I think I'm going to strike out and I'm terrified

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I think I'm going to strike out and I'm terrified

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:01 pm

I'm around median at T6, K-JD and a grade dip from 1st semester (top 20%) to bottom 30% or so for 2nd semester (landing me around median overall).
I'm targeting Northern California (where I grew up), Chicago, and NY... but mostly NY to be safe.

I've had a couple screeners with no luck so far.
Earlier this year, I had about 8-9 1L SA interviews and got 0 call backs (and this is when I had pretty good grades)
For this summer, I had about 5 screeners so far.. 3 of them are rejections and the other 2 are silence (I'm guessing rejections). I know someone with lower grades than me (K-JD as well) who got a callback to one of these places

I've been practicing interviewing all summer long. I hired an interview coach who said I came a long way but still needed improvement. My career services counselor said the same. I've had multiple mock interviews with friends and attorneys.

The biggest advice I get is that I am nothing special. I try to add my accomplishments and paint myself in a good light in each answer, and I think it goes well but I guess it doesn't (otherwise it would be working). My most honest friends I have had stated that I come off as a decent interview, but I wouldn't stand out if I were up against other similar candidates (I'm a K-JD whereas other people in my class are Rhodes Scholars, have extensive WE, etc.).

Really, I don't know what the interviewers look for.
For each of my 4 interviews so far, I've been getting along well with the interviewer. Really. We talk and laugh and it seems like we get a good exchange. However, I'm not getting callbacks so it seems like it's the wrong approach.

I thought that I'm good at conversational interviews....but I guess I was wrong
For example, in one interview the interviewer and I made small talk which led to talking about traveling. It was a pleasant convo and then he asked a couple questions about what I was looking for in a firm, why, etc.. It really seemed like it was going well and he gave me some personal advice, and even wanted me to meet with another partner. Got a rejection a couple days later

I really don't know what I'm doing wrong.
Before each interview I try to be as excited and enthusiastic as possible. I try to be charismatic, don't give yes or no answers, keep the interviewer engaged, etc. I've read Guerrilla Tactics, and probably all the interviewing tip threads on this forum (V15 OCI interviewer, the HLS guy, etc.)

I'm so confused and I really need help. Maybe I come off as awkward and clumsy or maybe my grade dip is hurting me more than I thought.
I've spoken with career services. I've pretty much used up all my resources. I know it's early on but I've had a total of about 14 screeners for 1L and 2L SA combined and 0 call backs.

Any help would be great. Thanks

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Re: I think I'm going to strike out and I'm terrified

Postby Nekrowizard » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:14 pm

As a 0L about to attend a T6, this is a horribly depressing thing to read. I'm pretty incompetent at interviewing, too, so any advice would be golden. There was a pretty good thread about networking I read and can't find now. Still, I'm more discouraged than I already was.

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Single-Malt-Liquor

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Re: I think I'm going to strike out and I'm terrified

Postby Single-Malt-Liquor » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:17 pm

This is going to sound like typical B.S. but honestly, the first step is to be confident that who you are and the qualities you possess will shine through. Focus on your strengths and the things that are interesting about you. Pivot conversations to those points so that you can be passionate and convincing.

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Re: I think I'm going to strike out and I'm terrified

Postby Andrews989 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:18 pm

"Whether you think you can or think you can't — you are right." ~Henry Ford

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baal hadad

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Re: I think I'm going to strike out and I'm terrified

Postby baal hadad » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:"Whether you think you can or think you can't — you are right." ~Henry Ford

This was a worthwhile use of anon

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Re: I think I'm going to strike out and I'm terrified

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As a 0L about to attend a T6, this is a horribly depressing thing to read. I'm pretty incompetent at interviewing, too, so any advice would be golden. There was a pretty good thread about networking I read and can't find now. Still, I'm more discouraged than I already was.


Keep in mind that OCI/EIP hasn't even STARTED for OP. He may be right to be nervous, but I don't think his lack of 1L SA success means much. A lot of firms seem to use 1L SA interviews as an early 2L recruiting method more than anything, although I don't see why that works (if anything I'm less excited about the firm that interviewed me and never gave me an official rejection.)

OP, can you give an example of the kind of answers you are giving that you think paint yourself in a good light?

I am also a rising 2L and have not had much luck so far with screeners (10 --> 1 CB). I am pretty sure I come across as aloof and perhaps disingenuous regarding my interest in NYC.

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Re: I think I'm going to strike out and I'm terrified

Postby starrydreamz3 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:19 pm

In terms of advice, it looks like you've done everything right so far. No one here is going to be able to give you any better advice on how to improve your interviewing than the people who have actually interviewed you.

Personally (and note that I'm a 2L with little more experience than you), I think you're not in a horrible situation. 1L gigs are very competitive. Anecdotally, I was near top of my class at a T6 and didn't get a 1L position, so don't beat yourself up over it. In terms of the early interviews this summer, I think that you may be the sort of person that firms don't feel like they want to grab right away. You're median (probably in terms of grades and interviewing ability). The people they pick out to come interview early might be a higher caliber than the ones they'll be meeting in OCI and throughout the fall. So, to be blunt, you're pretty easy to say no to now. But I wouldn't be surprised to hear you get something in September when everyone else seems to blend together in interviews.

Anyway, that's not really a helpful post but more of a comforting post. As always, just keep mass mailing throughout until you get an offer. Good luck!

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baal hadad

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Re: I think I'm going to strike out and I'm terrified

Postby baal hadad » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:21 pm

OP 1L sa screeners don't mean shit. 1L game is nothing like the 2L game

If you've have 5 or 6 2L SA screeners so far w out CBs that's not abnormal

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Single-Malt-Liquor

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Re: I think I'm going to strike out and I'm terrified

Postby Single-Malt-Liquor » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:As a 0L about to attend a T6, this is a horribly depressing thing to read. I'm pretty incompetent at interviewing, too, so any advice would be golden. There was a pretty good thread about networking I read and can't find now. Still, I'm more discouraged than I already was.


Keep in mind that OCI/EIP hasn't even STARTED for OP. He may be right to be nervous, but I don't think his lack of 1L SA success means much. A lot of firms seem to use 1L SA interviews as an early 2L recruiting method more than anything, although I don't see why that works (if anything I'm less excited about the firm that interviewed me and never gave me an official rejection.)

OP, can you give an example of the kind of answers you are giving that you think paint yourself in a good light?

I am also a rising 2L and have not had much luck so far with screeners (10 --> 1 CB). I am pretty sure I come across as aloof and perhaps disingenuous regarding my interest in NYC.


Re: the bolded, I dont know man, it works. I'm irrationally and desperately in love with the two firms that rejected me 1L callbacks. I want them soooooo bad.

starrydreamz3

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Re: I think I'm going to strike out and I'm terrified

Postby starrydreamz3 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:27 pm

Not sure if this is comforting, but I had an early call back with one of the firms that rejected me for a 1L position and got an offer on the spot. Sometimes they really just don't have enough room for 1Ls in their summer program!

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Yukos

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Re: I think I'm going to strike out and I'm terrified

Postby Yukos » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:41 pm

starrydreamz3 wrote:Not sure if this is comforting, but I had an early call back with one of the firms that rejected me for a 1L position and got an offer on the spot. Sometimes they really just don't have enough room for 1Ls in their summer program!


Probably not what OP needed to hear.

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Re: I think I'm going to strike out and I'm terrified

Postby JamMasterJ » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:44 pm

a few thoughts:
1) I'm assuming "pretty good grades" means above median. In that case, you really don't have to interview that well to get a few offers. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try, just that the bar isn't crazy high. If you're Stone or equivalent, some firms will basically give you a callback if you don't fuck up entirely.
2) Mass mail - given your grades, this should yield a fair number of screeners or straight-to-callbacks. Once you get there, it's less about selling yourself than not fucking up.
3) There are ways to have conversational interviews while also selling yourself. I'm a midwestern guy, so I have a hard time coming off in that sales-pitch manner that you might be thinking of, but there are ways to tie in cool and relevant things you've done to why you'd fit well with the firm.
4) Do your research - if you can get the attention on them and about the firm rather than having a conversation as much about you, this shows an interest in their work and allows you to have to carry the ball less. This won't work all the time, and you still need to show that you're smart and competent, but doing this by asking detailed, non-basic questions is a way of coming off as motivated/driven/intelligent without getting stuck having to sell yourself.

REMEMBER, if you have above median grades at CCN, and you bid reasonably, you have an downhill battle - they want to want you.

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Johann

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Re: I think I'm going to strike out and I'm terrified

Postby Johann » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:58 pm

You're doing fine. All it takes is one. Just make sure you are asking thoughtful questions that show you researched your interviewer and you'll be fine.

starrydreamz3

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Re: I think I'm going to strike out and I'm terrified

Postby starrydreamz3 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:59 pm

Yukos wrote:
starrydreamz3 wrote:Not sure if this is comforting, but I had an early call back with one of the firms that rejected me for a 1L position and got an offer on the spot. Sometimes they really just don't have enough room for 1Ls in their summer program!


Probably not what OP needed to hear.


Fair enough, though it was meant to be directed at single-malt-liquor.

(Accidental anon - this is Starrydreamz3)
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mal Reynolds

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Re: I think I'm going to strike out and I'm terrified

Postby Mal Reynolds » Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:02 pm

OP have you started OCI yet or are these mass mail screeners.

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JCougar

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Re: I think I'm going to strike out and I'm terrified

Postby JCougar » Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:07 pm

Using 1L SA interviews as a gauge for how successful you will be at 2L SA interviews is a bad idea. Even from a T6, 1L SA positions are hard to get. There's probably something like 8-10 times more 2L SA positions out there than 1L positions, so I wouldn't worry quite yet.

I think it's really kind of hard to give interview advice, because every interviewer is different, and Biglaw doesn't try to do standardized interviews. Other than basic oral communication skills and ability to conduct yourself in a professional manner, you really just have to figure out how to relate to your interviewer as an individual.

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Re: I think I'm going to strike out and I'm terrified

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:07 pm

Sorry, but this is crazy and paranoid and someone needs to lovingly slap you in the face to knock the useless anxiety & self pity out of you. I'm surprised no one in this thread has said this, so I will - if I'm off base wrt your specific job search, then the advice still applies to someone else:

First, you're fine. You're median at a top program. Unless you're totally weird you'll get callbacks which are yours to lose at OCI/EIW/EIP. Relax.

Second, you're median: you're in a good place but you're not the prize poney at the show either. Stop expecting to be. Disappointment with failing to procure a 1L SA or a massmail callback with top firms shows to me that the problem isn't interviewing or grades, but maybe some inflated expectations.

Third and relatedly, seriously? Your cause for concern is that you didn't get a 1L SA (unless you're diverse, it's extremely unlikely you would get one) and second, your summer massmail didn't get bites from median? Mass mail success with large firms seems to be the reserve of top quarter and those who made/had solid connections. Only a handful of T6 students will get quality offers before on campus recruiting, while depending on which school, 80-90% will land an offer out of OCI. Don't let the shit on TLS get to you - clearly it is, and you have to regain your confidence and cut the crap.

Worrying like this about nothing and dripping the page with insecurity does more damage to your confidence and recruiting success than good. To reiterate, you're fine. Good luck.

Also lots of anon abuse, including from 0Ls, ITT.

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soj

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Re: I think I'm going to strike out and I'm terrified

Postby soj » Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:27 pm

Nekrowizard wrote:As a 0L about to attend a T6, this is a horribly depressing thing to read. I'm pretty incompetent at interviewing, too, so any advice would be golden. There was a pretty good thread about networking I read and can't find now. Still, I'm more discouraged than I already was.

don't post here.

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Re: I think I'm going to strike out and I'm terrified

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:13 pm

OP here. Thanks for all the feedback. I read each of them and they all do make me feel better in one way or another.
jbagelboy wrote:Sorry, but this is crazy and paranoid and someone needs to lovingly slap you in the face to knock the useless anxiety & self pity out of you. I'm surprised no one in this thread has said this, so I will - if I'm off base wrt your specific job search, then the advice still applies to someone else:

First, you're fine. You're median at a top program. Unless you're totally weird you'll get callbacks which are yours to lose at OCI/EIW/EIP. Relax.

Second, you're median: you're in a good place but you're not the prize poney at the show either. Stop expecting to be. Disappointment with failing to procure a 1L SA or a massmail callback with top firms shows to me that the problem isn't interviewing or grades, but maybe some inflated expectations.

Third and relatedly, seriously? Your cause for concern is that you didn't get a 1L SA (unless you're diverse, it's extremely unlikely you would get one) and second, your summer massmail didn't get bites from median? Mass mail success with large firms seems to be the reserve of top quarter and those who made/had solid connections. Only a handful of T6 students will get quality offers before on campus recruiting, while depending on which school, 80-90% will land an offer out of OCI. Don't let the shit on TLS get to you - clearly it is, and you have to regain your confidence and cut the crap.

Worrying like this about nothing and dripping the page with insecurity does more damage to your confidence and recruiting success than good. To reiterate, you're fine. Good luck.

Also lots of anon abuse, including from 0Ls, ITT.


I get what you're saying. I guess what has me concerned is during my 1L job search, most people I knew who went for a 1L SA job got a callback except me, and I know a good amount who got offers (about half of them had much worse grades than I did and K-JD as well). Maybe I just hang with a successful crew.

Also, the common message here seems to be: "unless you're weird or aspie, you'll be fine". That's the thing. Weird people don't know they're weird. I'm wondering if I'm one of those people (though I don't think I am).

Thanks though. I think that confidence is the biggest key here. Yeah, you're right. Posts like this won't help.


I'll just keep practicing and going at it. I'll update if OCI doesn't look good

Mal Reynolds

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Re: I think I'm going to strike out and I'm terrified

Postby Mal Reynolds » Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:15 pm

So is this before OCI?

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filibuster

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Re: I think I'm going to strike out and I'm terrified

Postby filibuster » Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:47 pm

You do not need an interview coach....Do your damn research and regain your confidence.

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Nelson

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Re: I think I'm going to strike out and I'm terrified

Postby Nelson » Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:14 pm

Interview "skill" is 95% confidence so you need to figure out a way to psych yourself up before going in.



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