 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What do you recommend in this situation:

After turning in my OCI resume, I noticed a very minor typo. After freaking out and coming down off the ledge, I began considering my options. I've considered updating my resume to hand out at OCIs, but decided against it because it was minor and I didn't want to draw attention to it.

I have now had a few interviews that went well and have a callback. Any suggestion? Should I give out an updated resume at callbacks? I actually have one other thing I could legit add anyone so I am considering it.

Thanks!


If you have something substantive to add, that's a great excuse to send HR a new resume. So, if you are truly worried, do that for future interviews.

As for those you've already had/those in the immediate short-term (like tomorrow), don't worry too much. I assume the typo is minor because it has not come up in interviews and you have received a callback (even assuming the interviewers have noticed it, which is not a guarantee). Just continue to keep your eye on the prize and don't let it distract you.

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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:05 am

I want to convey to firm X that they are sincerely my ideal firm (they really are). I have already hit it off well with the interviewer at a law review mixer this summer, so I also have that going for me.

Would it come off wrong to tell them during my screener that they are truly my number one choice? I want to try and convey that they are not just another firm I'm interviewing with.

Thanks!

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Danger Zone
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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby Danger Zone » Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:39 pm

Question for anon: what is an ideal firm? Seriously, tons of firms do the exact same thing and I've always been confused with law students worshiping their "chosen" firm.

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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:53 pm

Thanks a ton for taking questions. I had an interview with a firm I really want for specific reasons today. Interviewer was really easy to talk to, and we basically ended up talking about football and casual things the entire time. We ended up running out of time, and my interviewer never got the chance to ask me if I had any questions. It was a very smooth, relaxed conversation, but I'm afraid I wasn't able to show my interest in the firm well enough. FWIW, I am very intersted in the firm and my grades are well above the median offer GPA from my T14. Is this something to be concerned about?

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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I want to convey to firm X that they are sincerely my ideal firm (they really are). I have already hit it off well with the interviewer at a law review mixer this summer, so I also have that going for me.

Would it come off wrong to tell them during my screener that they are truly my number one choice? I want to try and convey that they are not just another firm I'm interviewing with.

Thanks!


I did this in a screener, but my resume also supported my claim. I got the callback and offer. I can see situations in which it might hurt (unsupported or generic reasoning behind the assertion), but if you have strongly supported reasons for it and there's a place you can naturally insert it in conversation I say do it.

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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:36 pm

Just had a callback at a secondary market firm. Do I send thank you notes to the lawyers I met?

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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:49 pm

Danger Zone wrote:Question for anon: what is an ideal firm? Seriously, tons of firms do the exact same thing and I've always been confused with law students worshiping their "chosen" firm.

One that will hire me

- different anon

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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:20 pm

Danger Zone wrote:Question for anon: what is an ideal firm? Seriously, tons of firms do the exact same thing and I've always been confused with law students worshiping their "chosen" firm.


OP

Pay market but their firm is only in my state, which I like.

The people who I met have been great.

Have a reputation for being very laid back and informal.

It is not a matter of what they do, it is a matter of culture.

law321
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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby law321 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I want to convey to firm X that they are sincerely my ideal firm (they really are). I have already hit it off well with the interviewer at a law review mixer this summer, so I also have that going for me.

Would it come off wrong to tell them during my screener that they are truly my number one choice? I want to try and convey that they are not just another firm I'm interviewing with.

Thanks!


It would certainty not come off wrong for me because I heavily value an applicant's expressed interest in my firm.

law321
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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby law321 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks a ton for taking questions. I had an interview with a firm I really want for specific reasons today. Interviewer was really easy to talk to, and we basically ended up talking about football and casual things the entire time. We ended up running out of time, and my interviewer never got the chance to ask me if I had any questions. It was a very smooth, relaxed conversation, but I'm afraid I wasn't able to show my interest in the firm well enough. FWIW, I am very intersted in the firm and my grades are well above the median offer GPA from my T14. Is this something to be concerned about?


This happens - not asking questions is not a big deal if the interview organically took you in a different direction. Don't sweat it.

law321
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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby law321 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:07 pm

Danger Zone wrote:Question for anon: what is an ideal firm? Seriously, tons of firms do the exact same thing and I've always been confused with law students worshiping their "chosen" firm.


Are you suggesting that it's not possible to do research and reasonably conclude that a particular firm (while comparable in many respects with other like firms) seems most attractive to you? That doesn't seem reasonable or fair.

A student who expresses interest in my firm as number 1 always gets my full attention.

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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:37 pm

law321 wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:Question for anon: what is an ideal firm? Seriously, tons of firms do the exact same thing and I've always been confused with law students worshiping their "chosen" firm.


Are you suggesting that it's not possible to do research and reasonably conclude that a particular firm (while comparable in many respects with other like firms) seems most attractive to you? That doesn't seem reasonable or fair.

A student who expresses interest in my firm as number 1 always gets my full attention.


I did this with a firm and received an almost immediate rejection. I had a screener with them on Monday, told them in the interview that it was my top choice and I was very excited to be interviewing with them because xyz (and the firm and I seem to line up perfectly due to my background and the culture there, etc.), the interview seemed to go very well (the interviewer even picked out things on my resume and said, oh, I see you have this, the firm has this, these seem to line up). I sent a thank you email again expressing my interest in the firm. On Wednesday, I received a ding email.

Edit: I want to be clear that I'm not saying this never works, just that it doesn't always and did not in this case. I got pretty excited about the firm, so it was more of a let down than others.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:47 pm

This might be very firm/practice area-dependent but what weight do writing samples carry at each level, if a firm asks for one? Is a writing sample likely to push a candidate over the top or knock him/her out? To what extent are they analyzed?

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Danger Zone
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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby Danger Zone » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:35 am

law321 wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:Question for anon: what is an ideal firm? Seriously, tons of firms do the exact same thing and I've always been confused with law students worshiping their "chosen" firm.


Are you suggesting that it's not possible to do research and reasonably conclude that a particular firm (while comparable in many respects with other like firms) seems most attractive to you? That doesn't seem reasonable or fair.

A student who expresses interest in my firm as number 1 always gets my full attention.

Eh, it's impossible to get an idea of the culture without actually working somewhere, especially just from the limited time that you spend with an interviewer. If I were a recruiter (which I'm obviously not so feel free to disregard), I would worry that any such expression on the applicant's part was either insincere or totally naïve.

law321
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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby law321 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:44 am

Danger Zone wrote:
law321 wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:Question for anon: what is an ideal firm? Seriously, tons of firms do the exact same thing and I've always been confused with law students worshiping their "chosen" firm.


Are you suggesting that it's not possible to do research and reasonably conclude that a particular firm (while comparable in many respects with other like firms) seems most attractive to you? That doesn't seem reasonable or fair.

A student who expresses interest in my firm as number 1 always gets my full attention.

Eh, it's impossible to get an idea of the culture without actually working somewhere, especially just from the limited time that you spend with an interviewer. If I were a recruiter (which I'm obviously not so feel free to disregard), I would worry that any such expression on the applicant's part was either insincere or totally naïve.



I understand your point. But I wouldn't say it's impossible. In the end, we make reasoned judgments based on incomplete information all the time (i.e., choosing a law school). I consider this decision-making process no different than any other that involves a combination of research, inference and intuition.

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Re: OCI/Callback Interviewer Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:08 pm

Is there anything you would suggest we do at this point (or later, but I doubt there are many things to do later that we shouldn't do now) if OCI doesn't seem to be working out well (still waiting to hear from some) and we are already in the process of targeted mailing? I feel like I always see mass mailing on these threads, so I'm just curious if there are any other ways that you've seen work or suggest trying.

I have decent but not great grades and good work experience that potential employers (from interviews, informational interviews before, resume reviews, mock interviews with current attorneys, etc.) seem to like. I seem to interview well - not amazing, which I'm still working on (always) but nothing off-putting. I don't know if that changes the advice.




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