Always answering 1 question weird in an interview

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Always answering 1 question weird in an interview

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:56 am

So I feel like almost every interview I do, I do really well in, except for like 1 question.

Example:

After telling an interviewer I really want to work in City X, he asks, ''so when you have a stack of offers, how will you decide b/w the firms?''
I answer, ''Location.'' Realized after the interview that location was already clear, and he was asking what if I got multiple offers in the same city I want to be in. No CB.

Yesterday, interviewer asks ''what did you learn from OCI''. I say ''to always be on my feet and prepared for difficult, curveball questions.'' Think I tried to say always on my toes? No idea -- should have said something like ''I learned that so many large firms are very similar, with similar SA programs, similar practice areas, and that the people in the office will likely be a major deciding factor in where I want to work''

Are these answers just absolute trash? Trying to diagnosis my lack of CBs...

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Re: Always answering 1 question weird in an interview

Postby bk1 » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:should have said something like ''I learned that so many large firms are very similar, with similar SA programs, similar practice areas, and that the people in the office will likely be a major deciding factor in where I want to work''

This isn't a particularly good answer either. Even if large firms tend to be homogeneous, explicitly stating that generally doesn't go over well.

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Re: Always answering 1 question weird in an interview

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:18 am

bk1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:should have said something like ''I learned that so many large firms are very similar, with similar SA programs, similar practice areas, and that the people in the office will likely be a major deciding factor in where I want to work''

This isn't a particularly good answer either. Even if large firms tend to be homogeneous, explicitly stating that generally doesn't go over well.


I was interviewing w/ a midsize when this question occured

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zot1

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Re: Always answering 1 question weird in an interview

Postby zot1 » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:
bk1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:should have said something like ''I learned that so many large firms are very similar, with similar SA programs, similar practice areas, and that the people in the office will likely be a major deciding factor in where I want to work''

This isn't a particularly good answer either. Even if large firms tend to be homogeneous, explicitly stating that generally doesn't go over well.


I was interviewing w/ a midsize when this question occured


This doesn't make your answer better.

I would recommend going on more mock interviews. You might benefit from the feedback.

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Re: Always answering 1 question weird in an interview

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:27 am

zot1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
bk1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:should have said something like ''I learned that so many large firms are very similar, with similar SA programs, similar practice areas, and that the people in the office will likely be a major deciding factor in where I want to work''

This isn't a particularly good answer either. Even if large firms tend to be homogeneous, explicitly stating that generally doesn't go over well.


I was interviewing w/ a midsize when this question occured


This doesn't make your answer better.

I would recommend going on more mock interviews. You might benefit from the feedback.


I mean, do you think my original answer was really bad, though? Stayingon my feet for tough questions..

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Johann

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Re: Always answering 1 question weird in an interview

Postby Johann » Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:19 am

yes thats bad. wtf does that have to do with why the theme/agenda you are trying to push forward in a short time frame.

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Re: Always answering 1 question weird in an interview

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:28 am

not sure I understand that last post

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Re: Always answering 1 question weird in an interview

Postby InterviewAccount » Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:46 am

I think what JohannDeMann is saying is this: All your responses need to be pushing home that you are who they want as a future associate at their firm. When the interviewer asked what you learned from OCI (although this is admittedly a random question I would have to take a moment to consider), you had to give an answer that fit within the larger framework of "I am exactly who you want as a future associate at your firm." Perhaps you could've said that OCI showed you the vast spectrum of personalities attorneys can have and that it made you think of how, when you are a practicing attorney working alongside and across the table from different attorneys and more generally, people, everyday, you will need to be able to tailor yourself not only to the needs of their firm, but also to the needs of the individual in front of you.

Again, that question would've thrown me. I don't know if my answer is good. But the theory behind it is that I'm trying to take the question and display that I understand some of the unique qualities necessary for attorneys at a large law firm. Your answer about staying on your feet (which isn't much of a misstep, I think the meaning comes across fine) doesn't really display anything beyond the scope of OCI.

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Re: Always answering 1 question weird in an interview

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:51 am

InterviewAccount wrote:I think what JohannDeMann is saying is this: All your responses need to be pushing home that you are who they want as a future associate at their firm. When the interviewer asked what you learned from OCI (although this is admittedly a random question I would have to take a moment to consider), you had to give an answer that fit within the larger framework of "I am exactly who you want as a future associate at your firm." Perhaps you could've said that OCI showed you the vast spectrum of personalities attorneys can have and that it made you think of how, when you are a practicing attorney working alongside and across the table from different attorneys and more generally, people, everyday, you will need to be able to tailor yourself not only to the needs of their firm, but also to the needs of the individual in front of you.

Again, that question would've thrown me. I don't know if my answer is good. But the theory behind it is that I'm trying to take the question and display that I understand some of the unique qualities necessary for attorneys at a large law firm. Your answer about staying on your feet (which isn't much of a misstep, I think the meaning comes across fine) doesn't really display anything beyond the scope of OCI.


Thanks for the reply. It was a strange question, I'm just hoping I didn't sink myself from that one answer.

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El Pollito

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Re: Always answering 1 question weird in an interview

Postby El Pollito » Fri Aug 19, 2016 3:02 am

It's probably something else.

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Re: Always answering 1 question weird in an interview

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:22 am

Also have a similar question: In a callback at a regional firm, if I stumble on like one question but otherwise make the partner laugh, is that enough to ding me? I had a callback where I interviewed with 7 attorneys (3 partners and 4 associates) and I stumble on one question with 2 partners. They still liked me and the rest of the interview went well. With the last partner, who was the most senior and has been there from the beginning, the interview went very very well. And with the 4 associates also well. Does anyone have a similar story where they f'ed up with 1 or 2 partners but still got the offer?

I know I'm paranoid asking this, but its my top firm and I really want to work there :S

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Re: Always answering 1 question weird in an interview

Postby wons » Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:48 am

.
Last edited by wons on Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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zot1

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Re: Always answering 1 question weird in an interview

Postby zot1 » Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:
zot1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
bk1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:should have said something like ''I learned that so many large firms are very similar, with similar SA programs, similar practice areas, and that the people in the office will likely be a major deciding factor in where I want to work''

This isn't a particularly good answer either. Even if large firms tend to be homogeneous, explicitly stating that generally doesn't go over well.


I was interviewing w/ a midsize when this question occured


This doesn't make your answer better.

I would recommend going on more mock interviews. You might benefit from the feedback.


I mean, do you think my original answer was really bad, though? Stayingon my feet for tough questions..


What I'm concerned about is that the previous poster was referring to the "all SAs are the same" answer and you're now on the "staying on my feet" answer.

But also, when someone challenged how good your answer was, you tried to fix it, but in my opinion, you sort of made it worse. This is in a written forum when you have time to think through what you're saying (although admittedly I post without thinking all the time).

I would hate for you to say in one interview that you've learned to think on your feet and answer tough questions, and then not really do that through the rest of the interview. It will not go well.

But it's good that you're at least trying to work on your interview skills.

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Re: Always answering 1 question weird in an interview

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:48 am

wons wrote: Interviewing is not about answering individual questions - it's not like a tightrope walk where you try to avoid bad answers. If you take that approach (and lots of folks I interview do) you're guaranteeing yourself to be a dull, boring, bad interview.

I think this is an incredibly important point (as well as the idea that it's about creating a coherent narrative). It's also why asking "I blew one question, will it ding me?" is absolutely unproductive (apologies to those asking; it's not meant as personal criticism, I know this is all super stressful). People evaluate you based on the whole package, not by ticking off points for a specific bad answer. No one here is going to be able to tell you anything at all about whether the answer to one question is enough to ding you because we weren't there, we don't know what the rest of the interview was like, what the interviewers wanted, who your competition is, etc.

Obviously you can come out of an interview and feel like you fumbled a given question and think about how you'd answer in the future so you don't fumble it again. But no one here can tell you what the outcome of your interview will be.

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zot1

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Re: Always answering 1 question weird in an interview

Postby zot1 » Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:54 am

FWIW,

During my interview for the job I'm in now, I was asked how I would approach a problem. I started with, well, based on the problem I would approach it in one of the following two ways. I answered the first way. Then never addressed the second way. Got an offer anyway.

But, I do think there's value in self-assessment. Not to figure out whether you'll be offered. But rather so you don't make the same mistake in the next interview.

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Re: Always answering 1 question weird in an interview

Postby InterviewAccount » Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:23 pm

wons wrote:
Good interviewing requires figuring out your personal narrative - why should a firm want to hire you - and then organizing your answers around that theme.


The entire post is gold but if you take away one sentence, let it be this one.

dixiecupdrinking

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Re: Always answering 1 question weird in an interview

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:28 pm

InterviewAccount wrote:
wons wrote:
Good interviewing requires figuring out your personal narrative - why should a firm want to hire you - and then organizing your answers around that theme.


The entire post is gold but if you take away one sentence, let it be this one.

Yes. Also helpful to think of the process as starting from "no." You need to earn your way into the job via the interview process. Questions are not obstacles between you and the job that you must answer correctly or else you will lose an offer. They're opportunities for you to convince the interviewer why they should hire you. The whole focus on "did I answer it right/wrong" is way too defensive an approach to take. I've interviewed people who answered every question just fine, but completely failed to make any overall impression. That's not helpful.



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