The Callback Interview
After an initial screening interview, many employers will require that you attend a callback interview. At a typical callback, you will meet with four to six attorneys in a series of interviews. In-person callbacks may also include a meal.
In-Person vs. Video Callbacks
Callbacks may be in-person at the employer’s office or may be virtual. Should an employer offer you a choice between an in-person or virtual callback, you should choose the option that is best for you. The type of callback you choose will not have any affect on the likelihood you will be offered a position.
When you receive a callback invitation, express interest promptly so that you can secure your desired callback interview date. If you wish to decline the invitation, do that promptly too so you will free up that callback opportunity for another student.
If you need to reschedule or cancel a callback already arranged, do so as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that if an employer has made travel or accommodation arrangements for you and you cancel/reschedule close to the callback date, the employer may not be able to recoup expenses they have already spent on your behalf.
Get the Information You Need
When you call or email to schedule your callback get the information you need to ensure your experience goes smoothly.
For all callbacks, learn about the structure of your interview day and when you will be sent the names of your interviewers. In addition, feel free to make reasonable interview requests. For example, you may wish to interview with attorneys from a particular practice group or with a particular affiliation (working parents, people who identify as LGBTQIA+). Finally, learn what materials you should bring to an in-person callback or what materials the employer would like you send ahead of a virtual callback.
For in-person callbacks, ask about the employer’s callback reimbursement policy. While larger firms may reimburse most or all of the expenses associated with a callback, smaller firms and public interest employers may not. Do not incur expenses until you have a clear understanding of what the employer considers a reasonable expense. Do not assume that you are entitled to a night in a hotel. For example, some firms located in New York City expect Yale Law students to commute from New Haven for a callback and will not reimburse a hotel stay. Be sure to inquire about how travel arrangements will be made – by you or the employer. If your callback will involve a meal, inform the employer of your dietary restrictions. Keep all receipts and submit them per the employer’s policy promptly after your interview(s) while the information is still fresh in your mind.
For virtual callbacks, prepare your technology. Inquire about the video platform that the employer will use for the callback. If you have not used the platform before, ask whether you could meet with an IT professional at the employer a few days ahead of the interview to test the connectivity. In addition, be sure to request the name and phone number of someone to contact on the day of the callback if you or the interviewers encounter technical issues.
Multiple Callbacks in a Single Trip
When attending in-person callbacks with employers who reimburse expenses and are in the same city, you may wish to schedule multiple callbacks during one visit. This scenario occurs most often when students attend callbacks with large firms after the Virtual Interview Program. To consolidate travel arrangements and reimbursements, these firms may work together to facilitate your trip. Typically, the first firm with whom you schedule a callback becomes the “lead” firm for your trip. The lead firm will assist with hotel and travel arrangements and will reimburse you. You will provide your lead firm with the names of the other firms that you visit during that trip, and the lead firm will seek reimbursement from them.
Once you have scheduled a callback interview, you may wish to contact other employers to whom you have applied and/or had a screening interview. If you have accepted an in-person callback, inform them that you will be in their area and express interest in arranging a callback with them during that time. Should your callback be virtual, you may still reach out to other employers of interest to let them know that you have scheduled a callback and remain very interested in a callback with them.
-Last updated Aug 2023