Bad Interview Moments

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Anonymous User
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:59 pm

Since I have only ever had one firm interview (1L SA) my one anxious moment occurred when a partner asked me a “why” question that I should have anticipated, but did not have a canned answer prepared. So I went with a generic cliché response (I have used before, but will never use again).

Partner: Why do you . . .(question about something I was unprepared for).
Me: Because I am hardwired that way.
Partner: Hardwired? Seriously? You have wires running through your body? (Obvious attempt at humor but he stated his question in a straightforward manner).
Me: (Best as I can recall, some sort of lame facial expression while and mumbling something like “possibly, or not.”).

Over the summer what I learned is that it is impossible to BS or sidestep your way around direct questions from experienced lawyers. My advice [to me] was, don’t even try it.

R

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fatduck
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby fatduck » Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:04 pm

nice D-lete, bk. nice.

Anonymous User
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:51 pm

fatduck wrote:nice D-lete, bk. nice.


huh? what are you talking about?

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fatduck
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby fatduck » Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
fatduck wrote:nice D-lete, bk. nice.


huh? what are you talking about?

i'm referring to the post that he deleted

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Dany
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Dany » Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
fatduck wrote:nice D-lete, bk. nice.


huh? what are you talking about?

Sweet anon use.

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bk1
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby bk1 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:22 pm

fatduck wrote:nice D-lete, bk. nice.

The first one was more subtle, but I still tip my hat to you.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:03 pm

During screener.
Me: "You didn't start here. What brought you to {firm name}?"
Partner: "A truckload of money."
Me: "Good answer."

CB.

A12345
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby A12345 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:During screener.
Me: "You didn't start here. What brought you to {firm name}?"
Partner: "A truckload of money."
Me: "Good answer."

CB.


and how is that in any way a bad interview moment?

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:40 pm

hands down worst moment:

saying the name of another firm, not once, but at least 4 times during the interview-- and NOT being corrected by the interviewing partner; only to figure out after looking at my OCI schedule that I hadn't had that interview yet...

needless to say-- ding the next day.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:00 pm

GeePee wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:During OCI, I wore my engagement ring to a screener and was explaining why I liked NYC, incorporating my fiance into the answer to further bolster ties. Partner asked if I plan on having children anytime soon. I explained that as I was still young, I wanted to get situated in my career first and work awhile before considering children. Partner said, "Look. Just be open and honest and ask me if we provide flex time. Well, we don't. Biglaw requires that you put in long days and long nights. If you wanted something with easier hours where you could raise a family, you should have interviewed with government or public interest. We want people who are committed to the biglaw lifestyle." I just stared at him, then tried to explain again how I am interested in developing my career right now and how biglaw in particular is right for me. He responded with, "Well, then you shouldn't have worn an engagement ring to the interview or brought up your fiance."

At my very next interview (DC firm) an hour later, I took my ring off. When asked "Why DC," I again incorporated my fiance into the answer automatically, forgetting the previous interaction with the asshole partner. This person was an associate, and she said, "I notice you're not wearing a ring. If you're making up a fiance to show commitment to DC, just know there are other ways to do it, like x, y, z." Facepalm.

No CB for either.

I probably would have talked to CSO about your first interviewer. That is complete bullshit and an illegal question, and somehow the follow up response by him was even worse.


Yeah, that's some serious discrimination and, for the good of women everywhere, I would have a long talk with OCS about this.
[/quote]

The CSO is not going to do anything that would ruin the tenuous relationship they have with a major employer who is interested in employing the school's students.

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Flips88
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Flips88 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:16 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:The CSO is not going to do anything that would ruin the tenuous relationship they have with a major employer who is interested in employing the school's students.

Eh, I have a feeling they'll make sure to tell the recruiting office to remind their interviewers to not ask illegal questions...

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IAFG
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby IAFG » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:16 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:The CSO is not going to do anything that would ruin the tenuous relationship they have with a major employer who is interested in employing the school's students.

I think you're wrong.

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ryanmot
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby ryanmot » Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:hands down worst moment:

saying the name of another firm, not once, but at least 4 times during the interview-- and NOT being corrected by the interviewing partner; only to figure out after looking at my OCI schedule that I hadn't had that interview yet...

needless to say-- ding the next day.


Those are always classic.

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ggocat
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby ggocat » Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:12 am

This is not as good as many others, including the dishwasher.

OCI screener with a partner from Troutman Sanders, Atlanta. He starts by asking me what I had for breakfast. I answered honestly that I had a quesadilla. Silence. I fill in the gap by talking about how I like to cook.

His next question: "Do you know what I had for breakfast this morning?"
*pause*
I guessed: "Um, cereal?"
Him: "I don't remember what I had for breakfast this morning. But you know what, about 10 year ago [lapsing into story about how he got some book or something signed by some celebrity]. That morning, I had eggs benedict. So you see, I can't remember what I had for breakfast this morning, but I remember exactly what I had for breakfast the morning I met [celebrity]."
Me: "Oh, that's cool."

That took up like 15 minutes. Then he tells me the three things he likes to see in candidates, one of which involves a story about a duck gliding across water and how you never see the duck's feet paddling. He asks me why he should hire me. Not thinking clearly, I give my canned response. He interrupts me and says something like, "No, start again and remember what I said I like to see in candidates."

Needless to say, no CB.

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bjsesq
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby bjsesq » Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:14 am

ggocat wrote:This is not as good as many others, including the dishwasher.

OCI screener with a partner from Troutman Sanders, Atlanta. He starts by asking me what I had for breakfast. I answered honestly that I had a quesadilla. Silence. I fill in the gap by talking about how I like to cook.

His next question: "Do you know what I had for breakfast this morning?"
*pause*
I guessed: "Um, cereal?"
Him: "I don't remember what I had for breakfast this morning. But you know what, about 10 year ago [lapsing into story about how he got some book or something signed by some celebrity]. That morning, I had eggs benedict. So you see, I can't remember what I had for breakfast this morning, but I remember exactly what I had for breakfast the morning I met [celebrity]."
Me: "Oh, that's cool."

That took up like 15 minutes. Then he tells me the three things he likes to see in candidates, one of which involves a story about a duck gliding across water and how you never see the duck's feet paddling. He asks me why he should hire me. Not thinking clearly, I give my canned response. He interrupts me and says something like, "No, start again and remember what I said I like to see in candidates."

Needless to say, no CB.


What in the actual fuck? Does this dipshit think he's yoda?

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IAFG
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby IAFG » Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:22 am

Interviewer asks what classes I am taking next semester. I mention a class relevant to the practice area the firm is strong in, hoping to tie it into my interest.
Interviewer: "With [Professor]?"
Me: "Yup, I hear he's a great lecturer."
"That guy's a fucking asshole."
"Um... Oh?"
"Yeah. When he was a partner at K&E, I was an associate. He was a real pompous asshole." [Insert lengthy rant about Professor's many sins, punctuated with many anecdotes, all the while with me trying to look empathetic and understanding without ever agreeing that the professor his a prick]

When the knock comes, the interviewer came around the table to shake my hand, looking awash with catharsis, and thanks me for a great talk.

No CB.

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plenipotentiary
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby plenipotentiary » Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:47 am

Screening interview. Interviewer asks me if I have any questions for him. I ask what brought him to the firm.

He says, "Well, I was in real estate, but then the housing market crashed. One of my goals in life was to make a lot of money, so I went back to private practice. As a partner, my goal is to make as much money as possible while doing as little work as possible. That's where associates come in."

I laugh and ask a different question.

A few minutes later, he suddenly stops talking and flips to my transcript. He's quiet for a few seconds, and then he says:

"Look, your grades are obviously above our firm's cut-off, and they're much better than mine were. But how many offers do you think you're going to get? I graduated from law school fifteen years ago, and it was a different time. I had ten offers. How many offers are you going to have? I'm just curious, what does your Career Services office tell you to expect?"

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby jessuf » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:19 pm

plenipotentiary wrote:A few minutes later, he suddenly stops talking and flips to my transcript. He's quiet for a few seconds, and then he says:

"Look, your grades are obviously above our firm's cut-off, and they're much better than mine were. But how many offers do you think you're going to get? I graduated from law school fifteen years ago, and it was a different time. I had ten offers. How many offers are you going to have? I'm just curious, what does your Career Services office tell you to expect?"


An interviewer said this to me too. Said he was median, had 15 offers, and had amassed enough airline miles for a free ticket to Europe due to CB flights. He said, "You will obviously get a lot of offers with your grades and rank. How many did your advisor say you should get?"

I did not get an offer from this firm, and I am currently sitting at 0 total offers. I also had nowhere near 15+ CBs.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:27 pm

IAFG wrote:Interviewer asks what classes I am taking next semester. I mention a class relevant to the practice area the firm is strong in, hoping to tie it into my interest.
Interviewer: "With [Professor]?"
Me: "Yup, I hear he's a great lecturer."
"That guy's a fucking asshole."
"Um... Oh?"
"Yeah. When he was a partner at K&E, I was an associate. He was a real pompous asshole." [Insert lengthy rant about Professor's many sins, punctuated with many anecdotes, all the while with me trying to look empathetic and understanding without ever agreeing that the professor his a prick]

When the knock comes, the interviewer came around the table to shake my hand, looking awash with catharsis, and thanks me for a great talk.

No CB.


Um, I had the same thing happen to me, so I'm guessing this is referring to Professor L @ one of the T-14 in Chicago, right?

I wish I could go back to the interviewer and say "Yeah, you're right. He is a douche."

Anonymous User
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:30 pm

Jessuf wrote:
plenipotentiary wrote:A few minutes later, he suddenly stops talking and flips to my transcript. He's quiet for a few seconds, and then he says:

"Look, your grades are obviously above our firm's cut-off, and they're much better than mine were. But how many offers do you think you're going to get? I graduated from law school fifteen years ago, and it was a different time. I had ten offers. How many offers are you going to have? I'm just curious, what does your Career Services office tell you to expect?"


An interviewer said this to me too. Said he was median, had 15 offers, and had amassed enough airline miles for a free ticket to Europe due to CB flights. He said, "You will obviously get a lot of offers with your grades and rank. How many did your advisor say you should get?"

I did not get an offer from this firm, and I am currently sitting at 0 total offers. I also had nowhere near 15+ CBs.


I've had a fair amount of people do this kind of thing too. I think the key is to really sell hard why you want this firm. Tell them you'll have options but you're not thinking about that, you really like the firm because of x, y and z and you think you'll be a perfect fit. I think they want to see interest.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:27 pm

I stand up in the interview, realize my foot is completely asleep. Then roll my ankle, in high heels and grab a chair to keep from falling. Partner asks if I am OK. I respond that my foot is asleep while trying to right myself. Partner says "Hope I wasn't that boring." I *miss* that this is a joke and say "oh no! I just crossed my legs!".

Later that same day...eating lunch. Happy conversations. Walk off to my next interview and realize lettuce has been on my shirt for most of the meal. *facepalm*


....happy ending, offer the next day.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:42 pm

Interview with a partner at OCI. Has all the lights in the hotel room off, sounds like Eeyore and appears to be seriously depressed.

Him: rambles through assignment program
Me: So in your experience, do summers interested in certain areas have the chance to build relationships with associates or partners in those groups?
Him: No. (minute pause) That would be...against protocol.
Me: So...there's not a lot of interaction between associates/partners and summers?
Him: No. (pause) We don't do social.
Me: ...I think our time's up.

Anonymous User
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:23 pm

Just wrapped up my interviewing, and here are some of my stories:

Partner: So, you speak fluent Spanish?
Me: Yes, I do, but I am a non-native speaker, so I make a few errors here and there.
Partner: (in Spanish) What type of work would you be comfortable doing?
Me: Pues, me encantar-r-r-r-
Partner: That's OK, we don't have to speak in Spanish. So corporate or transactional?

My R's wouldn't roll, as I hadn't spoken at all that day. I essentially started stammering, and the Partner thought I was lying or exaggerating my language ability. No CB.
.............................
Got in an argument at a callback lunch with another interviewee over the cost of law school and whether law school professors make too much relative to their hours and output. I was cordial, but I had several opportunities to let the argument end and just let it go. I didn't. Offer.
.............................
During a screener with a lit boutique (I want corporate, but did the interview because I forgot to cancel it in time):
Partner: What kind of work did you do last summer?
Me: Well, I got mostly corporate work, and I kept getting that because I was getting far better reviews on it than my litigation projects.
Partner: What was wrong with your litigation work?
Me: My writing.
Callback (didn't take it)
..............................
(Not me, but a friend)
Associate: Do you have any questions about our firm?
Friend: So, what do you like most about practicing here?
Associate: I'm not going to sit here and sell this firm to you. We have 15 people doing callbacks for 2 spots. Ask me a real question.
(No offer yet, but expecting a ding)
...............................
(Gay friend)
Partner: So, what's OUTLaw?
Friend: It's the LGBT law student group.
Partner: What's LGBT?
Friend: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender
Partner: *shuts eyes, shakes his head, and blows air out of his mouth*
Offer

Anonymous User
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:12 pm

Not a fantastic story, but was the best one a friend and I had during OCI last year.
I have a morning interview with a large NY firm that does predominantly transactional work and only a little litigation on the side. I interview with the senior associate who is in M+A and although I want litigation, I stumble through the interview well enough. Well, until I ask the interviewer about the culture and collegiality of associates at the firm. The interviewer then says, "we're not really a collegial place. People are nice enough, but everyone really does there own thing." Not knowing what to say, I stammer, well it seems like the work is really interesting at a junior level or some equivalent nonsense.

I then tell my buddy who has an interview how it was a little weird before his interview with the same person an hour later. Unfortunately, there was some emergency and the firm swapped interviewers without an announcement or changing the posted info by the door of the interviewing room. My friend then goes in and gives a soliloquy on why he is interested in transactional work and litigation really doesn't interest him. He literally spent 8 or 9 minutes talking about how litigation was all people talk about but it didn't really interest him. Then he explains how it's such bs when people talk about culture, because it really all seems the same and a firm's so-called collegiality is just based on the few people you work with so why play it up during interviewing. This would have been a home run with my interviewer, but the replacement was one of the few litigation partners at the firm and after explaining in detail why my friend's whole perspective on litigation was dead wrong, the partner went on to explain how the firm truly was collegial and there was a great social culture among both junior and senior people at the firm. The interviewer then didn't even ask if my buddy had any questions before ending the interview 5 minutes early.

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piccolittle
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby piccolittle » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:37 pm

Group callback lunch at the London office of a big NY firm. My friend and I happened to have interviews at the same time and were sitting across from each other at the group lunch. We were talking about vegetarianism and how it's much easier to do in London or NY as opposed to Paris.

Associate sitting next to me: "So, you're both vegetarian?"
Me: "Yes! We're actually both on the board of our school's animal welfare organization."
Associate: "I've heard a lot of things about it, and I always wanted to ask, don't you find that it gives you..."
Me: *waiting expectantly for a question about protein/vitamin/mineral deficiency, as that's a pretty popular question*
Associate: "... Bad gas?"

It was actually hilarious but my friend and I were both completely speechless for a few seconds.




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