Bad Interview Moments

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romothesavior
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby romothesavior » Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:54 pm

Bad form? Nah, that was an obvious question you should have expected. Tough situation and sorry to hear about it, but at the same time, you can't really be surprised or mad at the firm for asking. Makes for a cautionary tale at least.

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soccerfreak
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby soccerfreak » Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:57 pm

TooOld4This wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just had an interview with a small firm. When asked "Why didn't you bid on us at OCI?" I responded with: "Quite honestly, because I was overconfident about how OCI would go." It just kind of came out.


This is just as bad as if you would have asked them "why are you still interviewing even though you came to campus during OCI?" Bad form on their part.


Not bad form. An entirely predictable soft-ball question. It is designed, unfortunately for the person who posted this, to screen out exactly that sort of answer. One of the things law firms are looking for is good judgment. This type of situation comes up all the time in practice. You are often asked entirely obvious questions that are uncomfortable. The interviewer was looking for the prepared response -- the question was designed to see if you could anticipate the obvious. For people who miss the A+ answer (an obviously prepared answer delivered in an easy-going manner), the B+ answer is one that shows that the interviewee was caught off guard, but has good instincts and still answers with grace.

Sorry, OP. Learn from this one and move on. Everyone has a foot-in-mouth interview story.

I can think of a few B+ answers, but I'm curious what you'd consider A+

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:00 pm

romothesavior wrote:Bad form? Nah, that was an obvious question you should have expected. Tough situation and sorry to hear about it, but at the same time, you can't really be surprised or mad at the firm for asking. Makes for a cautionary tale at least.


OP again. You're right. I should have prepared an answer; I did briefly think about it, but couldn't think of an excuse that wouldn't either:
(1) be a complete lie--Something along the lines of: "I had a scheduling conflict and couldn't be there." (which wouldn't work, because I interviewed right next to them at OCI); or
(2) sound incredibly patronizing.

The unfortunate part is that my interview with the hiring partner went great. It was during a group interview with several associates that the question came up.

TooOld4This
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby TooOld4This » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:11 pm

soccerfreak wrote:
TooOld4This wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just had an interview with a small firm. When asked "Why didn't you bid on us at OCI?" I responded with: "Quite honestly, because I was overconfident about how OCI would go." It just kind of came out.


This is just as bad as if you would have asked them "why are you still interviewing even though you came to campus during OCI?" Bad form on their part.


Not bad form. An entirely predictable soft-ball question. It is designed, unfortunately for the person who posted this, to screen out exactly that sort of answer. One of the things law firms are looking for is good judgment. This type of situation comes up all the time in practice. You are often asked entirely obvious questions that are uncomfortable. The interviewer was looking for the prepared response -- the question was designed to see if you could anticipate the obvious. For people who miss the A+ answer (an obviously prepared answer delivered in an easy-going manner), the B+ answer is one that shows that the interviewee was caught off guard, but has good instincts and still answers with grace.

Sorry, OP. Learn from this one and move on. Everyone has a foot-in-mouth interview story.

I can think of a few B+ answers, but I'm curious what you'd consider A+


Well, A+ has to take into account that it is an uncomfortable question. One of the best responses I've heard to the question was that the person had done additional research since bidding on OCI and now realized that the firm was actually a fit for their interest for X, Y, and Z reasons. The reasons were solid, the response was confident, with just the right amount of acknowledgment that this was something that, in an ideal world, the person would have done before OCI. Sure it was canned, but not an implausible lie and the answer incorporated a "Why this firm" spin, which led to a natural discussion of the person's interests.
Last edited by TooOld4This on Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TooOld4This
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby TooOld4This » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:12 pm

f7 wrote:
TooOld4This wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just had an interview with a small firm. When asked "Why didn't you bid on us at OCI?" I responded with: "Quite honestly, because I was overconfident about how OCI would go." It just kind of came out.


This is just as bad as if you would have asked them "why are you still interviewing even though you came to campus during OCI?" Bad form on their part.


Not bad form. An entirely predictable soft-ball question. It is designed, unfortunately for the person who posted this, to screen out exactly that sort of answer. One of the things law firms are looking for is good judgment. This type of situation comes up all the time in practice. You are often asked entirely obvious questions that are uncomfortable. The interviewer was looking for the prepared response -- the question was designed to see if you could anticipate the obvious. For people who miss the A+ answer (an obviously prepared answer delivered in an easy-going manner), the B+ answer is one that shows that the interviewee was caught off guard, but has good instincts and still answers with grace.

Sorry, OP. Learn from this one and move on. Everyone has a foot-in-mouth interview story.

What? The interviewer was just being a dick.


Sorry, but this is a very common question. If you have an opportunity to bid on a firm during OCI and don't and then go back to them later (even during the height of OCI season), you better be prepared to answer this question.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Bad form? Nah, that was an obvious question you should have expected. Tough situation and sorry to hear about it, but at the same time, you can't really be surprised or mad at the firm for asking. Makes for a cautionary tale at least.


OP again. You're right. I should have prepared an answer; I did briefly think about it, but couldn't think of an excuse that wouldn't either:
(1) be a complete lie--Something along the lines of: "I had a scheduling conflict and couldn't be there." (which wouldn't work, because I interviewed right next to them at OCI); or
(2) sound incredibly patronizing.

The unfortunate part is that my interview with the hiring partner went great. It was during a group interview with several associates that the question came up.



That question's rough. I probably just would have said something like "at the time, I thought those firms were a better fit for me, but now because of x, y, and z I really think this is where I want to start my career"... then segue-way into the wonderful stuff you researched about the firm and why you'd be perfect to work there.

EDIT: I guess someone else posted the same thing at the same time!
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lukertin
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby lukertin » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:17 pm

Towards the end of an interview that was going really well for a firm I really wanted to work at, my interviewer asked me "So how do you feel about working in Boston?"

and I responded with "well I was born and raised in Massachusetts", caught myself because I wasn't born in Massachusetts but only grew up there, tried to correct what I was saying but instead repeated "I was born and raised in Massachusetts" three more times.

TooOld4This
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby TooOld4This » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Bad form? Nah, that was an obvious question you should have expected. Tough situation and sorry to hear about it, but at the same time, you can't really be surprised or mad at the firm for asking. Makes for a cautionary tale at least.


OP again. You're right. I should have prepared an answer; I did briefly think about it, but couldn't think of an excuse that wouldn't either:
(1) be a complete lie--Something along the lines of: "I had a scheduling conflict and couldn't be there." (which wouldn't work, because I interviewed right next to them at OCI); or
(2) sound incredibly patronizing.

The unfortunate part is that my interview with the hiring partner went great. It was during a group interview with several associates that the question came up.


Actually that is good for you. There is more of a chance that the associates were just tossing you a softball and didn't really care about your answer (and were close enough to having been in your shoes to give you a pass if the rest of the interview went well).

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Gorki » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:20 pm

TooOld4This wrote:
Well, A+ has to take into account that it is an uncomfortable question. One of the best responses I've heard to the question was that the person had done additional research since bidding on OCI and now realized that the firm was actually a fit for their interest for X, Y, and Z reasons. The reasons were solid, the response was confident, with just the right amount of acknowledgment that this was something that, in an ideal world, the person would have done before OCI. Sure it was canned, but not an implausible lie and the answer incorporated a "Why this firm" spin, which led to a natural discussion of the person's interests.



Just curious, but did this lead to an offer? I know of a few people that faced this problem, said something fairly similar (except in their case they were applying for post-grad jobs) and they were still rejected post-interview... Can't say it was JUST because of that question/answer, but I have yet to see anyone asked that Q spin it correctly + make offer happen.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby TooOld4This » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:30 pm

Gorki wrote:
TooOld4This wrote:
Well, A+ has to take into account that it is an uncomfortable question. One of the best responses I've heard to the question was that the person had done additional research since bidding on OCI and now realized that the firm was actually a fit for their interest for X, Y, and Z reasons. The reasons were solid, the response was confident, with just the right amount of acknowledgment that this was something that, in an ideal world, the person would have done before OCI. Sure it was canned, but not an implausible lie and the answer incorporated a "Why this firm" spin, which led to a natural discussion of the person's interests.



Just curious, but did this lead to an offer? I know of a few people that faced this problem, said something fairly similar (except in their case they were applying for post-grad jobs) and they were still rejected post-interview... Can't say it was JUST because of that question/answer, but I have yet to see anyone asked that Q spin it correctly + make offer happen.


Honestly, I don't remember. I've only asked the question in mock interviews. I have been in interview panels where the question was asked, but that was a long time ago and interviews are very much a blur.

Think of it as necessary vs. sufficient. It is necessary to answer this question well. But if everyone answers the question well, then the answer doesn't help. Also, it could be that the person who asked the question is being a jerk and something on the resume didn't sit well before the candidate walked in the door. In that case, a good answer doesn't sink the candidate, but the person didn't have much of chance to start with.

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soccerfreak
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby soccerfreak » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:32 pm

TooOld4This wrote:
soccerfreak wrote:I can think of a few B+ answers, but I'm curious what you'd consider A+


Well, A+ has to take into account that it is an uncomfortable question. One of the best responses I've heard to the question was that the person had done additional research since bidding on OCI and now realized that the firm was actually a fit for their interest for X, Y, and Z reasons. The reasons were solid, the response was confident, with just the right amount of acknowledgment that this was something that, in an ideal world, the person would have done before OCI. Sure it was canned, but not an implausible lie and the answer incorporated a "Why this firm" spin, which led to a natural discussion of the person's interests.

Okay, that's along the lines of what I was thinking. My best responses IRL focused on the effort I had put into pursuing an opportunity with the firm after OCI, rather than on why I actually hadn't bid on them in the first place.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby jessuf » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:42 pm

Was asked the following questions recently in various interviews:

1. What percentile of test takers did your LSAT score put you in?
2. Why were you #3 and not #1? What horrible grade stopped you from being at the top? (interviewer proceeded to scan transcript. My school had number grades, not letter grades. She presumably couldn't figure out how to interpret the numbers, so she threw my transcript down in disgust.)
3. I've never heard of your 1L school. I don't think anybody has. What other schools did you apply to, and did they reject you? What happened? (she graduated from a no-name t3 that is tied with my 1L school).
4. I read your writing sample. What's the presiding statute, including common name and USC citation? Name some of the cases, including jurisdiction and year of decision, as well as their holdings.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby FeelTheHeat » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:51 pm

Jessuf wrote:Was asked the following questions recently in various interviews:

1. What percentile of test takers did your LSAT score put you in?
2. Why were you #3 and not #1? What horrible grade stopped you from being at the top? (interviewer proceeded to scan transcript. My school had number grades, not letter grades. She presumably couldn't figure out how to interpret the numbers, so she threw my transcript down in disgust.)
3. I've never heard of your 1L school. I don't think anybody has. What other schools did you apply to, and did they reject you? What happened? (she graduated from a no-name t3 that is tied with my 1L school).
4. I read your writing sample. What's the presiding statute, including common name and USC citation? Name some of the cases, including jurisdiction and year of decision, as well as their holdings.


:shock: :shock: :shock:

071816
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby 071816 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:53 pm

Jessuf wrote:Was asked the following questions recently in various interviews:

1. What percentile of test takers did your LSAT score put you in?
2. Why were you #3 and not #1? What horrible grade stopped you from being at the top? (interviewer proceeded to scan transcript. My school had number grades, not letter grades. She presumably couldn't figure out how to interpret the numbers, so she threw my transcript down in disgust.)
3. I've never heard of your 1L school. I don't think anybody has. What other schools did you apply to, and did they reject you? What happened? (she graduated from a no-name t3 that is tied with my 1L school).
4. I read your writing sample. What's the presiding statute, including common name and USC citation? Name some of the cases, including jurisdiction and year of decision, as well as their holdings.

Sounds like the interviewer was some overcompensating TTT shithead.

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jessuf
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby jessuf » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:59 pm

#2 and #3 were the same person. Her whole bio was super lol on the firm website. I don't get how she became such a prestige whore.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby UnamSanctam » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:34 pm

Jessuf wrote:Was asked the following questions recently in various interviews:

1. What percentile of test takers did your LSAT score put you in?
2. Why were you #3 and not #1? What horrible grade stopped you from being at the top? (interviewer proceeded to scan transcript. My school had number grades, not letter grades. She presumably couldn't figure out how to interpret the numbers, so she threw my transcript down in disgust.)
3. I've never heard of your 1L school. I don't think anybody has. What other schools did you apply to, and did they reject you? What happened? (she graduated from a no-name t3 that is tied with my 1L school).
4. I read your writing sample. What's the presiding statute, including common name and USC citation? Name some of the cases, including jurisdiction and year of decision, as well as their holdings.


1. I don't remember. %ish. I scored a 1XX
2. . . .
3. I applied to X, Y, and Z. My 1L school is tied in the rankings with yours.
4. Fuck off.


I get the impression I'm not getting a lot of callbacks when my time comes.

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Bronte
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Bronte » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:52 pm

UnamSanctam wrote:I get the impression I'm not getting a lot of callbacks when my time comes.


People don't actually ask questions like that IRL.

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jessuf
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby jessuf » Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:35 am

Bronte wrote:
UnamSanctam wrote:I get the impression I'm not getting a lot of callbacks when my time comes.


People don't actually ask questions like that IRL.

These questions, plus ones I posted earlier in the thread, were not the norm. Most of my interview questions were "why this firm," "why DC," "why litigation"

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:12 am

If you had a super power, what would it be? Name five uses for a stapler other than stapling. If you could be anyone living or dead, who would you be?

We went on like that for an hour and a half over lunch, just one-on-one. He never asked me about anything on my resume or anything school-related nor did he talk about the firm or give me an opportunity to ask him about it.

I didn't get an offer, but with the way he was questioning me I wonder if he had already decided against me before it began.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:If you had a super power, what would it be? Name five uses for a stapler other than stapling. If you could be anyone living or dead, who would you be?

We went on like that for an hour and a half over lunch, just one-on-one. He never asked me about anything on my resume or anything school-related nor did he talk about the firm or give me an opportunity to ask him about it.

I didn't get an offer, but with the way he was questioning me I wonder if he had already decided against me before it began.


1) Easy, super healing power (think wolverine).
2) Paper weight, weapon, a very light weight, makeshift basketball to use for trashcan basketball game, and a very bad boomerang.
3) Einstein. Or Michael Jordan.

Maybe I'm strange, but I would think that interview would be kind of fun.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Pokemon » Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:10 am

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you had a super power, what would it be? Name five uses for a stapler other than stapling. If you could be anyone living or dead, who would you be?

We went on like that for an hour and a half over lunch, just one-on-one. He never asked me about anything on my resume or anything school-related nor did he talk about the firm or give me an opportunity to ask him about it.

I didn't get an offer, but with the way he was questioning me I wonder if he had already decided against me before it began.


1) Easy, super healing power (think wolverine).
2) Paper weight, weapon, a very light weight, makeshift basketball to use for trashcan basketball game, and a very bad boomerang.
3) Einstein. Or Michael Jordan.

Maybe I'm strange, but I would think that interview would be kind of fun.


1) Not ambitious enough.
2) That question is specifically asked so people do not say "weapon."
3) This would raise serious doubts as to your commitment to law and the firm. Clearly you would prefer physics or basketball.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:16 am

Pokemon wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you had a super power, what would it be? Name five uses for a stapler other than stapling. If you could be anyone living or dead, who would you be?

We went on like that for an hour and a half over lunch, just one-on-one. He never asked me about anything on my resume or anything school-related nor did he talk about the firm or give me an opportunity to ask him about it.

I didn't get an offer, but with the way he was questioning me I wonder if he had already decided against me before it began.


1) Easy, super healing power (think wolverine).
2) Paper weight, weapon, a very light weight, makeshift basketball to use for trashcan basketball game, and a very bad boomerang.
3) Einstein. Or Michael Jordan.

Maybe I'm strange, but I would think that interview would be kind of fun.


1) Not ambitious enough.
2) That question is specifically asked so people do not say "weapon."
3) This would raise serious doubts as to your commitment to law and the firm. Clearly you would prefer physics or basketball.


Proper interview responses:
1) Um, super healing also makes me close to immortal since I age much, much slower. Plus, I could contribute at a firm for a ton of years on very little sleep (and not have a crisis about "wasting my young years" being a slave to my job).
2) Using a stapler as a weapon shows my competitive spirit.
3) Einstein shows a commitment to wanting knowledge and appearing smart. Jordan shows the desire to dominate the competition.

(But, yeah, my answers pretty much show I'm a big kid with interests outside the law.)

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okinawa
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby okinawa » Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:41 am

batman's superpower: being really, really rich without having to work.

Anonymous User
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:44 am

Pokemon wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you had a super power, what would it be? Name five uses for a stapler other than stapling. If you could be anyone living or dead, who would you be?

We went on like that for an hour and a half over lunch, just one-on-one. He never asked me about anything on my resume or anything school-related nor did he talk about the firm or give me an opportunity to ask him about it.

I didn't get an offer, but with the way he was questioning me I wonder if he had already decided against me before it began.


1) Easy, super healing power (think wolverine).
2) Paper weight, weapon, a very light weight, makeshift basketball to use for trashcan basketball game, and a very bad boomerang.
3) Einstein. Or Michael Jordan.

Maybe I'm strange, but I would think that interview would be kind of fun.


1) Not ambitious enough.
2) That question is specifically asked so people do not say "weapon."
3) This would raise serious doubts as to your commitment to law and the firm. Clearly you would prefer physics or basketball.


I did wonder if there were "right" answers and if I got them wrong.
I said time travel, the typical stapler things (including weapon), and obscure French filmmaker. Probably should have gone with something dumb like Oliver Wendell Holmes.

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Flips88
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Flips88 » Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I did wonder if there were "right" answers and if I got them wrong.
I said time travel, the typical stapler things (including weapon), and obscure French filmmaker. Probably should have gone with something dumb like Oliver Wendell Holmes.

I believe TCR for #3 is Kate Upton so you could spend all day checking out your boobs in the mirror




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