BigLaw Phone Interview

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Anonymous User
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BigLaw Phone Interview

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:50 pm

Hey all,

Did a TLS search with not much results. Anyone have any experience on either side of a phone interview? Any tips. I think im a pretty good in-person interviewer, but dont have much experience w/ phone interviews. Any help would be appreciated.

BearLaw
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:23 pm

Re: BigLaw Phone Interview

Postby BearLaw » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hey all,

Did a TLS search with not much results. Anyone have any experience on either side of a phone interview? Any tips. I think im a pretty good in-person interviewer, but dont have much experience w/ phone interviews. Any help would be appreciated.


Did several phone interviews during my search. Assuming this is a screener. Biggest point is to prepare just like you would for a face-to-face interview. Read up on your interviewers (if possible) and at least be familiar with the firm/org/agency you are on the call with. I recommend having some notes in front of you, but dont read from them or recite them. They are a safety blanket only, and should only be used if you literally have nothing else to say (likely wont happen).

Find somewhere quiet where you know you will have a good signal (assuming you will be talking on your cell), and allocate plenty of time, I found that a couple of my phone calls took longer than an in person screener would.

This seemed to work ok for me. FWIW I got 2 call backs from 5 phone interviews, which is roughly the same yield as my in person interviews during OCI.

Good luck.

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

Re: BigLaw Phone Interview

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:01 pm

BearLaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hey all,

Did a TLS search with not much results. Anyone have any experience on either side of a phone interview? Any tips. I think im a pretty good in-person interviewer, but dont have much experience w/ phone interviews. Any help would be appreciated.


Did several phone interviews during my search. Assuming this is a screener. Biggest point is to prepare just like you would for a face-to-face interview. Read up on your interviewers (if possible) and at least be familiar with the firm/org/agency you are on the call with. I recommend having some notes in front of you, but dont read from them or recite them. They are a safety blanket only, and should only be used if you literally have nothing else to say (likely wont happen).

Find somewhere quiet where you know you will have a good signal (assuming you will be talking on your cell), and allocate plenty of time, I found that a couple of my phone calls took longer than an in person screener would.

This seemed to work ok for me. FWIW I got 2 call backs from 5 phone interviews, which is roughly the same yield as my in person interviews during OCI.

Good luck.


Thanks, I appreciate the feedback. I think the "safety" list if def a good idea. (OP)

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seespotrun
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Re: BigLaw Phone Interview

Postby seespotrun » Sun Mar 15, 2015 1:49 am

Just FaceTime with your dick out like you're used to. It'll be a more natural interview.

Anonymous User
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Re: BigLaw Phone Interview

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 31, 2015 2:46 am

Bump.

Anyone have any other advice or experiences with this? Particularly as a 1L. Any advice/help is appreciated.

Anonymous User
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Re: BigLaw Phone Interview

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 31, 2015 4:24 am

Did a couple of these recently. One was pre-scheduled, but one came completely out of the blue. Phone interviews can be tougher than in-person interviews (at least for me) because you can't really "read" the other person's expressions or body language, and it can be easy to talk over one another. That said, I would prep for it just like an in-person interview. The advice about having notes in front of you is really good; I printed out attorney profiles, my application materials, and anything else I thought I might like to peek at during the time. If you need to feel free to jot down a few notes or questions you think of as the other person is speaking.

Just try to be personable even though you aren't speaking face-to-face.

Anonymous User
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Re: BigLaw Phone Interview

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 31, 2015 8:39 am

Current clerk here. I have some recent successful experience with phone interviews. First, I agree with the above poster that you want to have a good safety net of notes and things to reference about your background. Be strategic here- unlike an in-person interview, you have an advantage in the sense that you can have your computer open and resume in front of you and can glance at any notes without the interviewer knowing. I would definitely have a list of questions ready, but throw them in conversationally and not like a robot. Personally, I had a whole table full of notes sprawled out in an empty and quiet room. Have a glass of water nearby. Make sure your phone will not buzz if someone else texts you while on the call-it looks unprofessional.

The most important thing here is to let your voice show your enthusiasm for the position. People want to hire someone they want to work with. It is much easier to show enthusiasm and a good demeanor in person...but on the phone, all you have is your voice. Always let the interviewer finish their question or statement before starting to speak. It is ok to take a brief pause to think before answering a tough question (not too long...the trick here is to not be jumpy and overly eager, but rather cool-headed, professional)...

If you are really worried about the tone of your voice, try calling a friend who will give you candid advice and have them ask you a few questions to see how you sound. I personally have friends who are vibrant, interesting, and intelligent people, but on the phone they sound dull and bored.

Good luck!

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BmoreOrLess
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Re: BigLaw Phone Interview

Postby BmoreOrLess » Thu Dec 31, 2015 9:11 am

I always use good headphones with a mic so I can keep talking with my hands as I would in person. I feel like it brings more depth to your voice and allows you to express more enthusiasm through your voice. I also find standing while talking to be helpful, but YMMV.

Might not be a bad idea to get a friend to do a mock phone interview with you to practice if you've never done one before.

sprezz
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Re: BigLaw Phone Interview

Postby sprezz » Thu Dec 31, 2015 2:01 pm

i'd use a land line. my LS had interview rooms with land lines available for our use. last thing you want is reception to cut out.

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almondjoy
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Re: BigLaw Phone Interview

Postby almondjoy » Thu Dec 31, 2015 3:20 pm

I did a few phone interviews with BL firms during my 1L winter break as well. IME the phone interviews were a lot closer to your typical job interview (e.g. lots of dumb questions like "what three words would your closest friends use to describe you", etc.). Not sure if this is the norm or not though.

wolfie_m.
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Re: BigLaw Phone Interview

Postby wolfie_m. » Thu Dec 31, 2015 3:28 pm

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Last edited by wolfie_m. on Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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zot1
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Re: BigLaw Phone Interview

Postby zot1 » Thu Dec 31, 2015 5:58 pm

Not specific to biglaw but two things I believe are important:

1. Keep track of the length of your answers. Since you can't see the interviewers, you can't tell whether you are boring them with your answer. So make sure you're not going off about one thing for a long time.

2. After you get a question, it is absolutely okay to take a moment to organize your answer before blurting it out. Specially over the phone where (at least some) people assume that the transmission takes a couple of extra seconds.

Good luck!

Anonymous User
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Re: BigLaw Phone Interview

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:34 pm

Anon that bumped.

Thank you so, so, SO incredibly much to everyone that's responded. Really and truly, everything is very much appreciated. I guess one of the biggest questions I have now is what kind of questions are typically asked? I've heard some firms use behavioral questions, which I assume is what almondjoy talked about. Would just reviewing typical interview questions suffice? And, by extension, is there a "different" way of answering these questions given that it's a law firm interview?

Sorry if any of this seems super obvious or dumb to ask. Thanks, y'all and happy new year!

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: BigLaw Phone Interview

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Dec 31, 2015 8:13 pm

I second doing it from a landline if possible. The sound quality can be significantly better. Not the end of the world if you can't, but think of it like shining your shoes in an in-person interview: a small way to make a better impression.

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LA Spring
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Re: BigLaw Phone Interview

Postby LA Spring » Thu Dec 31, 2015 10:33 pm

Agree on land line. Bullet points, they’re easier to locate than notes ― you don’t want to sound distracted (which is what happens when you’re looking for notes). Make sure you’re ready to roll the instant you see a bullet point that fits into your conversation. If you helped with some impressive cases, bring them up (even if your role was minor). I’d bring up everything the partners (or professors, if you’re not yet at a firm) said during your review ― easy to work with, smart, great writing skills, etc. Oh yeah, these days I’d say watch Donald Trump (for the confidence factor). BOL.

cowgirl_bebop
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Re: BigLaw Phone Interview

Postby cowgirl_bebop » Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anon that bumped.

Thank you so, so, SO incredibly much to everyone that's responded. Really and truly, everything is very much appreciated. I guess one of the biggest questions I have now is what kind of questions are typically asked? I've heard some firms use behavioral questions, which I assume is what almondjoy talked about. Would just reviewing typical interview questions suffice? And, by extension, is there a "different" way of answering these questions given that it's a law firm interview?

Sorry if any of this seems super obvious or dumb to ask. Thanks, y'all and happy new year!

The questions should largely be the same, so just be prepared for the usual interview questions. Yes, even the behavioral ones. Have answers mapped out on things like strengths, weaknesses, "a time when you were a leader", etc., and be able to talk about anything on your resume, cover letter, transcript, or writing sample if asked. If you've researched the firm and your interviewers well, you can tie in your experiences with things that they do or you know they value, but don't just shoehorn it in every chance you get. Be natural about it. Personally I've found that people can be a little more chatty on the phone, so also be ready to talk about things like hobbies, interests, or your personal background without sounding like a robot. They are both examining your qualifications and looking to see if you would be a good fit in their office, so don't forget to do your best to establish both of those points.

The most important thing is to not overthink it. If you have gotten the interview they are at least interested, so don't stress yourself out to the point where your nerves are your undoing. If you are a 1L they don't expect you to be an expert, just to not be an idiot.




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