Bad Interview Moments

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Anonymous User
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I had several interviewers during a CB ask "so, who was your screener with?"

Haven't heard back, but not exactly filled with confidence.


Why is this a negative thing? I've gotten this question a handful of times at callbacks, including at least one firm I have an offer from. Isn't it possible they're just curious?

meowtwo
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby meowtwo » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:09 am

this thread is pure gold

Betharl
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Betharl » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:36 am

I'm a 0L (so I'll gtfo after this quick post), but I do have experience with high-pressure interviewing (trading/consulting/banking).

For people who talked with their interviewer about random stuff not related to the job - An interviewer might do this intentionally to see if you can get the conversation back on track and sell yourself. Even if it is done unintentionally, I would still try to get the conversation back to your qualifications and why you would be a good fit for the firm etc. as soon as you reasonably can.

To the people claiming their interviewer was "rude"- It's very possible you were interviewed by a jerk, but sometimes the interviewer is intentionally trying to mess with you. Once, an interviewer mentioned it was hot and told me to open a window when the window in question couldn’t be opened (and he knew that). They just want to see how you will respond and if you will keep your cool. I'm guessing this is exactly what the interviewer was trying to do when he asked a previous poster, "are you trying to f*** us over.” Stay cool and respond intelligently, ex: "No, but can you tell me why you asked that so I can specifically address any concerns you may have?"

Apologies for the unsolicited advice from a lowly 0L and good luck with the interviews!

Anonymous User
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:40 am

5 seconds of staring at each other, each waiting for the other to speak

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:50 am

Betharl wrote:For people who talked with their interviewer about random stuff not related to the job - An interviewer might do this intentionally to see if you can get the conversation back on track and sell yourself. Even if it is done unintentionally, I would still try to get the conversation back to your qualifications and why you would be a good fit for the firm etc. as soon as you reasonably can.


I'm not sure I necessarily agree. At the CB stage some interviewers just want to have a conversation to judge presence and social skills, and to make sure you'd be a good fit (is this someone I'd want to spend 20/7 with when we go to trial?). I've heard trying too hard to spin every single thing into "Why Firm X" or "this is a strength of mine" can be counterproductive.

Sure, if the guy asks you why you like racing, you can say it's because of the strategy/analysis at 180 mph, but you don't need to end that with "that's why I want to be a litigator and really like the litigation practice at Firm X."

Jacques_Bentley
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Jacques_Bentley » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:The partner who told me he bills $700 an hour and then spends 25 of the 30 minute interview lecturing me on ayn rand and objectivism because I'm "too nice". I'm a hardcore libertarian and have studied rand intensely.


Similar experience, but more positive result. Curious to know if it's the same individual. PM me?

071816
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby 071816 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:04 am

f7 wrote:
Betharl wrote:I'm a 0L (so I'll gtfo after this quick post), but I do have experience with high-pressure interviewing (trading/consulting/banking).

For people who talked with their interviewer about random stuff not related to the job - An interviewer might do this intentionally to see if you can get the conversation back on track and sell yourself. Even if it is done unintentionally, I would still try to get the conversation back to your qualifications and why you would be a good fit for the firm etc. as soon as you reasonably can.

No, that is awkward as shit.

Yea. Let the conversation flow naturally rather than gunning your ass off. You'll just come across as a tool.

Betharl
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Betharl » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:08 am

f7 wrote:
Betharl wrote:I'm a 0L (so I'll gtfo after this quick post), but I do have experience with high-pressure interviewing (trading/consulting/banking).

For people who talked with their interviewer about random stuff not related to the job - An interviewer might do this intentionally to see if you can get the conversation back on track and sell yourself. Even if it is done unintentionally, I would still try to get the conversation back to your qualifications and why you would be a good fit for the firm etc. as soon as you reasonably can.

No, that is awkward as shit.


I still disagree. Although, I think it depends how long the off-topic conversation goes on and what they are reasonably looking for at that stage (which I don't know the specifics of for legal hiring as a 0L). If you go to Michigan and they are an alumnus and want to talk football for the first couple minutes, go for it. But if you are at a stage when your credentials should be questioned and they aren't questioning them, that's definitetly not good and you should try to do something. Obviously, try not to make the transition akward.

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ilovesf
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby ilovesf » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:09 am

Betharl wrote:
f7 wrote:
Betharl wrote:I'm a 0L (so I'll gtfo after this quick post), but I do have experience with high-pressure interviewing (trading/consulting/banking).

For people who talked with their interviewer about random stuff not related to the job - An interviewer might do this intentionally to see if you can get the conversation back on track and sell yourself. Even if it is done unintentionally, I would still try to get the conversation back to your qualifications and why you would be a good fit for the firm etc. as soon as you reasonably can.

No, that is awkward as shit.


I still disagree. Although, I think it depends how long the off-topic conversation goes on and what they are reasonably looking for at that stage (which I don't know the specifics of for legal hiring as a 0L). If you go to Michigan and they are an alumnus and want to talk football for the first couple minutes, go for it. But if you are at a stage when your credentials should be questioned and they aren't questioning them, that's definitetly not good and you should try to do something. Obviously, try not to make it akward.

(talks about legal hiring)
(admits to not knowing about legal hiring)

071816
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby 071816 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:10 am

Betharl wrote:
f7 wrote:
Betharl wrote:I'm a 0L (so I'll gtfo after this quick post), but I do have experience with high-pressure interviewing (trading/consulting/banking).

For people who talked with their interviewer about random stuff not related to the job - An interviewer might do this intentionally to see if you can get the conversation back on track and sell yourself. Even if it is done unintentionally, I would still try to get the conversation back to your qualifications and why you would be a good fit for the firm etc. as soon as you reasonably can.

No, that is awkward as shit.


I still disagree. Although, I think it depends how long the off-topic conversation goes on and what they are reasonably looking for at that stage (which I don't know the specifics of for legal hiring as a 0L). If you go to Michigan and they are an alum and want to talk football for the first couple minutes, go for it. But if you are at a stage when your credentials should be questioned and they aren't questioning them, that's definitetly not good and you should try to do something. Obviously, try not to make it akward.

I know a person who got a CB (and eventually an offer) from a firm after talking about white water rafting for just about the entire screener.

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Rocío
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Rocío » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:10 am

RickyDnwhyc wrote:Has anyone ever sweared at/called out an interviewer for being an enormous d*bag?


One of my closest friends at OCI had a screener with a big law firm. The interviewer spent the entire time talking about himself, and didn't ask her a single question about herself. She said she did not get a word in beyond the hello. When the interviewer went to open the door for the next student, she stopped him, and said, "while I enjoyed hearing about you, this was not an interview." She then talked at him for two minutes about herself while he awkwardly held onto the door knob. She then said, "thank you," shook his hand, and walked out.

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Georgia Avenue
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Georgia Avenue » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:10 am

Betharl wrote:
f7 wrote:
Betharl wrote:I'm a 0L (so I'll gtfo after this quick post), but I do have experience with high-pressure interviewing (trading/consulting/banking).

For people who talked with their interviewer about random stuff not related to the job - An interviewer might do this intentionally to see if you can get the conversation back on track and sell yourself. Even if it is done unintentionally, I would still try to get the conversation back to your qualifications and why you would be a good fit for the firm etc. as soon as you reasonably can.

No, that is awkward as shit.


I still disagree. Although, I think it depends how long the off-topic conversation goes on and what they are reasonably looking for at that stage (which I don't know the specifics of for legal hiring as a 0L). If you go to Michigan and they are an alum and want to talk football for the first couple minutes, go for it. But if you are at a stage when your credentials should be questioned and they aren't questioning them, that's definitetly not good and you should try to do something. Obviously, try not to make it akward.


What? No. At a callback, your credentials aren't being questioned a lot of the time because they were questioned already at the screener. Partners don't want to re-invent the wheel. They want to know that they can put you in front of a client without having you swallow your own tongue.

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chup
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby chup » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:16 am

Reminder: If you're a 0L, you don't dole out employment advice.

Additional reminder: If you're a 0L and law students consistently tell you your unsolicited employment advice is wrong, kindly take the hint and shut up.

Betharl
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Betharl » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:50 am

:( Sheesh, you guys are mean. I prefaced everything I said with some sort of "I don't know the specifics of legal hiring." If that's not what they are looking for at that stage, then don't take the advice. I figured the advice, when applied appropriately, was applicable to any field and was just trying to help.

I'll listen to chup and bow out now, assuming I'm not already banned and this actually gets posted.

But, as penance, I'll post an embarrassing interview story I would rather not recount. That's what this thread was about anyway, right?

I was at super-Saturday, basically what you guys would call a cb, at a major investment bank. I was interviewing for a trading job and they typically ask you math questions/riddles. My very first interviewer out of 5 tells me he is going to give me a warm-up question, "if I have a globe and throw three darts at it, assuming I always hit the globe, what is the probability one hemisphere ends up with two or more darts?" Obviously, the answer is 100% (two hemispheres, 3 darts, not exactly rocket science). So, I tell him 100% pretty much immediately, and he raises his eyebrows and asks me if I'm sure. I take this to mean I am wrong and panic (example of interviewer messing with you). I stammer and end up telling him the probability is 1-(.5^3), or 87.5%, for some reason. He tells me I was right the first time and that I missed the warm-up question. The interview ended there and threw me off for the other four. No offer.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:59 am

Rocío wrote:
RickyDnwhyc wrote:Has anyone ever sweared at/called out an interviewer for being an enormous d*bag?


One of my closest friends at OCI had a screener with a big law firm. The interviewer spent the entire time talking about himself, and didn't ask her a single question about herself. She said she did not get a word in beyond the hello. When the interviewer went to open the door for the next student, she stopped him, and said, "while I enjoyed hearing about you, this was not an interview." She then talked at him for two minutes about herself while he awkwardly held onto the door knob. She then said, "thank you," shook his hand, and walked out.


I'm in BigLaw and have interviewed people at callbacks.

There's a good chance your friend talked herself out of an offer with that outburst at the end.

Often, earlier interviewers will tip off later interviewers that a certain candidate is stellar, and the focus of the later interviewers becomes to try to sell the firm, and themselves, to the candidate, rather than to seriously interview the candidate. At that point, the offer is usually in the bag. But not when the candidate does something that weird.

Moral of the story: if the interviewer wants to talk about X, and doesn't want to ask you any questions, then DO NOT make some transition to try to turn the conversation back to how special you are (that will be awkward) - instead, sit back and enjoy the fact that you get to have a relaxed, non-substantive conversation, and minimal participation in the conversation. The interviewer is throwing you a gimme.

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Dany
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Dany » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Rocío wrote:
RickyDnwhyc wrote:Has anyone ever sweared at/called out an interviewer for being an enormous d*bag?


One of my closest friends at OCI had a screener with a big law firm. The interviewer spent the entire time talking about himself, and didn't ask her a single question about herself. She said she did not get a word in beyond the hello. When the interviewer went to open the door for the next student, she stopped him, and said, "while I enjoyed hearing about you, this was not an interview." She then talked at him for two minutes about herself while he awkwardly held onto the door knob. She then said, "thank you," shook his hand, and walked out.


I'm in BigLaw and have interviewed people at callbacks.

There's a good chance your friend talked herself out of an offer with that outburst at the end.

Often, earlier interviewers will tip off later interviewers that a certain candidate is stellar, and the focus of the later interviewers becomes to try to sell the firm, and themselves, to the candidate, rather than to seriously interview the candidate. At that point, the offer is usually in the bag. But not when the candidate does something that weird.

Moral of the story: if the interviewer wants to talk about X, and doesn't want to ask you any questions, then DO NOT make some transition to try to turn the conversation back to how special you are (that will be awkward) - instead, sit back and enjoy the fact that you get to have a relaxed, non-substantive conversation, and minimal participation in the conversation. The interviewer is throwing you a gimme.

It was a screener, and Rocío's friend probably didn't want to work for them after that anyway.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Pokemon » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:05 am

Betharl wrote::( Sheesh, you guys are mean. I prefaced everything I said with some sort of "I don't know the specifics of legal hiring." If that's not what they are looking for at that stage, then don't take the advice. I figured the advice, when applied appropriately, was applicable to any field and was just trying to help.

I'll listen to chup and bow out now, assuming I'm not already banned and this actually gets posted.

But, as penance, I'll post an embarrassing interview story I would rather not recount. That's what this thread was about anyway, right?

I was at super-Saturday, basically what you guys would call a cb, at a major investment bank. I was interviewing for a trading job and they typically ask you math questions/riddles. My very first interviewer out of 5 tells me he is going to give me a warm-up question, "if I have a globe and throw three darts at it, assuming I always hit the globe, what is the probability one hemisphere ends up with two or more darts?" Obviously, the answer is 100% (two hemispheres, 3 darts, not exactly rocket science). So, I tell him 100% pretty much immediately, and he raises his eyebrows and asks me if I'm sure. I take this to mean I am wrong and panic (example of interviewer messing with you). I stammer and end up telling him the probability is 1-(.5^3), or 87.5%, for some reason. He tells me I was right the first time and that I missed the warm-up question. The interview ended there and threw me off for the other four. No offer.


Your points are fair. The thing about legal hiring is that the recruiters can tell nothing of your abilities in interviews. They cannot really test you with legal questions. They trust you know them because of gpa/school combination. As such, generally, the conversations rarely are about abilities and qualifications. The problem is that some of them get really bored in process and act mean... they are not testing, they are just bored. 1L is kind of revenge of the quiet nerds who do well, and OCI is the bloodbath where the sociable median gets callbacks while some quiet law review types struggle.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:09 am

I had a great screener. The right mix of friendliness and substantive questions about the firm. Thought it was one of my best.... except that twice my stomach made these really loud, gassy noises. My face was burning, but I acted like nothing happened. No CB

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:43 am

In a screener, the interviewer asked "besides region, how are you narrowing down among firms"
I responded "uh, can I pronounce the name of the firm."
"ok"
We stare at each other in silence for about 5 seconds. I helped her out: "that was a joke."
She responds "oh. I thought you were asking permission to say the name of my firm. I thought that was a weird thing to ask permission for."
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

071816
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby 071816 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:44 am

Anonymous User wrote:In a screened, the interviewer asked "besides region, how are you narrowing down among firms"
I responded "uh, can I pronounce the name of the firm."
"ok"
We stare at each other in silence for about 5 seconds. I helped her out: "that was a joke."
She responds "oh. I thought you were asking permiss the name of my firm. I thought that was a weird thing to ask permission for."

lol this is supremely awkward.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:05 am

Might as well add this one. It actually ended well: CB given.

Interviewing with a branch office partner. Interview before me ends a few minutes late, and she asks if I wouldn't mind her going to the hospitality suite really quick to check on something. Of course I say that it's fine, and wait. and wait. 10 minutes later she comes back and I have about 5 minutes left. We go into the room, I hand over my res/trans, and she asks me 4 or 5 pretty formulaic questions rapid-fire. Next person knocks. She says it was nice meeting me, doesn't want to keep being late, and wraps up the interview.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:23 am

I said something about wanting to work in a firm of a certain size and the interviewer's like, "So size matters?" And I start cracking up. Did not get a call back.

Slobberson
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Slobberson » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:04 am

Pokemon wrote:
Betharl wrote::( Sheesh, you guys are mean. I prefaced everything I said with some sort of "I don't know the specifics of legal hiring." If that's not what they are looking for at that stage, then don't take the advice. I figured the advice, when applied appropriately, was applicable to any field and was just trying to help.

I'll listen to chup and bow out now, assuming I'm not already banned and this actually gets posted.

But, as penance, I'll post an embarrassing interview story I would rather not recount. That's what this thread was about anyway, right?

I was at super-Saturday, basically what you guys would call a cb, at a major investment bank. I was interviewing for a trading job and they typically ask you math questions/riddles. My very first interviewer out of 5 tells me he is going to give me a warm-up question, "if I have a globe and throw three darts at it, assuming I always hit the globe, what is the probability one hemisphere ends up with two or more darts?" Obviously, the answer is 100% (two hemispheres, 3 darts, not exactly rocket science). So, I tell him 100% pretty much immediately, and he raises his eyebrows and asks me if I'm sure. I take this to mean I am wrong and panic (example of interviewer messing with you). I stammer and end up telling him the probability is 1-(.5^3), or 87.5%, for some reason. He tells me I was right the first time and that I missed the warm-up question. The interview ended there and threw me off for the other four. No offer.


Your points are fair. The thing about legal hiring is that the recruiters can tell nothing of your abilities in interviews. They cannot really test you with legal questions. They trust you know them because of gpa/school combination. As such, generally, the conversations rarely are about abilities and qualifications. The problem is that some of them get really bored in process and act mean... they are not testing, they are just bored. 1L is kind of revenge of the quiet nerds who do well, and OCI is the bloodbath where the sociable median gets callbacks while some quiet law review types struggle.


Lol @ the "sociable median" getting callbacks while law review types struggle.

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sunynp
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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby sunynp » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:46 am

I dropped my fork at a lunch. The floor wasn't carpeted and it echoed through the whole room. Everyone in the restaurant looked over at me and it went silent for a second- the way it does if a waiter drops something.

I just sat there and acted like nothing happened and the waiter brought over another fork. I turned bright red though.

I also went to an interview a day early. That was embarrassing too. Such an idiot. Everyone that i interviewed with asked me about it the next day. News travels fast.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:54 am

I posted this in another thread, but it seems more appropriate here.

Right off the bat, one of the interviewers, who looked very stressed, told me that associates are extremely stressed and work very long hours. She proceeded by saying how terrible the conditions were for a minute or two. All the while, the other interviewer, a partner, starred at the one going on a tirade in horror. I responded like a good interviewee by saying that I wanted to challenge myself at work. The stressed one responded to that by telling me that I have no idea how incredibly stressful it was. I didn't get a callback, but I don't think I would have been interested in one after that experience.

I'm pretty sure I witnessed a mental breakdown. Not surprisingly, that firm does not receive high marks for hours/morale.




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