When will firms extend callback offers?
Callback invitations may be extended any time after the on-Grounds interviewing process begins in August. A number of callbacks take place in September, but many callback invitations for UVA students aren’t extended until September or October. If you get an “early” callback, or a callback received within a week to 10 days after the on-Grounds interview, you are likely someone the firm is very impressed with. Most firms have an early callback list of superior candidates and a “hold” list made up of other candidates they also like, and if you’ve interviewed with a firm but not heard from them you are probably in the “hold” group. Employers are rarely able to fill their needs from their early callback list, and they routinely make later offers for callbacks to those on “hold.” This contributes to a “second wave” of callbacks in September and October.
What if I haven’t heard from some on Grounds interviews?
If you have interviewed with a firm and two weeks have passed without hearing anything from the firm, you should contact those firms to let them know you are still interested. A good way to do this is to email your interviewer and copy the recruiting contact on CASE. This can expedite the process of a firm giving you a callback invitation if you are in the “hold” group.
You should also let firms know if you are going to be in their city on other callbacks once you have scheduled one or more callbacks for that location.
How soon do you need to respond to a
Sooner rather than later. Without question, within 24 hours of receiving the callback invitation, you should return the call to acknowledge your interest in visiting. If it is a firm in which you are especially interested, you should try to schedule the callback as soon as possible. If you are not sure about going on a callback, you should still acknowledge that you received the invitation and will be getting back to them within a certain time frame to schedule the callback.
Can you turn down a callback?
You can absolutely turn down a callback. You can also cancel a callback that has been scheduled, but you should do so well in advance. Once you’ve decided you should cancel a callback, call either the attorney who extended the callback invitation or the firm’s recruiting coordinator and tell him or her politely that you’ve decided to accept another offer and that you don’t feel it’s in your or the firm’s best interests if you come. You can follow up with an email, but you should call the attorney or the recruiting administrator. Just as you should not send an email to decline a callback, you should not call at 2:00 a.m. when you know [or think] the person will not be there. As awkward as declining a callback may seem, it happens all the time. Firms expect some students to decline callbacks. Make sure you do it as soon as possible, since you don’t want the firm to waste time and resources on you, which will happen if you cancel at the last minute.
Once you get an offer or two or feel that you have enough callbacks, you may, and indeed should, cancel those callbacks you don’t really need or want [with sufficient advance notice; one day is not sufficient]. Canceling a callback may result in one of your classmate’s getting one. Don’t go on a callback just for the sake of it; if you have no interest in the firm and know that you wouldn’t accept an offer to work there this summer, don’t go.
When should you schedule the callbacks? Is October too late?
Getting there early gives you the best chance of getting an offer and gets the process moving so that the firm can extend callback invitations to others on “hold.” October is not too late, and indeed many students will use Fall Break to interview. For the firms coming on Grounds in September, October callbacks make sense.
What should you expect to be asked about?
Anything on your resume is fair game. Firms are usually okay with your transcript by this stage, but questions about classes or grades are still fair game. You should also have a few questions that you can ask when the interviewer asks you if you have any questions.
What kinds of questions should you ask at a callback?
As you did in the OGI, you should ask about the work you will be doing as a summer associate and as an associate. Questions about billable hours requirements, lifestyle, etc. are off limits. You might also want to wait to ask about splitting until after you receive an offer.
What expenses will the firm pay for?
Reasonable expenses related to your travel and accommodations. This is not the time to order pay-per-view and raid the mini-bar. If you have specific questions about what is covered, ask the recruiting contact in advance. It is usually okay to fly out of Charlottesville, unless the firm specifies otherwise or if you’re going to DC.
What about Phase 2 and September OGIs?
The deadline to sign up for September interviews is 10pm Sunday night, August 31. Only sign up for firms that you really want to interview with. If you have requested OGIs in September and have scheduled a callback for one of the interview dates, be sure to cancel your interview request on CASE before the published cancellation deadline. If you need to have your interview scheduled in the morning or in the afternoon to accommodate your already scheduled travel arrangements, please let Career Services know as soon as possible but no later than the cancellation/confirmation deadline.
It is better to go ahead with the callback and contact the OGI firm directly if you’re in this situation. Let the firm know you’ve cancelled your interview request because you had already scheduled a callback, but that you’re very interested in interviewing with that firm. Often, you can bypass the initial interview and get a callback by doing this.