If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273547
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:37 pm

I am legitimately confused. I have relatively unimpressive credentials (GPA slightly below median, secondary journal, no moot court, etc.) but I apparently interview really well and therefore have done seven callbacks from seventeen screeners. So far I've been rejected by four of those and am waiting on three. My question is: if they liked my resume and first interview enough to give me a callback, and nothing has changed between the screener and the callback (no changes to resume, and I treated the cb's exactly the same), what's up with all these dings? Yes, I get that there are many qualified candidates, etc., but why spend $2K/callback on a student they'd rejected based on paper, right? Then it comes down to interviewing, but I've been told I'm an excellent interviewer by the interviewers themselves. This process just seems so opaque and it seems like all my friends are getting offers from the one or two callbacks they had while I just have a growing stack of rejection letters.

lukertin
Posts: 775
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:16 am

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby lukertin » Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:40 pm

The people who make the callback recommendation, i.e., your interviewer(s), are not the same people who make the decision whether to hire you, i.e., maybe half the people who interviewed you on that day, in addition to another 3-4 ppl you never met. Those mystery people could be blackballing your hopes b/c of your grades. Who knows.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18424
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby bk1 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:41 pm

Plenty of firms CB way more people than they intend to offer. They intend to spend thousands of dollars on people they will not give offers to.

The firm just liked the other people they interviewed more than you. Maybe you are off putting to some interviewers even though other interviewers like you. Maybe they couldn't look past something on your resume. I don't know. The only people that know the truth are those on the hiring committee at the firm and they aren't going to tell you the truth. I also find it odd that interviewers are telling you you're a good interviewer. That's just weird. Who says that after an interview?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273547
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:47 pm

bk1 wrote:Plenty of firms CB way more people than they intend to offer. They intend to spend thousands of dollars on people they will not give offers to.

The firm just liked the other people they interviewed more than you. Maybe you are off putting to some interviewers even though other interviewers like you. Maybe they couldn't look past something on your resume. I don't know. The only people that know the truth are those on the hiring committee at the firm and they aren't going to tell you the truth. I also find it odd that interviewers are telling you you're a good interviewer. That's just weird. Who says that after an interview?


OP here. I've been told I'm a good interviewer on at least four occasions after an interview, two of which were at callbacks. It's just frustrating. Haven't heard back from those two firms but yeah.

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby rad lulz » Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:50 pm

bk1 wrote:Plenty of firms CB way more people than they intend to offer. They intend to spend thousands of dollars on people they will not give offers to.

The firm just liked the other people they interviewed more than you. Maybe you are off putting to some interviewers even though other interviewers like you. Maybe they couldn't look past something on your resume. I don't know. The only people that know the truth are those on the hiring committee at the firm and they aren't going to tell you the truth. I also find it odd that interviewers are telling you you're a good interviewer. That's just weird. Who says that after an interview?

I dunno, I've been told during and after interviews that I was having a great interview. Then again, I wasn't rejected from those.

Also I agree w the substance of this poast

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18424
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby bk1 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. I've been told I'm a good interviewer on at least four occasions after an interview, two of which were at callbacks. It's just frustrating. Haven't heard back from those two firms but yeah.

Maybe I'm the odd one but having an interviewer say "your interview well" just seems strange. I could see them saying "I had a great time speaking with you" or something along those lines but you can't really read into something like that since it's just a common pleasantry. In any case, I wouldn't assume you're a good interviewer (some people screen well but then fail at CBs). More importantly, you should be spending your time at this moment grinding for a job. Nobody who hasn't seen you interview can necessarily tell you why you didn't get an offer and nobody on TLS has seen you interview.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18424
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby bk1 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:53 pm

rad lulz wrote:I dunno, I've been told during and after interviews that I was having a great interview. Then again, I wasn't rejected from those.

I could see that, but I could also see that being just a nicety that the interviewer throws out that really isn't a true evaluation of your ability to interview. Plus there are plenty of interviewers who are easy to interview with for everyone and interviews with those people tend to always go well.

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby rad lulz » Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:59 pm

bk1 wrote:
rad lulz wrote:I dunno, I've been told during and after interviews that I was having a great interview. Then again, I wasn't rejected from those.

I could see that, but I could also see that being just a nicety that the interviewer throws out that really isn't a true evaluation of your ability to interview. Plus there are plenty of interviewers who are easy to interview with for everyone and interviews with those people tend to always go well.

I found it weird too when the guy who was walking me around the office pulled me aside at cocktail hr and said, "from everyone I've talked to, your interview is going really well," but there you go.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273547
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:01 pm

I am a 3L and I'm just now coming to terms with the randomness of this process. (To be fair, I also did 3L OCI to trade up, so I'm not a full year behind.) I was not a good interviewer initially, and I am pretty sure that I improved with later interviews. But improvement is not always necessary nor is it always sufficient. There are firms that called me back after bad interviews, on the basis of grades - possibly even because they thought I would be more likely to come to a lower tier firm if I was a poor interviewer. There are firms that didn't call me back although I was more qualified on paper than their criteria, probably because I had some particularly bad interviews. As a 3L, I felt that I had improved my interview skills dramatically - but the only firms that interview lots of 3Ls are super selective and I don't have the qualifications on paper. The point is that there is enough randomness and stuff outside your control that all you can do is keep grinding, keep improving, and keep applying, until you have an offer in hand. But if you've evaluated yourself honestly, there's no purpose in continuing to beat yourself up over it. As DF posted in that other topic - stop thinking, continue applying.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18424
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby bk1 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:03 pm

rad lulz wrote:
bk1 wrote:
rad lulz wrote:I dunno, I've been told during and after interviews that I was having a great interview. Then again, I wasn't rejected from those.

I could see that, but I could also see that being just a nicety that the interviewer throws out that really isn't a true evaluation of your ability to interview. Plus there are plenty of interviewers who are easy to interview with for everyone and interviews with those people tend to always go well.

I found it weird too when the guy who was walking me around the office pulled me aside at cocktail hr and said, "from everyone I've talked to, your interview is going really well," but there you go.

Fair enough. I walk back my earlier statement.

nucky thompson
Posts: 290
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:32 pm

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby nucky thompson » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:08 pm

You ask the question as if there is an answer. every interview is different because every interviewer is different. this is what we know: academics (grades/school), experience (resume), and personality ("fit"/"chemistry") are relevant factors. each interviewer may place different weight on each factor. further, interviewers may evaluate whether or not you meet each factor different - ie: a shy/quiet interviewer may be off put by a more assertive/vocal candidate while the talkative/energetic interviewer may really buy into those same qualities.

i think many law students are so focused on distinguishing themselves academically/professionally from other candidates that they forget to be themselves, they forget to fuse some personality into their interview.

for example, if an interviewer at a CB is satisfied with your credentials, he/she may ask you about your personal background or why you decided to go to law school. I think many law students have been trained to steer these type of questions back to "this is why I am qualified for the job" - but, IMO, a lot of cb interviewers will be turned off by this type of response because it is robotic and doesn't help differentiate you "personally" from other candidates.

surely you want to highlight your academic/professional accomplishments, but given that other candidates will be equally qualified academically/professionally, remember to fuse your personality into the interviewr so that you can distinguish yourself personally.

NYstate
Posts: 1566
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:44 am

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby NYstate » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:19 pm

Your assumptions are not correct. A callback is a chance to interview for a job. Your grades haven't been pre- approved because you get a callback. Neither have you as a person been pre- approved of being a good inteviewer or a good fit.

Just because your screener thought you might be worth interviewing, it doesn't mean that the firm is pre- disposed to hire you.

So, yes, it could be your grades and it could be your interviewing style. You also are competing with people who have better credentials. If the hiring committee is seeing people with better credentials taking callbacks and doing well, they could ding you.

It just doesn't work the way you describe.

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby rad lulz » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:46 pm

In addition to what everyone else is saying, it could just be dumb luck. OCI is not a mathematical function where you put in your credentials, experience, and interview skills, and out pops a firm. I know this can be hard for law students to accept.

NYstate
Posts: 1566
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:44 am

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby NYstate » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:51 pm

rad lulz wrote:In addition to what everyone else is saying, it could just be dumb luck. OCI is not a mathematical function where you put in your credentials, experience, and interview skills, and out pops a firm. I know this can be hard for law students to accept.


Why is this hard for law students to grasp? Someone said in one thread it is because people have never been in the job market before. But this attitude of not understanding how hiring works seems pervasive.

delusional
Posts: 1190
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:57 pm

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby delusional » Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:58 pm

rad lulz wrote:In addition to what everyone else is saying, it could just be dumb luck. OCI is not a mathematical function where you put in your credentials, experience, and interview skills, and out pops a firm. I know this can be hard for law students to accept.

Your obviously right, but you can't blame law students for thinking it is. The nature of hiring is that it's nearly impossible for firms to make meaningful evaluations, so students who have been acculturated to check-the-box hiring reasonably assume that firms will be similar.

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15518
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:25 pm

What school? If hys your credentials alone are probably good enough to get the callbacks. Anywhere below that its probably just bad luck. Sometimes a coin flip goes against you four steaighr times. Keep grinding.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22879
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:40 pm

NYstate wrote:
rad lulz wrote:In addition to what everyone else is saying, it could just be dumb luck. OCI is not a mathematical function where you put in your credentials, experience, and interview skills, and out pops a firm. I know this can be hard for law students to accept.


Why is this hard for law students to grasp? Someone said in one thread it is because people have never been in the job market before. But this attitude of not understanding how hiring works seems pervasive.

I think it's because law students who haven't been on the job market before tend to look at it like applying to law school - there are certain requirements you need and if you have them, you're good. Also (not sure if this contradicts or augments what I just said), I think it's really hard to realize how much is random/outside the candidate's control until you've been on the other side of the hiring table. Some people get it anyway, but it's often something you have to see to understand (I think this is true of all industries, not just law).

enibs
Posts: 107
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:28 am

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby enibs » Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:44 pm

The two profiles most at risk for many callbacks with no offers are (1) bad stats, really good interviewer and (2) really good stats, bad interviewer. Category (1) can click with the screener, who uses a discretionary callback because he/she really likes the candidate. But back at the home office, and up against others who are at least decent interviewers and who have much better stats, the candidate doesn't make the second cut. Conversely, the bad interviewer with really good stats will get a callback because the screener doesn't want to take it on himself/herself alone to ding someone with really good stats. But then back at the home office, everyone else has the same reaction - this candidate is a real stiff in the interview - and the result again is no offer. Not to say there isn't also some luck/randomness in the process, but these profiles are at greater risk. Of course, you're worse off if you have bad stats and you're bad in the interview. Then you don't get the callback at all and never have the chance to luck out with an offer.

Pokemon
Posts: 1863
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:58 pm

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby Pokemon » Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:16 pm

enibs wrote:The two profiles most at risk for many callbacks with no offers are (1) bad stats, really good interviewer and (2) really good stats, bad interviewer. Category (1) can click with the screener, who uses a discretionary callback because he/she really likes the candidate. But back at the home office, and up against others who are at least decent interviewers and who have much better stats, the candidate doesn't make the second cut. Conversely, the bad interviewer with really good stats will get a callback because the screener doesn't want to take it on himself/herself alone to ding someone with really good stats. But then back at the home office, everyone else has the same reaction - this candidate is a real stiff in the interview - and the result again is no offer. Not to say there isn't also some luck/randomness in the process, but these profiles are at greater risk. Of course, you're worse off if you have bad stats and you're bad in the interview. Then you don't get the callback at all and never have the chance to luck out with an offer.


Bad luck and this also seems to make sense.
At the CB stage, most of the other candidates will be good interviewers... after all they made it through the screener. So maybe then the firm looks back at your grades?

In any case, all this does not matter. You should mass mail, try not to be discouraged, and bring your A game during the rest of CBs.
Good luck!

User avatar
Samara
Posts: 3245
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 4:26 pm

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby Samara » Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:35 pm

bk1 wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
bk1 wrote:
rad lulz wrote:I dunno, I've been told during and after interviews that I was having a great interview. Then again, I wasn't rejected from those.

I could see that, but I could also see that being just a nicety that the interviewer throws out that really isn't a true evaluation of your ability to interview. Plus there are plenty of interviewers who are easy to interview with for everyone and interviews with those people tend to always go well.

I found it weird too when the guy who was walking me around the office pulled me aside at cocktail hr and said, "from everyone I've talked to, your interview is going really well," but there you go.

Fair enough. I walk back my earlier statement.

TBF, "your interviews are going well" =/= "you are a good interviewer."

"You are a good interviewer" sounds like something someone tells you to let you down easy.

NYstate
Posts: 1566
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:44 am

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby NYstate » Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:50 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
NYstate wrote:
rad lulz wrote:In addition to what everyone else is saying, it could just be dumb luck. OCI is not a mathematical function where you put in your credentials, experience, and interview skills, and out pops a firm. I know this can be hard for law students to accept.


Why is this hard for law students to grasp? Someone said in one thread it is because people have never been in the job market before. But this attitude of not understanding how hiring works seems pervasive.

I think it's because law students who haven't been on the job market before tend to look at it like applying to law school - there are certain requirements you need and if you have them, you're good. Also (not sure if this contradicts or augments what I just said), I think it's really hard to realize how much is random/outside the candidate's control until you've been on the other side of the hiring table. Some people get it anyway, but it's often something you have to see to understand (I think this is true of all industries, not just law).


Perhaps this too is the explanation for poor bidding? People don't understand how hiring works so they over estimate their chances?

Also, people talk about going to school where they would be ok with graduating at median. Maybe this gets translated into the idea that as long as you are above median you will get a job?

Maybe I'm starting to get this. People think that if they are above the median of the grade range for a firm, they should get a job? Same as with school admissions?

NotMyRealName09
Posts: 1395
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:50 pm

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:30 pm

Are you female?

KidStuddi
Posts: 465
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:35 pm

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby KidStuddi » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:01 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
NYstate wrote:
rad lulz wrote:In addition to what everyone else is saying, it could just be dumb luck. OCI is not a mathematical function where you put in your credentials, experience, and interview skills, and out pops a firm. I know this can be hard for law students to accept.


Why is this hard for law students to grasp? Someone said in one thread it is because people have never been in the job market before. But this attitude of not understanding how hiring works seems pervasive.


I think it's because law students who haven't been on the job market before tend to look at it like applying to law school - there are certain requirements you need and if you have them, you're good. Also (not sure if this contradicts or augments what I just said), I think it's really hard to realize how much is random/outside the candidate's control until you've been on the other side of the hiring table. Some people get it anyway, but it's often something you have to see to understand (I think this is true of all industries, not just law).


A whole lot of this. The pattern begins with undergrad admissions, continues through with honors societies / latin honors, law school admissions, the illusion of blind grading, making journals, getting picked for interviews at pre-select schools, etc. Unsurprisingly, many come into OCI presuming hiring too will be hyperrational only to find that it isn't. They're so accustomed to trying to game quantitative systems of selection that they just can't process that a trait that has been wholly irrelevant (i.e. personality) now matters more than just about everything else combined. It's kind of a brutal bait and switch.

TooOld4This
Posts: 638
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:09 am

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby TooOld4This » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:09 am

KidStuddi wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
NYstate wrote:
rad lulz wrote:In addition to what everyone else is saying, it could just be dumb luck. OCI is not a mathematical function where you put in your credentials, experience, and interview skills, and out pops a firm. I know this can be hard for law students to accept.


Why is this hard for law students to grasp? Someone said in one thread it is because people have never been in the job market before. But this attitude of not understanding how hiring works seems pervasive.


I think it's because law students who haven't been on the job market before tend to look at it like applying to law school - there are certain requirements you need and if you have them, you're good. Also (not sure if this contradicts or augments what I just said), I think it's really hard to realize how much is random/outside the candidate's control until you've been on the other side of the hiring table. Some people get it anyway, but it's often something you have to see to understand (I think this is true of all industries, not just law).


A whole lot of this. The pattern begins with undergrad admissions, continues through with honors societies / latin honors, law school admissions, the illusion of blind grading, making journals, getting picked for interviews at pre-select schools, etc. Unsurprisingly, many come into OCI presuming hiring too will be hyperrational only to find that it isn't. They're so accustomed to trying to game quantitative systems of selection that they just can't process that a trait that has been wholly irrelevant (i.e. personality) now matters more than just about everything else combined. It's kind of a brutal bait and switch.


And yet OCI is one of the most "artificial" hiring environments there is. There is more transparency and more "check the box" hiring here than there is in most other forms of job searching.

OP, it is very rare that employers only interview the number of people they expect to hire. In OCI there is attrition at every stage. Chances are you have gone in as the 3rd or 4th choice for a slot and wound up in the exact same position after callbacks. Your paper credentials meet the minimum standard and you may very well be a good/great interviewer. But if the firm is interviewing people with better credentials that interview just as well/better, that still leaves you with out a chair when the music stops. Keep doing what you are doing, but also mix up the types of places you are applying to. Big firms tend to gravitate toward the same type of candidates, so if you aren't seeing results, you should try to branch out and tailor cover letters and your resume to your targets. Good luck!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273547
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: If it's not the stats and not the interviewing, what is it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:20 am

KidStuddi wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
NYstate wrote:
rad lulz wrote:In addition to what everyone else is saying, it could just be dumb luck. OCI is not a mathematical function where you put in your credentials, experience, and interview skills, and out pops a firm. I know this can be hard for law students to accept.


Why is this hard for law students to grasp? Someone said in one thread it is because people have never been in the job market before. But this attitude of not understanding how hiring works seems pervasive.


I think it's because law students who haven't been on the job market before tend to look at it like applying to law school - there are certain requirements you need and if you have them, you're good. Also (not sure if this contradicts or augments what I just said), I think it's really hard to realize how much is random/outside the candidate's control until you've been on the other side of the hiring table. Some people get it anyway, but it's often something you have to see to understand (I think this is true of all industries, not just law).


A whole lot of this. The pattern begins with undergrad admissions, continues through with honors societies / latin honors, law school admissions, the illusion of blind grading, making journals, getting picked for interviews at pre-select schools, etc. Unsurprisingly, many come into OCI presuming hiring too will be hyperrational only to find that it isn't. They're so accustomed to trying to game quantitative systems of selection that they just can't process that a trait that has been wholly irrelevant (i.e. personality) now matters more than just about everything else combined. It's kind of a brutal bait and switch.


There's an element of truth to this, but having done my fair share of hiring, firing, and being hired, the "biglaw" hiring model can seem especially capricious. But the "I'm an asshole./I'm not an asshole!" doublespeak the big firms are looking for (often subconsciously) is actually a key job skill and people who don't have it would probably hate the jobs, and should therefore be thankful for the dings. Calling the mystery metric "personality," however, is overly generous. It's more like "anti-personality" or "sliminess."




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.