The following was posted in response to a question submitted for Mailbag Monday.
Q: I thought I had a great interview with a firm and had the experience the firm was looking for and my grades were strong (although I did not go through the Fall interviewing program). I did not get much feedback with my rejection (other than a one liner response from the HR person suggesting that I may have been overconfident) so I was wondering if LegalJob had any thoughts since LegalJob knows me and is familiar my credentials.
Answer: A couple of thoughts.
Consider contacting everyone you met (including HR folks) and asking for feedback on your candidacy and interviews. It could not hurt to have this information and it may help you polish your approach for the next interview.
LegalJob suspects folks may have mistaken your strong sense of self and ambitiousness for arrogance. There is a fine line between the two and the way you are perceived depends on the personality types of the interviewers. However, as a general rule at the big firm, you are probably best served being understated and humble. There are lots of egos to compete with at the big firm so one with the quiet confidence of David likely fares better than one with the boastful arrogance of Goliath.
A display of quiet confidence could include:
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