Five Tips for Callback Interviews

Mary Crane, author of “Starting Work for Interns, New Hires, and Summer Associates”, and a past speaker at the UT Law Professional Development Institute, has the following tips for students who have callback interviews:

Be prepared. Carry several copies of your resume in a portfolio with a pen. Arrive with several specific questions to ask. Record important information, but don’t get so caught up in taking notes that you fail to participate in genuine conversations.

Leave your smart phone behind. In one recent survey, 30 percent of prospective employers complained that applicants checked their cell phones or texted during the course of an interview. Avoid this mistake. Give your interviewer 100 percent of your undivided attention.

When appropriate, use social titles. If you meet someone who is much older (think your grandparents’ ages), a firm or entity leader, or someone from another country, use a social title (Mr. or Ms.) until the other person says, “Please call me by my first name.” As soon as that request is made, immediately switch to the more informal address.

Interview meals. Brush-up on your table manners and know how to navigate a table setting. Most importantly, be polite to waitstaff. When job candidates act dismissively toward waitstaff, employers worry those interviewees may behave similarly when working with office support staff.

Callback receptions. To avoid arriving at a reception feeling ravenous, eat a light snack beforehand. Arrive with two or three questions you can ask virtually anyone. Affix your nametag to the right side of your outfit. This ensures when you extend your right hand for a handshake, your nametag moves into the other person’s line of vision.

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