Bad Personality

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Bad Personality

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:01 am

bah-humbug wrote:
Rocío wrote:Are you a woman? Because if so, personality could have nothing to do with it, especially if other women are interviewing you.


Wow. Sexist much? I hope to god you aren't a woman who thinks all other women are out to get you.


I'm not the OP there, but I do agree with her (I assume it's a her). Some women can get a bit petty. I (a woman) worked for four years before law school, and while most women are wonderful, there are always a few that can be temperamental, insecure, and judgmental. I've never had that problem with male bosses, but with one female boss, my life was hell. I wouldn't write it off as sexist or prejudiced; it ignores what can sometimes be a reality for women. Most women will tell you that.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Bad Personality

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:45 am

OP OP her/also dude who was hemming and hawing last night:

I really appreciate everyone's support and advice. FWIW, I have gone to Career Services, I have done mock interviews, I have solicited advice from people who have rocked interviews, I have even talked to the last people who interviewed me for a job I got: the clerks from my j-internship. Some of it was helpful, but most to all of it was unneeded. The poster with the stickied note "The Mechanics of OCI blah blah" tells you everything you need to know. I kinda figured he was simplifying it, but nah, it's a real simple process I believe. I was over-selling, talking too much, being too specific, not being deferential enough, not asking the interviewer enough about themselves, instead asking tough and hyper-specific Qs about the firm: all nice tools to have in your arsenal for 1 in 10 interview that wants to go the conventional route or try out some behavioral techniques, but generally superfluous and harmful.

I hesitate to say this until I've got an offer in hand, but I think this is it, 100%:

1) be friendly, enthusiastic, make some (but not too much eye contact), don't fidget, paste a smile on your face, have good posture
2) let the interviewer control the interview (sometimes I would start asking questions too quickly, as soon as I saw an opening, and this was generally a mistake)
3) be ready to give a quick anecdote about any resume line that makes you (A) sound good (B) makes the experience sound at least somewhat useful and (C) makes the experience sound so unbelievably god-damned positive
4) be ready with concise answers to the questions you will almost invariably get, like "why law school" and "why X city" these can be amusing, cogent, subtly persuasive, whatever, but they need to be quick, semi-coherent, and have a really positive spin.
5) your "why firm Y" answer needs to be enthusiastic and show some very basic familiarity with the firm, but should be concise and should not go into too much depth. take these admonitions even more seriously when talking to an associate. also, focus not so much on what vault, etc. says but how their website talks about the firm's strengths. this is how they like to perceive themselves.
6) somewhere, somehow, work in a non-law (and probably non-work) related experience somewhere. a hobby, etc.
7) refer to (2) and make sure the question asking phase has begun before you start asking questions.
8. ask the interviewer about themselves and their experiences. especially associates. act so fucking impressed oh my god by how much responsibility they've taken on so quickly. with partners, be impressed by their knowledge of the firm and their insight into the firm's strategies and practices. I mean, be really fucking impressed, even though they will likely be a total asshat.
9) ask questions that show you've done basic research ("now, your summer program allows you to get a variety of experiences. [partner]: how are those assignments given? [associate]: what sort of assignments did you do during your summer?")

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Bad Personality

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:02 am

Previous poster gives really great advice. I do think we need a sticky on it. After doing seven callbacks, I have also learned some things that were never shared earlier.

The first (also suggested above) is not to ask tough questions. I made the mistake of thinking that this shows you're a critical-thinking person, but I think it just comes off as being critical. Just as I didn't like when my interviewers started off with critical questions, people probably don't like when you're so critical. Try to get the same information, but through more positive phrasing. Instead of asking, "So how is your firm dealing with the financial situation?" phrase it "What are the opportunities for growth at this firm?"

User avatar
Rocío
Posts: 180
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:46 am

Re: Bad Personality

Postby Rocío » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:
bah-humbug wrote:
Rocío wrote:Are you a woman? Because if so, personality could have nothing to do with it, especially if other women are interviewing you.


Wow. Sexist much? I hope to god you aren't a woman who thinks all other women are out to get you.


I'm not the OP there, but I do agree with her (I assume it's a her). Some women can get a bit petty. I (a woman) worked for four years before law school, and while most women are wonderful, there are always a few that can be temperamental, insecure, and judgmental. I've never had that problem with male bosses, but with one female boss, my life was hell. I wouldn't write it off as sexist or prejudiced; it ignores what can sometimes be a reality for women. Most women will tell you that.


This is exactly what I was referring to - I was in no way making a sweeping statement that all women are insecure, judgmental, or petty. But some are, including interviewers and bosses, to other women. Men tend to take younger men under their wing and mentor one another. Some women, however, are very competitive, and have a feeling that there is only so much room at the top. Tina Fey talks about this in Bossy Pants. Many of us, including myself, have experienced this.

mikeydan5
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:39 pm

Re: Bad Personality

Postby mikeydan5 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP OP her/also dude who was hemming and hawing last night:

8. ask the interviewer about themselves and their experiences. especially associates. act so fucking impressed oh my god by how much responsibility they've taken on so quickly. with partners, be impressed by their knowledge of the firm and their insight into the firm's strategies and practices. I mean, be really fucking impressed, even though they will likely be a total asshat.


Anonymous User wrote:Yeah, "bad personality" isn't the best way to put it, unless you are talking in the most relative of terms. I'm not sycophantic, pusillanimous, silver-spooned, unoriginal, malodorous, persnickety, morally void, frumptious, or banal enough to fit the personality profile for which a good 1/2 of the firms are actively recruiting.


Still, I'm plucky enough to eventually get an offer, and I'm damned sure gonna end up out-lawyering all of these punks.


Not sure if these are the same anons, but I think the fact that the poster(s) felt a need to weave in insults while seeking advice speaks to a big portion of their problems. You clearly have a distaste for big law: calling most partners total asshats, assuming that most firms want to hire terrible human beings, and sarcastically being impressed by everyone you are interviewing with. I have to imagine that, unless you are a terrific actor, this attitude is coming through in your interviews. I think your solution is to sit down and reevaluate if biglaw is even something that you want. If it is, you probably won't be compelled to continuously insult the people you want to give you a job, and your enthusiasm will come across as genuine in your interviews. If it's not, then you saved yourself the annoyance of having to seek approval from people you hate to do a job that you won't like.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Bad Personality

Postby 09042014 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:58 pm

mikeydan5 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP OP her/also dude who was hemming and hawing last night:

8. ask the interviewer about themselves and their experiences. especially associates. act so fucking impressed oh my god by how much responsibility they've taken on so quickly. with partners, be impressed by their knowledge of the firm and their insight into the firm's strategies and practices. I mean, be really fucking impressed, even though they will likely be a total asshat.


Anonymous User wrote:Yeah, "bad personality" isn't the best way to put it, unless you are talking in the most relative of terms. I'm not sycophantic, pusillanimous, silver-spooned, unoriginal, malodorous, persnickety, morally void, frumptious, or banal enough to fit the personality profile for which a good 1/2 of the firms are actively recruiting.


Still, I'm plucky enough to eventually get an offer, and I'm damned sure gonna end up out-lawyering all of these punks.


Not sure if these are the same anons, but I think the fact that the poster(s) felt a need to weave in insults while seeking advice speaks to a big portion of their problems. You clearly have a distaste for big law: calling most partners total asshats, assuming that most firms want to hire terrible human beings, and sarcastically being impressed by everyone you are interviewing with. I have to imagine that, unless you are a terrific actor, this attitude is coming through in your interviews. I think your solution is to sit down and reevaluate if biglaw is even something that you want. If it is, you probably won't be compelled to continuously insult the people you want to give you a job, and your enthusiasm will come across as genuine in your interviews. If it's not, then you saved yourself the annoyance of having to seek approval from people you hate to do a job that you won't like.


This kind of person is always so transparent and yet they always think they are perfectly hiding it.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Bad Personality

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:06 pm

My guess is that they are speaking out of frustration rather than what they actually think. I'm striking out and I have moments of anger at the uber outgoing outperforming their stats while being more reserved im tanking. Its hard to keep perspective when striking out for the record.

User avatar
somewhatwayward
Posts: 1446
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:10 pm

Re: Bad Personality

Postby somewhatwayward » Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:28 pm

OP, I have to agree with what mikeydan said. I don't mean to be mean-spirited. I think based on your posts that you and I would get along well. But your strong disdain of big law and seeming feelings of superiority over it have got to be coming through. It is good that you have realized some things about the process that you enumerated a few posts ago, but if you are forcing yourself to do those things, it will be apparent. Interviewers are looking for a genuine desire to work in a firm (even if only motivated by prestige/money) and if you don't emanate that, they will be turned off.

If you don't have at least some genuine desire to work in a firm, though, why are you trying to get this type of job? If you think the interview process is ridiculous, just wait until you are an actual associate who is ordered to proofread a 700-page document overnight when the senior associate isn't actually going to look at it for another week....and worse. Big law is often petty and hierarchical.

Depending on your stats, you may be able to land a big law job, but I would encourage you to think about what you really want to do. You sound like someone who might prefer plaintiff's work or civil rights litigation or something.

Oh, and being a bad interviewer does not mean you have a bad personality! Perhaps I flatter myself, but I have a decent personality but am a pretty bad interviewer because I am stiff and awkward and, when I am nervous, my face is pretty expressionless....not so great for forging a connection with interviewers. So, yeah, don't let bad interviewing effect your sense of self. Good luck!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Bad Personality

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm in a similar boat-- top 20% at CCN and strong ties (grew up there, undergrad there) to a smaller secondary market (think Boston/Philadelphia/Atlanta/Miami). Out of ten screeners in that market, only two CBs and looking like no offers. Fortunately, also bid heavily on New York and have several V30 offers, but I really preferred my home market and am a little disappointed that I struck out with those firms.


FYI, if you're talking about Atlanta, that market is an absolute bloodbath. Probably not a personality issue - probably just worried you'd bail to NY (since you obviously can).

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18426
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Bad Personality

Postby bk1 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:15 pm

mikeydan5 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP OP her/also dude who was hemming and hawing last night:

8. ask the interviewer about themselves and their experiences. especially associates. act so fucking impressed oh my god by how much responsibility they've taken on so quickly. with partners, be impressed by their knowledge of the firm and their insight into the firm's strategies and practices. I mean, be really fucking impressed, even though they will likely be a total asshat.


Anonymous User wrote:Yeah, "bad personality" isn't the best way to put it, unless you are talking in the most relative of terms. I'm not sycophantic, pusillanimous, silver-spooned, unoriginal, malodorous, persnickety, morally void, frumptious, or banal enough to fit the personality profile for which a good 1/2 of the firms are actively recruiting.


Still, I'm plucky enough to eventually get an offer, and I'm damned sure gonna end up out-lawyering all of these punks.


Not sure if these are the same anons, but I think the fact that the poster(s) felt a need to weave in insults while seeking advice speaks to a big portion of their problems. You clearly have a distaste for big law: calling most partners total asshats, assuming that most firms want to hire terrible human beings, and sarcastically being impressed by everyone you are interviewing with. I have to imagine that, unless you are a terrific actor, this attitude is coming through in your interviews. I think your solution is to sit down and reevaluate if biglaw is even something that you want. If it is, you probably won't be compelled to continuously insult the people you want to give you a job, and your enthusiasm will come across as genuine in your interviews. If it's not, then you saved yourself the annoyance of having to seek approval from people you hate to do a job that you won't like.


I don't think the this person necessarily hates biglaw more than other things, but someone who says theses things probably complains about stuff in general and that will come off terribly in an interview. The person also seems arrogant and obnoxious. My guess is these things are showing through during interviews and hurting them.

Also: what DF said.

User avatar
Nicholasnickynic
Posts: 1126
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 3:21 pm

Re: Bad Personality

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:22 pm

having a good personality =/= being well liked
having a good personality =/= getting a job
you can be shy but still be an awesome person. You just might not get the offer if you can't communicate all the great things about you.

The title of this thread made me cringe.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Bad Personality

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:13 pm

.

fw8014
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:30 am

Re: Bad Personality

Postby fw8014 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:48 pm

Rocío wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
bah-humbug wrote:
Rocío wrote:Are you a woman? Because if so, personality could have nothing to do with it, especially if other women are interviewing you.


Wow. Sexist much? I hope to god you aren't a woman who thinks all other women are out to get you.


I'm not the OP there, but I do agree with her (I assume it's a her). Some women can get a bit petty. I (a woman) worked for four years before law school, and while most women are wonderful, there are always a few that can be temperamental, insecure, and judgmental. I've never had that problem with male bosses, but with one female boss, my life was hell. I wouldn't write it off as sexist or prejudiced; it ignores what can sometimes be a reality for women. Most women will tell you that.


This is exactly what I was referring to - I was in no way making a sweeping statement that all women are insecure, judgmental, or petty. But some are, including interviewers and bosses, to other women. Men tend to take younger men under their wing and mentor one another. Some women, however, are very competitive, and have a feeling that there is only so much room at the top. Tina Fey talks about this in Bossy Pants. Many of us, including myself, have experienced this.


Dude, I'm a woman who has observed a lot of biglaw personalities and I would completely second (third?) this. It isn't sexism, it's acknowledging that sexism has had an awful impact on this industry. There are SOME female partners who have the equivalent of Stockholm syndrome. It was absolute hell for them to rise to the top of the heap and they've made countless sacrifices so now they are ultra critical of female candidates / associates. Don't you dare talk to them about your woman problems or try to relate to them in that capacity despite the fact that they may be sitting on the firm's women's initiative because they've "risen above their gender". There are plenty of female partners who are not like this. In fact, some of my best mentors have been female partners and in my experience, most female associates are awesome, but there are some partners who seem to feel it is their duty to continue whatever hazing rituals they were subjected to. This isn't to say that women face no issues from male partners, but HR departments have had talks with most of the truly problematic ones so they know to tone it down...

bah-humbug
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:22 pm

Re: Bad Personality

Postby bah-humbug » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:54 am

Regardless of anyone's impression of specific women they worked with, sweeping generalizations of the type that were initially posted (something to the effect of, you may not have a bad personality if a woman interviewed you) perpetuate untrue and unflattering stereotypes that do nothing but reinforce those untrue and unflattering stereotypes and therefore perpetuate them. To the ultimate detriment of every woman working in big law.

User avatar
worldtraveler
Posts: 7669
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:47 am

Re: Bad Personality

Postby worldtraveler » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:11 am

bah-humbug wrote:Regardless of anyone's impression of specific women they worked with, sweeping generalizations of the type that were initially posted (something to the effect of, you may not have a bad personality if a woman interviewed you) perpetuate untrue and unflattering stereotypes that do nothing but reinforce those untrue and unflattering stereotypes and therefore perpetuate them. To the ultimate detriment of every woman working in big law.


You are more oversensitive to sexism than I am, and that is difficult to do.

User avatar
Rocío
Posts: 180
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:46 am

Re: Bad Personality

Postby Rocío » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:30 am

bah-humbug wrote:Regardless of anyone's impression of specific women they worked with, sweeping generalizations of the type that were initially posted (something to the effect of, you may not have a bad personality if a woman interviewed you) perpetuate untrue and unflattering stereotypes that do nothing but reinforce those untrue and unflattering stereotypes and therefore perpetuate them. To the ultimate detriment of every woman working in big law.


Nice try, but that wasn't what my post said. My post was about how there are many things that could be going on that have nothing to do with personality. As an example, I asked OP whether she was a woman having difficulty with female interviewers. So kindly take your misplaced outrage elsewhere, thanks.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.