Wednesday, August 6, 2008

On Campus interviewing: Don't Screw It Up

Hello again.  Hiring Partner is preparing for some upcoming on campus interviews, so perhaps I will see you at a campus in the near future.  This will be a tough year, as we have discussed.  The days when mediocre students could easily snag great jobs are over.  Now, you may have an o.k. interview, yet not receive a call back.  There could be any number of reasons for this.  Try not to take it personally.  If your law school offers mock interviewing with third parties (e.g., outside volunteer lawyers), I recommend you take advantage of that service before OCI to get some constructive feedback.

Over the years, Hiring Partner has seen some amusing and horrendous OCI candidates.  These folks stand out from the crowd as awkward, odd, cocky you know whats, or just plain weirdos.  Try not to fall in these categories.  Here's some DO NOTs for interview season (in addition to those suggestions already provided, though some bear repeating): 

What not to do during OCI:

10. Don't show up late

9. Don't tell the interviewer the reason you chose the firm is because the interviewer works there (happened to my sister).  We know when you are sucking up.

8. Don't talk about all the other interviews or offers you have, unless specifically asked.

7. Don't put down the classmates of yours who you know are on our interview list.  Similarly, do not put down other law firms or organizations.  This is a repeat, I know, but worth reiterating.  You never know who knows who.  Be gracious.  

6. Don't give us a whole sad sob story for why your grades could be higher.  Try to stand proud. If these interviews were by pre-selections, we chose you for a reason.

5. Don't get all jumbled when we ask you about something you worked on.  Be prepared to speak about your prior work intelligently.  

4. Don't fidget or look down.  Look at the interviewer (without a stalking glare).

3. Do not get a "deer in headlights" look when we ask if you have any questions.  Be prepared with a couple questions. Not a dumb question like "do you have a full service law library."  Duh.  Yes, I was asked this once.  How about something specific to the office you are interested in "what are the plans for growth in the NYC office?"  "What practice areas are you looking to grow in the next couple of years?"  "Can you give me some examples of the types of assignments that summer associates have worked on during the program?"

2. Do not decide that today is the day for super trendy dress or hair choices.  Stick with the basics.  Dark suits for men and women work fine.

1. Do not make inappropriate comments ...I realize this is another Duh one, but my former colleague once had a law student remark about her hometown "I didn't realize ___ live there"  (insert ethnic group).  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What are your thoughts about the thank you e-mail/letter.

Should we e-mail? should we hand write? should we e-mail same day, or wait until the next day?

- any thoughts would be great.