Anonymous User wrote: Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I found BDS and Miami's interviewing tactics to be foul. I [slightly] understand the weeding out aspect of trying to rattle the interviewee. However, being disrespectful, and downright demeaning, is not effective. Even if the interviewee receives the position, why on earth would they want to work with an asshole like you?! I ultimately chose an office where the interviewers didn't pull that...and weren't on a power trip.
I'm torn on this. I get the importance of hiring people who can stay calm under all conditions. I also think that putting someone in a position in which they are explicitly trying to please the interviewers, as opposed to court in which one gets very little benefit for pleasing opposing counsel, and only limited benefit for pleasing the judge, is asking a lot of someone. They effectively aren't testing for what they want.... if they want someone who will stand up to a judge and opposing counsel, but they are the people who will give you the job that allows you to do that, and are Public Defenders who are explicitly experts at this.... well, it can be confusing to the candidate.
Thing is, is that they want you to see you stand up to them. In my BDS interview, they said that I should have asked the client about something in particular. I had actually done this and got into a full argument with them. I made it past the second round but ended up taking a different job.
We get why they do it. It's the meaninglessness that we take issue with. If an office wants to try to get a sense for how well you stand up in court and if you don't back down, the more sensible interview tactic is to give us a fact pattern, some case law, and make us argue something hard.
Instead they ask questions that don't give any insight at all, like "What would you do if you're in trial and your client adamantly wants to take the stand but says he's guilty of every element to you in private?" And every time, every candidates except for a few out of their interview will reply "Herp derp, I'd ask him that goofy narrative about 'What's your side of the story?' and hope for the best." They're looking for the idiots who say "Ooh, man, I don't honestly know if I could do that," or the people who just haven't considered this ethics question before because maybe they haven't been around a PD office very long? I don't know, but I doubt they get many people who say "Oh yeah man, I'd just put him on the stand and proceed as normal" either. It's an interview question that 80+% of their pool gets right without even blinking. They have no way of differentiating from that question, and it just ate up 3 minutes for the interview.
And then they follow it up with some other random hypo about a case type that pretty much nobody has ever done before because it involves advanced knowledge of their state's criminal law regarding some type of charge with an option for a plea deal, and they try to close the interview by pushing on you with a "You did this [trivial thing that we would train you on] wrong! I don't think you're cut out for this." Daffuq is that? Give me some actual substance to work with you guys, and stop pretending that you can actually get a feel for someone's overall effectiveness as an attorney based on responses to abstract questions that give an OKCupid question about your Zodiac a run for its money in level of disconnect from the real world.
They're like the oldschool coaches in Moneyball who refuse to run by anything but their gut, whereas the office down the street corner is getting the closest thing it can to hard data on their applicants by presenting them with factual scenarios that are complex and asking them the real questions. Questions like: "What happens when you find out you've made a huge mistake and that your client is going to prison for a long time for it?" and "Do you like losing? Because as a public defender, you will lose a lot. How are you going to cope with that?" Or God forbid, this one: "How long are you going to stay here? Do you sincerely think you'll last five years or will you pick up and run to a firm if you get that chance?"
Those are hard questions, with lots of room for push back when the applicant doesn't express certainty in the answers. The difference between that and "I think you suck" is that the former one is actually meant to gather useful information, not just test the applicant's random stubbornness and ability to pick up on thickly veiled sarcasm.
I swear to God, the PD hiring process has made me so bitter at the way these interviews are handled. If my supervisor ever offers me the chance to help with interviewing or hiring, I'm going to jump on that wagon so damn fast. PDs get spat on by everybody -- the judges, juries, prosecutors, and their own clients. It's the wrong call to spit the people who are trying to get into this line of work. We should all be in it together. If someone isn't meant for an office, that's too bad but ultimately okay. Instead of telling someone they are a loser after they flunk some arbitrary Rorschach test of a hypo by not stressing their syllables right when they got the substance right just like everybody else, the better call is to just ask them straight questions, look for straight answers, and offer constructive criticism and advice if they just aren't making it out of your slush pile. I think the problem is that many of these offices aren't recognizing that their hiring pools are so much larger and more qualified these days. Either that or they just take it for granted. 15 years ago, you could get away with calling out half your applicant pool as posers, but not anymore. I just got the sense that many of the interviewers were not aware of that, and that needs to change for the sake of both employer and applicant.