Career Services Events Prime Students for Networking, Interviewing
Loyola’s Office of Career Services (OCS) hosts a diverse array of events throughout the semester – and before it – designed to help students engage with potential employers. From interview workshops with callback interview tips to mock interviews to law firm receptions to speed networking, OCS will host a dozen events in the fall semester to help students develop their interviewing and networking kills and put them into practice.
The Mock Interview Program, offered in the fall and spring semesters in the days prior to the On-Campus Interview (OCI) program, gives students the opportunity to conduct simulated interviews under real-world conditions. During the program, OCS staff members enlist practitioners from around Los Angeles to conduct interviews and provide students with feedback.
"Interviewing is an acquired skill that is honed with practice and repetition. Providing students the opportunity to practice with attorneys eases their apprehension while affording them valuable feedback before the real thing,” said Graham Sherr, assistant dean of career services. “A bonus is that sometimes the mock interview starts a relationship with a bigger payoff down the road."
Practitioner participants, many of them Law School alumni, have included attorneys from the Forever 21 legal department; Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, LLP; Latham & Watkins, LLP; Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office; Morrison & Foerster, LLP; Nossaman, LLP; the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Central District of California; O’Melveny & Myers, LLP; Paul Hastings LLP; Seyfarth Shaw, LLP; and White & Case, LLP.
Second-year day student Kevin Jay liked the spring 2013 program so much that he returned for seconds during the session held on July 31. “The first time around, I never was too concerned with thinking about the content of our conversation. It was more the nervousness of, ‘What is he going to ask?’” said Jay. “My second round was a lot easier. I was not nervous. I wasn’t worried about what I was going to say or what they were going to ask.”
For many students, the dry run offers a chance to refine techniques. “My interviewer was herself a partner at a local law firm, so I knew she would be able to simulate the OCI experience for me and give me an idea of what to expect,” said Luke Fiedler, a second-year day student. “Also, I needed to experience just how fast 20 minutes goes by before the interview is over. That helped me realize that my real 20-minute interview was going to fly by and that I needed to keep that in mind during the conversation.”
Jay considers it vital to be exposed to different interview styles. “The first time around helps you figure out your strengths and weaknesses. From there, as long as you make it a learning experience, it’s going to be easier the second time around,” said Jay. “It’s a good experience because each interviewer has a different type of style. And the more types of styles you see, the easier it will be to adapt when it comes time for your real interview.”
Other OCS events include the session “How to Get Ahead in an Interview,” the Government Fair featuring a wide range of government legal employers, the Networking 101 Workshop, the Fall Law Firm Reception and accompanying strategy session and “2Ls Talk to 1Ls” with upper-division students dispensing advice on externships and making the most of the first-year summer.
Pictured above: Practitioners from a spring 2013 Mock Interview Program gather in the OCS library before their interview sessions.