Bad Interview Moments

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2018 5:52 pm

It was my last of like 30 screeners in a week. Smaller biglaw/midlaw firm. They tell me they do three things in the office, none of which are antitrust. They ask me what I'm interested in and I say antitrust. No CB.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It was my last of like 30 screeners in a week. Smaller biglaw/midlaw firm. They tell me they do three things in the office, none of which are antitrust. They ask me what I'm interested in and I say antitrust. No CB.


Lol, was this just because you were tired and it was a mistake? Or you just didn't care anymore?

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:05 pm

Interview with midsize firm. Guy interviewing me has no personality, seems quite miserable (partner). Asks me ''what would you do if you got two assignments that were urgent but you could not finish both on time.'' I give a fake little laugh and say ''Come ask you what to do! haha''. He stares at me, completely unamused. I then answered the question, but needless to say, that office was miserable and I walked out hoping I'd never hear from them again.

SFSpartan

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby SFSpartan » Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Interview with midsize firm. Guy interviewing me has no personality, seems quite miserable (partner). Asks me ''what would you do if you got two assignments that were urgent but you could not finish both on time.'' I give a fake little laugh and say ''Come ask you what to do! haha''. He stares at me, completely unamused. I then answered the question, but needless to say, that office was miserable and I walked out hoping I'd never hear from them again.


This scenario really isn't that uncommon and will probably happen to you more than once (i.e. this problem isn't confined to sweatshoppy firms), and you really shouldn't need to run to a partner, senior associate, or midlevel with every single question you have.

When you have two urgent assignments, and can't do both in time, you need to be able to assess which one you are going to do, when you'll get it done by, and then communicate with the person that gave you the other assignment that you won't be able to get their thing done on time (include a conservative estimate of when you'll get to their thing), so that they can find someone else to do it if necessary. When you get this question in the future, this is the proper way to answer it.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:59 pm

During my Arnold & Porter OCI screener, I kept referring to the firm as "Arnold Palmer." Still got a callback.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby lavarman84 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:37 pm

SFSpartan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Interview with midsize firm. Guy interviewing me has no personality, seems quite miserable (partner). Asks me ''what would you do if you got two assignments that were urgent but you could not finish both on time.'' I give a fake little laugh and say ''Come ask you what to do! haha''. He stares at me, completely unamused. I then answered the question, but needless to say, that office was miserable and I walked out hoping I'd never hear from them again.


This scenario really isn't that uncommon and will probably happen to you more than once (i.e. this problem isn't confined to sweatshoppy firms), and you really shouldn't need to run to a partner, senior associate, or midlevel with every single question you have.

When you have two urgent assignments, and can't do both in time, you need to be able to assess which one you are going to do, when you'll get it done by, and then communicate with the person that gave you the other assignment that you won't be able to get their thing done on time (include a conservative estimate of when you'll get to their thing), so that they can find someone else to do it if necessary. When you get this question in the future, this is the proper way to answer it.


Or you could give the best answer: "Do neither. I don't want to play favorites."

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:During my Arnold & Porter OCI screener, I kept referring to the firm as "Arnold Palmer." Still got a callback.


LOL I hope I didn't do this! I definitely had to stop myself a couple times!

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:14 pm

Saw the interviewing partner was at his prior firm for 15 years before moving to the firm I was currently interviewing with. Asked him "So I see you spent many years at another firm and by all means were probably very successful there, so what about this firm convinced you to join them?" I thought this was a good softball question for him to espouse the amazing culture, stuff like that. His response? Several seconds of silence, and then "Well... Dewey collapsed, so I has no other choice."

I did not get the offer.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It was my last of like 30 screeners in a week. Smaller biglaw/midlaw firm. They tell me they do three things in the office, none of which are antitrust. They ask me what I'm interested in and I say antitrust. No CB.


Lol, was this just because you were tired and it was a mistake? Or you just didn't care anymore?


Honestly a little bit of both. If I wasn't so tired, maybe I would have cared more.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Interview with midsize firm. Guy interviewing me has no personality, seems quite miserable (partner). Asks me ''what would you do if you got two assignments that were urgent but you could not finish both on time.'' I give a fake little laugh and say ''Come ask you what to do! haha''. He stares at me, completely unamused. I then answered the question, but needless to say, that office was miserable and I walked out hoping I'd never hear from them again.


That's not a bad answer if he's the one who assigned one/ both of those assignments. Personally, I go for the "which one has a real deadline?" approach and have been lucky to have reasonable partners. But some folks at my old firm took the "which partner do I want to avoid?" approach; apparently discouraging work from unreasonable people is part of the job. :P

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:48 pm

Last year I was doing a screener interview for a government honors program and the interview was in a hotel ballroom with all of the tables lined up against the outer wall. I was the last interview before lunch and we talked so long that I was the last person interviewing, but all of the other interviewers were still in the room getting ready to go to lunch. I said some really idiotic things throughout the interview like "us gingers need to stick together" (the interviewer and I were both redheads). He asked me if I had a specific department of interest within the government agency and then when I just stared at him blankly he quickly said "nevermind, it's okay - you don't have to answer that". When he asked if I had any questions, I completely panicked and the only thing I could remember was that this guy went to a big basketball school for undergrad so I asked him how he felt about one of the best players leaving early to join the NBA and he laughed and said he didn't keep up with basketball. Then at the end he stood up to shake my hand and I stood up too quickly as I went to stick my hand out and wound up knocking the chair over with the backs of my legs. I should have just shook his hand and then picked up the chair, but instead I stopped and turned around to pick up the chair and left him standing there holding his hand out. I shook his hand and tried to laugh it off and he said "well at least you'll be memorable" ... It was really quiet at this point and some of the other interviewers started laughing.

The interviewer could not have been any nicer, but I still felt pretty dumb.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:13 pm

Not an interview, but somewhat related:
https://abovethelaw.com/2018/08/harvard ... erks/?rf=1

Am I the only one who thinks it was the Harvard kid that was out of line here?

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Not an interview, but somewhat related:
https://abovethelaw.com/2018/08/harvard ... erks/?rf=1

Am I the only one who thinks it was the Harvard kid that was out of line here?


Wow. Yeah, I agree with you. Harvard student was out of line.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Not an interview, but somewhat related:
https://abovethelaw.com/2018/08/harvard ... erks/?rf=1

Am I the only one who thinks it was the Harvard kid that was out of line here?


This explains a lot about why my career counselor kept emphasizing being a "normal" person during the interview...

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:08 pm

A bad interview moment:

Went to meet my screener at the end of a callback and immediately asked "so who did you speak with?"

I completely BLANKED on the names. I smiled awkwardly and came up with three common white male names. It was very obvious that I had completely forgotten.

Conversation continued as normal. Three days later, offer.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:12 pm

Screener interview for unpaid 1L internship.

Interviewer: So I notice you wrote in your interests section that you like skiing.
Me: Yes, I do.
Interviewer: Is it extremely important to you? Is it, like, vital to your life?
Me: Uh...I guess not...
Interviewer: Then don't put it on there. Interests sections are stupid.

(later in the interview)

Interviewer: You wrote here that you were a paralegal for a law firm.
Me: Yes, I did—
Interviewer: Do you have a paralegal degree?
Me: No, I don't...
Interviewer: Then you aren't allowed to say that you are a paralegal. You have to say that you're a legal secretary.

Absolutely idiot moment on my part during a 2L screener for a big firm.

Interviewer: You enjoy hiking in national parks?
Me: Yes, I've been to a few of them. Some of them are overrated!
Interviewer: Yeah, like which ones?
Me (brain fart): Ah, the Grand Canyon is totally overrated...It's not that great...
Interviewer: (shocked, horrified silence)

Interviewer walked me out of my 20 minute interview 10 minutes early. That's what I get for telling lame jokes.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:41 pm

Interviewed last year at a firm that awkwardly ended up with me in tears.

I started out meeting a hiring partner type - he wasn't on my interview schedule so I was completely caught off guard. He said he saw himself as a father-y type (uh, weird) who liked to look in on all the summers and screen every person who applied to the firm. I was a little nervous since this was at the time my top firm and I had already been dinged by a lot of my OCI CBs, but usually I get settled in after an interview question or two. Right off the bat, he tells me I seem nervous (who does that?!), which only makes me even more nervous. He then point blank asks me why I'm so nervous. I have no idea what to say so I reply that I feel I have a lot riding on the interview since I like the firm a lot. He then tells me to calm down and starts using a therapist-y voice. I cry easily and whenever someone talks to me in an overly caring tone, the waterworks usually start - I don't know why and it's incredibly embarrassing but it happens every time! So of course I start tearing up in the interview right after he tells me to stop being nervous. At that point, I knew I was doomed and wanted to leave right away.

Anyways, that wasn't the end of it. In my next interview, the interviewer (a partner) starts grilling me on my resume, line by line. When he asks me why I chose law school, I start with a story saying that I used to be in engineering but switched majors. He then asked why I didn't put the previous school on my resume. I told him that I stayed at the same undergraduate school, but the university had engineering as a separate college within the university so I had to do an internal transfer. He then asked me if my GPA was including engineering or not and I said it wasn't since my school considered it a transfer and because the school separated my grades pre-transfer and post-transfer into two different transcripts. He skeptically stared me down the whole time I explained. I basically ended that interview afraid the partner thought I was a cheating liar and afraid I would gain a reputation at every other firm for artificially inflating my GPA. Ended up having a mini panic attack after the interview because I was afraid all the firms I sent my resume out to would also think I was a liar.

Suffice it to say I definitely did not get an offer.

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MBernard

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby MBernard » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:09 am

Went to an interview today where the managing partner asked what elementary and high school I went to as well as the years I graduated from both... I still can’t fathom a discernible reason for this inquiry.

Weirdest dude ever.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby QContinuum » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:Anyways, that wasn't the end of it. In my next interview, the interviewer (a partner) starts grilling me on my resume, line by line. When he asks me why I chose law school, I start with a story saying that I used to be in engineering but switched majors. He then asked why I didn't put the previous school on my resume. I told him that I stayed at the same undergraduate school, but the university had engineering as a separate college within the university so I had to do an internal transfer. He then asked me if my GPA was including engineering or not and I said it wasn't since my school considered it a transfer and because the school separated my grades pre-transfer and post-transfer into two different transcripts. He skeptically stared me down the whole time I explained. I basically ended that interview afraid the partner thought I was a cheating liar and afraid I would gain a reputation at every other firm for artificially inflating my GPA. Ended up having a mini panic attack after the interview because I was afraid all the firms I sent my resume out to would also think I was a liar.

I realize advice-giving isn't the point of this thread... but why would you put your college GPA on your resume at all? The only GPA firms care about is your law school GPA. Sure, if you graduated with honors, you can list that you graduated "cum laude" or whatnot - but listing a numerical GPA really serves no purpose. A great college GPA won't compensate for bad law school grades, but a 3.1 in college might raise some interviewers' eyebrows, even if you went on to do great in 1L.

On the off chance you still have your college GPA on your resume, please take it off.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Bingo_Bongo » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:57 am

MBernard wrote:Went to an interview today where the managing partner asked what elementary and high school I went to as well as the years I graduated from both... I still can’t fathom a discernible reason for this inquiry.

Weirdest dude ever.


I once had a similar interview where a screener asked me really detailed questions about stuff from high school. (He asked about the sports I played, he dove into asking questions about my track times, and asked how my 9th grade math teacher would describe me).

I'm sure he thought there was some brilliant psychoanalytical point behind those questions and the answers his cryptic questions would elicit, but I still think that guy was just a dumbass.

No CB.

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MBernard

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby MBernard » Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:12 am

Bingo_Bongo wrote:
MBernard wrote:Went to an interview today where the managing partner asked what elementary and high school I went to as well as the years I graduated from both... I still can’t fathom a discernible reason for this inquiry.

Weirdest dude ever.


I once had a similar interview where a screener asked me really detailed questions about stuff from high school. (He asked about the sports I played, he dove into asking questions about my track times, and asked how my 9th grade math teacher would describe me).

I'm sure he thought there was some brilliant psychoanalytical point behind those questions and the answers his cryptic questions would elicit, but I still think that guy was just a dumbass.

No CB.


Yeah, anticipating no CB. Offered to send a sample of my kindergarten macaroni art, but alas, I think it not to be.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:53 am

Worst moment ever. I can still shoot myself for it. Interviewing as a 2L to change from my 2L firm. The direct call was from a V20 firm. The interview went well. The interviewer pretty much told me I have the offer in the bag and then casually mentioned they are looking for more people to expand the group. I. like an idiot told my friend also in the same practice area applied here. The interviewer just looked at me oddly and replied back" well if she applied and didn't get a callback, there's a reason for it. We don't invite everyone who applies here." Obviously, rejection email came a few hours later.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Worst moment ever. I can still shoot myself for it. Interviewing as a 2L to change from my 2L firm. The direct call was from a V20 firm. The interview went well. The interviewer pretty much told me I have the offer in the bag and then casually mentioned they are looking for more people to expand the group. I. like an idiot told my friend also in the same practice area applied here. The interviewer just looked at me oddly and replied back" well if she applied and didn't get a callback, there's a reason for it. We don't invite everyone who applies here." Obviously, rejection email came a few hours later.


I’m missing something here because I don’t get it.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:58 pm

MBernard wrote:Went to an interview today where the managing partner asked what elementary and high school I went to as well as the years I graduated from both... I still can’t fathom a discernible reason for this inquiry.

Weirdest dude ever.


I hope he wasn't trying to calculate your age off of that.

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Re: Bad Interview Moments

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:31 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Worst moment ever. I can still shoot myself for it. Interviewing as a 2L to change from my 2L firm. The direct call was from a V20 firm. The interview went well. The interviewer pretty much told me I have the offer in the bag and then casually mentioned they are looking for more people to expand the group. I. like an idiot told my friend also in the same practice area applied here. The interviewer just looked at me oddly and replied back" well if she applied and didn't get a callback, there's a reason for it. We don't invite everyone who applies here." Obviously, rejection email came a few hours later.


I’m missing something here because I don’t get it.


Interview went well for OP to the point where the interviewer is saying that they want more people.

OP goes "My friend applied!" Probably mentioning that OP's friend didn't receive an interview yet, making it incredibly awkward.

Interviewer replies, "Well yeah, we don't interview everyone who applies."

TL;DR OP sabotaged the interview in the last minute.



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