Second Interviews

Second interviews are conducted after an initial interview or "screening". The employer has determined you may be a good fit and they would like to get to know you better. The second interview is typically longer than the first interview and it usually takes place at the organization's office. It may last several hours or an entire day. You will likely meet with several individuals to assess whether you meet the organization's needs and to determine if the employer is right for you. A lunch or dinner is often included to assess your social skills.

To prepare for a second interview:

  • Conduct comprehensive research on the employer and the attorneys/individuals who will interview you
  • Familiarize yourself with the employer's website and research the employer's cases/clients/work through Martindale HubbleTM, WestlawTM, LexisTM, google searches and search engines of the local newspaper(s)
  • Talk to friends, associates or alumni who work or have worked for the employer
  • Prepare intelligent questions to ask the employer. See "Questions to Ask the Interviewer" on this site.

Tips for the second interview:

  • Scout the location of the employer and the parking at the office; bring money for parking, just in case.
  • Arrive at the employer's office about 5 to 10 minutes early; be courteous to the receptionist as he or she may have a say in the hiring decision
  • Bring extra copies of your resume, writing sample(s), transcript and references.
  • Ask each interviewer for his or her business card after you talk. During a break or after your interviews are complete make notes regarding the conversation to help you remember the interviewer and the content of your interview. This will help you draft original thank you notes and other correspondence.
  • You may be asked the same question by different individuals throughout the day. Do not assume that the person already knows the answer to your question because you answered it for someone else. Answer the question with as much enthusiasm as you did the first time it was asked.
  • Ask the interviewers questions. It is appropriate to ask the same questions to different people, as you may receive different responses to your questions.
  • You may be taken to lunch or dinner, which may be a more casual environment, but remember that the meal is part of the interview process. Your social skills and out-of-office behavior will be gauged during the meal.

The Large Firm Second Interview (Often referred to as "The Call-Back Interview")

If your second interview is at a large law firm, you will most likely initially meet the recruitment coordinator of the organization who is part of the interview process. After an initial introduction, you will meet with the attorneys who will interview you. You may meet them one at a time or you may meet several attorneys at once. Commonly, the recruitment coordinator will inform you of your call-back schedule/interviewer roster prior to your interview. Each interviewer will make his or her own assessment of you, so maintain your enthusiasm and interest in the firm throughout the process.