OCS

EIP Prep for August 2022 (Podcast)

EIP Roadmap Leg 8: EIP Interviews, Callbacks & Offers

The EIP Preparation podcast will provide you with an overview of what to expect during the week of EIP, important tips on how to ace your EIP interviews, and information about the callback and offer process.

Podcast Transcript

Welcome to EIP Preparation Podcast. I am Mark Weber, the Assistant Dean for Career Services.

In this podcast, I will cover three topics: (1) EIP Logistics and Callbacks, (2) Advice to ensure a successful EIP Week, and (3) Post EIP and Callback Logistics.

PART I: EIP LOGISTICS AND CALLBACKS

A. Overview

Before getting into the details, I know that for many, interviewing can be overwhelming. So, I want to assuage your concerns. We have been running EIP for many years, and I want you to know that students do very well each year, and I know you all will do well, too.  At the end of the week, students always tell us that they were surprised by how much they enjoyed their interviews.  Think about it, you will have the opportunity to meet with attorneys from all over the country, learn about different practice areas and firms, and build your professional network.

EIP Week is my team’s favorite week of the year because we get to work closely with you. That said, there are many moving parts to EIP Week. With more than 400 students and employers participating and several thousand interviews occurring during the week, EIP will be a busy week for you and employers. Therefore, it is crucial that you effectively manage your time so that you know what to do at all times during EIP Week.

B. Your Interview Schedule and Adding Interviews

After we run the lottery, you can view your schedule in CSM, and you’ll have an opportunity to drop and add firms during the drop and add periods as detailed in Leg 7 of the EIP Roadmap.

After the Drop Period, which closes on July 27, and the Add Period, which closes on July 29, you will have your final interview schedule. You are expected to attend all your scheduled interviews and can no longer cancel an interview unless you accept an offer.

However, if you did not get all the interviews you wanted through the lottery and the add period, you can try to add interviews to open slots in your schedule.

One way to do this is by reaching out to firms on which you bid to reiterate interest and see if you can be added to their schedule. Before EIP Week, you can email the recruitment contact for any firm you did not get through the lottery. You can find contact information for recruiters on the EIP Recruiter Contact Information Page. During EIP week, you can visit the firm’s virtual hospitality suite if they have one. I will discuss hospitality suites in more detail in a few minutes.

In either scenario, simply let them know of your interest in interviewing with them. If they can, firms will try to fit you into their schedule. However, you may not be able to meet with every firm you are interested in, and that is okay – there is no one “right” firm, and you will have many opportunities to meet with firms through this process.

Another way to add interviews to your schedule is to take advantage of the Daily Add Period.

Here’s how it works: some firms will have openings in their schedules during EIP Week.  OCS will publish a spreadsheet showing the open slots. We will fill those spots through the daily add period. The Daily Add is from 8 am to 10 am ET on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of EIP week. On Monday morning, you can add interviews for Tuesday, Tuesday for Wednesday, and so on. You’ll go to a dedicated OCS Zoom room where you can add interviews one at a time on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no daily add for Monday’s open slots.

Keep in mind, whether you schedule with the employer or add during the daily add periods, any interviews on your schedule must have a 10-minute break before and after. In other words, you will not be able to schedule back-to-back interviews.

Some of you may hear from firms you applied to through Preview after getting your lottery results but before we send the final interview schedules to employers.  If you receive an offer from one of your Preview firms during this period, you can drop any firms you are no longer interested in during the drop period.

C. Materials

OCS will send employers resumes for all students who bid on them, even if the student is not assigned an Interview. These will be sent to employers on July 29.

Employers will access your transcripts through Flo Recruit. You will need to upload your transcript to Flo Recruit the evening before your interviews (instructions are in the Roadmap), but the firm and your interviewer will not be able to view your transcript until the start time of your interview.

We do not provide employers with your references or writing sample. Employers typically request these at some point during the callback period. I recommend that you have a folder on your desktop that contains your resume, transcript, writing sample, and references so that they are readily available when requested. Since you are responsible for getting these materials to employers as they request them, you must closely monitor all incoming emails.

Finally, you may receive instructions to complete an online application, and some firms may request a psychometric assessment. In keeping with HLS policies, however, firms should not ask for a cover letter.

D. General Logistics

Now, I want to highlight a few general logistics for the week:

  • All interviews are scheduled in Eastern Time in CSM (unless you change the time zone settings in your account).
  • Interviews run from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm ET, with some exceptions for the Asia schedules.
  • None of your interviews will be scheduled back-to-back.
  • We’ll send you essential information and advice each night through Hire Ground. So be sure to read these emails.
  • During EIP Week, OCS staff and peer advisors will be available virtually from 7:30 am to 8:30 pm ET in a dedicated Zoom room you can drop into any time.

E. Hospitality Suites

The hospitality suites are virtual zoom rooms staffed with attorneys and members of the firm’s recruiting team. If you participated in firm chats last spring, the hospitality suites will have a similar feel. They are a great place to get last-minute interview talking points about the firms and meet additional attorneys, get a feel for the firm’s culture and work, and convey your interest in the firm. I encourage you to visit these suites if you can.

We have posted information about the firms hosting virtual hospitality suites so you can plan your days. There will be approximately 20 virtual hospitality suites during the week. Some will be open all day, while others may be open for a few hours, so I encourage you to plan when you intend to visit the suites.

F. Four Important Policies

I want to bring four important Policies to your attention.

  1. Non-discrimination Policy.

All employers who use our office must comply with our non-discrimination policy posted in the Employer Section of the OCS website. While it rarely happens, if something doesn’t seem right, or you believe particular behavior may violate our non-discrimination policies, please let me or an adviser know. You can send an email to ocs@law.harvard.edu  or visit the OCS Zoom room.

  1. Title IX Policy.

Similarly, all employers must comply with our Title IX policies. If you believe that you have experienced any sexual or gender-based harassment that violates our policies, there are resources available to you. You can contact Sasha Tulgan, the law school’s Title IX officer, and always reach out to anyone on my team or me. Also, visit the Title IX website for additional information and resources.

  1. No Show Policy.

Once your interview schedule is final on July 29, you must attend all your interviews. Every interview is an opportunity to build your network, develop your skills, and learn about the profession. Last year we had zero no-shows, and I expect the same during EIP week this year.

  1. Report info to OCS
    1. Complete the Daily EIP Interview Tracker (“Tracker”)
      Those who participated in Preview are familiar with the Tracker, a survey we will send out daily during EIP. If you did not participate in Preview, you can find information about the Tracker on the EIP Week webpage.Through the Tracker, we crowdsource firms that have begun extending callbacks each day. This enables us to monitor the market, share timely information with you, and help students who may be struggling. We update the Tracker daily during EIP week and ask you to complete the Tracker nightly so we can provide accurate information to you and your classmates.
    2. Promptly Report Your Employment
      Finally, when you land your summer job, please let us know promptly by completing the summer employment survey, so we know who is still in the market as we learn of new opportunities, plan programs, and conduct employer outreach.

PART II: ADVICE

I have been working with law students for more than 25 years, and I want to share some advice that I know will help you during EIP Week and beyond.

First, it is essential to understand that the purpose of EIP is to provide you with opportunities and choices​. You must have this mindset during the entire EIP process. It’s okay if you’re unsure about practice areas, geographic locations, or whether you want to work in the private or public sector in the long or even short run. You’ll have plenty of time to figure that out. Your mantra for the next few weeks is to stay focused, keep your head in the game, and present your best self so that you have choices.

Second, I want to share one of the best pieces of advice I received as a lawyer. It’s normal to worry during stressful times, whether about your health, interviews, grades, the economy, or the weather. However, worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair – it gives you something to do but gets you nowhere.

Instead, focus on what’s within your control. Focus on your preparation. Focus on maintaining a positive attitude throughout the week and putting your best foot forward. If you do this, I assure you the rest will fall into place. Simply stated, all employers seek candidates who are preparedinterested in working at their firms, and enthusiastic.

The little things matter and are all within your control: For example,

  • Be on time.
  • Know how to pronounce the firm’s name (Dechert, Choate, Debevoise). Be sure to check the law firm pronunciation guide on the OCS website.
  • Know why you are interested in the firm/city.
  • Be able to talk about everything that’s on your resume.
  • Do not rely on your memory. Instead, debrief and take notes immediately after each interview. After a few interviews, they will all begin to blur together, and your notes will help you prepare for callbacks and evaluate your options.
  • Silence your cell phone (and apple watch if you have one) and close all apps on your laptop during your interviews.
  • Set up a professional voicemail message and let all incoming calls go into voicemail so you can respond to firms when you are not distracted and are best prepared to respond.

Thirdthe interview is not a confessional. So, when the interviewer asks you how you’re doing, don’t tell them you’re exhausted, even if you are. Instead, be interested, be preparedand stay upbeat. Ask compelling questions, develop a thoughtful narrative, convey your interest in the firm, and have a positive can-do attitude.

Fourth, don’t sweat the small stuff. There will likely be a tech glitch, your dog will bark, a family member or pet may pop in your zoom background during an interview, or you may lose your train of thought. Interviewers will get it because they are experiencing the same things as you are. So, if (or when) something unexpected happens, remember to “keep calm and carry on.” If an interview does not go exactly how you had hoped, let it go, and move to the next one.

Fifth, do not go through EIP thinking there’s just one correct firm for you. The joy of this process is learning about multiple options, so keep an open mind and work towards finding a place that is a good fit for you.

Sixth, take good care of yourself. You will be especially busy during EIP Week. So, take good care of yourself, eat well, get plenty of rest, exercise, and get fresh air during the next few weeks.

Seventh, reach out to us early and often. If you remember one thing from this podcast, it should be don’t bury your head in the sand. EIP Week moves very quickly. So, if you have even an inkling that something may be going wrong, let us know sooner rather than later, so we can intervene and help (or assuage your concerns).

Being part of this community means we look out for each other. There are plenty of opportunities, and EIP is a process where everyone can succeed. So, support your classmates and celebrate each other’s successes and remember to be respectful and sensitive to those who may not be having the same positive experience. Finally, please let us know if your classmates might need additional support and benefit from our help.

PART III:  POST-EIP TIMELINE AND CALLBACKS

Although the last day of EIP is on August 5, you will have a busy August evaluating your options and doing callback interviews before classes begin on September 6.

A. Callback Interviews

While this podcast focuses on EIP interviews, I want to say a few words about callbacks that will begin immediately after EIP and may go through early September, just before classes start on September 6.

First, it is essential that you promptly respond to and acknowledge all callback invitations within 24 hours. Then, if you’re not ready to schedule, thank the firm and let them know that you’ll be scheduling your callbacks later in the week after you complete your interviews. Likewise, if you know you’re not going to take a callback, let the firm know ASAP so the firm can move on to other students.

Note that the sooner you schedule your callbacks, the more control you will have over your schedule. Therefore, when planning your callbacks, be as flexible as possible.

Callbacks generally run between two and three hours and consist of three or four consecutive interviews ranging from 30 to 45 minutes each. Schedule one a day and possibly two at mostprovided you have a few hours between both callbacks to recharge and prepare.

Second, Schedule callbacks during August after EIP and before classes begin on September 6. If you must schedule a callback after classes start, remember to schedule interviews at times that do not conflict with your classes.

Third, many callbacks will be virtual. If a firm gives you the option of doing a callback in person, understand that it is truly optional. Many attorneys will be working virtually and will not be in the office, so a virtual callback may allow you to meet with even more attorneys. There is no “right” choice, so choose what is best for you. Most firms will offer you the opportunity to visit the firm in person after receiving an offer if you have only met with the firm virtually, so you won’t need to make final decisions without having ever seen the office.

Fourth, some firms may try to schedule callbacks during EIP Week. I encourage you to use EIP Week to focus on your EIP interviews and schedule callbacks before or after EIP Week.

Finally, you may receive callbacks as early as Monday evening during EIP Week. Please familiarize yourself with the Callback Section (Leg 8) of the EIP roadmap, which contains everything you need to know about callbacks, including sample language for turning down or delaying giving an employer an answer.

B. Offers

The EIP process moves quickly, and you will likely be contemplating offers before you know it. Under our policies, you may hold open up to three offers at any one time.

If you are fortunate enough to receive a 4th offer, you must promptly decline one to get the open-offer number down to three. Promptly declining offers allows you to focus on the firms you are genuinely considering and will enable firms to move on and extend offers to your classmates.

You have 21 days to respond to most offers or 14 days to an office with fewer than 15 students in its summer program. Review the Offers section on the website to familiarize you with the timelines.

Remember that if you received offers during Preview and requested to hold them open until after EIP, those count as open offers (towards the rule of 3) and should factor into how you handle your timing.

Finally, the April 1 Rule permits you to hold one offer open until April 1 to explore public sector or other non-EIP opportunities. If you decide to invoke this rule, please speak with an OCS adviser about approaching the employer. In any event, you would only bring this up with an employer after you have an offer.

C. Extended Drop-in Hours

We know this is a busy time for you, so we will have extended hours during EIP Week from 7:30 am to 8:30 pm EST and extended Drop-in hours during the second and third weeks of August, so don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or schedule a meeting with an OCS adviser.

Our 3L peer advisers who recently went through this process are a fantastic resource and will be available during EIP Week and extended drop-ins in August.

FINAL WORDS

It’s no accident that you’re at Harvard Law School. Employers will see the same exceptional qualities that got you here. I expect you all will do great and have some fun along the way. So, as we head into EIP Week, I want to remind you that we’re here for you and with you every step of the way. 

On behalf of my team, good luck during EIP Week. We know you got this!