Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Call backs but no offers

A few of you have wondered what to do if no offers have been made, despite several call backs interviews.  As I mentioned before, you may still be on hold.  Yes, you might be the second or third choice, but in the end, if you end up at a firm you like and they hire you full-time (because you've proven yourself), then who cares if you weren't the first choice.  My suggestions would be to stay in touch periodically with the recruiting coordinator and let the know of your continued interest.  This week, a candidate got an offer from me because the other potential that I had in mind had gone silent and I figured he or she wouldn't take our offer since didn't seem that interested.  You may also want to drop an email to the Hiring Partner, especially if you met that person.  We like people who show a strong interest because it means you are likely to accept.  But remember, don't hound us, and please don't attempt to go over our heads with managing partners of offices, etc.  We know what is going on and are doing the best we can to manage the numbers, particularly in this economy. We do not want to run into an oversubscription situation because we want to be able to give everyone full time offers at the end of the summer.  We are being more cautious this year because we can't risk over-capacity.  If you hear from our recruiting coordinator, it is probably because the HP has asked her or him to check in with you to see if you are still interested.  This means we still are thinking of you.  

Now, what else should you do.  If you think things are not going well, I would expand your search -- look for company internships, governmental summer positions, smaller/mid-size firms.  Find something that will add to you resume and may have some potential of future employment.  I realize the law firm route is more direct but with the market being as it is, you will need to be more creative.  And yes, ask your contacts in the legal and business world for advice.  HP got a IL summer job because HP asked HP's uncle if he knew any law firms with openings (uncle was in transportation business).  Resume went to a law firm and HP got interviews.  It turned out that HP's uncle sent it to his friend, who happened to be a private investigator for the firm.  Sure, it wasn't an AM LAW 100/200 firm, but it was great experience and got a law job on HP's resume to position HP for 2l hiring.  So, you never know. Don't be shy - make the ask!


10 comments:

Anonymous said...

You keep talking about this economy. What is "this economy" like for your firm (and comparable ones)? Are most of your associates' billable hours noticeably down? Not bringing in new work? Or are you just worried that business will get worse (although it's not bad now)?

Anonymous said...

HP, do you think it's appropriate to ask about a firm's financial well-being during a call-back interview? Can questions about debt, breakdown of clients, or merger hopes hurt an applicant?

Anonymous said...

HP, I can't agree more. I had 6 interviews and 4 call backs, but when all my classmates were getting offers I was left out in the cold. I decided to look into government jobs, and I took a position in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, and I loved it. Sure it's not 100/200 money, but it's probably the greatest thing I ever did. And I got to do 11 trials that summer, more than some people who have been at litigation firms for 5 years.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post. I accepted and completed 10 callbacks over the course of the last month. So far, I've been dinged by a handful, but only recently, and I'm still waiting to hear from the rest (i.e., 0 offers on the table). So much for last year's 75% callback-to-offer conversion rate.

Anonymous said...

@6:10: Same here. 10 callbacks, 0 offers. I've been dinged by about half so far, still waiting on the other half. Have you started applying elsewhere or are you holding out hope?

z3 said...

HP, could you do a post about interview techniques? Not necessarily about disastrous interviews, but about what you look for in an interview -- things that went well and got candidate X an offer, and things that told you that you didn't want to hire Y.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure exactly what to do. Granted, I'm an outsider looking in at tough markets this year in DC and NY, but with ties and a padded resume. Career Services is worthless (as expected), and you figure the pressure is trickling down: if others aren't hitting V100 either (maybe bubble GPA candidates like myself), then they're also papering town with resumes. Is the the only window of opportunity for biglaw shutting for 2Ls in my position? I don't want to work up the clerk chain/spend 5 years in gov/jump through 10 other hoops (and even then, no guarantees) to be able to do what I want now (because I may never want to suffer it again).

Anonymous said...

thank you for your helpful posts - in the future, would you consider writing a little bit about 1L's looking for jobs this upcoming winter?

Anonymous said...

Oh 11:02, you've spammed the other blogs (read: ATL) enough, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

HP--I have a question on behalf of a friend of mine at a T10 school that hasn't gotten any offers. A number of firms have mentioned to the school's career services director that they want more students from our school. My friend had on-campus (but not callback) interviews with a number of these firms. Can he re-apply now, or has the door been permanently shut for him?