Should You Accept a Job Offer On the Spot?

Welcome, originally uploaded to Flickr by alborzshawnShould she accept a job offer on the spot? How else can she prepare for an exit interview for her summer gig? Reader J wonders…

The summer is coming to a close and soon to be 3L’s who happened to land a summer job are waiting anxiously and eagerly for the famous “exit interview.” I, too, am one of those 3L’s. Most likely the firm I’m interning at will offer me a job or tell me that I wasn’t a perfect fit. I want to be prepared as much as possible for how to handle both situations. I feel the summer has gone well, so I especially want to know how to react if I’m given a job offer. Personally, I would like at least a little bit of time to think about all the nitty gritty’s and frankly just some time to step away and evaluate the summer. At the same time, I looked at the list of OCI’s this year and there are literally only 5 firms coming to interview us 3L’s; all of which I’m sure I have, at the most, a 1 out of 10 chance of landing. Yes, the market is still quite awful. That begs the question of whether I should accept on the spot. Further, if I do decide to accept should I attempt to negotiate a salary, figure out expectations that they have of me, express my interests, etc.? I’m totally at a loss, and any help would be fabulous.

Great question. I think the best case scenario is the easiest to prepare for, but maybe that’s me. I’m really curious to hear what the readers say here. (Pictured: Welcome, originally uploaded to Flickr by alborzshawn.)

In the event that you’re offered a job:
The summer has gone well! They like you! Do you like them? The ball is in your court now. Reader J notes that she wants time to consider the “nitty gritty” details and evaluate the summer — but in this economy I’d advise caution, because I think a lot of prospective employers would be surprised (and WILL remember) if you don’t accept on the spot. What “nitty gritty” details do you want to consider? If they are questions that you haven’t asked yet — salary/bonus information, benefits information, information about the company or practice itself — those are all valid questions, and I urge you to ask them IN the exit interview. If the details you want “time to evaluate” are things like the general experience and the people… well, I’m not sure what further information you’re going to gain after leaving the interview. [Read more...]

Can You Give Unsolicited Fashion Advice to Interns?

Ever had the urge to indulge your inner Anna Wintour and act as the fashion police?  Reader M has a question along these lines…

Can we do a story on the extent to which permanent hires (i.e. me) can give unsolicited fashion advice to interns?  I have worked in private practice for a number of years and am now at a government agency.  Many of our female interns are taking the casual dress code here to the next level – “jeans Friday” does not mean your favorite yard work jeans, a sleeveless plaid tank, and Old Navy flipflops (I’m wearing dark wash trouser jeans, a Calvin Klein polo with bloused sleeves, and Cole Haan suede/patent skimmers).  Many of our interns, let’s face it, would rather be in private practice but are spending their summer with us due to the economy.   It’s more painful because the male interns are appropriately dressed (although I know it’s easier to pick out golf attire than a female jeans Friday outfit).   Can I / should I say anything in the way of career advice?

How do you tell someone their outfit isn’t working — or worse, that their entire style needs to be rethought?  It’s a difficult question — and i think we’ve all been on both sides of the issue.  This blog partly grew from my frustration over this — both a) realizing belatedly that I’d been wearing completely inappropriate things, and b) not feeling able to say anything when I saw other women making fashion gaffes and wearing the “are you kidding me?” kind of outfits I saw at various points in my career.  With summer, the flood of interns from colleges, law schools, and grad schools makes the problem only more magnified.  When should you tell someone that their outfit is totally inappropriate? [Read more...]