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Employers' Feedback From On-Campus Interviews

Sept. 24, 2013

Last month, over 60 employers came to campus to interview 2L and 3L students for summer clerkships and full-time positions. Another 20+ collected resumes, and a handful more interviewed students via Skype. It was a fantastic week that has led to dozens of callback interviews and employment offers. It was also a great opportunity to hear from employers, and I wanted to share a bit of their perspective with you.

We asked each employer before they left to fill out a brief survey communicating how their experience was, and I thought it would be helpful for you to see the results. Here they are:

  1. How were the logistics (e.g. hotel, parking, schedule, interview room) of the program?

    1. Excellent - 90%

    2. Above Average - 7%

    3. Average, Below Average, Poor - 0%

    4. No Response - 3%

  2. How did the candidates present themselves?

    1. Excellent - 80%

    2. Above Average - 20%

    3. Average, Below Average, Poor - 0%

  3. How was your overall experience?

    1. Excellent - 93%

    2. Above Average - 7%

    3. Average, Below Average, Poor - 0%

We then asked them to provide any comments, and here are some positives:

  1. Students answered questions appropriately and asked questions appropriately. They had done their homework. (From three employers)

  2. They were all great. High caliber prospects (From four employers)

  3. I was very impressed with each student and wish that we had enough positions to offer each one. It will be difficult narrowing down our choices.

  4. Students were very prompt.

And critiques:

  1. It's helpful if the students know which office they prefer (two employers) and what type of law they would like to practice.

  2. Need a good explanation for why they would be willing to work in multiple offices and locations. "I'll take what I can get" answers are not helpful or convincing.

  3. Cover letters can always use more attention.

  4. Try to make cover letters more specific for why they are interested in particular firms.

  5. Students are missing an opportunity to share more about themselves and their interest in the firm in their cover letters. Most were generic and could have been used for any firm. Tell me "why us."

What can you take away from the critiques as you prepare to interview in the future? Here are my thoughts:

  1. Figure out a cover letter strategy right now which addresses the comments above. You cannot simply merge your cover letter with an excel spreadsheet of employer contact information and expect to stand out. Take advantage of Professor Kelley-Claybrook's expertise and make the cover letter a point of advantage for yourself.

  2. The issue employers raised about location preference is really two-pronged:

    1. The multi-office firm - if you're open to more than one of a single firm's offices, you still should come in with a preference list. This should be considered carefully taking into account not only the actual city, but what the firm does in that city. Be careful not to contradict yourself by indicating preference for a location which doesn't do the type of law you say you're interested in.

    2. The single-office firm - if you're open to multiple offices but interviewing with an employer located in just one, you need to be able to articulate why you are excited to work and live in that location. If you don't feel that way, you shouldn't have dropped/interviewed with them and you absolutely (and obviously) shouldn't lie to them.

What else would you like to know about employer's comments from OCI? Message me on Twitter or shoot me an email.

Contact Information
CDO OFFICE: 254.710.1210
Angela Cruseturner
Assistant Dean of Career Development
Daniel Hare
Director of Career Development
Employer Relations


Monica Wright
CDO Office Manager
Career Development Student Advisory Council
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