Your OCI screening interview is done. What's next?
What to Expect
Callback interviews tend to be longer and you may meet with multiple attorneys in a series of back-to- back 20-30 minute-interviews, usually in the employer’s office. In addition to letting the employer learn more about your skills, experiences and level of interest, callback interviews provide an opportunity to assess how well your personality and demeanor “fit” with the others in the office and with the organizational culture and values. Sometimes these interviews include lunch, coffee, or some other type of social interaction.
Employers tend to make their invitations for call-back interviews quickly, usually within two weeks after the screening interview. Many employers will make invitations sooner, some later. Government/district attorneys’ offices frequently take longer than two weeks to contact candidates. Students should respond to callback interview invitations promptly. Respond in no more than one business day, and preferably before the end of the same business day, if possible.
Law firm employers will typically reimburse candidates for reasonable costs of travel. For callback interview outside of the DC area, law firm employers will generally reimburse or pre-arrange your air, taxi, or train fares. Because callback interviews often include a lunch, the law firm will also pay for the lunch as well. If your interview reasonably requires an overnight stay, firms may also pay for hotel. If you have several callback interviews in the same city, firms may arrange to share your expenses. This is normal. It’s okay to disclose that you have other interviews with employers. When in doubt, call our office. We’re here to answer your questions on what is “reasonable” and how to have these conversations.
Waiting for the Call-Back...
Law firms make call-back decisions on varying timelines. Employers interview many candidates and it takes time to schedule interviews and contact candidates. All employers are asked to comply with GW Law’s Recruiting Guidelines.
Receiving an Offer
Most employers will make an oral verbal by phone, then follow-up with an offer letter, by email or regular mail. The offer letter will include details of the offer, such as pay and timing. It may mention that the offer is for “at-will” employment, which can be terminated by either party. This is normal. Acknowledge your receipt of the offer with a return call or a reply email on the same business day or no more than 24 hours after receipt of the offer.
If the employer requests reaffirmation in the offer letter, you must follow their instructions to reaffirm your interest in their offer. The reaffirmation period gives you time to consider the offer carefully, and to release the offer if appropriate. Firms expect you to carefully consider their offer in the reaffirmation period, so immediately reaffirming within 24 hours is generally not the advised protocol. Instead, take time to consider the offer for at least a few days, a week, or even the full reaffirmation period before making the decision to reaffirm or release the offer.
Holding / Releasing Offers
Multiple offers? You should only hold open a reasonable number of employment offers at any one time. In fairness to the employer and your peers, you should promptly decline offers which are no longer seriously being considered. This will allow the employer to extend an offer to an alternate candidate. If you are unsure of how to navigate these decisions, meet with a career counselor to discuss your options.
Accepting an Offer
GW Law requests that all employers comply with our Recruitment Guidelines. These guidelines ask that firms with more than 40 attorneys allow students 28 days or until December 30 to accept an offer, whichever comes first. Offers made after December 15 should remain open for at least two weeks. Day 1 of the 28-day period begins on the day after the date on the offer letter and you must respond by close of business on Day 28. Any offers made before the start of OCI, should expire at least 28 days after the first day of OCI, which is September 2, 2019.
Requesting an Extension
Students may request extensions beyond the 28 day offer period, but employers are not obligated to agree to an extension. Students actively pursuing public sector employment, or awaiting decisions affecting a spouse or family member may request further extensions. Contact the Career Center for more guidance before requesting any extensions.