Bad Interview Moments

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xael
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby xael » Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:48 pm

Micdiddy wrote:I can't remember if I already posted this so I will again:

Two stories from my very first ever callback.

I think these things are supposed to be like interviews, right? Person asks a question, I answer it, they ask another, I answer, etc.

What I did not realize was that most people just want to chat, and that I should look for moments to just have a normal conversation or respond like a normal human being.

So the first person I talk to is a named partner (small firm), and all he does is tell me about the exciting social events. "We go to baseball games. We have poker nights. Etc." After each one he looks at me, seeming to expect a response. The whole time I'm thinking "when is he going to ask me a question?" so instead of saying "I love baseball. Going to the games is fun, etc..." I just smile and go "uh-huh."
He never asked me a question, I never a said a word to him besides "thank you" at the end.

Second story:

I go to lunch with two partners (again, small firm). During lunch I completely blank on their names. It bugs me. I ALWAYS think people can sense when I forget their name. It distracts me from the conversation. I decide to excuse myself to the restroom and I frantically pull up the firm website on my phone. They have a page with everyone's name and picture. Awesome. The only problem: both guys are middle-aged chubby white guys and I cannot for the life of me tell them apart from the photos. I can't even narrow it down to which two of the 5 or 6 chubby white guys i am having lunch with. After 15 minutes, I just give up and go back to lunch.

Ding


I've literally never remembered anyone's name that I'm interviewing with.

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star fox
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby star fox » Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:27 am

dixiecupdrinking wrote:FYI, here are two categories of questions I don't like being asked on callbacks:

1. Questions that assume too much knowledge about the interviewer or the firm (e.g. "I'm sure that your typical day varies a lot because of xyz things your website bio says"). The interviewer in that situation was probably trying to save you from your own naive question by answering it the way they did, because whatever assumption you made about their work was inaccurate. If you want to know how working on a deal for a public companies varies from a private company, then ask THAT.
2. Questions that have nothing to do with me, you, or the firm. "What does it take to be a successful associate here at Old, White & Dead LLP?" is something I've gotten a lot, for some reason. The answers are the same generic answers your career services office would give you, and anyway you can worry about that when you get an offer. Please don't make me regurgitate bullshit in your interview. It's bad enough when one of us is doing that.

ETA: It is really not hard to come up with decent questions. Like, "What do you like about this firm?" "What makes it different from other firms?" "Can you tell me a little about your practice and how you developed it?" These are things you can ask even if you truly have no more than the absolute minimum, most generic interest in the interview.

One thing I've noticed is different interviewers have wildly different attitudes towards the same question. I've been able to see the "ding" in some interviewers eyes to "why do you like the firm/what keeps you around" while others are like "great question!"and wax poetically for 5 minutes.

Same with the "success" question (which I'd usually reserve for a partner/someone who has risen to a high level within the firm, not a junior associate). Some attorneys love giving advice.

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star fox
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby star fox » Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:31 am

Anyways the worst interviews for me were always when I tried to spin an experience as a positive and they asked a follow-up on that point. "I really think this helped my decision making cuz blah blah blah"

"But how did that improve your decision making"

"Blah blah and blah"

Anonymous User
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 29, 2015 5:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Interviewed a kid on a callback last week and I was hungover to high hell. Kid was suuuuuper energetic and eager to talk about my work... I just wanted a gatorade.


This has happened on multiple Friday CB interviews I have done.

whats an updog
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby whats an updog » Sat Aug 29, 2015 5:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Interviewed a kid on a callback last week and I was hungover to high hell. Kid was suuuuuper energetic and eager to talk about my work... I just wanted a gatorade.


why didn't you have any gatorade?

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 29, 2015 6:02 pm

whats an updog wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Interviewed a kid on a callback last week and I was hungover to high hell. Kid was suuuuuper energetic and eager to talk about my work... I just wanted a gatorade.


why didn't you have any gatorade?


I underestimated the severity of the hangover. I was also going to "work from home" until I was laying in bed and remembered I had to be in the office for an interview.

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anyriotgirl
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby anyriotgirl » Sat Aug 29, 2015 6:27 pm

Should I start bringing purse gatorade to Friday cbs???

geraffe
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby geraffe » Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:36 pm

cron1834 wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
geraffe wrote:
chuckbass wrote:
geraffe wrote:My bad interview moment, totally self-inflicted and probably deserved: Right after talking up my grammar and writing skills, attributed to my love of reading, I told a little story about the time "my parents asked my brother and I" .... that definitely should have been "and me." Ah well.

Fwiw the interviewer probably didn't notice this, and if they did, wouldn't ding you for it.


Ha, I sure hope not! It was just unfortunate timing...

If they did, it would probably be for bringing up your "grammar skills."


Haha, I know, I know. In my defense it was in response to them asking me how my English major would help me in the legal field... I only casually bring up my grammatical prowess on special occasions.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:29 pm

V-10 associate here. I was just talking to a partner about a candidate we had each interviewed. I was raving about how strong he was and what a good fit he would be for our firm (really a top-notch candidate in all respects as evidenced by three out of four interviewers). The partner then said that he had already torpedoed any chance of this candidate receiving an offer. He said that while he agreed that he was a well-qualified candidate, he could not extend an offer to somebody who had yawned during an interview. One yawn negated an otherwise impressive four hours and this candidate's chance at the V-10 (he had already admitted to having no callbacks from other top firms, which was bad form but not something I held against him).

For all the goof ups on this thread that people don't think matter, you just never know what will set off the person sitting across from you.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:38 pm

Had a good interview today but one question was way oddball. I answered the "why transactional" question by saying that I found my venture capital course really interesting, especially looking at the various financing options. The partner's follow up: whats a private equity firm? I mean, I had an answer but it was basically a polished turd. Just felt very left field to me.

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El Pollito
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby El Pollito » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:V-10 associate here. I was just talking to a partner about a candidate we had each interviewed. I was raving about how strong he was and what a good fit he would be for our firm (really a top-notch candidate in all respects as evidenced by three out of four interviewers). The partner then said that he had already torpedoed any chance of this candidate receiving an offer. He said that while he agreed that he was a well-qualified candidate, he could not extend an offer to somebody who had yawned during an interview. One yawn negated an otherwise impressive four hours and this candidate's chance at the V-10 (he had already admitted to having no callbacks from other top firms, which was bad form but not something I held against him).

For all the goof ups on this thread that people don't think matter, you just never know what will set off the person sitting across from you.

what is the point of posting this here?

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:57 pm

What if you didn't know that your interviewer was an alumnus at your law school (during a CB)? Then the interviewer calls you out for it. Is that an auto-ding?

I'm pretty sure I got dinged for that reason because that was my only f*** up.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:01 pm

Me: *goes on about how I love litigation and couldn't ever see myself doing anything else.*
Interviewer: I see. What you would be doing with us is more on the transactional side.
*crickets.*

No offer :lol:

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:09 pm

Interviewed with a Delaware firm, and in this firm apparently the interviewers all read your cover letters. My go to in cover letters is to express an interest in the area, and so a partner goes "You said you love the Wilmington area--what do you like about it?" This was my first trip to Wilmington and holy hell I didn't realize what an undesirable place the downtown area is (no offense Del peeps). Anyway, I laughed a little out of embarrassment and was like "oh I did? well I've only been to Wilmington once for a wedding but I really enjoyed it"...then I went on to mumble something about the people and culture of the city and something about living close to the beach. I finally started talking about the unique practices of Delaware firms, but man it was a horrible response. I haven't heard back yet but I fully expect the ding.

nerd1
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby nerd1 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:20 pm

El Pollito wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:V-10 associate here. I was just talking to a partner about a candidate we had each interviewed. I was raving about how strong he was and what a good fit he would be for our firm (really a top-notch candidate in all respects as evidenced by three out of four interviewers). The partner then said that he had already torpedoed any chance of this candidate receiving an offer. He said that while he agreed that he was a well-qualified candidate, he could not extend an offer to somebody who had yawned during an interview. One yawn negated an otherwise impressive four hours and this candidate's chance at the V-10 (he had already admitted to having no callbacks from other top firms, which was bad form but not something I held against him).

For all the goof ups on this thread that people don't think matter, you just never know what will set off the person sitting across from you.

what is the point of posting this here?


It's a very good piece of advice.

Anonymous User
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:42 pm

nerd1 wrote:
El Pollito wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:V-10 associate here. I was just talking to a partner about a candidate we had each interviewed. I was raving about how strong he was and what a good fit he would be for our firm (really a top-notch candidate in all respects as evidenced by three out of four interviewers). The partner then said that he had already torpedoed any chance of this candidate receiving an offer. He said that while he agreed that he was a well-qualified candidate, he could not extend an offer to somebody who had yawned during an interview. One yawn negated an otherwise impressive four hours and this candidate's chance at the V-10 (he had already admitted to having no callbacks from other top firms, which was bad form but not something I held against him).

For all the goof ups on this thread that people don't think matter, you just never know what will set off the person sitting across from you.

what is the point of posting this here?


It's a very good piece of advice.


V-10 associate here. Didn't seem worth starting a new thread over and a yawn resulting in a ding seemed relevant to bad interview moments. If you think a small piece of advice in a thread dedicated to humor is bothersome then just enjoy the other 43 pages of this thread.

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AT9
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby AT9 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:V-10 associate here. I was just talking to a partner about a candidate we had each interviewed. I was raving about how strong he was and what a good fit he would be for our firm (really a top-notch candidate in all respects as evidenced by three out of four interviewers). The partner then said that he had already torpedoed any chance of this candidate receiving an offer. He said that while he agreed that he was a well-qualified candidate, he could not extend an offer to somebody who had yawned during an interview. One yawn negated an otherwise impressive four hours and this candidate's chance at the V-10 (he had already admitted to having no callbacks from other top firms, which was bad form but not something I held against him).

For all the goof ups on this thread that people don't think matter, you just never know what will set off the person sitting across from you.


Glad to hear that my all my yawn-suppressing efforts may be worth it.

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Icculus
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Icculus » Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:
nerd1 wrote:
El Pollito wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:V-10 associate here. I was just talking to a partner about a candidate we had each interviewed. I was raving about how strong he was and what a good fit he would be for our firm (really a top-notch candidate in all respects as evidenced by three out of four interviewers). The partner then said that he had already torpedoed any chance of this candidate receiving an offer. He said that while he agreed that he was a well-qualified candidate, he could not extend an offer to somebody who had yawned during an interview. One yawn negated an otherwise impressive four hours and this candidate's chance at the V-10 (he had already admitted to having no callbacks from other top firms, which was bad form but not something I held against him).

For all the goof ups on this thread that people don't think matter, you just never know what will set off the person sitting across from you.

what is the point of posting this here?


It's a very good piece of advice.


V-10 associate here. Didn't seem worth starting a new thread over and a yawn resulting in a ding seemed relevant to bad interview moments. If you think a small piece of advice in a thread dedicated to humor is bothersome then just enjoy the other 43 pages of this thread.


I gotta say that partner seems incredibly harsh. I get that there are a ton of candidates to whittle through, but Jesus.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:13 am

During a callback, interviewer asked me about a policy analysis I wrote, asked me if I think it was a good policy, I responded yes but subject to certain limitations. Interviewer then started talkong about why it's a bad policy and his very opposite political views.

Then on my way to another interviewer (walking with the previous attorney), I tripped and nearly fell off the stairs.

Offer three days later.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:24 am

Interviewer: what would your process be when a client comes to you with a legal question and you're the only one available in the office.
Me: well, I would look at the question, think of ways to research it... Mumble mumble... Look at the restatement of the law so I get informed... Mumble mumble...
*Several seconds of silence before next question*
*I realize I just said the restatement of law and feel stupid.
Interviewer: what if the client tells you they need an answer right away?
Me: It depends on whether it's one of two situations. *i go on to describe first way*.
Interviewer: is that it?
Me: yes.
*i realize I completely forgot to address the second way and I'm about to excuse myself so I can punch myself in the face*
Interview continues before I can fix my error.

Surprisingly... Offer.

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grand inquisitor
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby grand inquisitor » Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:47 am

Icculus wrote:I gotta say that partner seems incredibly harsh. I get that there are a ton of candidates to whittle through, but Jesus.


did the kid cover his mouth when he yawned or just let it rip unconcealed? if the latter, this seems reasonable.

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PennBull
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby PennBull » Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:14 am

grand inquisitor wrote:
Icculus wrote:I gotta say that partner seems incredibly harsh. I get that there are a ton of candidates to whittle through, but Jesus.


did the kid cover his mouth when he yawned or just let it rip unconcealed? if the latter, this seems reasonable.


yeah even a modest attempt to fight it is fine, but you're better off openly farting in an interview than just yawning in the guy's face

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:40 am

Interviewer: why our firm?
Me: well, the culture really stands out for x, y, and x.
Interviewer (scowling and skeptical): really?

suffice to say no offer

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Old Gregg
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:48 am

V-10 associate here. I was just talking to a partner about a candidate we had each interviewed. I was raving about how strong he was and what a good fit he would be for our firm (really a top-notch candidate in all respects as evidenced by three out of four interviewers). The partner then said that he had already torpedoed any chance of this candidate receiving an offer. He said that while he agreed that he was a well-qualified candidate, he could not extend an offer to somebody who had yawned during an interview. One yawn negated an otherwise impressive four hours and this candidate's chance at the V-10 (he had already admitted to having no callbacks from other top firms, which was bad form but not something I held against him).

For all the goof ups on this thread that people don't think matter, you just never know what will set off the person sitting across from you.


I like that V10 status almost literally added nothing to this narrative.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:50 am

Had an interviewer ask me when I realized I was gay and if my parents were okay with it. That was awkward.




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