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Tips on how to prepare for Ottawa OCI interviews


capitalttruth
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capitalttruth
  • Law Student

Probably been asked a million times before but I've never done OCI's and not sure where to start. Does anyone who has been successful in OCI interviews have any tips on what to research beforehand, what questions I should expect, and what questions I should ask? I appreciate any advice. I am applying to the Ottawa OCI recruit.

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  • capitalttruth changed the title to Tips on how to prepare for Ottawa OCI interviews
Turtles
  • Law Student

The most helpful advice I've received is to spend the weekend before watching every sports game on TV. 

People will talk about how OCI interviewers are actively trying to be inclusive and get away from old stereotypes. Then you jump into the OCI and they want to spend the full 17 minutes talking about what you did on the weekend and which sports you follow and who will win the whatever cup.

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LMP
  • Law Student

Interviews are mostly conversational (except for government positions, those are a different animal). 

Know your resume well and be ready to discuss anything on it. Have some facts or stories ready to go along with various rolls and positions. 

Don't ask questions that could be answered by looking at the firms website.

Don't ask questions that the person speaking to you wouldn't be able to answer.

Do ask questions about things within the practice area of the people you're speaking to. 

Do ask questions that show you've put in thought and demonstrate real interest. 

Anticipate being asked why you're interested in the firm. Don't give an answer that can be blandly applied to any firm, have a good reason (even if you have to stretch the truth a little). 

Lastly, send emails after the interview thanking the interviewers. Try and be genuine and memorable in the email but keep it short. 

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capitalttruth
  • Law Student
6 minutes ago, LMP said:

Interviews are mostly conversational (except for government positions, those are a different animal). 

Know your resume well and be ready to discuss anything on it. Have some facts or stories ready to go along with various rolls and positions. 

Don't ask questions that could be answered by looking at the firms website.

Don't ask questions that the person speaking to you wouldn't be able to answer.

Do ask questions about things within the practice area of the people you're speaking to. 

Do ask questions that show you've put in thought and demonstrate real interest. 

Anticipate being asked why you're interested in the firm. Don't give an answer that can be blandly applied to any firm, have a good reason (even if you have to stretch the truth a little). 

Lastly, send emails after the interview thanking the interviewers. Try and be genuine and memorable in the email but keep it short. 

Excellent. Many, many thanks.

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Be yourself. Make sure you're actually answering the questions you're asked. Beyond that, it's super conversational. The interviewers are looking forward to meeting you and chatting about things. Having a working knowledge of current events isn't a bad thing, sports included, but if it isn't your thing you won't be alone at a firm. That being said, if your resume said you were in to hockey, and love the Sens, and you can't even minorly converse about the team, it's not gonna look great.

I know my firm actively tries to match interviewers and interviewees based on some overlapping interest, so hopefully you'll find a few things in common. 

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8 hours ago, TooYoung said:

Be ready to explain "why Ottawa?"

I can't overemphasize this I don't think. To be clear, firms here want people who are going to summer + article + hopefully return as 1st years. A sense you're gonna run as soon as possible will push you down the list. 

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mewtwo101
  • Law Student

I would recommend taking advantage of your school's careers and professional services resources. Here are some things I found very helpful:

  • Mock interviews with career centre were incredibly helpful--highly recommend
  • Annotating my resume with anecdotes for each experience to share with interviewers 
  • Preparing answers to many of my school's career centre's suggested questions
  • Talking to people at firms and students who had gone through the OCI process about what to expect
  • Research the firms and interviewers (reading blogs, any materials available on their websites, LinkedIn posts, etc), thinking about what drew me to the firms and brainstorming relevant questions
  • Try to keep things and perspective and remain positive. The process can be stressful and intense but it doesn't define you--stay focused on yourself, your interests, and your skills. Best of luck!!! 😊
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