Thursday, February 25, 2010

Interview Update

I had my interview, and as promised, I'm providing you with the details.

The position was for a computer company. It's not a development position. It's more of an analyst position, but familiarity with databases and programming concepts are required.

I met with two people (not simultaneously) to discuss the position.

The first person worked on the business side of the company. We had a good discussion about the company, my background, and my interests. For the most part, the focus was on my prior full time work experience where I detailed some of the analysis and computer skills I had developed at my previous position. I think I was able to convey both my aptitude regarding and interest in the main functions of the position.

I would reveal to you how I handled the "Why law school?" question. The question, however, didn't really come up (at least not in the way I expected it would). Eventually, the first interviewer noted that a number of my internships were related to the law. I actually took the opportunity to explain how those positions and law school helped me obtain and enhance a number of transferable skills. He seemed to wholeheartedly agree, and aside from asking how I liked my law school, he didn't raise the subject again.

The second person to interview me was a tech guy. He was harder to read, and it seemed like his role was mostly to vet me on my technical skills. I think I was able to demonstrate that I had adequate IT knowledge as well as the ability and desire to learn anything else computer related that was necessary.

After going over my resume, he did wonder why I went to law school if I wanted to get into the tech world. I just informed him that I wanted to go to grad school and that the JD was a versatile degree. I think he was more curious than skeptical, and he didn't seem to have any problem with my answer. He seemed more concerned with just making sure I had the appropriate technical background.

The three things on which the entire interview seemed to focus were:
  1. My previous work experience
  2. My interest in the company and the position
  3. My computer background and skills
For the most part, it was a pretty straightforward interview. I think this looks like a great job that would allow me to get into the industry in which I'm interested and help me glean some additional computer skills in which I am also interested.

Obviously, I'm not guaranteed the job, but I'm glad that I appear to have a strong enough background that some companies aren't going to concern themselves with my unorthodox academic path.

If I can't secure this position, I'm at least encouraged to forge ahead looking at computer related jobs. Even if it requires a little bit more self-study, I think I can eventually find a job I'll like.

I'll keep everybody posted.

11 comments:

  1. It sounds like it went really well overall. Good job. I hope it works out, but in the event it doesn't, I think that all of us who are trying to transition into a nonlegal job can take heart that it is possible to get an interview. I think, unfortunately, the key is have previous work experience, which a ton of law grads do NOT have. Kind of a bummer. But anyway, good luck! We all need it.

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  2. I hope you get it. Doesn't it kill you that you could have done this right after your prior career. I wish law school could be considered a tax write-off as a business loss.

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  3. I was a senior software engineer for quite some time. I've worked at Nvidia, Citadel and Optiver for quite some time. After getting laid off from Citadel I interviewed at a few companies but I feel now I'm just too old to go through the two phone screen interviews, then get flown out and deal with security at an airport, then the whole getting interviewed/grilled for another 8 hours.

    Once I got laid off my major fear was the interview process and having to re-learn all that bullshit interview style questions they throw at you.


    A reference point what we engineers have to go through.

    http://www.catonmat.net/blog/my-job-interview-at-google/

    I'm 34 years old now and I just don't know what is next. I'm fed up with crap like that. I've got some friends who decided to go back to school and get a MFE and try to land the same job I had at Optiver but I wasn't even getting paid that much (it's not worth the debt load and risk). My gross pay was around 165k but I was working 70 hours a week.

    IT sure is great when you are young, but once you get older the allure fades pretty quickly.

    I suppose all industries have their pros and cons.

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  4. to 9:55 - you think 34 is old and 165k isn't a good salary? What planet are you from?

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  5. Great job! I'm actually in solar sales now following my layoff from BigLaw. Like you, I had a very difficult time getting responses from companies and faced the typical misconception that all lawyers are filthy rich. Why wouldn't you want to make all that cash with your JD?

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  6. Would you be willing to go into more detail the kind of questions you were grilled on? I was considering looking into an entry-level IT
    job.

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  7. Best of luck! I hope you get it. Thank you for spreading some truth about what attorneys face and now showing that there's an upside. We need the good news! : )

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  8. I love this blog. You sound like a very nice person...you give me hope.

    Fellow unemployed bitter law grad

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  9. I really hope you get this or something like it soon! Be sure to keep us posted!

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