Back when I was a junior associate at a BigLaw in Silicon Valley, a colleague of mine grabbed me to take a candidate to an interview lunch. My colleague had heard through the alumni grapevine that this candidate was, well, a character.
Now, this was during the Tech Bubble Burst, when certain BigLaws were laying off associates but calling it “thinning the herd.” The candidate was from one of those firms, which usually would’ve been a death knell. But apparently he did well enough with my other colleagues that they gave him a lukewarm approval, and he had a pretty good resume.
Generally, I try to be friendly during interviews — candidates tend to let down their guard that way. It’s a good thing that I was.
After engaging in small talk, I mentioned that he had a lot of case management and motion experience for a junior associate according to his resume. Instead of hitting that soft pitch out of the park, he proceeded to tell my friend and me that his firm stuck him with a “dinosaur of a partner” that the firm didn’t know what to do with. This partner let him run with the case because it was pro bono and he “didn’t really care what happened.”
Things went really downhill from there. My friend asked him if he knew one of her friends that worked at the candidate’s current firm. He informed us that he didn’t because he kept mostly to himself at lunch.
Over the next hour, he proceeded to tell us that a certain partner at his firm was “a bitch,” that other associates stole his books, that he could take as long as he wanted for lunch because no one would miss him, and that he was leaving his current firm because he “didn’t have a future there.” My friend and I were stunned, feeling a mixture of pity and horror.
Pretty awful, eh? But it actually gets worse, and worse still.
Check back in later today, for the sequel to this sorry tale (wherein the meaning of the post title will be made clear).
Update: You can read the sequel by clicking here.
(Have an interview horror story of your own that you’d like to share? Please send it to us, by email. We will keep you anonymous, unless you request otherwise.)