OCI Interviews Lack Substantive Questions

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Anonymous User
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OCI Interviews Lack Substantive Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:36 pm

What's the consensus on this, where the interviewer asks one-two questions about your resume then launches directly into "you ask me questions" mode.

I have decided either:

1) They have already written you off after reviewing your resume;
2) They have already decided you are qualified and are just trying to get a feel for your personality;
3) They are bored after a long day of monotonous interviewing and don't have the energy to come up with legitimate questions.

I assume that there is no universal answer. Just curious for others' thoughts.

Soulofheaven8
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Re: OCI Interviews Lack Substantive Questions

Postby Soulofheaven8 » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:38 pm

definitely not #2. there are many better ways to gauge personality than asking "So, what can i tell you about my firm?"

Anonymous User
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Re: OCI Interviews Lack Substantive Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:45 pm

Probably #1. This scenario happened to me a LOT during OCI and I got no CBs, and a shitload of dings.

mr.undroppable
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Re: OCI Interviews Lack Substantive Questions

Postby mr.undroppable » Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:00 pm

Don't mean to be harsh, but most likely it is none of the above. If you can't sell yourself to an interviewer now when they aren't even asking tough questions how will you convince a client to put their company/future/etc in your hands?

They don't ask that question so you can engage in 20 minutes of painful Q&A, they ask it to weed out the people who are lame. If you can't show reasonable enthusiasm for a firm and/or practice group by engaging a relatively game interviewer in a conversation about what they do for 20 minutes you need to do some mock interviews and up your skills.

There are a million ways you can respond and still win over the interviewer. Think about it like dating. If you stroll into a bar have you ever had a hot chick just come up to you and start asking you questions, nod a bit, and then say 'sounds like a good fit, let's go to your place."?! Life doesn't work like that, you're entering a service industry in a terrible market, you have to convince people that they need you.

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chadwick218
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Re: OCI Interviews Lack Substantive Questions

Postby chadwick218 » Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Don't mean to be harsh, but most likely it is none of the above. If you can't sell yourself to an interviewer now when they aren't even asking tough questions how will you convince a client to put their company/future/etc in your hands?

They don't ask that question so you can engage in 20 minutes of painful Q&A, they ask it to weed out the people who are lame. If you can't show reasonable enthusiasm for a firm and/or practice group by engaging a relatively game interviewer in a conversation about what they do for 20 minutes you need to do some mock interviews and up your skills.

There are a million ways you can respond and still win over the interviewer. Think about it like dating. If you stroll into a bar have you ever had a hot chick just come up to you and start asking you questions, nod a bit, and then say 'sounds like a good fit, let's go to your place."?! Life doesn't work like that, you're entering a service industry in a terrible market, you have to convince people that they need you.


This seems like pretty solid advice ... prior to attending law school, I interviewed a number college students students as it related to recruitment with my previous firm.

It is also my understanding that at some (many?) schools, the firms do not actually see your GPA prior to the actual interview (i.e. they have seen your resume with you law school GPA excluded). I was instructed that this was the case at HLS by a friend of mine who recently graduated. Can anyone confirm this?

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neskerdoo
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Re: OCI Interviews Lack Substantive Questions

Postby neskerdoo » Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Don't mean to be harsh, but most likely it is none of the above. If you can't sell yourself to an interviewer now when they aren't even asking tough questions how will you convince a client to put their company/future/etc in your hands?

They don't ask that question so you can engage in 20 minutes of painful Q&A, they ask it to weed out the people who are lame. If you can't show reasonable enthusiasm for a firm and/or practice group by engaging a relatively game interviewer in a conversation about what they do for 20 minutes you need to do some mock interviews and up your skills.

There are a million ways you can respond and still win over the interviewer. Think about it like dating. If you stroll into a bar have you ever had a hot chick just come up to you and start asking you questions, nod a bit, and then say 'sounds like a good fit, let's go to your place."?! Life doesn't work like that, you're entering a service industry in a terrible market, you have to convince people that they need you.



why is this anonymous?!

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chadwick218
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Re: OCI Interviews Lack Substantive Questions

Postby chadwick218 » Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:25 pm

chadwick218 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Don't mean to be harsh, but most likely it is none of the above. If you can't sell yourself to an interviewer now when they aren't even asking tough questions how will you convince a client to put their company/future/etc in your hands?

They don't ask that question so you can engage in 20 minutes of painful Q&A, they ask it to weed out the people who are lame. If you can't show reasonable enthusiasm for a firm and/or practice group by engaging a relatively game interviewer in a conversation about what they do for 20 minutes you need to do some mock interviews and up your skills.

There are a million ways you can respond and still win over the interviewer. Think about it like dating. If you stroll into a bar have you ever had a hot chick just come up to you and start asking you questions, nod a bit, and then say 'sounds like a good fit, let's go to your place."?! Life doesn't work like that, you're entering a service industry in a terrible market, you have to convince people that they need you.


This seems like pretty solid advice ... prior to attending law school, I interviewed a number college students students as it related to recruitment with my previous firm.

It is also my understanding that at some (many?) schools, the firms do not actually see your GPA prior to the actual interview (i.e. they have seen your resume with your law school GPA excluded). I was instructed that this was the case at HLS by a friend of mine who recently graduated. Can anyone confirm this?

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tetrahydrocannabinol
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Re: OCI Interviews Lack Substantive Questions

Postby tetrahydrocannabinol » Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:There are a million ways you can respond and still win over the interviewer. Think about it like dating. If you stroll into a bar have you ever had a hot chick just come up to you and start asking you questions, nod a bit, and then say 'sounds like a good fit, let's go to your place."?! Life doesn't work like that, you're entering a service industry in a terrible market, you have to convince people that they need you.


It's hard to convince someone they need you (i.e. sell yourself to the firm) when the only thing they do is ask you what questions you have about their firm. Yeah, it is showing them that your interested in their firm. but they already knew that (why in the world would have signed up for an interview if you weren't?). Asking them questions about their firm really tells them nothing about you, which is what I would think you would want to do to sell yourself to them. Everyone shows interest in the firm by asking them genuine questions, but that doesn't really help them distinguish one person from another.

mr.undroppable
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Re: OCI Interviews Lack Substantive Questions

Postby mr.undroppable » Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:48 pm

tetrahydrocannabinol wrote:Asking them questions about their firm really tells them nothing about you, which is what I would think you would want to do to sell yourself to them. Everyone shows interest in the firm by asking them genuine questions, but that doesn't really help them distinguish one person from another.


First, to the dude who freaked out about anonymous posting, I had info which I deleted but forgot to switch back to my poster name (which is, ironically, anonymous). Your post added a lot of value to this thread though, good work.

Second, to the quoted poster, your approach is all wrong. You don't merely ask questions about the firm, anybody can do that. You ask questions in such a way that show you are someone they need. For example, think about this answer to the apparently tough question: "I have a strong background in X (give brief story about your skills) so I am very excited about working in your firm's Y practice group because you are guys seem to do a lot of work in that area (shows enthusiasm, knowledge of firm). I read about the mentor system on your website and everything, but could you tell me a little bit more about what kind of training first year associates get or what kind of work they do on an average day? (shows you are one step ahead of milking the firm out of a summer)?" Then just ask them follow up questions based on what they say instead of changing the subject (to show you can listen).

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tetrahydrocannabinol
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Re: OCI Interviews Lack Substantive Questions

Postby tetrahydrocannabinol » Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:55 pm

mr.undroppable wrote:
tetrahydrocannabinol wrote:Asking them questions about their firm really tells them nothing about you, which is what I would think you would want to do to sell yourself to them. Everyone shows interest in the firm by asking them genuine questions, but that doesn't really help them distinguish one person from another.


First, to the dude who freaked out about anonymous posting, I had info which I deleted but forgot to switch back to my poster name (which is, ironically, anonymous). Your post added a lot of value to this thread though, good work.

Second, to the quoted poster, your approach is all wrong. You don't merely ask questions about the firm, anybody can do that. You ask questions in such a way that show you are someone they need. For example, think about this answer to the apparently tough question: "I have a strong background in X (give brief story about your skills) so I am very excited about working in your firm's Y practice group because you are guys seem to do a lot of work in that area (shows enthusiasm, knowledge of firm). I read about the mentor system on your website and everything, but could you tell me a little bit more about what kind of training first year associates get or what kind of work they do on an average day? (shows you are one step ahead of milking the firm out of a summer)?" Then just ask them follow up questions based on what they say instead of changing the subject (to show you can listen).


I did that. It wasn't very helpful (I don't think). I don't know, firms just interview so many people each day (around 20 per interviewer) and when they literally write down nothing (except preferred practice area) I get the feeling that they aren't going to actually remember my interview at all and just make a decision solely based on my resume.

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NewHere
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Re: OCI Interviews Lack Substantive Questions

Postby NewHere » Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:13 pm

I think with few exceptions it's #1 ("They have already written you off after reviewing your resume"), or actually: They have already written you off with or without reviewing your resume.

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Re: OCI Interviews Lack Substantive Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:52 pm

NewHere wrote:I think with few exceptions it's #1 ("They have already written you off after reviewing your resume"), or actually: They have already written you off with or without reviewing your resume.


My experience has been different. I had plenty of interviews launch into ask-the-interviewer-questions mode. It had no relationship to callbacks. I found the best way to avoid this becoming most of the interview was to control the conversation. If I got any sense that the interviewer was going to be passive, I made sure to proactively engage them. Also, if they ask you one or two questions about your resume, you should be able to fill most of the time allotted if you answer the questions well. Questions are a platform for you to engage your interviewer. I had several interviews where the interviewer didn't get past their second or third planned question because I was able to turn the answers to the first one or two into interesting (and related) conversations.

transferguy
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Re: OCI Interviews Lack Substantive Questions

Postby transferguy » Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
My experience has been different. I had plenty of interviews launch into ask-the-interviewer-questions mode. It had no relationship to callbacks. I found the best way to avoid this becoming most of the interview was to control the conversation. If I got any sense that the interviewer was going to be passive, I made sure to proactively engage them. Also, if they ask you one or two questions about your resume, you should be able to fill most of the time allotted if you answer the questions well. Questions are a platform for you to engage your interviewer. I had several interviews where the interviewer didn't get past their second or third planned question because I was able to turn the answers to the first one or two into interesting (and related) conversations.


Credited.

premadance
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Re: OCI Interviews Lack Substantive Questions

Postby premadance » Sun Aug 30, 2009 1:18 pm

Regarding the HLS question...HLS 2L's at OCI this year are the first group operating under the new non-traditional grading/ranking system.

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chadwick218
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Re: OCI Interviews Lack Substantive Questions

Postby chadwick218 » Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:22 pm

premadance wrote:Regarding the HLS question...HLS 2L's at OCI this year are the first group operating under the new non-traditional grading/ranking system.



Thanks ... I remember that my friend interviewed with 4 of the Vault 5 firms in 2007 based on a very strong resume and track record prior to attending HLS, but once they his GPA, the interview became more of a casual conversation and he never received a call-back.

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NewHere
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Re: OCI Interviews Lack Substantive Questions

Postby NewHere » Sun Aug 30, 2009 3:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
NewHere wrote:I think with few exceptions it's #1 ("They have already written you off after reviewing your resume"), or actually: They have already written you off with or without reviewing your resume.


My experience has been different. I had plenty of interviews launch into ask-the-interviewer-questions mode. It had no relationship to callbacks.


I wasn't talking about interviews where a few minutes, or even half the interview was in ask-the-interviewer-questions mode. I thought the OP was about interviews where the interviewer stopped asking questions after a minute or two. These, as a general rule, do not turn into callbacks.




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