Dating tips from in-firm week

If OCIs are speed dating, interview week is when you define the relationship.

Sara Tatelman

If OCIs are speed dating, interview week is when you define the relationship.

You’ve already checked out each other’s profiles, swiped right and made small talk over coffee. You liked them and they liked you, at least enough to go on a second date. You stressed about what to wear and rehearsed amusing anecdotes to fill potential awkward pauses. Over the past little while, you grabbed dinner, got invited back to their apartment, met some of their friends. And, of course, you dissected every facial expression and phone call, trying to gauge their interest.

Maybe you were playing the field and getting to know a few firms at the same time. Power to you. But then things started to get more serious. Maybe you realized you just weren’t clicking with one firm and ended things so you could concentrate on your other suitors. Maybe you resolutely dropped the “first choice” bomb over a Tuesday breakfast or maybe you kept coy and told every firm you could definitely see yourselves together one day.

And then came the wait. Will they call or won’t they? It’s not a proposal — that doesn’t come until equity partnership — but do you want to commit to at least a short-term, monogamous relationship?

Whatever happened, 2Ls, you’re bold and brilliant for having put yourself out there, and you’re leaving in-firm week with interpersonal insights that handily apply to your love life.

  1. Come up with emergency conversation topics

    You never want to get to the end of an interview, have the recruiter ask if you have any questions and stare blankly back at them in horror. Of course, you’ve asked the CDO and Googled appropriate interview questions that signal interest in the organization, not just remuneration. And the same holds for meeting potential paramours: Come up with questions vaguely related to what you know about them so you aren’t stuck commenting brightly on the crunchiness of the bar nuts.

  2. Keep track of who’s who

    The best thank-you notes refer to your in-person conversations. You’ve scribbled reminders on the backs of business cards so you can joke about Netflix addictions in your email to Firm A and allude to your shared undergrad prof with Recruiter B. So,  before your next Tinder binge, come up with a way to keep your matches straight, and your follow-up texts specific. (I’m partial to the Excel spreadsheet in which you can track age, occupation, app, opening line, expectations, realities, memorable conversation topics and much more.)

  3. Don’t overanalyze

Some firms don’t do second-round interviews, some don’t host social events and some just might not know how to signal interest. A Wednesday reply to your Monday thank-you note doesn’t always mean you haven’t made the cut. Similarly, the object of your affection might be used to slightly different social norms, so don’t read too much into those emojis.

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