Navigating the Callback Interview: Understanding and Preparing for the Second Round at Big Law Firms
You made it through the first round of interviews for a job in big law and are going to be returning for a callback interview. Congratulations on advancing to the next stage in your journey! It probably goes without saying that the callback interview is important and allowed you to further cement your fit within a potential law firm. In this post, we provide some insight so you can better prepare for your callback interview.
Navigating the Callback: Understanding and Preparing for the Second Round at Big Law Firms
What Exactly is a Callback Interview?
A callback interview tends to involve multiple attorneys at a law firm and is typically held at the law firm. If your first interview was on campus as part of the on-campus interview process, the callback interview will be your first time to witness the law firm’s environment. Being invited for a callback interview indicates that you impressed during the first round of interviews and that the law firm wants to further evaluate your candidacy.
Keep in mind that callback interviews are a two-way street! This round isn’t just about the firm evaluating you. It’s a golden opportunity for you to delve deeper into the workings of the firm, get a feel for firm culture, and allows you to interact with attorneys in multiple practice areas.
What Does a Callback at a Law Firm Entail?
We mentioned this above, but the callback interview typically provides introductions to attorneys in multiple practice areas. This is a great way to learn more not only about others who work there, but it can be helpful to learn more about practice areas you might engage with once employed. Many firms integrate an enlightening office tour during the callback, granting you a firsthand glimpse into the firm’s working environment.
The Social Aspect: Navigating the Interview Lunch
It’s not uncommon for law firms to incorporate a social aspect into the callback process, such as inviting prospective associates out to lunch. This allows both parties to interact in a more relaxed environment. If you find yourself in this position, remember that even if the setting is casual, it’s still a part of the interview process. Maintain professionalism, be mindful of your table manners, and opt for dishes that are easy to eat while conversing.
Use the lunch as an opportunity to get to know more about the firm’s culture, but also remember to listen. It’s a golden chance to gather candid insights from current employees. Additionally, avoid controversial topics during the lunch. Stick to discussions about the firm, the legal industry, or light personal interests and hobbies.
Prepping for the Callback Interview
One of the easiest ways to prepare for the callback interview is to do some research about the firm. Check out the firm’s website, blog, and LinkedIn page (if available). Look at some of their recent accomplishments and media features. This not only helps you prep for the interview, but it also provides you with some insight as to what is important tot he firm.
Law School Career Services
Your law school’s career services department can be invaluable as you prepare for a second interview. Not only might they have some information on the law firm, but they often can help you prepare for callbacks by offering mock interviews. This assistance can monumentally and can help you walk into your interview with just a bit more confidence!