Just before stepping into the booth for my first on-campus interview, I stopped to compose myself—straighten the tie, swipe the hair, try to get my heart to stop thundering in my chest, the usual. Then, for a split-second, I was overcome with an almost un-suppressible case of the giggles when the curtained-off booths reminded me of an old Wizard of Oz quote: PAY NO ATTENTION TO THAT MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN. This was probably the last gasp of my stress-addled brain before entering the gauntlet. The imposing convention centre and maze-like booth town had done little to calm my nerves at first glance. “I am not prepared enough,” I thought to myself. “Why didn’t the CDO prepare us more?” Thankfully the giggles passed and I proceeded to have a lovely 17-minute interview, mostly about things that had nothing to do with my resume.
Since I was lucky enough to have my first three interviews back-to-back-to-back, I left that interview straight into another, and found myself a little less nervous—a little less paranoid about whether my nametag was crooked or if my belt was off-centre. Repeat, ad nauseum, until I reached a point where I was so relaxed I almost walked into my last interview without checking what number booth I was in.
Since the start of 1L, the OCI process has accrued a very strange status. It is, for many, the gateway to the first real legal position of their career, and therefore extremely important. But that is tempered on a near-constant basis with reassurances from upperclassmen and the CDO that OCIs really aren’t that bad. In fact, they are sometimes peddled as downright enjoyable. Being a paranoid 2L, I nodded and filed that under the “says you” column. I can assume with confidence that the same goes for many of my classmates.
These statements were, of course, proven to be entirely accurate. Yet, for some strange reason, I don’t begrudge the paranoia of the days, hours, and yes, seconds, before interviews began. There is a kind of catharsis, I think, that is good for the soul once 5:00 finally hits on that second day. Not in the sense that you’ve conquered a monumental task—the results aren’t in, and there’s plenty more to worry about before Offer Day. The value comes from realizing from experience that, sometimes, the world truly isn’t as scary a place as it seems. Job interviews can be pleasant. Murphy’s Law doesn’t always apply. Everything really will be alright, not just in the end, but in the beginning and middle as well.
Then again, I’ve only gone through the beginning. Let’s talk after in-firms.