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How to Get That Callback Interview
Any job interview is stressful, but knowing search for free. It will not only bode well on David Booher, a third-year student at USC,
you are only one in a continuous line of po- them as employees but also gives them some also found his summer job with O’Melveny &
tential job candidates parading in front of the better information on the place they might be Myers in Los Angeles through OCI. His best
on-campus recruiters - and meeting up to 10 working.” advice is to make sure you don’t get tripped
recruiters yourself in a single day - can be up on something simple.
extremely wearing and disheartening. How Mario Trimble, a second-year student at
do you impress the interviewers enough to be the University of Colorado School of Law in “Have a perfect resume and writing sample
the one they want to see again? Boulder, spent last summer as a summer with no typos or simple mistakes,” he said.
associate at Kutak, Rock in Denver - a job “Because the competition id going to be
“Making yourself be the chosen one early in he got through OCI. He says preparation for stiffer, don’t give the employers and reason
the process with the preliminary interviews interviews is critical and advises students to to easily dismiss you as a candidate.”
is tough, but if you want to be chosen for a start early.
callback interview you want to be perceived This story appeared in the September, 2003 edi-
as the best,” said Jerry Nash, deputy director “That made a difference to me,” he said. “I tion of The National Jurist, www.nationaljurist.
of the National Association for Law Place- spent some time getting all my ducks in a com
ment (NALP). “That means doing your home- row, honing my resume, talking to faculty
work not only on the organization as a whole and having all my references prepared be-
but on the individual conducting the interview fore the process started.”
as well to the extent that you can.”
Nash also recommends students practice
Nash remembers one friend who interviewed what they might say if asked about their
students on his birthday. When it came to future plans or why they chose law school.
arranging callback interviews, he chose the
only student who expressed good wishes to “Being able to articulate your own personal
him because it was his birthday. and professional goals clearly, concisely and
professionally is critical,” he said.
“It showed a discipline and a thoroughness,”
Nash said. But Balaban advises against too much prepa-
Melissa Balaban, director of career services
at the University of Southern California Law “Rehearse and prepare, always walking in
School in Los Angeles, said students should the fine line between sounding rehearsed
do more than just check out the firm’s Web and prepared and being caught unprepared,”
site. she said.
“Think of intelligent questions to ask that Trimble suggests putting something unusual
are based on information that isn’t read- or interesting on your resume to help break
ily available on their Web site so it shows the ice. He is a semi-professional fencer and
you did some work,” she said. “It’s so easy finds interviewers like to ask him about that.
today with the Internet and Lexis or Nexis to Plus, it makes him more memorable later on.