Curveball OCI Questions

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Anonymous User
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Curveball OCI Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:09 pm

I think it would be good to have a thread that lists some of the curveball questions people have gotten... maybe how they think they should have, or did, answer them...

For example: a classic question that people often have trouble with is "Tell me a little bit about yourself..."
I plan to answer that question, at the moment, by saying why I went to law school, but I don't really like that answer.

The OCI Post Mortem thread also has a few curveball questions, like "What do you think is the worst part about being a lawyer."

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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:58 pm

with weird questions i try to tell a story. even if that story is how I came to be where I am. keep it short, but make yourself believable and human. if they're asking you oddball questions it's because either they want to mess with you or because they have no idea what they're doing and want to try to get you talking so they can figure out who you are. either way, just keep your cool, and talk about how great you are.

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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:02 pm

I'm also curious about the "Tell me about yourself" question. I went on an interview for a 1L SA position this past spring, and got it from every single interviewer at the firm. I always answered it with a story about how I ended up where I am now - but it sounded awful, and was not at all what they were looking for. What kind of response is expected from this question? Should you pick three qualities about yourself that stand out and tell stories about them? Should you explain why you want to be a lawyer?

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waldodanto
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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby waldodanto » Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:48 pm

Dunno why all the anonymity on a question with no connection to a specific employment event, but whatever.
While I've only encountered this question in non-legal employment (I'm a 1L), I've always been given the advice to a) construct a narrative about yourself and b) say something memorable.
Easier described than done, obviously, but I read this article recently which I think is a decent start to get thinking on this sort of self-promotion: http://www.dumblittleman.com/2007/08/ho ... -that.html

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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:04 pm

"What's your approach to writing memos?"

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underdawg
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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby underdawg » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:35 pm

isn't 'tell me about yourself' an entry for the standard 3-4 good traits about yourself (att'n to detail, creativity, all that good shit)?

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edcrane
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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby edcrane » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:52 pm

underdawg wrote:isn't 'tell me about yourself' an entry for the standard 3-4 good traits about yourself (att'n to detail, creativity, all that good shit)?


I may be wrong, but I think it's more typical to answer this with a narrative that gives your interviewer a little background. Of course the narrative is crafted so as to convey whatever theme you've selected (e.g., eager for challenges).

IStillPlayVideoGames
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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby IStillPlayVideoGames » Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:35 pm

During OCI I was asked "What's the riskiest thing you've ever done?"

It took inhuman levels of self-restraint to keep from starting my answer with "This one time, in an alley..."

I still have no idea what they were really asking with that question.

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GATORTIM
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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby GATORTIM » Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:54 pm

"What are your thoughts on working 70+ hours a week locked in a dimly lit room doing all of my busy-work"

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Merrill
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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby Merrill » Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:58 pm

IStillPlayVideoGames wrote:During OCI I was asked "What's the riskiest thing you've ever done?"

It took inhuman levels of self-restraint to keep from starting my answer with "This one time, in an alley..."

I still have no idea what they were really asking with that question.


Ick. What was your answer?

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GATORTIM
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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby GATORTIM » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:05 pm

Merrill wrote:
IStillPlayVideoGames wrote:During OCI I was asked "What's the riskiest thing you've ever done?"

It took inhuman levels of self-restraint to keep from starting my answer with "This one time, in an alley..."

I still have no idea what they were really asking with that question.


Ick. What was your answer?


Tried to score dope from a uniformed police officer

IStillPlayVideoGames
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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby IStillPlayVideoGames » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:06 pm

I started babbling about a time I took charge of an event that I wasn't formally in charge of because no one else was stepping up. I'm not sure if that was the answer they were looking for but I'm sure it was better that my initial thought about unsafe sexual practices.

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capitalacq
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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby capitalacq » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:21 pm

"tell me about yourself" is a curveball?

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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:32 pm

"I noticed that you don't have any real extracurriculars. So have you developed any serious law-related passions in law school?"

I kind of stumbled around inarticulately for about a minute, and then he asked another question. Then, I got a rejection letter within 3 days.

Da Stain
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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby Da Stain » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:50 pm

So, what questions do you have for me?.... After like 7 minutes. (Maybe not curveball, but usually this comes after about 15 minutes in my experience, so far.)

I think it was just his style to a) see if the interviewee knew the firm and had genuine questions, sort of an easy way to weed people out, and b) see if the interviewee could carry the conversation without being awkward.

It's an odd, but from what I'm hearing fairly common style, so watch out for it, and be prepared. Luckily, I had for some reason prepared about 6 or 7 questions, more than my usual 3-4.

vincere
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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby vincere » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:20 pm

Wow I hope you guys are the ones competing with me during OCI

These are all extremely run of the mill interview questions for most industries, gravy.

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jcl2
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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby jcl2 » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:32 pm

So far no-one has actually mentioned any curveball questions. I hope interviews with law firms are that easy, but somehow I doubt it. In the interview for my current, non law related, job I was asked to describe how to peel an orange. I was also asked to say the first thing that came into my mind in response to words that are common in the industry I work in. I think those qualify as curveball questions.

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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby Gooner » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:41 pm

Da Stain wrote:So, what questions do you have for me?.... After like 7 minutes. (Maybe not curveball, but usually this comes after about 15 minutes in my experience, so far.)


I had one interviewer do this about 3 minutes in.

It was a 30 minute interview.

Fortunately I had many, many questions prepped as this firm is one of my very top choices, and managed a good conversational flow for the full 30 minutes.

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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:44 pm

Didn't happen to me, but I heard to that one interviewer just said "You have 20 minutes. Go."

06072010
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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby 06072010 » Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Wow I hope you guys are the ones competing with me during OCI

These are all extremely run of the mill interview questions for most industries, gravy.


this is not what the anonymous feature is for; thus, I have outted you.

Da Stain
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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby Da Stain » Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:49 pm

Had another interviewer give me the 'any questions for me' routine today.

I like to think it was the end of the day, and he was tired. Plus, the first 10 minutes I nailed. I think anytime you start trading litigation war stories for fun, you've done your job in an interview regardless of when that question comes. The optimist likes to think that at that point he already knew he liked me. We shall see. Still, I guess more than curveball, it's disconcerting because you wonder, maybe he already knew there was nothing he could ask that would change his mind.

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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:58 pm

I'm having the hardest time coming up with questions to ask. One firm was easy, because, well, I was really interested in it. Most of the sincere questions that I would have I either answered on my own or could not get an honest answer/should not ask.

Anyone want to share some tips on things to ask? Please?

Da Stain
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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby Da Stain » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:01 pm

Generic questions will never hurt you, I don't think, especially ones that if you asked 3 different people in the firm, they might have a different answer.

"I saw you have a really comprehensive training program. What's been your experience training or mentoring associates/getting feedback from partners?"

"What sort of projects/assignments were you able to work on as a young associate?"

"What sort of experience/knowledge did you have before entering your practice group? Did the rotation help/ would you have preferred a rotation system?" (Most will tell you they didn't and explain how they came to choose their area and how the firm supported it, which is good because I've found these people love talking. Alternatively, there was the douche who told me 'After all, this is a vocational school so we expect you to take as many relevant course as you can....')

gollymolly
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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby gollymolly » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:04 pm

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Last edited by gollymolly on Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Da Stain
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Re: Curveball OCI Questions

Postby Da Stain » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:07 pm

Fair enough, but I had several lawyers tell me to ask

a) things that can't be found in the promotional literature

and

b) things different people at the same firm would answer a different way. Granted, I'm sure they have sort of rehearsed answers already, but it's a good way to just get the ball rolling if you're not comfortable, and then just be on your toes to throw other questions in. Granted, I have 1 rejection and 0 callbacks thus far so my advice comes with a shaker of salt. :P




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