Page 1 of 1

Anyone ever...

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:57 pm
by Anonymous User
...have this happen in an interview:

Had a CB at a large NYC firm today and met with several associates and several partners. Got along well with everyone...EXCEPT one partner, who seemed like one of the most unhappy people I've ever met.

Every time I would mention a positive aspect of the firm, this person would basically shoot down the compliment with a quick and devestating five second rebuttal (sometimes in the form of an interruption, for extra style points) and then sit awkwardly with no elaboration. When I would ask about their practice area, the response would be curt and avoid going into any detail. Didn't want to talk about future areas of growth for the firm, didn't want to talk about, well, anything. There was no give and take in the conversation- this person made it abundantly clear they did not give two fucks about me and clearly hates where they work.

I was stunned that recruiting would put someone like this in front of interviewees. I have a hard time picturing this partner filling out a positive evaluation on ANYONE and am guessing I will get dinged despite my best attempts at smiling and being collegial throughout the entire excruciating thirty minutes.

It's a shame because I actually really liked the firm except for this cave troll. Anyone ever had something like this happen and actually received an offer?

Re: Anyone ever...

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:07 pm
by patrickd139
Firms often have a hard time coordinating callbacks because the attorneys are busy working. Sometimes someone cancels and you have to throw an alternate attorney in the lineup last-minute.

Alternatively, your social skills are lacking. This partner clearly did not want to talk about the things you (obviously and consecutively) kept asking about.

Re: Anyone ever...

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:17 pm
by Anonymous User
patrickd139 wrote:Firms often have a hard time coordinating callbacks because the attorneys are busy working. Sometimes someone cancels and you have to throw an alternate attorney in the lineup last-minute.

Alternatively, your social skills are lacking. This partner clearly did not want to talk about the things you (obviously and consecutively) kept asking about.


OP here. Social skills lacking? What the hell else do you do when when the interviewer asks what questions you have thirty seconds into the interview, besides, ummmm, ask about the firm, their practice, and anything else remotely relevant? Trust me- this person was a tough interview.

I suppose I could have piled on and joined in the bitching about what a shitty employer they must be.

Re: Anyone ever...

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:22 pm
by mrloblaw
I agree with the second poster; they probably had to shove someone that wasn't their first choice for "face of the company" in the lineup at the last minute. On the plus side, if he clearly doesn't care, he doesn't have any strong incentive to ding you, either.

Just hope you killed the other interviews?

Re: Anyone ever...

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:23 pm
by BaiAilian2013
You never know. Maybe he was bored and crabby, or maybe it was a stress interview and he wanted to see how you would react.

Re: Anyone ever...

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:23 pm
by BeenDidThat
Anonymous User wrote:...have this happen in an interview:

Had a CB at a large NYC firm today and met with several associates and several partners. Got along well with everyone...EXCEPT one partner, who seemed like one of the most unhappy people I've ever met.

Every time I would mention a positive aspect of the firm, this person would basically shoot down the compliment with a quick and devestating five second rebuttal (sometimes in the form of an interruption, for extra style points) and then sit awkwardly with no elaboration. When I would ask about their practice area, the response would be curt and avoid going into any detail. Didn't want to talk about future areas of growth for the firm, didn't want to talk about, well, anything. There was no give and take in the conversation- this person made it abundantly clear they did not give two fucks about me and clearly hates where they work.

I was stunned that recruiting would put someone like this in front of interviewees. I have a hard time picturing this partner filling out a positive evaluation on ANYONE and am guessing I will get dinged despite my best attempts at smiling and being collegial throughout the entire excruciating thirty minutes.

It's a shame because I actually really liked the firm except for this cave troll. Anyone ever had something like this happen and actually received an offer?


To answer your question: yes.

Sometimes people are just in bad moods. If you're a nice, sociable person, even someone who's in a bad mood (or possibly even just a not-very-nice person) can only compare you to other people they interviewed. They have to make a relative evaluation, not an absolute one. If they hate you the least, you can easily still get an offer.

Re: Anyone ever...

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:35 pm
by patrickd139
Anonymous User wrote:
patrickd139 wrote:Firms often have a hard time coordinating callbacks because the attorneys are busy working. Sometimes someone cancels and you have to throw an alternate attorney in the lineup last-minute.

Alternatively, your social skills are lacking. This partner clearly did not want to talk about the things you (obviously and consecutively) kept asking about.


OP here. Social skills lacking? What the hell else do you do when when the interviewer asks what questions you have thirty seconds into the interview, besides, ummmm, ask about the firm, their practice, and anything else remotely relevant? Trust me- this person was a tough interview.

I suppose I could have piled on and joined in the bitching about what a shitty employer they must be.

Just trying to say (although it was a little snarky, I admit) that there are other things to talk about in an interview than "the firm, their practice, and anything else remotely relevant." Sometimes firms (or their attorneys who interview you) are interested in finding people who they can get along with. You're at the interview stage, so clearly the firm thinks enough of your academic record that they believe you can do the work.

If this guy, or the next guy, doesn't buy your bullshit tell-me-about-the-firm-I-really-like-you-guys-and-want-this-job --which I don't personally blame him for not buying-- then find something else--anything else--to talk about.

Re: Anyone ever...

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:45 pm
by Anonymous User
patrickd139 wrote:Just trying to say (although it was a little snarky, I admit) that there are other things to talk about in an interview than "the firm, their practice, and anything else remotely relevant." Sometimes firms (or their attorneys who interview you) are interested in finding people who they can get along with. You're at the interview stage, so clearly the firm thinks enough of your academic record that they believe you can do the work.

If this guy, or the next guy, doesn't buy your bullshit tell-me-about-the-firm-I-really-like-you-guys-and-want-this-job --which I don't personally blame him for not buying-- then find something else--anything else--to talk about.


Yeah, I get what you're saying. It just didn't seem like a transition to "So bro, Jets or Giants?" would have gone very well after he started out antoganistically. I certainly toned down the enthusiasm and tried to adjust as it went. He even threw out one comment that borderlined on a direct insult insinuating that I might be lying about something on my resume (I'm not).

Feel free to derail with MOAR stories about douchey interviewers.

Re: Anyone ever...

Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:47 am
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
patrickd139 wrote:Just trying to say (although it was a little snarky, I admit) that there are other things to talk about in an interview than "the firm, their practice, and anything else remotely relevant." Sometimes firms (or their attorneys who interview you) are interested in finding people who they can get along with. You're at the interview stage, so clearly the firm thinks enough of your academic record that they believe you can do the work.

If this guy, or the next guy, doesn't buy your bullshit tell-me-about-the-firm-I-really-like-you-guys-and-want-this-job --which I don't personally blame him for not buying-- then find something else--anything else--to talk about.


Yeah, I get what you're saying. It just didn't seem like a transition to "So bro, Jets or Giants?" would have gone very well after he started out antoganistically. I certainly toned down the enthusiasm and tried to adjust as it went. He even threw out one comment that borderlined on a direct insult insinuating that I might be lying about something on my resume (I'm not).

Feel free to derail with MOAR stories about douchey interviewers.


I've walked out of some interviews feeling the same way, and gotten offers. People are just busy, cranky, have things going on at work and in their personal lives, or come in to the interview with personal biases you may be unaware of. That being said, I didn't take an offer from a place where I had to find ways to justify why an interviewer acted like a douche.

Re: Anyone ever...

Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:55 am
by CanadianWolf
You may have experienced a non-traditional interviewing technique designed to see whether or not you would lose your composure.

Re: Anyone ever...

Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:59 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:...have this happen in an interview:

Had a CB at a large NYC firm today and met with several associates and several partners. Got along well with everyone...EXCEPT one partner, who seemed like one of the most unhappy people I've ever met.

Every time I would mention a positive aspect of the firm, this person would basically shoot down the compliment with a quick and devestating five second rebuttal (sometimes in the form of an interruption, for extra style points) and then sit awkwardly with no elaboration. When I would ask about their practice area, the response would be curt and avoid going into any detail. Didn't want to talk about future areas of growth for the firm, didn't want to talk about, well, anything. There was no give and take in the conversation- this person made it abundantly clear they did not give two fucks about me and clearly hates where they work.

I was stunned that recruiting would put someone like this in front of interviewees. I have a hard time picturing this partner filling out a positive evaluation on ANYONE and am guessing I will get dinged despite my best attempts at smiling and being collegial throughout the entire excruciating thirty minutes.

It's a shame because I actually really liked the firm except for this cave troll. Anyone ever had something like this happen and actually received an offer?


was it mk from davis polk?

had the exact same experience. i refused to give in and kept pestering him with questions...well not pestering him. i was pretty laid back about it, but refused to let his style get me down. still, no use...no offer for me. he was a pretty big you know what though, and really turned me off to his firm.

Re: Anyone ever...

Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:04 pm
by Anonymous User
i don't remember the person's name, but i had the exact same experience at dpw two years ago. except, when i was insulted and questioned about whether i was lying about my interest, i explained how it would be even more of a waste of my time had i been lying and/or faking interest. at that point, i knew i a) wouldn't get an offer, and 2) never wanted to work there.

Re: Anyone ever...

Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:06 pm
by Anonymous User
I had a similar experience, also at a NY firm. One interviewer jumped down my throat every time I said something slightly negative and made me feel really uncomfortable. For example he would ask if there was anything I didn't like about my school (he was an alum), and although I tried to say generic things, he questioned me accusingly about each little detail like I was lying. It was very awkward... I had good interviews with everyone else but ended up with a rejection letter. I said things like, one professor gave us lots of worksheets and I would have liked more practice problems to do in other classes, and this guy just grilled me over it. :roll:

Re: Anyone ever...

Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:35 pm
by Anonymous User
Had a similar experience at DC office of NY firm that specialized in a couple areas that the NYC office didn't do. One interviewer basically made it clear he thought I was making up my interest in his practice area. Even though one of my conversations with another partner went superbly well, I was dinged after 3 weeks of silence.