3L with a callback- any tips/advice appreciated!

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3L with a callback- any tips/advice appreciated!

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:55 pm

Hey guys,

So by some miraculous stroke of luck, at this point in 3L year I received a callback with a NYC biglaw firm later this week for a first year associate position. I struck out at OCI last year for a SA job (ended up working at a regulator) so I don't have any law firm call back experience. I got this screener last week (still don't know how it happened). Anyway, it went well enough for me to get a callback.

For reference, it's 4 half-hour long interviews back to back with a mix of associates/counsel/hiring partner. It also is for a specific group. I don't want to out myself, so will limit to saying it's within corporate.

I *really* want this job, and I would appreciate any advice you guys have for me. I'm obviously nervous because this may be my only chance left at big law. I am prepared to answer the basic behavioral questions and the ones that will probably ask about my lack of SA experience, but wanted to get a feeler out for what else I may be missing.

Thank you all so much in advance for the advice!
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Nagster5

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Re: 3L with a callback- any tips/advice appreciated!

Postby Nagster5 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:25 pm

It's way more important to be likeable than impressive. People go into these interviews trying to wow the interviewers with how impressive they are, when they should just try to have a good time and make a personal connection.

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UVA2B

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Re: 3L with a callback- any tips/advice appreciated!

Postby UVA2B » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:43 pm

Nagster5 wrote:It's way more important to be likeable than impressive. People go into these interviews trying to wow the interviewers with how impressive they are, when they should just try to have a good time and make a personal connection.


Also critical: it wasn't a stroke of luck. They have a need for an additional associate, so they're interviewing for that position. If you want to impress them, don't sound desperate and show some confidence, be able to discuss the firm with some level of depth that shows you've done your research in their practice group, and play off of your interviewers to establish a connection. They won't hire you based on your credentials, but they might hire you with your credentials combined with how highly they think of you as a person.

It might seem grotesque, but when parsing otherwise equal candidates, sometimes the one you just instinctively like more wins.

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Re: 3L with a callback- any tips/advice appreciated!

Postby strawberrieee » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:51 pm

Talk to the 3Ls at your law school who worked there this past summer.
Research your callback interviewers. Try to come up with some thoughtful questions or remarks that you can insert in the conversation in a natural way.
Read the news.
Do not appear nervous as you are now. Be confident. It isn't your luck that got you this far. It's your hard work and persistence. You earned the callback, because you are qualified for the job. Now make them like you.

CONGRATS and GOOD LUCK.

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Re: 3L with a callback- any tips/advice appreciated!

Postby clshopeful » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:10 am

Also, definitely know how to answer the basics like ''What do you know about the firm" and be prepared to ask a lot of questions. All my 3L interviews have been 5 minutes of them asking me questions, 25 minutes of me asking them questions.

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Re: 3L with a callback- any tips/advice appreciated!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:38 am

Be confident and don't show weakness or feel sorry for yourself. You got this! Also, can you post stats like gpa and school range (3L myself and looking for some motivation).

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unlicensedpotato

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Re: 3L with a callback- any tips/advice appreciated!

Postby unlicensedpotato » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:45 am

Yeah, just be yourself. Be relaxed and confident. Prepare but don't overprepare, and let the interviewer just talk about themself if they want. When you advance to a CB you're generally in very good shape for getting an offer, so no need to be worried.

When you're interviewing for a specific group, I think you need to be a little more direct/focused about "why this group?", but only a little bit. I mean that in contrast to a CB where you're interviewing with people who you won't work directly with. So have a good answer in mind and maybe tailor it slightly to different interviewers.

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Re: 3L with a callback- any tips/advice appreciated!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:50 pm

OP here- You guys are fucking awesome. Thanks for the encouragement.

So, a big reason as to why I am nervous is because my screener interview seemed unnecessarily brutal (as compared to all of the other interview stories I've heard about-- in fact, according to my friends, it's a hall of fame "big law horror" interview story). At some points, it almost felt unreal, like when I had to field questions that were *very* sector/industry specific when my resume does not demonstrate any knowledge in the specific practice field. Asking me about trends in the space/ industry or what I saw as the future for xyz development was a bit shocking, especially in a screener interview context (which was with 2 senior partners). Am I overthinking, or this is some cruel behavioral test? And should I expect similar questions for the CB?

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Re: 3L with a callback- any tips/advice appreciated!

Postby Nagster5 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:15 pm

If they're hiring for a specific group and need, then it makes sense the questions might be a little more specific than at a generic OGI screener/CB. You got the CB, so you didn't do as poorly as you think. I would definitely read up on the things they were asking about, but I doubt they invited you back to waste your time. Be confident.

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Re: 3L with a callback- any tips/advice appreciated!

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:44 pm

Hope I'm not too late. I'm also a 3L and I was in your shoes in September (no 2L biglaw SA, interviewing for a specific practice group at a NYC biglaw). I ended up receiving and accepting the offer from the practice group.

First of all, as everyone else on this thread has mentioned, you've worked hard and earned this CB. The screener may have been brutal, but you impressed the interviewer enough to proceed to the CB stage, so remain confident in yourself! It's good to have the "you deserve to have me" kind of attitude (but of course don't be pretentious or arrogant). At CB, I was asked a few questions that were sort of harsh (ex. Why didn't you have big law SA? How do we know you're a biglaw material?), but I responded calmly and confidently, and that worked. I even proactively said that I had done XYZ to improve, and my professors and former internship supervisors would be happy to attest to my efforts and improvement.

Of course, some of the interviewers led the conversation more casually. They asked how I liked my undergrad, what classes I'm taking, what I do for fun, etc. I also had some work experience in the practice area that I was interviewing for, so some of them inquired into the work I had done. I had a couple of tricky questions that I answered well, which weren't anything difficult, but just something you could easily answer if you had paid attention at the previous job. So overall, I think the fact that the screener interview grilled you with technical questions (?) doesn't necessarily mean that the CB interviews will be the same. Some of them may still try to ask you challenging, practice area-related questions, but some of them may just want to get to know you.

I would recommend that you do a couple more practice interviews with your law schools friends who have done greatly at their 2L OCI, if you still have some time. It really helps to make sure that nothing in your answers would raise eyebrows.

Relax, be confident, and try to enjoy the conversation. Again, congrats, and I wish you all the best!

p.s. If anyone asks you why you're a great candidate or a biglaw material, make sure to say that you have attention to detail, you take ownership of your work, you never miss deadlines, you make sure that things move on time, etc. It's a good idea to talk about an anecdote from previous job or school to support your proposition.

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Re: 3L with a callback- any tips/advice appreciated!

Postby Nagster5 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:09 pm

Update OP? How'd it go?

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Roy McAvoy

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Re: 3L with a callback- any tips/advice appreciated!

Postby Roy McAvoy » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here- You guys are fucking awesome. Thanks for the encouragement.

So, a big reason as to why I am nervous is because my screener interview seemed unnecessarily brutal (as compared to all of the other interview stories I've heard about-- in fact, according to my friends, it's a hall of fame "big law horror" interview story). At some points, it almost felt unreal, like when I had to field questions that were *very* sector/industry specific when my resume does not demonstrate any knowledge in the specific practice field. Asking me about trends in the space/ industry or what I saw as the future for xyz development was a bit shocking, especially in a screener interview context (which was with 2 senior partners). Am I overthinking, or this is some cruel behavioral test? And should I expect similar questions for the CB?


Please head on over to bad interview moments so we can analyze the “big law horror interview story”

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Re: 3L with a callback- any tips/advice appreciated!

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hope I'm not too late. I'm also a 3L and I was in your shoes in September (no 2L biglaw SA, interviewing for a specific practice group at a NYC biglaw). I ended up receiving and accepting the offer from the practice group.

First of all, as everyone else on this thread has mentioned, you've worked hard and earned this CB. The screener may have been brutal, but you impressed the interviewer enough to proceed to the CB stage, so remain confident in yourself! It's good to have the "you deserve to have me" kind of attitude (but of course don't be pretentious or arrogant). At CB, I was asked a few questions that were sort of harsh (ex. Why didn't you have big law SA? How do we know you're a biglaw material?), but I responded calmly and confidently, and that worked. I even proactively said that I had done XYZ to improve, and my professors and former internship supervisors would be happy to attest to my efforts and improvement.

Of course, some of the interviewers led the conversation more casually. They asked how I liked my undergrad, what classes I'm taking, what I do for fun, etc. I also had some work experience in the practice area that I was interviewing for, so some of them inquired into the work I had done. I had a couple of tricky questions that I answered well, which weren't anything difficult, but just something you could easily answer if you had paid attention at the previous job. So overall, I think the fact that the screener interview grilled you with technical questions (?) doesn't necessarily mean that the CB interviews will be the same. Some of them may still try to ask you challenging, practice area-related questions, but some of them may just want to get to know you.

I would recommend that you do a couple more practice interviews with your law schools friends who have done greatly at their 2L OCI, if you still have some time. It really helps to make sure that nothing in your answers would raise eyebrows.

Relax, be confident, and try to enjoy the conversation. Again, congrats, and I wish you all the best!

p.s. If anyone asks you why you're a great candidate or a biglaw material, make sure to say that you have attention to detail, you take ownership of your work, you never miss deadlines, you make sure that things move on time, etc. It's a good idea to talk about an anecdote from previous job or school to support your proposition.


If you don't have 2L SA, what did you do for your 2L summer?



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