Interview Tips & Travel
Jones Day understands that for lawyers and law students alike, the interview process is exhausting, exciting, and, yes, stressful. Jones Day seeks candidates who understand the Firm's principles and foundational values and want to be a productive and meaningful contributor to its future. Law students are looking for a long-term professional home that will support, challenge and reward them. To help you make the decision that's right for you, we offer the following suggestions.
Preparing for Interviews
Different law firms
- Are you looking for an eat-what-you-kill compensation model, or do you prefer a more collaborative work environment?
- How much do you value financial and firm stability?
- Are you already certain which practice you want to join, or would you prefer the flexibility to work with a number of practices before joining one?
Research the Firm
Before you arrive for an interview, learn as much as you can about the firm. Resources to consult include:
- 3Ls who have summered at firms you are considering;
- Contacts in the legal community you seek to join;
- NALP summaries, which provide numerical snapshots of firm size, practices, diversity, compensation, and other objective information; and
web sites, which list areas of practice, provide biographies of lawyers, and, in some cases, supply additional information that gives insight into that firm's culture and priorities.
The On-Campus Interview
The on-campus interview is a short meeting with one or two people from the firm. Typically, the interviewer spends much of the interview asking you questions about your resume, interests, and goals. You'll also have a chance to ask questions about the firm.
- Know your resume. Be prepared to answer questions about your academic achievements, work experience, and interests. If you list any publications on your resume, be prepared to discuss them substantively.
- Know the firm and ask informed questions about it. Demonstrating that you have done your research indicates not only genuine interest in the firm, but also seriousness and professionalism.
- Be yourself. Firms seek well-rounded, interested, and interesting candidates of all backgrounds and personalities. Let your best professional, enthusiastic self shine through in the interview.
The Call-Back Interview
Law firms typically call back a small percentage of the candidates they see on campus. When you receive a call-back offer, you will usually be instructed to contact the recruiting department to schedule the call-back interview and make the necessary travel arrangements. At most firms, call-back interviews last a half-day and consist of interviews with four or more lawyers. In addition to the recommendations for on-campus interviews above, keep the following suggestions in mind.
- Treat everyone you meet with respect. Although your interviews will all be with lawyers, good firms listen to the opinions of their recruiting staff, assistants, and everyone else you encounter as a candidate.
- Adapt. Each interviewer has a different style. Some are conversational, others quite formal. By responding appropriately to each interviewer's style, you'll make the interview a more enjoyable and successful experience.
- Ask questions. The best way to demonstrate your genuine interest in a firm is by asking about aspects unique to that particular firm. You can ask the same question of more than one person during the interview process.
- Take it all in. Get a feel for the atmosphere of the office. Does it seem friendly? When lawyers and staff pass each other in the hall, do they say hello?
After the Interview
- You are not required to write thank-you notes, and there is no consensus as to whether they're advisable. However, if you do send them, proofread them very carefully and do not misspell your interviewers' names.
- If you have additional questions, feel free to reach out to the lawyers with whom you interviewed or to the firm's recruiting department.
- Firm guidelines allow you to keep an offer open no more than 28 days. You also are not supposed to keep more than five offers open at the same time. When you receive offers, be courteous to your classmates and the firms that have made offers to you by releasing any offers from firms you've eliminated from contention.
If Jones Day invites you to travel for an interview in one of our offices, we will provide the phone number of our travel desk, along with an expense reimbursement form. To ensure prompt reimbursement of your out-of-pocket expenses, submit your receipts no later than 20 days after the interview. Provide on the expense form the names of other law firms you visited on dates contiguous to your Jones Day interview. We will share expenses with those firms. If you cancel your interview for any reason, you are responsible for canceling your travel reservations. If you anticipate expenditures not provided for on this list, please contact the Recruiting Department before your travel date.
Air or Train Travel
Bill your air or train travel directly to Jones Day. The Recruiting Department will give you instructions for making reservations. If you prefer to drive to the interview location from a distant school, first coordinate your plan for expense reimbursement with the Recruiting Department.
Bill your hotel accommodations directly to Jones Day. One hotel night is deemed appropriate for each firm with which you interview; when traveling to an opposite coast, a two-night stay is covered. Cost of internet connection is also covered. Other charges must be approved in advance by the Recruiting Department.
The Firm will reimburse the cost of ground transportation to and from the airport local to your school. If you choose to drive, we will reimburse the parking fee at the airport, but we do not pay mileage. Similarly, we will reimburse for round-trip taxi rides to the airport/office/hotel/next interview location. If you are interviewing in both Silicon Valley and San Francisco from out of town, please call in advance to discuss renting a car. Otherwise, rental car costs are generally not covered.
You will be reimbursed for meals associated with each night spent in the hotel, not to exceed $70 total per 24-hour period. Please submit the credit card receipt and itemized bill (unless these expenses are included in the hotel bill).
Not Eligible for Reimbursement
The following are not reimbursable: alcoholic drinks, long-distance telephone calls, dry-cleaning services, limousine services, meals and/or drinks for additional people, and other extra charges on the hotel bill.