The Phases of OCI: Phase 3 – Callbacks

Callback interviews, or second-round interviews, are the next phase of the OCI process.  Employers can make callback decisions as early as the day of your on-campus interview, but some employers wait until they have conducted on-campus interviews at all schools before they begin to make callbacks.

If you have received a callback interview with an employer, congratulations!  Keep these things in mind when scheduling your callback(s):

  • Respond promptly to all callback invitations (within 24 hours of the email, call, or letter).  Even if you feel overwhelmed and are not yet ready to schedule the interview date, contact the employer and acknowledge receipt of the message.  Let them know that you will call back in a day or so to schedule an actual date and time for the interview.
  • Try to schedule your callback interview on the earliest possible date.  OCI employers are meeting with many students, both locally and nationally, and many employers will make decisions rather quickly.  A delay in meeting with you could negatively affect your chances of progressing in the process.
  • When scheduling your interview, ask how long the interviews are expected to last.  Callback interviews are longer than on-campus interviews.  Allow for  3-4 hours for each callback interview, including travel to and from the employer.
  • Also, ask if you can receive a schedule as well as a list of the attorneys/staff with whom you will interview.  Be prepared to meet with several members of the employer’s organization during your callback interview.  This can be in a panel format (all members at once) or, more typically, in back-to-back interviews.  Having a list of the interviewers in advance will allow you to research the individuals and help you prepare for your interview.
  • Try not to schedule more than one callback interview in one day.  Given that many callback interviews last several hours, give yourself a break and try not to schedule more than one callback interview per day.  Also, many callbacks will take place once classes have begun. Your professors will appreciate it, and you will feel less stressed, if you are not missing full days of classes.  If an employer proposes a callback date that does not work with your schedule, do not be afraid to ask if alternative dates are available.
  • Work with the CDO to prepare for your callback.  The CDO can help you prepare for your interview by connecting you with students and alumni who have interviewed with and worked for many of the OCI employers. We encourage you to schedule an appointment via Symplicity with one of our counselors.
  • Don’t forget your manners – send thank you e-mails/notes.  Immediately following your interview, you should send a thank you e-mail or note to each person you met.  With the speed at which many employers are making decisions, sending thank you notes by e-mail is acceptable.  Try to send your e-mails the same day as your interview.

If you do not receive any call-back interviews, try not to be discouraged.  Statistically, most students do not obtain summer or postgraduate jobs through Fall OCI.  In fact, generally only the larger law firms participate in the Fall OCI process. For students seeking opportunities from all other types of legal employers — including small and midsize law firms, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and judicial clerkships —self-initiated job searches, externships, and networking produce the majority of job offers.  Remember that OCI should be only one part of your career planning and employment search, and the CDO is here to help you navigate all of the resources and opportunities available to you.

By Felicia Ho
Felicia Ho Career Consultant Felicia Ho