2L year on-campus interviews (OCI) checklist

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By Makenzie Way, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

2L year begins, for most of us, with a week of non-stop on-campus interviews (OCIs), resulting hopefully in stellar summer associate offer(s). Since we’ve all likely heard enough OCI success/horror stories to fill a short novel, let’s instead go over the items you’ll need and the things you will want to get done to make OCI a “breeze.”

Pre-OCI To-Do List

  • (If possible) modify your OCI schedule so you don’t have huge breaks and/or back-to-back interviews
  • Research each and every firm you’re scheduled to interview with, and craft specific questions for each
      • Extra tip: I invested in a small leather notebook, where I tracked all my research/questions and brought it into my interviews
  • Reach out to alumni from firms you’re especially interested in
  • Practice behavioral answers and general interview questions
  • Review your resume, writing sample and any cover letters multiple times
  • Have someone else review your resme for good measure before printing out 20-plus copies
  • Invest in quality resume paper and learn how to insert it properly into the printer so the watermark is facing up
  • Organize your materials by clipping them or putting them in folders
  • Plan your interview attire and have everything organized and ready to go
      • Extra tip: Keep track of which outfits you wear during OCI so you don’t wear the same clothes to a possible callback
  • (If applicable) break in new shoes because … well … blisters suck

OCI “Packing” List

  • Professional-looking padfolio or notebook and a pen
  • Your notes and interview questions for each firm
  • Change of shoes to walk in
  • Umbrella – even if it’s not predicting rain
  • Water bottle
  • Mini deodorant
  • Extra resumes, writing samples and transcripts
  • Portable phone charger
  • Mini lint roller
  • Safety pins (for good measure)
  • Small reusable bag to put your firm swag and/or spare shoes in
  • Extra bobby pins
  • Band-aids for the unavoidable blisters
  • Blotting paper to reduce that summer induced facial/forehead shine

Post-OCI To-Do List

  • Write notes after each OCI screener to utilize during callbacks
  • Follow up after two weeks if it’s been radio silence
  • Wash all your attire immediately so they’re ready for callbacks (just remember, don’t wear the same outfit from the first interview)
  • Buy and send “thank you” notes to each person you interview with during a callback
  • (After getting an offer) cancel callbacks that you’re not interested in
  • Connect with your career planning office if you’re not getting the level of interest you were hoping for, and begin applying independently to firms that didn’t participate in OCI

In a nutshell, these are the things you can do and bring with you to make OCI less stressful.

Be yourself, have confidence in your abilities and have some fun – after all, when else do you get to talk about yourself for a whole week?

Good luck!

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