Dear 2Ls: Advice for Interview Season

Written by David Wang, Columnist

Dear 2Ls,

Congratulations- you survived 1L of a year! As the summer draws to a close, three little letters may be on your mind: EIW/OCI (or as I like to call it the quickest 3-day stay at the Doubletree Times Square). Although screening interviews and callbacks can seem daunting and stressful at times, here are a few nuggets I’ve found to be helpful for the fall interview season.

1)     The Early 2L Catches the Interview. Even if you missed certain interviews, you still have a shot at any available slots during open sign-ups every morning. Last year, sign-ups were offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so if you arrive early enough, you’ll not only be able to sign up earlier but also you’ll be able to review which firms/offices with whom you’d like to interview.

2)     Get There Early. Period. As much as all New Yorkers love Midtown, we know just how…popular…it can be, especially throughout the day. Although 8 AM isn’t exactly prime time in Manhattan, you always want to budget enough time to arrive feeling calm and ready.

3)     Pace Thyself. As Scar said to the hyenas, be prepared.  The days will be long and exhausting, but you have to keep pacing yourself to the finish line-especially during post-lunch interviews in the afternoon. Livening up the energy does make a difference and accentuates your interest in the firm, so make sure you bring some passion to each interview.

4)     Stairs Not Elevators. All the interview rooms are generally clustered around a few floors, so I highly recommend the stairs instead of the elevators. The lifts tend to be slow, and there are other people who will be using them. Climbing stairs is rough, but it is efficient and interviewers typically know that it will take a few minutes to get from one room to the next if you have back-to-back interviews.

5)     Duly Noted. I found it extremely helpful to bring a small wired index card book with information and current events about the firm and interviewers, along with some potential questions I might ask after each interview. Especially if you have an interest in a particular practice area of the firm, name-dropping high-profile attorneys, deals, or cases of the firm shows your enthusiasm for the firm!

6)     Speed Interviewing. 20 minutes. That’s all you get for most screening interviews, and your sole focus in the interview room should be the interview. Your grades and resume are already fixed, but how you perform in the interview is fluid and malleable. You cannot change what is already printed on a transcript or resume, so focus on showing your best self.

7)     Hydrate and Power Up. Bringing water and some snacks are critical. Please drink water. Please!

Well, that’s about it! EIW and fall callbacks were a whirlwind, but through this process, I learned so much about myself and the profession that I am joining. It’s tough, but just remember, you’re talking about the one subject that you alone are the expert of: yourself. So drink lots of water and best of luck!

PS: Drink water.

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The Commentator

The Commentator is the official student newspaper of New York University School of Law and a seven-time winner of the American Bar Association’s Top Law School Newspaper Award. Founded over 50 years ago in 1966 as a biweekly print publication, The Commentator was re-launched as an online newspaper in 2015.

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