The Office Visit – What to Expect?

Your Full-Fledged Office Visit Guide

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Congrats on securing your first office visit!

Before you know it, you’re going to have an offer sheet in hand.  The only thing standing in the way is the office visit.  But don’t worry, I promise that the hardest part of the whole process is over (obtaining and passing on-campus interviews).
So what’s the purpose?
  1. Final Candidate Evaluation – Think of the office visit like quality control at a whoopee cushion factory.  The cushions have been decompressed in a hundred different ways…passing the ‘ear test’ repeatedly. But, there’s always a senior member at the end of the production cycle to certify the quality of every whoopee cushion.  And since they’ve already been vetted, it’s rare for a ‘whoop’ to be thrown out – it’s just best practice to have one last check.
  1. Selling the Firm – At this point, the firms know that they need to impress you just like you’ve impressed them.  Expect to learn a ton about the unique characteristics and opportunities each firm has to offer.

What should I expect?

Most office visits are one or two day events that require an overnight stay.  Don’t worry though, the firm will put you up in a fancy hotel and pay for your mileage to get there.

This is what typically goes down at an office visit:

Pre-visit Kickoff Meal:

The first event is typically a dinner (night before) or breakfast (day of) in which you are assigned a seat next to other candidates and firm professionals ranging from senior associate to partner.

Think of this first meal as an informal pre-interview interview.  While the meal is intended to be a laid-back introduction to the firm’s culture and people, you still want to put your best professional foot forward.  So maybe steer clear of the baby back ribs…I know, it’s so tempting.

Meet your office visit host:

Most firms will assign you a recently-hired associate to help you with logistics and lead you to your scheduled events/interviews.

Your host can be a great resource for any last minute questions you may have, especially since they were in your shoes just a short time ago.

Q&A Session:

At some point throughout the day of the visit, expect an open-forum Question & Answer session lead by various staff and partners.  Ask (almost) anything!

Examples of Great Questions:

  • What made you decide to accept an offer with Dewey, Cheathem & Howe, LLP?
  • What tips would you give to an intern to secure a full time position?
  • How did you decide between audit and tax?

Questions to avoid (until you actually secure a job offer):

  • How much do you make as an intern?
  • What is the vacation policy?
  • How many hours do you work per week?

Interviews:

The home stretch – your final interviews.  Most firms will have you interview with two to three professionals ranging from senior associate to partner.  Prepare for these interviews just as you prepared for your on-campus interviews.  Refer to our blog posts on how to prepare for an interview if you need a quick refresher.

Just one tip though, you still need to ask questions (even if you think you know the answer).  It’s always great to hear a unique perspective from as many professionals as possible, and it help the interviewer fill the allotted interview time.

The easier an interview goes for the interviewer, the better it reflects on you!

Office Visit Follow-Up

The same rules apply as with any other interactions with firm professionals:

  • Write thank you notes to every firm professional  with whom you had a meaningful interaction, including your host, your interviewers, and whoever you sat with at any group meal.
  • Be responsive.  Many times, recruiters will send last minute emails to clarify important information.  Make sure you respond as promptly as possible.

Oftentimes, your school will have a predetermined window in which a firm can officially extend an offer.  If your school doesn’t have this window, expect to hear back from the firms within two to three weeks unless notified otherwise.

And congratulations again on getting invited to that office visit!

Questions?  Shoot us a quick email – josh@rocketgrad.com or brad@rocketgrad.com.  We’re always happy to help.

Josh Tarica

Josh Tarica

Josh is a co-founder of RocketGrad.com, the premier network for Accounting and Information Systems students to land jobs and internships with leading firms.