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How to Ace On-Campus and Call-back Interviews


These symptoms commonly befall students during the on-campus and call-back interview process.

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									CAREER CORNER                                                                                                                 1. 800. 973.1177

How to Ace On-Campus and Call-back Interviews
[by Karen Ann Lefkowitz]
Sweaty plans, twitching hands and feet, parched throat…no, these are not flu symptoms, so no need to worry about the lack of shots coming to a campus
close by. These symptoms commonly befall students during the on-campus and call-back interview process. Thankfully, the doctor is in to provide a proper
prescription for acing those interviews and heading closer to that dream of making partner. Aided by a board of advisors of career counselors from UCLA
and Stanford Law School, here is the well-concocted cure.

Preparation                                        areas, etc.”                                       and lastly, not asking any questions.
UCLA Law School’s Amy Berenson Mallow,
Assistant Dean for Career Services, stated         She cites additional resources for students.       Employer vs. Future Employee
that preparation should take place on several      “The NALP directory, which is available on-        Ms. Mallow stated, “The student interviewee
different levels. The first preparatory step       line, gives basic information on large firms.”     should use the interview process as a time
is for students to know their resumes. The                                                            to create a positive impression, demonstrate
second step involves learning as much as           For callbacks, Ms. Robinson encourages             enthusiasm for the employer, gather ad-
possible about the employer and interview-         looking at news articles and legal newspa-         ditional information about the position, and
ers. The third step involves developing a          pers to get a better sense of what a firm is       determine if the employer is a good fit.”
marketing strategy.                                currently doing.
                                                                                                      Ms. Robinson noted that “employers are
Ms. Mallow noted, “Regardless of what ques-        Another popular resource is surveys. There         looking for smart individuals who are excel-
tions the interviewer poses, the major ques-       is the American Lawyer Midlevel Associate          lent communicators who can write, research,
tion facing an interviewee is, ‘Why should I       Survey, Vault Guide, and a summer associate        and analyze well. They also look for maturity
hire you?’ Students must think about what in       survey published in L Magazine. Past em-           and presence.”
their background demonstrates what skills          ployees often fill out surveys, and students
and qualities they have to offer and then          can talk to each other to gather information.      Evaluating an Offer
develop strategies to effectively convey this                                                         Ms. Mallow declared that “comprehensive
information.”                                      Important Do’s and Don’t’s:                        research should enable the student to know
                                                   UCLA’s Career Services Office compiled             the basics about the firm, including where
After completing these steps, Ms. Mallow           this list of do’s: research the employer, pay      it is based, the office size, and its major prac-
stresses the importance of practicing inter-       attention to an employer’s hiring criteria,        tice specialties.”
viewing. Role playing with a career counselor      be prepared to discuss your resume, show
or friend what will take place at the actual in-   up for all interviews and take each one            She continued, “Hopefully the student has
terview will help prepare students in advance      seriously, convey a positive attitude, stress      gathered enough information through the
for the real thing.                                your strong points and specific skills, ask        interview process about the firm’s general
                                                   informed questions, dress appropriately and        character and stability, as well as advance-
Susan Robinson, Associate Dean for Career          project a professional image, and establish a      ment opportunities and professional develop-
Services at Stanford Law School, adds a few        filing system for your materials, i.e., copies     ment at the firm. At this point, the student
other ways to prepare. “A student should           of correspondence information about em-            should be able to assess what characteristics
know themselves, what they want and what           ployers, notes on interviews, and follow-up        the firm has, compared to the environment
they want to be. They should know the firm         appointments.                                      the student is looking for.”
(through proper research) and the geograph-
ic market.”                                        The don’t’s: mispronouncing the employer’s         So many interviews…and no offers
                                                   name, appearing unenthusiastic or bored,           If a student does not get any offers, Ms.
Ms. Robinson continued, “Students should           failing to listen to questions or not listening    Mallow recommends consulting a career
look at a firm’s website. Items to look out        to answers given to questions, interrupting        counselor. Ms. Robinson agrees, “Every
for would be practice areas, deals, cases,         the interviewer or talking at the same time,       student should talk to a career counselor
clients, summer programs, special interest         acting nervous, criticizing a former employer,     early, before interviews. If there is an issue

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CAREER CORNER                                   1.800. 973. 1177

the student is aware of, work on it with a

Utilizing Resources:
Career centers on campus often provide as-
sistance with the on-campus interview pro-
cess. UCLA’s Office of Career Services has a
Q & A Interviewing Tips and “Mock Interview”
program, as well as seminars featuring local
attorneys. Check to see what is available and
take advantage of the services offered.

Always remember:
Ms. Mallow sums up four key steps to suc-
ceeding at interviews: research prospective
employers, only apply to those in which you
have a genuine interest, prepare for the
interview by knowing the employer, yourself,
and your resume, and, lastly, practice, prac-
tice, practice.


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