Most law firm callbacks consist of 5 or 6 30-minute, one-on-one interviews followed by lunch with several associates. They are as much about stamina and maintaining your focus as about impressing your interviewers.
Here are 7 ways to put your best foot forward:
- Strike fast. When you get a callback offer, respond ASAP and schedule the earliest possible interview date. Firms extend offers on a rolling basis and typically only extend a certain number of offers at any given time.
- Read your confirmation email. These messages often contain specific instructions, like arriving 15 minutes before your interview to complete your employment application. This is the easy stuff, so don’t lose points here.
- Do your research. You should know the common ground you share with your interviewers, who will be making decisions about you (probably the recruiting committee), and to whom you can ask questions regarding what life is really like at the firm (a junior associate). You should also fully expect your slate of interviewers to change at the last minute, so don’t freak out and be ready to go with the flow.
- Know your story. Your law firm callback presents many opportunities to pitch yourself to the firm. You’ll want to discuss 2 or 3 of your strongest points with every interviewer. Look for opportunities during each interview to bring up things that make you a strong candidate and/or that the interviewer will find interesting.
- Frame your experience. You need to think carefully about how to discuss your legal and non-legal experience in a way that explains why you’re sitting in that interview chair.
- Observe the firm. Trips to and from your interviewers’ offices offer a spectacular opportunity to gauge the actual culture of the firm. Pay attention to how, and with whom, people interact.
- Enjoy lunch. Remember that the interview isn’t over just because you’re breaking bread. The associates with whom you’re having lunch are also evaluating you to determine how you will fit in with other members of the firm. Remember that these folks might be your future colleagues, so be professional and stay focused on getting the offer.
Still doing screening interviews? Don’t forget to check out our top 10 OCI tips.