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Trivium

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Questions at callback
« on: August 17, 2009, 09:41:21 AM »
Could someone give me some examples of questions that would be good to ask at a callback interview and/or help point me in the direction of thinking of some? Thanks.

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Re: Questions at callback
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2009, 02:39:10 PM »
tag. this is a great question

Alchemy Prep

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Re: Questions at callback
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2009, 06:07:46 PM »
Here are a few examples:

Interview with partner:

1) What are the firm's plans for growth?

2) How has the recent acquisition of x firm or x practice group impacted y office? (the office to which you are applying)

3) What is the strongest aspect of x practice group and what areas are you looking to improve?

4) I see the firm is now in x location.  How is that working out?

Interview with associate

1) Does the firm have a structured training program?

2) Are first year associates placed into a practice group or do they float between groups (even between litigaiton and transactional) as one sees at Jones Day.

3) How is work assigned to summer associates?  Is there a workflow coordinator?

Hope these help somewhat.

Best,

Kris
www.alchemyprep.com

Refused Party Program

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Re: Questions at callback
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2009, 01:38:22 AM »
This one is simple and generic, but I found the answers helpful:

"What do you like about this firm?"

You might be amazed at the variety of responses.

Also, I liked to ask what people did for hobbies/vacation. If the list was short, or non-existent, it would send up red flags.

However, I would be careful of asking this type of question if you are interviewing with a firm that doesn't hide the fact they could care less about associates and they expect you to give you give every drop of blood you have to the firm.

Also, if everyone talked about how wonderful the firm was, I asked what the worse thing was about that firm.

Trivium

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Re: Questions at callback
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2009, 01:18:50 AM »
Thanks for the responses. My school ended up posting a huge listing of good callback questions, so that was really helpful. One thing that I've heard on here that I should point out is potentially wrong though. At one of my callbacks (1 of 2) I had multiple interviewers encourage me to ask the same questions of each interviewer. I saw someone saying that this was the best way to get dinged. This may be true of some firms, but clearly not all.

raphelb

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Re: Questions at callback
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2009, 10:58:16 PM »
Thanks for the responses. My school ended up posting a huge listing of good callback questions, so that was really helpful. One thing that I've heard on here that I should point out is potentially wrong though. At one of my callbacks (1 of 2) I had multiple interviewers encourage me to ask the same questions of each interviewer. I saw someone saying that this was the best way to get dinged. This may be true of some firms, but clearly not all.

From what I understand, asking the same question of each interviewer is a quick way to get dinged if it is a FACTUAL question. For example, asking people "how are summer associates evaluated?" If you ask factual questions multiple times, it seems like you either didn't trust the first person who answered it or you were simply too stupid to understand the first answer. (Sidenote, also never ask a factual question about something that could be answered by spending a few minutes on the firm's website)

However, asking multiple people for their opinions on similar topics seems perfectly acceptable. For example, a question like "how often do you socialize with colleagues outside of work hours?" With a question like this, different people may have different answers based on their own personal experiences or practice groups. Asking such a question to multiple people can actually be beneficial in getting a sense of the true office culture.

Basic rule that has worked for me: Ask any question that you are truly curious about as long as the question won't portray you in a negative light and as long as answering it isn't likely to force the firm to portray itself in a negative light. If the question shows you have done your research, thats a bonus. (Example, "I read you worked on X v. Y, could you tell me more about your experience working on that case?") Don't ask a question just for the sake of asking a question. If you actually want the job, there must be something you are legitimately curious about.
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OK Law

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Re: Questions at callback
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2009, 06:58:40 PM »
I like the question, "In your experience with past summer associates,  what made a particular summer associate excel?"  I used this type of question repeatedly during call back interviews and got good and consistent answers out of the partners/associates that were interviewing me.  I actually used some of the answers they gave me to formulate talking points that I wanted to bring up about myself in the subsequent interviews.  For example, I noticed after a time or two of asking this question that the answer given by the partner was that they liked a summer associate that was willing to take an assignment and run with it until its ultimate conclusion.  They want an associate that is eager to take an assignment, ask the appropriate questions up front to understand the assignment, check back in only if necessary, and is determined to do a really good job.  This may seem like an obvious answer to most people, but it is surprising how easy it is in an interview not to discuss how you handle and will handle your work. During subsequent interviews during call backs, I started to talk about my firm experience I had that summer, as well as previous work experience outside the legal field, and how it had taught me how to handle assignments appropriately.  I would mix in a story or two about experiences I had where I didn't exactly handle the assignment as well as I would have liked in hindsight and how I had received feedback and learned from my mistakes.  Then when I inevitably asked the question of what the partner/associate liked in a summer associate, they would almost always acknowledge that I had already told them exactly what they were looking for in a summer associate. So basically, they would on some level be saying that I was what they were looking for in a summer associate. I know this may sound a little corny, but damnit it works and if you do it in a subtle and somewhat self-deprecating way, you will score big points with almost all of your interviewers. 

UnbiasedObserver

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Re: Questions at callback
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2009, 09:01:45 PM »
Tag!