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Career 411: DOs and DON’Ts for Callback Interviews

Congratulations! You have made it through the rigorous first round of OCIs and have been invited to a callback interview. Now what? I will explain some very important Dos… and almost more important Don’ts to remember during your callback interview.

DOs

  1. Do review all of your social media content prior to the interview. As I am sure you have all heard the horror stories from those who have come before, employers read your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other various sites. Make sure that you are always putting your best self forward… including what you put out on social media sites. If you wouldn’t want an employer to read it or see it… don’t post it.
  2. Do be confident. Out of all of the resumes and interviews that firm has done… they chose you to come to their office for a callback. Smile, and show that you are the person they need to hire.
  3. Do dress for the job you want. You have heard it time and time again, but dress as if you work there. Review the professional dress guidelines in TWEN. If you are questioning whether an outfit is appropriate, err on the side of being conservative. An interview is not a fashion show.
  4. Do be consistent: Be aware that if you meet with 5-6 different attorneys during your callback interview, they will all talk to each other. Be consistent in your answers (e.g. don’t tell the transactional attorney you only want to do corporate and then tell the litigation attorney you only want to do litigation).
  5. Do be the best you. Do not change who you are for an interview or to please a potential employer.   Just be the best version of you; well-mannered, well-spoken, and well-dressed.
  6. Do notify someone in the Career Development Office about any callbacks you receive.
  7. Do try and connect with a current student who has worked at the firm, or with a recent graduate who is permanently employed at the firm. If you would like some help identifying students/alums, please contact someone in the CDO.
  8. Do research the firm/interviewers and have plenty of questions prepared. Be sure to look at their bios, and have solid thoughts about what interests you at the firm and what you would like to know more about. The best interviews occur when you are knowledgeable and make connections.
  9. Do get plenty of rest the night before your interview so that you are bright, focused, and fresh.

DON’Ts

  1. Don’t be late! Always arrive at least 5-10 minutes early to any interview. Further, if you are interviewing in a location you are unfamiliar with, make sure that you give yourself enough time for the unexpected to occur (traffic jams, accidents, alarm clocks, etc.) If you are going to be late, contact the firm immediately and don’t make excuses.
  2. Don’t get too comfortable. From the moment you arrive at the potential employer until the moment you leave, you are interviewing. Always be professional and courteous.
  3. Don’t waste an opportunity. Even though callback interviews generally last 2-3 hours, each individual interview is only 20-30 minutes. Don’t waste precious interview time asking each person the same question. Use this as an opportunity to learn as much about the firm as you can. Also, don’t ask throw away questions (e.g. What is your firm culture like? What practice areas do you have?) If the answer to your question is readily apparent from their website, do not ask it.
  4. Don’t ask about salary/pay/reimbursements. If the interviewer asks you whether or not the listed salary/pay scale is acceptable to you, then absolutely answer. If they don’t bring it up, then you shouldn’t either.
  5. Don’t forget to turn your phone off! Unless you are expecting a very important phone call in the next 2-3 hours, turn your phone off; not on silent, not on vibrate, off. For that matter, don’t even bring your phone with you to the interview, unless you have to. You want to show the employer that there is nowhere else you would rather be in that moment, other than interviewing with them. If you are expecting an important call, be sure and advise the recruiting coordinator at the beginning of your interview so that they can properly address the situation with your interviewers.
  6. Don’t try to schedule more than one callback in a day. It can become quite draining, and many students will have difficulty maintaining energy and relationships through an entire day.
  7. Don’t get stuck in the rut of a ping-pong Q&A. Try and have fluid natural conversations.
  8. Don’t forget to have fun, enjoy yourself, and smile.

This is just a short list of dos and don’ts for interviewing. For more information and resources regarding interviewing tips, go to the Career Development Office’s TWEN page. If you have any other questions or concerns, do not hesitate to stop by 103. Good luck with your interviews!

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