Bad Interview Moments

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Old Gregg
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:52 am

Anonymous User wrote: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.


Were you interviewing for a venture focused corporate practice? If not, this was a pretty stupid move. I would instantly ding someone who interviewed for my, say, private equity or corporate M&A practice and the reason given is that they liked their venture capital class.

I wouldn't expect candidates to know what transactional lawyers do, but I would expect them to understand the main differences between corporate transactions (i.e., private equity, strategic M&A, venture capital, capital markets, leveraged finance/debt finance, etc.). An understanding of these differences should then inform your answer to "why our transactional practice?"

Anonymous User
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:25 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


I did this for a V50 which was supposed to be big on culture and the interviewer visibly paused and grimaced. Dinged. Culture isn't a good question to ask at least at the screener stage.

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El Pollito
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby El Pollito » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:31 am

Old Gregg 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.


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

Must anonybrag!

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:
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


I did this for a V50 which was supposed to be big on culture and the interviewer visibly paused and grimaced. Dinged. Culture isn't a good question to ask at least at the screener stage.

This is the kind of stuff that is painful to hear as an interviewer. You really don't know what our "culture" is like.... It just feels naive, unless you can cite a specific source (spoke to other associates/summers, etc.).

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grand inquisitor
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby grand inquisitor » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:39 am

i always brought a sacked lunch into my screeners and commenced to eat during the interview. if the interviewer asked about it, which he or she seldom did, i just explained that i had soooo many interviews i didn't have time for a proper lunch break. great way to effortlessly display value.

Anonymous User
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:44 am

Old Gregg wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: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.


Were you interviewing for a venture focused corporate practice? If not, this was a pretty stupid move. I would instantly ding someone who interviewed for my, say, private equity or corporate M&A practice and the reason given is that they liked their venture capital class.

I wouldn't expect candidates to know what transactional lawyers do, but I would expect them to understand the main differences between corporate transactions (i.e., private equity, strategic M&A, venture capital, capital markets, leveraged finance/debt finance, etc.). An understanding of these differences should then inform your answer to "why our transactional practice?"


I'm that anon. TBH that would be fair, but a few more details to consider. I'm a 3L who summered previous in lit, and was pressed in all 4 interviews why the switch (much, much more than just "why transactional"). The partner actually asked about the class (can't remember exactly the context) but my answer was more organic than I can convey via these fora. The group was actually capital markets, and I was saying specifically that financing issues were was pushed me to look for a non-litigation opportunity. But, I have to admit that I am 6/10 aspie so I'll defer to you, haha.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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xael
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby xael » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:45 am

My normal answer to "why nyc" includes something like "and I was here this summer and really loved it" etc etc. At one interview though I for some reason switched up that line midway through and ended up saying something like "I was here over the summer and fell in love" then realized what that sounded like and hastily added "with the city" but the interviewer definitely thought I had like gotten like, married within the 2 months I was in nyc.

Anonymous User
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:46 am

Lost my padfolio in someone's office. When a later interviewer asked me where it was, I confessed I lost it, and then legal recruiting went searching for it (across like the five floors I'd been on, I assume). No offer.

Got berated for 30 minutes about my humanities degree. No offer.

Anonymous User
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:51 am

Is there any etiquette on what happens when you ask your stock questions after "do you have any questions for me?" I always feel like it just means the interviewer drones on and I can never pick out things where I can just jump in.

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graphia
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby graphia » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:56 am

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


Did you bring up the subject, or was the question just totally out of left field? The only way this seems like it might be acceptable is if the interviewer is also gay and trying to connect on that subject. Even then, this seems like a really strange question for a professional interview.

If it was asked in a shitty way, I would have had a hard time not responding with something along the lines of, "shortly after seeing your mother In a bathing suit." Or more realistically, thinking of this line on the drive home.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:11 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.


Reminder: a normal and involuntary gesture in an otherwise flawless performance can be the difference between a stable career and strikeout hell, and the people deciding are pedantic megalomaniac millionaires.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:21 pm

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


Isn't this borderline illegal to ask in a job interview?

Broscientist
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Broscientist » Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:31 pm

spets wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I had an OCI interview with the managing partner of a firm office who is a very famous alum from the school so I was a bit nervous for the screener. When asked lit vs. corp, my answer was

Well I'm leaning pretty heavily toward litigation. My summer job exposed me to a lot of the litigation process and really enjoyed it. I also found it played to my strengths such as reading, researching, and writing.


played to my strengths such as reading, researching and writing


strengths such as reading


I felt like such an idiot.

No callback.


I laughed really hard. Good use of font.


I quite literally burst out laughing in my corporations class. The professor just asked why I was laughing at a peer's answer. I said it was funny because it wasn't just wrong, but the most wrong answer he could have given. She looks at me like a lioness about to pounce.... then says "I agree." There is hope.

P.S.

I have no idea what the question or answer given was.

Anonymous User
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:35 pm

I signed up for a phone interview for an unpaid internship with the SEC on the chance that I struck out at OCI. My OCI interviews were overly fratty -- basically "fuck USC!" "The 49ers look great!" "I like to chug beer in my free time!" Etc. I landed a summer associate gig at a firm, but figured it was too late to just cancel on the SEC and, what the hell, it wouldn't be terrible to talk about sports or whatever for 30 minutes with some government drone waiting for the car pool to leave.

The interview was a fucking disaster. I didn't know a thing about the SEC. I gave bullshit generalized answers, and the interviewer would drill down and want specifics. She openly laughed at a few of my answers which, to be fair, were fucking terrible. I tried googling some SEC stuff when it was clear she expected me to know something, and I parroted something the SEC's Chairperson said. Unfortunately, I assumed the Chairperson was male and I referred to her as a "he." She laughed the hardest at that one.

About ten minutes in I said, hey, actually I don't want to work at the SEC. I gotta go. And I hung up. She followed up with an e-mail that said something totally canned like "It was nice to interview you today. While your credentials are impressive, we have limited space in our internship program. Unfortunately we can't extend you an offer."

I still shutter when I think about how bad that went. I'm not super fratty or anything, but my interviews up to that point had zero substance and I just figured that's how they all went.

WheatThins
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby WheatThins » Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I landed a summer associate gig at a firm, but figured it was too late to just cancel on the SEC and, what the hell, it wouldn't be terrible to talk about sports or whatever for 30 minutes with some government drone waiting for the car pool to leave.


It's never too late to not waste people's time.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:58 pm

As shitty as you may feel, you should also feel somewhat morally good given the hordes of moronic rising 2Ls who go on callbacks just to travel.

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Danger Zone
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Danger Zone » Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My OCI interviews were overly fratty -- basically "fuck USC!" "The 49ers look great!" "I like to chug beer in my free time!" Etc.

wut

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El Pollito
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby El Pollito » Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:05 pm

Old Gregg wrote:As shitty as you may feel, you should also feel somewhat morally good given the hordes of moronic rising 2Ls who go on callbacks just to travel.

one of my best friends did this

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El Pollito
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby El Pollito » Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:05 pm

Danger Zone wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:My OCI interviews were overly fratty -- basically "fuck USC!" "The 49ers look great!" "I like to chug beer in my free time!" Etc.

wut

yeah how does that happen unless you take the interview there or put "broing out" in your interest section?

Anonymous User
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:09 pm

WheatThins wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I landed a summer associate gig at a firm, but figured it was too late to just cancel on the SEC and, what the hell, it wouldn't be terrible to talk about sports or whatever for 30 minutes with some government drone waiting for the car pool to leave.


It's never too late to not waste people's time.


I agree now. I was a 2L at the time. I'm a 5th year now, and I loathe interviewing people. For some reason I thought it was rude to cancel hours before a set interview time. I was also a little curious about the SEC, but now I'd just cancel.

Anonymous User
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:10 pm

Danger Zone wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:My OCI interviews were overly fratty -- basically "fuck USC!" "The 49ers look great!" "I like to chug beer in my free time!" Etc.

wut


I agree. It was bizarre. It seemed like OCI was a bunch of firms that wanted to make sure you'd fit in, and I was interviewed by a bunch of bros. None of my interviews since then have been anything similar. I'm probably overemphasizing it, but I know I wasn't asked one law-related question during OCI. It was all "what do you do in your free time" type stuff. I did play a sport in college, so maybe that's what brought it there.

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star fox
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby star fox » Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:34 pm

El Pollito wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:My OCI interviews were overly fratty -- basically "fuck USC!" "The 49ers look great!" "I like to chug beer in my free time!" Etc.

wut

yeah how does that happen unless you take the interview there or put "broing out" in your interest section?

Maybe a west coast thing?

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El Pollito
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby El Pollito » Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:43 pm

star fox wrote:
El Pollito wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:My OCI interviews were overly fratty -- basically "fuck USC!" "The 49ers look great!" "I like to chug beer in my free time!" Etc.

wut

yeah how does that happen unless you take the interview there or put "broing out" in your interest section?

Maybe a west coast thing?

no

TheoO
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby TheoO » Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:47 pm

An old partner at one of the firm's I interviewed with went on a rant on how awful women become when anything involving marriage comes up. He ended the story by telling me that he said to his wife "don't fuck this up" by complaining during their wedding.

Oh and my friend forgot his padfolio in the hotel room, so he went back to get it. He knocked several times but decided to go in since the door wasn't fully closed. When he picked up his padfolio, he saw that the partner was taking a dump in the bathroom and didn't close the bathroom door. No cb.
Last edited by TheoO on Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:51 pm

El Pollito wrote:
star fox wrote:
El Pollito wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:My OCI interviews were overly fratty -- basically "fuck USC!" "The 49ers look great!" "I like to chug beer in my free time!" Etc.

wut

yeah how does that happen unless you take the interview there or put "broing out" in your interest section?

Maybe a west coast thing?

no


I feel bad that I derailed this thread. I'm probably exaggerating--especially about the beer thing. My OCI was 7 years ago, so my memory of it isn't exact. The point is that my OCI was, for some reason, very relaxed and focused on fit, not legal prowess. It was surely an aberration. My first interview after the aberration was a disaster because I wasn't prepared for a real life legal interview. So, I figured it would add nicely to this "bad interview moments" thread. I hope somebody enjoyed it.




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