OCI Screener Questions

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OCI Screener Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:28 pm

What questions besides the typical "why law school" "why x firm" should be anticipated? Any questions encountered that were super unexpected?

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Re: OCI Screener Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:33 pm

Why this city, what practice areas are you interested in, tell me about your summer.

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Re: OCI Screener Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What questions besides the typical "why law school" "why x firm" should be anticipated? Any questions encountered that were super unexpected?


I found that attorneys tend not to ask the behavioral questions (e.g. "greatest weakness"). Not to say you won't get it ever, but out of probably hundreds of attorneys I met with between screeners and callbacks over the course of two OCI seasons (I was a joint degree student so was able to do it twice) I only was asked a question like that a handful of times. The biggest one that threw me was "tell me about a time you failed".

If you're interviewing somewhere other than NYC you definitely need to be prepared to defend your interest in the market. Also know what practices the firm ACTUALLY does in the office you're interviewing for (scroll through the bios on the website and look at chambers band rankings). For instance, my office hardly does any litigation so if someone says they're interested in that it's an automatic ding. Sometimes this can just be bs because firms like to pretend they do everything even if they don't, and I distinctly remember one interview where NALP showed them having a bunch of attorneys in a particular practice group, so I said I was interested in that and the interviewer just responded that "we don't do that". This is where talking to a junior associate who works at the firm can be extremely helpful because they will most likely tell you the truth about what the office's main practice areas are.

thebasedgod

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Re: OCI Screener Questions

Postby thebasedgod » Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:59 pm

how often does "tell me about yourself?" pop up?

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Re: OCI Screener Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:47 pm

ALL the time, personally.

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Re: OCI Screener Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:21 pm

thebasedgod wrote:how often does "tell me about yourself?" pop up?


A lot. It's the kind of lazy question that attorney interviewers seem to gravitate towards.

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Re: OCI Screener Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
thebasedgod wrote:how often does "tell me about yourself?" pop up?


A lot. It's the kind of lazy question that attorney interviewers seem to gravitate towards.


I actually kinda like it as an opening question because it gets the interviewee to focus me on what she thinks is most important on her resume. When I'm interviewing students for entry-level roles, I frequently have...no idea what I'm looking at when I glance down at the resume. Not because the resume is crap but because the experiences are completely unrelated to the position the person is interviewing for. Because they're a 2L. I don't know anything about, IDK, architecture, but presumably this person can explain to me how architecture led her to my corporate law firm. When I say "tell me about yourself," I'm giving her a chance to do so.

That said, you should be following up with more substantive questions...which rarely happens in my experience.

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Re: OCI Screener Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:55 pm

“Tell me about a challenge you have encountered while working as part of a team and explain how you handled it”.

I’ve had a variation on this several times now. They want to see that a) you can work through issues creatively and b) you can function in a team setting.

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Re: OCI Screener Questions

Postby JHP » Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:48 am

You should also be prepared for different styles.

Some screeners are the formulaic and guide you through the interview w/questions: tell me about yourself, how are you liking law school, how was your first year, why law school, why [insert city], what areas are you interested in . . . mostly about whether you can speak like a human and in an interested way about your resume. I hardly ever got "why this firm" because I think more attorneys nowadays are aware of how much this question sucks and they don't want to sit through some 1L's BS answer they got from the firm website.

However, some will just sit you down, not glance at or even have glanced at it before and will be like "So, tell me about you?" and just let you guide the interview. Those are a lot tougher because you have to artfully and conversationally guide the interviewer towards the things you want to talk about yourself while not being obvious about it.

I would practice the latter style where you have your resume rote memorized and maybe have one or two interesting stories so that your interviewer can remember you later when they're flipping through tens of resumes at the end of the day.

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Re: OCI Screener Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What questions besides the typical "why law school" "why x firm" should be anticipated? Any questions encountered that were super unexpected?

If you're interviewing somewhere other than NYC you definitely need to be prepared to defend your interest in the market. Also know what practices the firm ACTUALLY does in the office you're interviewing for (scroll through the bios on the website and look at chambers band rankings). For instance, my office hardly does any litigation so if someone says they're interested in that it's an automatic ding. Sometimes this can just be bs because firms like to pretend they do everything even if they don't, and I distinctly remember one interview where NALP showed them having a bunch of attorneys in a particular practice group, so I said I was interested in that and the interviewer just responded that "we don't do that". This is where talking to a junior associate who works at the firm can be extremely helpful because they will most likely tell you the truth about what the office's main practice areas are.


Yeah, this. I work in the Boston market which notoriously has a sibling complex with NYC. Truthfully, I want to work in NYC and make the transition in a year or two. I went to undergrad in Boston but my resume really shows an NYC proclivity (I worked there before law school and a summer during law school), so when I interviewed, though not that many people said "Why Boston," I knew it was implicit that I should justify why Boston.

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Re: OCI Screener Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you're interviewing somewhere other than NYC you definitely need to be prepared to defend your interest in the market.


Even if you're interviewing in NYC, I would still be prepared to talk about why you're interested in NYC. I got asked that quite a few times interviewing and my resume is fairly clear about it (I'm originally from the area).

LockBox

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Re: OCI Screener Questions

Postby LockBox » Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:23 pm

If you were a song, what would it be?

Follow up question: sing the song.



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