OCI Post-Mortem

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OCI Post-Mortem

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:19 pm

People may be reluctant to post here, but I'm just curious people's thoughts a bit after their interviews.

I had 4 today and felt like 3 of them went really good. Solid conversation, very easy. 1 was fairly substantive and felt a bit awkward, but because it was so different, it was tough to know whether I did well or not.

Ultimately, here's what I decided today: An interviewer sees 20 people. 12-15 of them are walking out thinking 'Well, that went really well!'. Now, we know almost all of those folks, including me, will not get a callback so who knows what's going on. My two cents is there is no such thing as a great interview. Just, 'We'll see.'

rms5005
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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby rms5005 » Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:29 pm

what were the kind of substantive questions they asked

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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:22 pm

Curveballs I got today:

1. I worked as a paralegal, and was stopped in the middle of a response and asked to explain the court we worked in (which was a special trade court). I think she knew what it was, but just wanted to see me answer a "substantive" question, which frankly, I hadn't really prepared to do on that subject. I cobbled an answer together, and realized afterwards that I'd be ready if it came up again.

2. Have you done any writing for X journal, or are you planning to?

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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:24 pm

I had some non-OCI interviews last weekend. my thoughts after each one were "gee that was not my best" or "that went pretty well." of the ones I thought were good, I thought I made a connection with the interviewer and showed that I had substantive knowledge of the firm. I wasn't awkward and came off as professional yet sociable.

I haven't heard back from any firm. My grades and school are good. Who knows, maybe some of the interviews didn't go as well as I thought. Or maybe the economy really does suck

Curveballs:

what do you think will be the worst part of being a lawyer?
what is the biggest mistake you've made in (activity on resume)?
what do you think of steven levitt? (wtf! i was an econ major but it doesn't mean i've read every econ book thats a NYT bestseller.)

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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:32 pm

I have my first interview on Friday, with a federal agency. I've never interviewed for a government position before (not counting 1L internship interview with a state agency, which was very low key. It wasn't really a desirable agency, and I just went for it because it was the simplest answer late in the hiring game).

Anyone have any advice going in?

I'll talk about how it went when I get done.

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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:14 pm

Got my first rejection after a great interview. Interviewer even emailed me to tell me it was a great interview in her rejection, so I emailed back to figure out how to deal with the grades, since that was obviously the basis.

(Median student at a T-10 interviewing in DC. Wow, that should be pretty obvious :P)
I actually got a great email back 10 minutes later ( I mean, this was 9 PM!) from the interviewer with the advice of figure out a way to control the grade issue and own it. It may be tough and awkward, but you need to do it because right now grades are a huge and easy cutoff.

So, I'm thinking of a quick 30 second- 1 minute spiel right at the jump, segue it into the interview, and then spend the next 19 minutes charming them like I have been doing. Fortunately, I have an utterly useless interview first thing in the morning, which I'm basically going to use as an experiment to see how comfortable I feel with it.

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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby topsome » Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:22 pm

What do you think is more important to the interviewers today -- grades or interviewing skills/personality?

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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Got my first rejection after a great interview. Interviewer even emailed me to tell me it was a great interview in her rejection, so I emailed back to figure out how to deal with the grades, since that was obviously the basis.

(Median student at a T-10 interviewing in DC. Wow, that should be pretty obvious :P)
I actually got a great email back 10 minutes later ( I mean, this was 9 PM!) from the interviewer with the advice of figure out a way to control the grade issue and own it. It may be tough and awkward, but you need to do it because right now grades are a huge and easy cutoff.

So, I'm thinking of a quick 30 second- 1 minute spiel right at the jump, segue it into the interview, and then spend the next 19 minutes charming them like I have been doing. Fortunately, I have an utterly useless interview first thing in the morning, which I'm basically going to use as an experiment to see how comfortable I feel with it.


Interesting... by "control the grade issue and own it" did the interviewer specifically mean that you should bring potentially problematic grades up first and explain them away? Or did she just mean not to sound apologetic or hesitant about grades and you extrapolated your 30-second spiel strategy from there?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:37 am

I really think it was a sort of own it. I've been practicing a sort of canned speech, and getting my delivery right so it sounds as genuine as it actually is. It's basically a it took a while to find my groove after being out of school, but look at my 2nd semester (which was far better). After that, I'm golden since I can handle the interview part.

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense though. I'm addressing the biggest weakness off the bat, but I'm doing it in a way that doesn't merely get it out of the way, but takes control of the interview. I tend to think that after my spiel, 80% of interviewers are going to ask some sort of follow up question about the class I got an A in that I mention and why I liked it. Or about something else like the work experience I'm committed to getting my law school skills equal to.. Either way, I think they'll appreciate me being pro-active about it and tilting the interview to things I want to talk about. I'm sure we'll still get to the things they want to ask if there's no connection after a cursory question, but in my optimistic mind I'm picturing a nice diversion about why I loved X class, and why my interviewer remembered his terrifying cold call with the same professor.

I'm realizing in this market, it's something I have to deal with creatively. The Patriots don't need to run the Wildcat formation....

EDIT:

What do you think is more important to the interviewers today -- grades or interviewing skills/personality?


Ideally both, but ultimately, just think about it numbers wise. If you interview 20 students, 10 from the top 25% and 10 at the median, what are the chances 5 of those top 10 kids are personable? Probably pretty good. Well, now you can only hire 5 anyway, so it's only natural to take those 5 instead of the 8 and 2 mix you used to do when you hired 10 and could afford to appreciate some personality.

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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby Corsair » Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:30 am

..

philo-sophia
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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby philo-sophia » Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:42 am

When are most callbacks scheduled for? Our main round of OCI is next week (8/18 - 8/21). Assuming i don't get totally blanked, when will I be doing callbacks?

Do I risk getting blanked? I'm roughly top 20% at Duke (3.55) with finance experience prior to school. OCI list as follows...

Simpson Thacher (NYC)
Mofo (SF)
Gibson Dunn (SF)
Cleary Gottlieb (NYC)
Dechert (Philly)
Latham (SF, NYC, LA, OC)
Paul Hastings (SF)
Ropes & Gray (SF, Palo Alto)
Clifford Chance (NYC)
White & Case (NYC)
Shearman Sterling (NYC)
Drinker Biddle (Philly)
Irell & Manella (Newport Beach)
Cadwalader (NYC)
Davis Polk (Menlo Park)
Wilson Sonsini (SF, Palo Alto)
Linklaters (NYC)
Paul Weiss (NYC)

Not a lot of "safeties" on my list but at the same time, I feel like my grades make me competitive at pretty strong firms, and that the stronger firms may actually be the ones poised to actually hire. Who knows though. If choice is involved at all, my preference is to go to CA. Thoughts???

gollymolly
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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby gollymolly » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:00 am

.
Last edited by gollymolly on Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:47 am

Not to sound like a jerk, but a what are my chances thread asking law students for their opinions on job chances is about as useless as you can get.

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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby philo-sophia » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:Not to sound like a jerk, but a what are my chances thread asking law students for their opinions on job chances is about as useless as you can get.


I agree completely. I thought as much even as I was writing it. I guess my only hope for input was to hear some anecdotes like "Firm X came to my T14 and it seems like they are [actually hiring / just going through the motions]."

Not sure which schools are already into their OCI.

Any answer to my more basic question of callback timing? Are we talking mid-sept? Oct? Nov? There's a wedding in mid-sept i'd like to go to, but my gut says i should not commit to it, because it seems likely that callbacks could fall there.

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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby gollymolly » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:57 am

.
Last edited by gollymolly on Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mark71121
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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby Mark71121 » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:58 am

philo-sophia wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Not to sound like a jerk, but a what are my chances thread asking law students for their opinions on job chances is about as useless as you can get.


I agree completely. I thought as much even as I was writing it. I guess my only hope for input was to hear some anecdotes like "Firm X came to my T14 and it seems like they are [actually hiring / just going through the motions]."

Not sure which schools are already into their OCI.

Any answer to my more basic question of callback timing? Are we talking mid-sept? Oct? Nov? There's a wedding in mid-sept i'd like to go to, but my gut says i should not commit to it, because it seems likely that callbacks could fall there.



so don't schedule your callback on the day of the wedding. problem solved!

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El Orance
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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby El Orance » Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:48 am

philo-sophia wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Not to sound like a jerk, but a what are my chances thread asking law students for their opinions on job chances is about as useless as you can get.


I agree completely. I thought as much even as I was writing it. I guess my only hope for input was to hear some anecdotes like "Firm X came to my T14 and it seems like they are [actually hiring / just going through the motions]."

Not sure which schools are already into their OCI.

Any answer to my more basic question of callback timing? Are we talking mid-sept? Oct? Nov? There's a wedding in mid-sept i'd like to go to, but my gut says i should not commit to it, because it seems likely that callbacks could fall there.



Your school doesn't have a scheduled fly-out week set aside for callbacks? I thought that was standard. Our school told us to only target one market though - so I'm not sure how having so many different ones will affect your callback schedule, esp if you do well in interviews and need to fly all over. In NYC I should think you'd get a clifford chance, shearman and caldwalader callback at least... (but as w/all 2L speculation this is a pretty meaningless guess)

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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:01 pm

Question that I considered a curveball: "Tell me about yourself."

I should have said something interesting, but I rattled off my canned answer to "what are your strengths." Not the same thing. My jaw would fall off if I got a callback; I seemed like I was in the V100 of BORING.

I also think you're generally supposed to know what your note topic will be if you're on a journal, even if there are no notes required for that journal. Or at least have something to suggest even if you don't plan on doing it.

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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:15 pm

philo-sophia wrote:When are most callbacks scheduled for? Our main round of OCI is next week (8/18 - 8/21). Assuming i don't get totally blanked, when will I be doing callbacks?

Do I risk getting blanked? I'm roughly top 20% at Duke (3.55) with finance experience prior to school. OCI list as follows...

Simpson Thacher (NYC)
Mofo (SF)
Gibson Dunn (SF)
Cleary Gottlieb (NYC)
Dechert (Philly)
Latham (SF, NYC, LA, OC)
Paul Hastings (SF)
Ropes & Gray (SF, Palo Alto)
Clifford Chance (NYC)
White & Case (NYC)
Shearman Sterling (NYC)
Drinker Biddle (Philly)
Irell & Manella (Newport Beach)
Cadwalader (NYC)
Davis Polk (Menlo Park)
Wilson Sonsini (SF, Palo Alto)
Linklaters (NYC)
Paul Weiss (NYC)

Not a lot of "safeties" on my list but at the same time, I feel like my grades make me competitive at pretty strong firms, and that the stronger firms may actually be the ones poised to actually hire. Who knows though. If choice is involved at all, my preference is to go to CA. Thoughts???



yeah, i'm in a similar situation. top 25% + LR from DCNG. i think we may get shutout. the elite firms (V10) will be able to fill their classes without dipping down to us. the rest (v20+100) are probably bringing in super small classes or not hiring at all.

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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby philo-sophia » Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
philo-sophia wrote:When are most callbacks scheduled for? Our main round of OCI is next week (8/18 - 8/21). Assuming i don't get totally blanked, when will I be doing callbacks?

Do I risk getting blanked? I'm roughly top 20% at Duke (3.55) with finance experience prior to school. OCI list as follows...

Simpson Thacher (NYC)
Mofo (SF)
Gibson Dunn (SF)
Cleary Gottlieb (NYC)
Dechert (Philly)
Latham (SF, NYC, LA, OC)
Paul Hastings (SF)
Ropes & Gray (SF, Palo Alto)
Clifford Chance (NYC)
White & Case (NYC)
Shearman Sterling (NYC)
Drinker Biddle (Philly)
Irell & Manella (Newport Beach)
Cadwalader (NYC)
Davis Polk (Menlo Park)
Wilson Sonsini (SF, Palo Alto)
Linklaters (NYC)
Paul Weiss (NYC)

Not a lot of "safeties" on my list but at the same time, I feel like my grades make me competitive at pretty strong firms, and that the stronger firms may actually be the ones poised to actually hire. Who knows though. If choice is involved at all, my preference is to go to CA. Thoughts???



yeah, i'm in a similar situation. top 25% + LR from DCNG. i think we may get shutout. the elite firms (V10) will be able to fill their classes without dipping down to us. the rest (v20+100) are probably bringing in super small classes or not hiring at all.


Well shit. I guess we could get in touch with that chick from Penn State (see other thread) to ask if any of the steakhouses in Boston need more waiters. That said, Boston isn't really a target market for me, so it may be tough to convince them of my genuine interest.

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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Question that I considered a curveball: "Tell me about yourself."

How is that a curveball? Every single interview I've ever been to in the history of my life started with "Tell me about yourself."

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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 14, 2009 4:58 pm

Based on the way they conducted interviews, there is some speculation that Jones Day is not actually hiring this summer. Whether or not that's true ... we shall see.

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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:28 pm

What kind of answers are they looking for in the "tell me about yourself question"?

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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby edcrane » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Based on the way they conducted interviews, there is some speculation that Jones Day is not actually hiring this summer. Whether or not that's true ... we shall see.


Care to elaborate?

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Re: OCI Post-Mortem

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:56 pm

Skadden, Weil and Cravath will hire tiny classes, if at all ,because they deferred this year's summers.

Debevoise and Paul Weiss were both oversubscribed this year and will cut back a good deal but not to the degree that the deferring firms will.

S&C, Cleary, STB and Davis Polk will most likely reduce class size from this year but not as dramatically.

Latham = ?

edit: I should add - if this year's offer rates are any indication, California firms will cut back hiring significantly this year.




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