OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

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PwnLaw
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OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby PwnLaw » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:45 pm

Won't comment on particular stories from interviews, but happy to answer questions about the process and so forth.

Good luck guys and gals!

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Zugzwang
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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby Zugzwang » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:48 pm

Why would you ask an interviewee "Do you have any questions about our firm?" 5 minutes into the interview vs. 10 minutes into the interview vs. immediately at the start of the interview?

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Adjudicator
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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby Adjudicator » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:48 pm

Since we were just talking about this in another thread... how much does non-law-related work experience matter to you?

PwnLaw
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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby PwnLaw » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:52 pm

Zugzwang wrote:Why would you ask an interviewee "Do you have any questions about our firm?" 5 minutes into the interview vs. 10 minutes into the interview vs. immediately at the start of the interview?


Good question, and something I hadn't really thought about until now.

That a stock question we use to keep the conversation going and gauge how much you have researched the firm. Few people really distinguish themselves on this question, but if a person really demonstrates a keen interest in the firm, it's definitely noted and appreciated.

In terms of timing, if it comes up earlier it normally means we haven't found much we want to talk about and you haven't really kept the conversation going. It fills a lull. It's not the end of the world if it comes up early, but it probably means it's a pretty vanilla interview. Certainly doesn't mean you've missed the boat or anything.

spondee
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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby spondee » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:57 pm

PwnLaw wrote:
Zugzwang wrote:Why would you ask an interviewee "Do you have any questions about our firm?" 5 minutes into the interview vs. 10 minutes into the interview vs. immediately at the start of the interview?


That a stock question we use to keep the conversation going and gauge how much you have researched the firm. Few people really distinguish themselves on this question, but if a person really demonstrates a keen interest in the firm, it's definitely noted and appreciated.


What's a good way to distinguish oneself on this question? Can you give examples of ways some people have that you really liked?

PwnLaw
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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby PwnLaw » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:57 pm

Adjudicator wrote:Since we were just talking about this in another thread... how much does non-law-related work experience matter to you?


Very rarely makes an impact (for me at least, other attorneys care more, particularly patent types). It's pretty rare that a person has prior experience that is directly relevant to my practice.

I also don't spend a ton of time concerning myself with the resume beforehand so it often won't come up unless the person brings it up. If they do that, I'll consider what they're saying within the context they're putting it in to see how it relates to the job of being an associate.

If they have done something very interesting (on paper at least), then I'll often be curious why you've chosen law. It may even prompt me to delve into what research you've done before choosing the profession.

PwnLaw
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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby PwnLaw » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:02 pm

spondee wrote:
PwnLaw wrote:
Zugzwang wrote:Why would you ask an interviewee "Do you have any questions about our firm?" 5 minutes into the interview vs. 10 minutes into the interview vs. immediately at the start of the interview?


That a stock question we use to keep the conversation going and gauge how much you have researched the firm. Few people really distinguish themselves on this question, but if a person really demonstrates a keen interest in the firm, it's definitely noted and appreciated.


What's a good way to distinguish oneself on this question? Can you give examples of ways some people have that you really liked?


A bad answer will express an interest based upon incorrect information (the locations of offices wrong, the practice groups, or the interviewers' specialties wrong). If you don't have any questions, that's an issue.

A standard answer will espouse a general interest in the firm and general familiarity with the offices (and their sizes), practice groups, and so forth.

An excellent answer will ask targeted questions about how the firm is structured or offer commentary on particular cases or people within the firm. For example: "I noticed you guys won X case last week. How does that case compare to what people typically do at the firm? What experience could a 1st year expect on a case like that?" Etc.

Burger in a can
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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby Burger in a can » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:06 pm

PwnLaw wrote:
Adjudicator wrote:Since we were just talking about this in another thread... how much does non-law-related work experience matter to you?


Very rarely makes an impact (for me at least, other attorneys care more, particularly patent types). It's pretty rare that a person has prior experience that is directly relevant to my practice.

I also don't spend a ton of time concerning myself with the resume beforehand so it often won't come up unless the person brings it up. If they do that, I'll consider what they're saying within the context they're putting it in to see how it relates to the job of being an associate.

If they have done something very interesting (on paper at least), then I'll often be curious why you've chosen law. It may even prompt me to delve into what research you've done before choosing the profession.


This may sound like a dumb question, but since you're answering, I'll ask.

If you're not spending a ton of time concerning yourself with the resume, and if prior work experience isn't really that relevant to your practice, does that mean you're mostly just interested in what a candidate has done over the last year? And if that's true, doesn't that information mostly condense into grades? And if that's true, what is the point of an interview?

miamiman
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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby miamiman » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:06 pm

How is your class size trending for next summer vis-a-vis last summer?

emoticons777
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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby emoticons777 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:07 pm

How prevalent are what we consider 'waitlists' for callback interviews? What happens to those students who don't get the initial rejection letters, but also don't receive a call?

Also - thank you e-mails, yes or no?

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apper123
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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby apper123 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:09 pm

How do you view transfer students? Especially students from schools not in their current school's market?

dougroberts
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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby dougroberts » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:13 pm

Does it make any difference if prior to the screening interview you have filled my resume with marks, highlights, etc. vs. having nothing written or marked on my resume?

Why do all my OCI interviewers ask something along the lines of "Who else are you interviewing with?/How many other interviews do you have?"
I feel that sometimes saying the truth (that I have a lot of screening interviews) actually scares off some interviewers, especially from small to mid-size firms.

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truthypants
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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby truthypants » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:16 pm

Do you pretty much know who you are going to hire prior to the interviews? Does it basically come down to a numbers game (highest grades wins the job)?

PwnLaw
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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby PwnLaw » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:17 pm

Burger in a can wrote:
PwnLaw wrote:
Adjudicator wrote:Since we were just talking about this in another thread... how much does non-law-related work experience matter to you?


Very rarely makes an impact (for me at least, other attorneys care more, particularly patent types). It's pretty rare that a person has prior experience that is directly relevant to my practice.

I also don't spend a ton of time concerning myself with the resume beforehand so it often won't come up unless the person brings it up. If they do that, I'll consider what they're saying within the context they're putting it in to see how it relates to the job of being an associate.

If they have done something very interesting (on paper at least), then I'll often be curious why you've chosen law. It may even prompt me to delve into what research you've done before choosing the profession.


This may sound like a dumb question, but since you're answering, I'll ask.

If you're not spending a ton of time concerning yourself with the resume, and if prior work experience isn't really that relevant to your practice, does that mean you're mostly just interested in what a candidate has done over the last year? And if that's true, doesn't that information mostly condense into grades? And if that's true, what is the point of an interview?


Grades are definitely important, and there is a certain level you should hit for a particular firm. But the most important thing I am looking for is a personality fit. If I am going to spend 18 hours in a small room with you on a weekend, I want to know you're the type of person I can get along with and rely upon to get the job done. So grades are part of the puzzle, but they're a necessary (but not sufficient) piece.

PwnLaw
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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby PwnLaw » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:19 pm

emoticons777 wrote:How prevalent are what we consider 'waitlists' for callback interviews? What happens to those students who don't get the initial rejection letters, but also don't receive a call?

Also - thank you e-mails, yes or no?


That'll vary from firm to firm. Waitlists are more prevalant for summer offers as opposed to the callback itself. Generally people are either liked or not liked for callback purposes. That said, sometimes it takes a much longer time for a firm to get back to someone (particularly for a small office).

I generally think thank you e-mails can only hurt you. They won't be enough to push a threshold case into a callback and they can definitely hurt you if there are typoes or other issues.

PwnLaw
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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby PwnLaw » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:22 pm

apper123 wrote:How do you view transfer students? Especially students from schools not in their current school's market?


Haven't really formed an opinion on them one way or another. Hypothetically I could see myself raising an eyebrow if a person went from a very low ranked school to a very high ranked school, but I don't recall ever actually having a reaction.

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2ofspades
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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby 2ofspades » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:25 pm

PwnLaw wrote:
Adjudicator wrote:Since we were just talking about this in another thread... how much does non-law-related work experience matter to you?


Very rarely makes an impact (for me at least, other attorneys care more, particularly patent types). It's pretty rare that a person has prior experience that is directly relevant to my practice.

Would you offer a couple examples of pre-law school experiences that were or might have been relevant to your practice?

spondee
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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby spondee » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:25 pm

PwnLaw wrote:I generally think thank you e-mails can only hurt you. They won't be enough to push a threshold case into a callback and they can definitely hurt you if there are typoes or other issues.


Thanks for answering so many questions.

What about thank-you emails following a callback. Still optional? When sending them, is it better to email each attorney and recruiter individually or only email the recruiter to thank everyone?

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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby PwnLaw » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:27 pm

dougroberts wrote:Does it make any difference if prior to the screening interview you have filled my resume with marks, highlights, etc. vs. having nothing written or marked on my resume?

Why do all my OCI interviewers ask something along the lines of "Who else are you interviewing with?/How many other interviews do you have?"
I feel that sometimes saying the truth (that I have a lot of screening interviews) actually scares off some interviewers, especially from small to mid-size firms.


I wouldn't read into the marks. I don't mark up resumes, many of my colleagues do. I suppose you could look at it as an indicator of what level of familiarity they have with the contents. I prefer to work with a blank slate and see how the conversation is developed without me steering it down traditional interviewing lines.

They want to know who the competition is. They want to know how in demand you are. They want to know whether it'll be a waste to call you back. I don't ask this question.

PwnLaw
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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby PwnLaw » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:28 pm

truthypants wrote:Do you pretty much know who you are going to hire prior to the interviews? Does it basically come down to a numbers game (highest grades wins the job)?


No. I've gone to bat for people below our thresholds if I think they're a winner. There are people I need to justify it to though since grades matter more to them. There are people that concentrate on grades, those that concentrate on schools, and those that concentrate on fit. I'm in the last category, but I still need to make sure the other people are happy too.

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apper123
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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby apper123 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:32 pm

If I have been called back to a firm that is spending a decent amount of $$ to fly me to a distant city, is the job mine to lose? What's my best frame of mind going in? Is the advice of "just let your guard down be yourself... if you don't fit in, then you don't want to work there" sound?

Thank you very much for taking our questions.
Last edited by apper123 on Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dougroberts
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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby dougroberts » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:32 pm

PwnLaw wrote:
dougroberts wrote:
Why do all my OCI interviewers ask something along the lines of "Who else are you interviewing with?/How many other interviews do you have?"
I feel that sometimes saying the truth (that I have a lot of screening interviews) actually scares off some interviewers, especially from small to mid-size firms.


They want to know who the competition is. They want to know how in demand you are. They want to know whether it'll be a waste to call you back. I don't ask this question.


How can they be thinking it would be a waste to call you back? Sure, if you have 20+ screening interviews one may assume that you will have several callbacks and at least a few will result in offers, but in this economy I don't think such an assumption is merited. However, I suppose it would be much worse to say "I have 3 interviews."

Thanks for taking these questions.

PwnLaw
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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby PwnLaw » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:35 pm

apper123 wrote:If I have been called back to a firm that is spending a decent amount of $$ to fly me to a distant city, is the job mine to lose? What's my best frame of mind going in? Is the advice of "just let your guard down be yourself... if you don't fit in, then you don't want to work there" sound?

Thank you very much for taking our questions.


That will depend very much on the firm and the office. Generally the firm doesn't do a callback unless they think the person has a legitimate shot of being hired. The callback to offer rate can vary wildly though.

PwnLaw
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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby PwnLaw » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:37 pm

dougroberts wrote:
PwnLaw wrote:
dougroberts wrote:
Why do all my OCI interviewers ask something along the lines of "Who else are you interviewing with?/How many other interviews do you have?"
I feel that sometimes saying the truth (that I have a lot of screening interviews) actually scares off some interviewers, especially from small to mid-size firms.


They want to know who the competition is. They want to know how in demand you are. They want to know whether it'll be a waste to call you back. I don't ask this question.


How can they be thinking it would be a waste to call you back? Sure, if you have 20+ screening interviews one may assume that you will have several callbacks and at least a few will result in offers, but in this economy I don't think such an assumption is merited. However, I suppose it would be much worse to say "I have 3 interviews."

Thanks for taking these questions.


If you are interviewing with 6 patent boutiques and expressing an interest in corporate work at a big firm, that'd raise flags.

If you were interviewing only with DC firms and were expressing an interest in California, that'd raise flags.

If you were interviewing only with highly prestigious firms and I'm non-vault, then that'd raise flags.

I can think of a number of other reasons. I just don't really care when I'm interviewing someone so I don't ask the question.

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20160810
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Re: OCI Interviewer Taking Quesitons.

Postby 20160810 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:14 am

1.) Do you ask people what their greatest weakness is?

1a.) If yes, do you want to choke them when they respond with some BS line like "I'm just too hard-working and detail-oriented, and I wish I spoke more than 3 languages."?




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