why grades shouldn't be the determining factor

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beibitoi
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:57 pm

why grades shouldn't be the determining factor

Postby beibitoi » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:17 am

hi! Tomorrow I'll be having my interview in a law firm here in the Philippines. According to some sources, most of these firms look at your grades to determine whether you are a good investment or not. Yet, they still give every applicant an opportunity to explain or argue why despite the not so impressive grades, the applicant must be hired.

Getting straight to what I am here for, please help me find good reasons or arguments why I should be hired despite my not so impressive grades. If it may help, I graduated from the top (No. 1) law school here in the Philippines.

I already have few arguments but I'm still thinking if it will help as they sound like I am not taking the interview seriously. I want to thank you in advance for the help. Any tip on a different matter useful in a job interview is also appreciated.

UnderrateOverachieve
Posts: 412
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:34 pm

Re: why grades shouldn't be the determining factor

Postby UnderrateOverachieve » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:21 am

I really doubt anyone can help you without a ton more information. What type of position is it. Why do you think you are the best person for the job. Why don't you play out some questions and your responses on here and see if the board can help you fine tune your answers.

beibitoi
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:57 pm

Please help me on my job interview. first timer

Postby beibitoi » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:39 am

UnderrateOverachieve wrote:I really doubt anyone can help you without a ton more information. What type of position is it. Why do you think you are the best person for the job. Why don't you play out some questions and your responses on here and see if the board can help you fine tune your answers.


I'm applying for a lawyer-apprentice position. I just took the bar examinations last October 2013 and am currently waiting for the results. I know I can't show this to you, but I have the confidence needed in a job interview.

1. Why do you think you are the best person for the job?
- I really don't have a good answer for this. All I can say is that I can think how a good lawyer should think. I am always able to find a way to take a advantage of the disadvantageous position of a client. It is a known fact that, in most cases, the client seeks the services of a lawyer because they are in a disadvantageous position. If we have to consider my educational background, I learned the law and learned how to study the law for 9 years which for me is more than sufficient to gain familiarity with the law. Also, I have the character, and most especially the courage to handle high profile criminal cases that your firm is known to handle.

2. Why did you get a low average grade?
- I was dismayed with my grade during the first semester in law school. From that moment, I realized that a good grade is not worth the time I spent just to get it. What I did instead was, I spent most of my time learning rather than wasting time memorizing or doing unnecessary things just to get good grades. That way, I still had the time to do the things I like such as socializing, sports, etc. But I assure you, it is not due to poor mental disability.

Other than that, I became very active in my fraternity and was appointed as an officer due to my ability to fulfill responsibilities. So part of my time went to handling fraternity matters instead of purely getting good grades.

Moreover, it was never my dream to get good grades.

3. How can you say that it is not due to poor mental disability? why were you dismayed when you received your grades? With this grade, do you think you passed the bar?
- It's because I believe that the grades I received during my first year is not commensurate with my performance. During the first semester, I got the highest grade in the exams in most of my major subjects. During my second year, I was under a professor who is known to have "high standards. Only 3 students passed his exams. I was one of them. In my fourth year, I was the only one who got a perfect score in our civil law exam. In another subject, I am one of the 7 students who passed the commercial law exam. In another subject, again, I am one of the 5 students who passed the criminal law exam, and we're talking about few sections with more or less 90 students.

4. (Beside me may be another student who has good grades) Why do you think we should hire you instead of him who has good grades?
- Sir, all I can say is that our grades should not determine whether we should be employed here or not. Yet, if we talk about the mastery of the law, I think I have mastered the law more than him. Unlike him, I did not only take the subject once or twice. but THRICE!!!

Moreover, if you give us the same case to see who's better, we will end up doing the same thing - getting back to our books. and most likely, I'll come up with more and better arguments because with the number of times I took the subject, I used more books than him. Yet, if he'll say he knows the law very well, and there's no need to check my books, I'll respond, even the legal luminaries may forget what the applicable law is on certain facts. More so for a person who just graduated from law school. It will be too risky not to check the books, not only for your firm, but also for your client.

These are just the few. Many more questions will come. Thank you!

FACT: Most Lawyers here in the Philippines are not fond of getting serious answers. As long as the answer is sensible and not too serious, they will surely like it.

This will be my first job interview so please bear with me. I am still not too familiar about what the questions may be. But in the order of my priorities, I really have to look for a good reason why they should disregard my grades. I know this is against the views of many. But I have to find a way. Thank you for helping.

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hichvichwoh
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Re: why grades shouldn't be the determining factor

Postby hichvichwoh » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:51 am

i doubt anyone here will know anything substantive about interviewing in the Philippines, if it's as different from US hiring as you seem to suggest

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patogordo
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Re: why grades shouldn't be the determining factor

Postby patogordo » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:53 am

hichvichwoh wrote:i doubt anyone here will know anything substantive about interviewing in the Philippines, if it's as different from US hiring as you seem to suggest

i'd like to hear more, though, because these interviews sounds awesome. and then the next filipino who browses tls can find the answers he seeks.

UnderrateOverachieve
Posts: 412
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:34 pm

Re: why grades shouldn't be the determining factor

Postby UnderrateOverachieve » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:58 am

Never in a million years would I say getting good grades is a "waste of time" nor was it never my dream to get good grades.

beibitoi
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:57 pm

Re: why grades shouldn't be the determining factor

Postby beibitoi » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:07 am

UnderrateOverachieve wrote:Never in a million years would I say getting good grades is a "waste of time" nor was it never my dream to get good grades.


Thank you! I'll remove that answer. what then do you suggest?

beibitoi
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:57 pm

Re: why grades shouldn't be the determining factor

Postby beibitoi » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:17 am

hichvichwoh wrote:i doubt anyone here will know anything substantive about interviewing in the Philippines, if it's as different from US hiring as you seem to suggest


Thank you! I guess however that the only difference is the attitude of the interviewing officer. With respect to the questions and answers, I think they are almost the same.

If you may, please post some probable questions and its appropriate answers. Then I'll find a way to deliver it in a way the interviewer desires. Thanks again!

sparty99
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Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:41 pm

Re: why grades shouldn't be the determining factor

Postby sparty99 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:19 am

Well we don't know why the hell you got bad grades in the first place. And if you got bad grades, did you do well in undergrad? Also, did you get bad grades your first semester, but improved? Do you have work experience? If so, then you say, based on my undergraduate record and work experience you will see that I can be successful at your firm. I mean, you give us nothing to work with. I explain away bad grades in law school by explaining it was one bad first year that is weighing my gpa, then I explain how i've done decent, then I talk about how i've done well in the classes most relevant to law (legal writing, moot court, trial advocacy, etc). Then I talk about my WE. But you give us nothing to work with.

I think your answers kind of suck. You need to explain your grades aren't the best, but then deflect. Okay, my grades are not strong, but here is what I bring to the table. Just don't say what you bring. Provide examples. I take the initiative. Then provide an example of a time. Grades will be a factor, but you need to address it, then move on. A skill any lawyer will need.

beibitoi
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:57 pm

Re: why grades shouldn't be the determining factor

Postby beibitoi » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:30 am

sparty99 wrote:Well we don't know why the hell you got bad grades in the first place. And if you got bad grades, did you do well in undergrad? Also, did you get bad grades your first semester, but improved? Do you have work experience? If so, then you say, based on my undergraduate record and work experience you will see that I can be successful at your firm. I mean, you give us nothing to work with. I explain away bad grades in law school by explaining it was one bad first year that is weighing my gpa, then I explain how i've done decent, then I talk about how i've done well in the classes most relevant to law (legal writing, moot court, trial advocacy, etc). Then I talk about my WE. But you give us nothing to work with.

I think your answers kind of suck. You need to explain your grades aren't the best, but then deflect. Okay, my grades are not strong, but here is what I bring to the table. Just don't say what you bring. Provide examples. I take the initiative. Then provide an example of a time. Grades will be a factor, but you need to address it, then move on. A skill any lawyer will need.


that was harsh. but it helped! thanks!

yeah I got good undergraduate record. Work experience? this is my first time.

from your post, you want me to say, "I admit I don't have impressive grades but if I have to sell myself..... (then tell him some success stories like the exams I topped?)"




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