Seven Tips for Handling Invitations for Callback Interviews and Job Offers, Including through OCI

Some of you may soon be hearing from employers inviting you to visit offices for “callback” interviews.  Others may soon be receiving an offer or offers for summer or post-graduate employment.  Here are tips on how to handle these stages of your job hunt.

1.  As you apply to and interview with various employers, engage in a ranking process—even before you receive an offer. After each application and interaction, make note of the pros and cons of each employer: practice areas, personality fit, likelihood of the job becoming permanent, training, geographic location, resources, and prestige in your field are just a few considerations.  This will help you make a decision if and when you get an offer, especially if you are not given a great deal of time to consider it.

2.  Keep PDO in the loop when you get callbacks and offers.  We can help you understand how callbacks are likely to go at a specific firm, may put you in touch with students who have interviewed there, and can help counsel you on how to handle job offers. 

3.  You can hold a maximum of 5 OCI offers open at once. Although NALP guidelines allow you to hold five OCI offers open (should you be so fortunate), make your decisions as soon as you reasonably can, so as to release offers which might be made to classmates.  If you receive a sixth offer (wouldn’t that be nice!), you have one week to release an offer.

4.  You can typically keep a Spring OCI offer open for two weeks. Outside of fall recruiting (i.e., during Spring OCI), NALP guidelines suggest that you may keep an OCI offer from a NALP firm open for up to two weeks from the date of a written offer.  Non-NALP employers may or may not give you that much time.  Although you should not rush into any important decision such as where to work, common sense, courtesy, and the ranking process you should already be engaging in should strongly suggest that you let employers know as soon as possible.  Spring recruiting is very fast – both for callbacks and offers, so you should be prepared to learn of offers quickly.

5.  Promptly and courteously respond to employers, use common sense and consult PDO! Plan in advance how you will react if an employer to whom you have applied calls to schedule an initial interview, a callback interview, or simply offers you a job.  At the very least, make sure the message on your voice mail sounds professional, check your messages promptly, and any time you answer your phone, do so in a professional manner.

6.  If you get an offer, you do NOT need to accept it on the spot (unless you want to because it is your dream employer)!  Instead, you will often ask how long you may have to consider it.  If you get an offer from your first place, dream employer, and you have no further interviews scheduled (callbacks or otherwise), and you understand and feel good about the terms of employment, and have chatted with PDO about the employer and your understanding of it, there is nothing wrong with accepting the offer.  Under many (if not most) circumstances, when an employer makes you an offer, you can and should politely ask how long you have to consider it before you accept.  This is particularly true if:

  • You are not finished interviewing with any and all employers you remain somewhat interested in, or at least interested in knowing about (even if for future applications).  Keep in mind that it can be very helpful to learn more about other firms or offices in case it does not work out with a given employer.
  • You are done interviewing with, but are waiting to hear back from any employer you in which you are at least as interested in learning more about.
  • There is something that gives you pause about the employer or terms of the offer—if this is the case, consult PDO.
    In short, if you get an offer, sound enthusiastic, grateful, polite, and find out how long you may have to consider it.  Most employers anticipate you will do this, even if they don’t want to give you a lot of time. Let PDO know if you get an offer.  We may help counsel you.

7.  If you get an offer, but haven’t heard from your dream employer, consult PDO. We may advise you to contact your preferred employer(s) to let them know and ask for their time frame on a decision.