"Where else are you interviewing?"

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Anonymous User
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"Where else are you interviewing?"

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:25 pm

I've got a couple of interviews coming up with firms that, from what I've heard, often ask about where else you're interviewing. It's late in the game and I have already been dinged from my three CB's, none of which are in the same market as these firms. If and when this question comes up, how do I answer? I've found other threads where recruiters have said they ask this to gauge whether you're committed to the market, seen as desirable by "peer" firms, etc. If I answer this question honestly, I'll be saying exactly what they don't want to hear...

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Re: "Where else are you interviewing?"

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:35 pm

Perhaps something like "I have pending applications at firms X, Y, Z (in that market) and those firms, along with this firm, are among my top choices because I want to be in this market"

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Re: "Where else are you interviewing?"

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:41 pm

In my interviews, whenever it was brought up I'd only mention firms in the same market. I would always add at the end something to reiterate/state that particular firm stands out for whatever reasons. In hindsight, when it came to markets I wasn't too keen on I think I sounded pretty insincere.

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OneMoreLawHopeful
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Re: "Where else are you interviewing?"

Postby OneMoreLawHopeful » Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've got a couple of interviews coming up with firms that, from what I've heard, often ask about where else you're interviewing. It's late in the game and I have already been dinged from my three CB's, none of which are in the same market as these firms. If and when this question comes up, how do I answer? I've found other threads where recruiters have said they ask this to gauge whether you're committed to the market, seen as desirable by "peer" firms, etc. If I answer this question honestly, I'll be saying exactly what they don't want to hear...


I seemed to have a good amount of success (gauged by callbacks/offers) with two different kinds of replies.

The first is to characterize "peer" firms through practice specialties rather than geography. So, a hypothetical is telling Boies NY that you're also interviewing with Quinn LA because your primary interest is being a litigator, and you're willing to be flexible about where you live because a litigation career means more to you than geography.

Of course, the downside to this is that you need to be interviewing with a specialized office/firm.

The second option is to tell them that you are so interested in the firm, you were willing to relocate just for a chance to work with them. This never makes sense at a satellite office, but if you are interviewing with the head office of a firm, it can make sense. Think something like interviewing with Sidley Chicago, with no ties to Chicago, but telling them that you're so interested in a career at Sidley that the location mattered less to you than the firm.

This also has a downside - it won't really work at a satellite office, and you'll have to be ready for the question "Why didn't you apply at the local office of our firm?" That's pretty easy to handle as satellite offices usually have limited practice groups, but be ready for it.

Finally, if all else fails, consider what the anon said - list firms but not locations. So, "Where else are you interviewing?" and you just list firm names without mentioning which office you have interviewed with. If it's firms that also have offices in the city you are interviewing in, you probably won't get the "Which office?" follow up.

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Re: "Where else are you interviewing?"

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:In my interviews, whenever it was brought up I'd only mention firms in the same market. I would always add at the end something to reiterate/state that particular firm stands out for whatever reasons. In hindsight, when it came to markets I wasn't too keen on I think I sounded pretty insincere.


Do you have to mention all the firms?

UnderrateOverachieve
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Re: "Where else are you interviewing?"

Postby UnderrateOverachieve » Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:08 pm

I was just fairly vague... it is none of their business. I think I said something like "I applied to all the firms I felt were a good fit that I qualified for."

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IAFG
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Re: "Where else are you interviewing?"

Postby IAFG » Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:10 pm

If you did screeners at firms in the same region just say "I've interviewed at X and Y." Even if you got dinged. No one pushes you to say it was a CB.

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Re: "Where else are you interviewing?"

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:15 pm

At one of my CB interviews, with an important partner at a V5, I committed a lapse of judgment and named every other firm I was doing a CB with (12 total, mostly V20). The interviewer looked noticeably unimpressed. No offer. I'm fairly confident they expect you to use discretion when answering this question, and treat it as a bad sign if you don't.

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Re: "Where else are you interviewing?"

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:58 pm

Yeah, I hate this question. I try to focus on the geographical location, but a few times I've been pushed about firms in other areas. In that case, I always just try to make it sound like I want to be in X location, but I did interview with other locations because my school's career services is good at placing people in X market... It all sounds weird.

I had a pretty uncomfortable conversation about the other firms I was interviewing with in the area one time that involved talking about the pros/cons of the other firms. Not my choice. I got an offer though. I'm not sure how much it matters how you answer this question, although, I suppose it sounds bad if you say you aren't talking to any other firms.

The weirder question is about outstanding offers. Do you have any offers? When do they expire? Do you like the firm? etc.

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Re: "Where else are you interviewing?"

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:In my interviews, whenever it was brought up I'd only mention firms in the same market. I would always add at the end something to reiterate/state that particular firm stands out for whatever reasons. In hindsight, when it came to markets I wasn't too keen on I think I sounded pretty insincere.


Do you have to mention all the firms?


In my first few interviews I did, but then I started to just name two or three firms that I thought the firm would view as comparable "competition." That way, I could show that I care more about their firm over others and further distinguish/show my interest in the firm specifically.

Anonymous User
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Re: "Where else are you interviewing?"

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:In my interviews, whenever it was brought up I'd only mention firms in the same market. I would always add at the end something to reiterate/state that particular firm stands out for whatever reasons. In hindsight, when it came to markets I wasn't too keen on I think I sounded pretty insincere.


Do you have to mention all the firms?


In my first few interviews I did, but then I started to just name two or three firms that I thought the firm would view as comparable "competition." That way, I could show that I care more about their firm over others and further distinguish/show my interest in the firm specifically.


I like this answer. Makes you look not-needy and may also pit the firm against your competition.

Anonymous User
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Re: "Where else are you interviewing?"

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:In my interviews, whenever it was brought up I'd only mention firms in the same market. I would always add at the end something to reiterate/state that particular firm stands out for whatever reasons. In hindsight, when it came to markets I wasn't too keen on I think I sounded pretty insincere.


Do you have to mention all the firms?


In my first few interviews I did, but then I started to just name two or three firms that I thought the firm would view as comparable "competition." That way, I could show that I care more about their firm over others and further distinguish/show my interest in the firm specifically.


I like this answer. Makes you look not-needy and may also pit the firm against your competition.


Do you have to name the firms specifically?




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