Law School Discussion

Looking for Interview Tips

Looking for Interview Tips
« on: August 24, 2008, 06:47:22 PM »
So I'm looking for some advice on how to suceed in OCI interviews, please no sarcastic responses.  So here's the situation, I'm in the top 15% (more like 11%) of my class at a lower ranked tier-1 school.  Last year (1L) I had several OCI interviews, something like 10, and I wasn't able get any call-backs.  This year I've been invited to over 30 interviews, and I'm already nervous about not landing a job.  Like I said, I'm highly ranked in my class, I'm on Law Review, and I've won numerous academic awards over the last year, but I still get nervous in interviews.  A lot of my nerves has do to with my physical appearance, I'm a little bit overweight, I'm certaintly not 400 pounds or anything, but I'm a big guy, and I tend to think firms aren't interested in that.  Anyways, like I said, I'd really appreciate some tips on interviewing skills, how to answer tough questions, and anything else anyone has to contribute.  Thanks!


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Re: Looking for Interview Tips
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2008, 07:35:26 PM »
Don't let your 1L interview experience affect you.  1L hiring is always hard and even qualified candidates aren't assured an SA gig.  2L hiring is very, very different.

Second, about your appearance, one key thing that applies to EVERYONE, no matter what shape or size: make sure your suit fits you extremely well - well cut, hangs in all the right places, etc.  It's hard not to feel like a million bucks when your suit fits you well. 

Finally, Being a "big guy" isn't a deal breaker - if you present yourself well and come across as friendly and personable, plus you have the gpa and qualifications to back it up, you'll do just fine.  I worked with people who were all shapes and sizes at my firm - just put your best foot forward.

Best of luck!

Re: Looking for Interview Tips
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2008, 08:12:25 PM »
wow yellow, now I'm the "jovial fat guy" lol.  I'm actually really into the outdoors, and I exercise 5-6 days a week, the whole overweight thing is new to me, and has resulted from a medical condition, which might be why I'm so self-concious about it in interviews.  Thanks for the suit advice, I actually just bought 2 new custom-tailored suits yesterday, they definetely cost a pretty penny, but hopefully they'll fit really well.  Also I have a beard, I tend to think it thins out my face a little bit, and my friends all say I look much better with it, will that be a problem in OCI?  Any more random advice would be fantastic!

Re: Looking for Interview Tips
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2008, 12:30:01 AM »
Hey lawdork... I'll give you the same advice I gave my boyfriend (note: I'm not in Law School, never have been or will be, but I've had to interview folks in the past, etc.)  He was concerned because he's on the shorter side and doesn't come across as the "suave" type. 

1.  Relax!  From what the bf has said, many firms at their OCI were there more to "scope out next year's field" than find 1L SAs.  You'll do fine.  And get many tchotchkes in the process. 

2.  Don't think about your appearance, or anything else that may lower your confidence.  You don't want to come across as cocky, but if you usually feel a bit insecure, tell yourself that you have the job and you're there to learn more about the firm (that way you'll come across as more confident...)

3.  Try "active listening."  Half the time the people interviewing have no previous experience doing this and feel just as uncomfortable as you do.  In addition to using leading questions, when the interviewer gives an answer, pick up on something that they say where you can continue the conversation.  That way it won't feel like a question/answer type format and you can ease into a more comfortable discussion.  Back in the day, I was a resident advisor and had to go through all of these active listening training sessions, which were horrible.  If you can make it natural, though, you can have a bit of control over how the interview goes.

4.  Don't fidget... if you get clammy hands, keep a handkerchief in the pocket. 

5.  Sometimes all you need is a new suit/shirt/tie.  Given most law students are short on cash, but if having a snazzy new tie will make you feel like a million bucks, it's worth it.