By Lindsay S. Fouse
Third Year Day Student
2014 Summer Associate, Clark Hill
(Originally posted August 8, 2014. Ms. Fouse is now an Associate at Clark Hill.)
As we begin to prepare for OCIs, think about three things:
First, be able to answer exactly what makes you different from all of the other applicants. Your answer should be sincere, specific, and personalized. Be mindful of the fact that if you get the job, that answer will be put to the test—so be honest.
Second, in the interview, be someone that the interviewer and his or her firm would want as a colleague. Nod when they say something, smile and be pleasant, and appear engaged and interested to be interviewing with their firm because that matters to them—that you are genuinely happy to have the opportunity to get to know them.
Third, have four pre-written, go-to answers that run the gamut. For example, inevitably, you will be asked about what you did this past summer (i.e. if you wrote for a judge- be able to explain one interesting thing that you worked on), what you are involved in at Duquesne Law (i.e. clubs, organizations, research or teaching assistant positions, jobs, journals), what are your interests outside of school (i.e. hobbies, family, sports), what are qualities/attributes that would serve you well in the field of law and what about your personality fits the culture and mission of the respective law firm. I find that if you have those down to a tee, regardless of the question, you can in some way, shape, or form tailor all of your answers to safely get back to those go-tos, and to really have a successful interview.
Some food for thought—the toughest questions that I have been asked at an OCI:
1) Where do you see yourself in five years? 10 years?
2) If you don’t get hired by this firm, what will you do?
3) Tell us about your style of leadership.
4) What do you do for fun?
5) Tell us about a recent mistake that you have made.
6) What’s the worst question you can think of to ask me?
7) What constitutes “success” in your mind?
8) What type of people would you have trouble working with?
9) Describe yourself in one word.
10) What are some of the most imaginative and creative things that you have done in a job?