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GOODRecruit: Pre-OCI Tips & Tidbits

August 17, 2018

With the OCI application deadline merely days away, we wanted to provide some targeted insight into the process. We're sure you've been overwhelmed with information as you've done your research, so we hope this fun, informative, and brief (!) piece will help break the formal mold a little bit as you hear directly from us!

 

– Articling Students 2018/19

 

Samanthea Samuels | Articling Student 2018/19

 

What was one thing you wish you knew prior to the OCI application deadline? Is there anything you would have done differently?

That I could cold call and visit firms outside of the organized student visits. My one-on-one chats with students at the firms were far more beneficial than the large group visits.

 

 

What was the best/most fun part of the OCI process?

How friendly and relaxed all of the interviewers were, especially at Goodmans! 

Alexandra Murray | Articling Student 2018/19

 

What can a student expect from an OCI with Goodmans?

An OCI with Goodmans will be a relaxed conversation about you and your interests. Don't be  too worried about the structure of the conversation. It really is just a time for you to get an idea about what Goodmans is all about and for Goodmans to learn something interesting about you that may not be possible for you to convey through a cover letter or resume!

 

What was the best/most fun part of the OCI process?​

I really enjoyed spending two full days with my classmates. It was fun to all sit in a room together between interviews and have each other there for support. Also, although I was a bit nervous at the beginning, I had a lot of fun meeting so many interesting people in such a short period of time.

Pearl Lee | Articling Student 2018/19

 

What can a student expect from an OCI with Goodmans?

A relaxed, friendly, and upbeat atmosphere. From the moment I stepped into the Goodmans booth, I felt at ease. My interviewers made it easy for me to be myself as we talked about our hobbies, interests, and Halloween costumes!

 

What was the best/most fun part of the OCI process?

You really feel the adrenaline coursing through your veins on the day of. It's exciting meeting with a broad range of firms (e.g. boutique, full service, mid-size, etc.) and to hear from the lawyers and student recruiters about their individual practice area(s) and unique student programs. 

Samantha Galway | Articling Student 2018/19

 

 

What was one thing you wish you knew prior to the OCI application deadline? Is there anything you would have done differently?

I think casting your net as wide as possible when it comes to firms that you're applying to is my best advice. Once you've got your basic templates down, often applying at additional firms comes down to making a few changes, which ultimately only take a few extra minutes, and is worth it in the long run.

 

What is your top tip for scheduling OCIs?​

Don't over-schedule. Having a full day is awesome but you also need to have time to take a second during the day and recoup, otherwise you won't be putting your best foot forward.

Trish Barrett | Articling Student 2018/19

 

What can a student expect from an OCI with Goodmans?

Warm and relaxed interactions, with lots of laughs. A lot of firms try to create this atmosphere, but Goodmans really achieves it. My OCI with Goodmans felt like a breath of fresh air.

 

What is your top tip for scheduling OCIs?

Having a plan is helpful, but be prepared to be flexible if what you'd like doesn't unfold exactly as you'd planned. Personally, I thought having my top choice in the second time slot was a great way to ease into the first day, but this wasn't make it or break it.

 

Anna Condon | Articling Student 2018/19

 

What was one thing you wish you knew prior to the OCI application deadline? Is there anything you would have done differently?

Don't worry too much if you don't know somebody at each of the firms to which you're applying. I spent my 1L summer out of the province, and remember stressing over the fact that I hadn't had the chance to meet with anyone or attend any of the firm tours. While it's great to build those relationships, don't worry too much if you're unable to. There's also always the option to schedule phone chats if you are not physically present in Toronto, which can often be just as informative and helpful!

 

What can a student expect from an OCI at Goodmans?

You can expect a fairly relaxed conversation. You can also expect very personable, friendly people who know how to make you feel at ease. At my OCI with Goodmans, we talked a lot about our favorite restaurants in the city (largely because one of my interests on my resume included "good-restaurant-hunting").

 

What is your top tip for scheduling OCIs?

If you get any say in scheduling your day (we did not at Osgoode), try and space them out over the two days. If you're doing 15 in one day, you'll likely feel pretty drained by round 13-14, or sooner. If you have some wiggle room, try and space days out evenly so can come into each OCI feeling fresh. 

 

If, like me, you don't get any input as to scheduling, do your best with the schedule you're given and make the most out of any short breaks you may have throughout the day.

 

What was the best/most fun part of the OCI process?

 The bonding experience with your peers! You're really all in the same boat, and it feels good to know you're not alone. We had lots of laughs and funny stories in the student room during OCIs that really helped ease everyone's nerves.

Sheena Singh | Articling Student 2018/19

 

What was one thing you wish you knew prior to the OCI application deadline? Is there anything you would have done differently?

I would have asked for more help editing my applications. Writing a good cover letter takes a lot of time and effort, and getting upfront detailed feedback from as many people as possible will help you distill your ideas better. Ask your career office, family, and friends! Everybody's input helps.

 

What is your top tip for scheduling OCIs?

Try to do no more than 3-4 in a row before taking a break. Scheduling in little pauses between sets of OCIs lets you collect your thoughts, regroup, and process the experience you just had!

Christina Liao | Articling Student 2018/19

 

What can a student expect from an OCI with Goodmans?

A casual conversation about your interests. Goodmans wants to hear about what makes you YOU, and hear all about what you love to do, which doesn't have to be related to the practice of law whatsoever!

 

What is your top tip for scheduling OCIs?​

There is NO secret formula (ex. schedule your top firm second, your second-highest firm first, your bottom firm last, etc.) Firms really don't read into the time of day of your interview. That being said, take your personal preferences into account - consider whether you would feel groggy in the early morning, or drained in the late afternoon.

Steve Inglis | Articling Student 2018/19

 

What can a student expect from an OCI with Goodmans?

A laugh, a stress-free environment, and odds are, some sort of candy.

 

What was the best/most fun part of the OCI process?

In hindsight, the best part was walking into the wrong interview room and then having to eventually go back to the same room for an interview later.

Wes Dutcher-Walls | Articling Student 2018/19

 

What was one thing you wish you knew prior to the OCI application deadline? Is there anything you would have done differently?

That firm websites are primarily for marketing and client-facing purposes. What firms really want to know is your story - who you are, what you're interested in, the experiences you've had, and the things you want or hope to do in your career. They don't want to hear you recite back portions of their website or create a completely artificial version of who you are as a person based on what you think they want to hear. Firms already know what makes them special, so tell them what makes you the same. And don't aim for perfection when creating your application materials. You're not expected to know which firm will be exactly the right fit at this stage - otherwise, what would be the point of the rest of the hiring process? If you can present a plausible argument as to how your background, interests, and experiences could allow you to be an effective part of the team at a given law firm, that's all anyone can ask of you at this point.

 

What is your top tip for scheduling OCIs?​

There really is no magic formula, or "ideal time." What matters is what happens during those 17 minutes you're in an interview, and not what time of day the interview happens. Try to give yourself breaks when you can, but if you have 3 or 4 back-to-back, don't worry - all the interviewers know what the process is like, and are expecting some candidates to be coming in straight from another interview. You'll be surprised how quickly the process takes over and all of the nervousness fades away.

 

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