"tell me about yourself" question..OCI

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JAMNjo
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:29 am

"tell me about yourself" question..OCI

Postby JAMNjo » Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:01 pm

thoughts? DOs and DONTs?


Also, does phi beta kappa help at all, or give a plus in the OCI department. I know it is an undergrad thing, but i am just wondering.

ArmyVet07
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Re: "tell me about yourself" question..OCI

Postby ArmyVet07 » Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:07 pm

JAMNjo wrote:thoughts? DOs and DONTs?


Also, does phi beta kappa help at all, or give a plus in the OCI department. I know it is an undergrad thing, but i am just wondering.



Say something that connects with the job/employer in some way. They don't just want to hear about random interests and hobbies. (i.e. it's not about you; it's about them.)

Anonymous User
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Re: "tell me about yourself" question..OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:58 pm

bump from two years ago?

goodolgil
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Re: "tell me about yourself" question..OCI

Postby goodolgil » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:05 pm

No way will PBK help. I wish it did.

I kind of view this question as equivalent to "why law school?" Or a cue to talk about interesting hobbies.
Last edited by goodolgil on Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Aqualibrium
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Re: "tell me about yourself" question..OCI

Postby Aqualibrium » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:13 pm

Basically means: show me you have some personality...

kublaikahn
Posts: 647
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Re: "tell me about yourself" question..OCI

Postby kublaikahn » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:19 pm

.
Last edited by kublaikahn on Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Cosmo Kramer
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Re: "tell me about yourself" question..OCI

Postby Cosmo Kramer » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:29 pm

kublaikahn wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:Basically means: show me you have some personality...


Nope. Means show me you can handle unstructured situations and pressure. Have a canned answer for this. Most interview questions can be classified as either positive, where you get the opportunity to sell yourself, or negative, where if you answer incorrectly you are weeded out. This question is usually both. Bad answers can bomb the interview early.

I like when interviewees ask my lots of questions, but this unstructured type of question is best answered, IMO, without asking a question.

Pick a critical requirement of the job and make a broad statement about that then drill down on some recent experiences. So for example, "I am a team player. I can work independently but prefer to work with others. I like to lead when given the opportunity, but will play any position if it benefits the group. When I was at Apple, after we completed Project X..."


Strike one.

Anonymous User
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Re: "tell me about yourself" question..OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:33 am

"I grew up in A and went to college in B. I spent X years doing Y, (including Z years between college and law school.) My experience doing Y was a major factor in my decision to attend/convinced me to go to law school because Q."

truevines
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Re: "tell me about yourself" question..OCI

Postby truevines » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:40 am

JAMNjo wrote:thoughts? DOs and DONTs?


Also, does phi beta kappa help at all, or give a plus in the OCI department. I know it is an undergrad thing, but i am just wondering.


It depends on what interviewer you have.

The most common answer is "I went to XX college, did some legal aid, then am going to law school."

But I always start with my interests - classical music and movies.

One of my callback interviewers spent the whole interview talking about the Godfather trilogy and Vanilla Sky (original, non-Tom-Cruise) and how Inception was, compared to Vanilla Sky.

I also spent my whole interviewing section with a hiring partner on Brahms and Beethoven.

Maybe you wanna play safe by giving the conservative answer.

Aqualibrium
Posts: 2011
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:57 am

Re: "tell me about yourself" question..OCI

Postby Aqualibrium » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:21 am

Cosmo Kramer wrote:
kublaikahn wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:Basically means: show me you have some personality...


Nope. Means show me you can handle unstructured situations and pressure. Have a canned answer for this. Most interview questions can be classified as either positive, where you get the opportunity to sell yourself, or negative, where if you answer incorrectly you are weeded out. This question is usually both. Bad answers can bomb the interview early.

I like when interviewees ask my lots of questions, but this unstructured type of question is best answered, IMO, without asking a question.

Pick a critical requirement of the job and make a broad statement about that then drill down on some recent experiences. So for example, "I am a team player. I can work independently but prefer to work with others. I like to lead when given the opportunity, but will play any position if it benefits the group. When I was at Apple, after we completed Project X..."


Strike one.

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chinny123
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Re: "tell me about yourself" question..OCI

Postby chinny123 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:14 am

What about the "Tell me something about yourself not on your resume" variation - especially if you have an interests section on your resume

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bgdddymtty
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Re: "tell me about yourself" question..OCI

Postby bgdddymtty » Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:34 am

Aqualibrium wrote:
Cosmo Kramer wrote:
kublaikahn wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:Basically means: show me you have some personality...


Nope. Means show me you can handle unstructured situations and pressure. Have a canned answer for this. Most interview questions can be classified as either positive, where you get the opportunity to sell yourself, or negative, where if you answer incorrectly you are weeded out. This question is usually both. Bad answers can bomb the interview early.

I like when interviewees ask my lots of questions, but this unstructured type of question is best answered, IMO, without asking a question.

Pick a critical requirement of the job and make a broad statement about that then drill down on some recent experiences. So for example, "I am a team player. I can work independently but prefer to work with others. I like to lead when given the opportunity, but will play any position if it benefits the group. When I was at Apple, after we completed Project X..."


Strike one.
I'm not sure why the hate for kublaikahn's response. It's completely credited. Yes, it is possible that by focusing on some idiosyncratic aspect of your personality or interests you may forge a bond with an interviewer, but it's a)a long shot, and b)not the purpose of the question. Most everyone has a decent personality. In order to get a job, you need to be able to distinguish yourself--in a good way--from other candidates. It doesn't necessarily have to be on this question, but this is the one question that is completely open-ended and that you're virtually guaranteed to be asked during every interview. It will also come at the beginning, so it can set the tone for the entire interview. As ArmyVet07 said, it's about them. What do you offer to them? Why should they hire you?

All of this is not to say that personality doesn't play an important role in the process. First, while your description of yourself should be skills-focused, it should be presented in a way that is confident without appearing arrogant or narcissistic. Second, there should definitely be a conversation-starter on your resume that is interesting and unique, and about which you can talk enthusiastically. For me, it's game shows. My resume mentions that I've appeared on several and mentions the most recent (and most nationally prominent) one by name. For most interviewers, it's the first thing they want to talk about. It gives me a chance to be enthusiastic, self-deprecating, and fun. Having something like this helps the interview process immeasurably, but it's still just the sizzle. If you can't also serve them some steak, chances are you're not going to get far.

Aqualibrium
Posts: 2011
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Re: "tell me about yourself" question..OCI

Postby Aqualibrium » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:35 pm

I think both he and you missed my point. Show me you have a personality doesn't mean talk to me about inane shit. It means handle this open ended question in a way that doesn't make me think you're a) a weirdo b) socially inept c) boring as dog shit.

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GeePee
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Re: "tell me about yourself" question..OCI

Postby GeePee » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:53 pm

I take this question to mean: "Give me a quick bio of yourself, but do so in a way that gives me something to follow up on and makes me like you." I usually respond with a combination of things I've learned about myself based on hobbies and intellectual curiosities that culminate in me attending law school, liking it, and interviewing at X firm. Usually, the interviewer takes some sort of interest in something that I've said and it sparks conversation. I think it's tempting to approach this by saying "I am <insert desirable quality>. <Back up with interesting and illustrative anecdote>." This is a riskier response because it gives the interviewer less to grab on to and use as a conduit for conversation. If your one anecdote falls flat, you'll probably either get awkward silence, or generic, open-ended question #2 that the interviewer will want you to spin into something interesting.

This question often signals an entitlement to move the discussion onto your terms. Direct conversation to your areas of comfort, and use it as a springboard to jump into your strengths while also making room to ask questions about the firm that indicate that you're a serious and well-informed applicant. For me, it's an easy way to parlay my tech/math geek background into a convincing impetus for coming to law school instead of becoming a banker or consultant.

Obviously, like any question, you can screw this up by failing to capture the interviewer's attention. However, if you accept the offer to control the conversation, you can go a long way toward proving that you can be a likable, socially-capiable, and interesting associate that commands the respect of his peers and supervisors.

Hadlendale
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 2:00 pm

Re: "tell me about yourself" question..OCI

Postby Hadlendale » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:53 am

"I'm a recovering first year law student on the brink of relapse."

Usually gets some smiles.




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