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What I Did Wrong at My OCIs

Handshake

Jonathon Austin (2L)

The Pre-Interview Coffee

The post-lunch lull. We’re all familiar with it. I should have known better. A foot-long meatball sub followed by a Booster Juice seemed like a brilliant idea at the time; I was famished from my morning interviews.

By the time my food-induced coma kicked into high gear, there were only 30 minutes until my next interview. Too little time for a pre-game nap, just enough time to grab a double espresso from Cafe Leva.

Things were going along swimmingly. The espresso had immediately buoyed my spirits…. and then it hit me. The combination of indigestion and hyper-caffeination had me gassed up quicker than a Ferrari at a Formula One pit stop.  I was practically floating.

I tried with all my might to avoid passing wind and, much to my amazement, I did. That is not to say the experience was pleasant or that my interview performance was top notch. My responses were curt, my questions shallow. My face was flush with anxiety the full 20 minutes and, at one point, I may have even broken into a full-blown sweat. Moral of the story: time your coffees right.

 

The Awkward Handshake

It was my firm of choice in a city I had always dreamed of living. In short, I was chomping at the bit to make a good impression. I had come prepared with relevant and poignant questions regarding the firm culture and the interviewers’ respective practice areas.  

Suffice it to say, the car never really left the lot.

Interviewer number one opened the door and invited me to enter the room. I took one final deep breath and strode gracefully into room 326 of the Weir Law Library. I shook her hand, announced my pleasure in meeting her and moved towards interviewer number two. As it so happened, we shared the same first name. He immediately addressed this issue. “Nice name. We even spell it the same way; it’s almost like…”. It was at that point that I interjected and wished I hadn’t. “Almost like touching yourself?” I asked.

He was at a loss for words; I was mortified. The other interviewer looked as though she had just been struck in the head with a frying pan. I don’t think they will be inviting me back for an in-firm.

 

Be Careful What You Include on Your List of Interests…

When I began to construct my resume, I was eager to include unique interests and hobbies. “Boxed Cereal Enthusiast” had a certain charm about it. It made me appear a woman of the people, a “salt of the earth” type character. There was no reason to believe that the decision would backfire. I was confident that when the time came, and a firm inquired as to the nature of my interest in boxed cereal, I would regale them with tales of heaping bowlfuls of Froot Loops and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Much to my delight, the very first firm interviewed was curious to know more about my love of boxed cereal. I described my love of sleeping in and watching cartoons. I offered them insight into my sophisticated Texture/Flavour/Quality of Box Mascot metric system that I use to rate all my cereals on a scale of 1-5 stars. It became abundantly clear that the interviewers derived little amusement from my answer. It was, then, that I realized that the person I had just described to them appeared more cut out for a career as a middle-aged stoner than a budding corporate lawyer.

Still hoping for an in-firm.