Remember the slogan for those Dry Idea deodorant commercials, “Never Let Them See You Sweat”? It’s good advice for both interviewers and interviewees. That’s why, in ATL’s Top Ten Interview Tips, we recommend the use of deodorant (tip #5).
Anyway, here’s our next interview horror story:
At the start of my 2L year, I went to New York City for one of those giant screening interview events at a local hotel. My morning and early afternoon interviews were fine and uneventful, and I expected nothing less going into my 3:30 interview with a top-ranked New York law firm. I knocked on the hotel room door at the appointed hour, straightened my suit, and waited.
I knew something was seriously awry the moment the interviewer opened the door. Wafts of hot, humid air poured out into the air-conditioned hallway. The interviewer was sweating profusely, and wiping his dripping forehead. I was completely aghast.
Compliments to our correspondent for the vivid storytelling. We can practically see — and smell — the scene before us.
The interviewer just looked at me. He didn’t introduce himself or put out his hand. Instead, he said, “I swear to God, if you can tell me where the thermostat is in this f*****g hotel room, I will give you an offer right now.”
Fortunately for me, fifteen minutes earlier, another interviewer had actually paused in the middle of our interview and gotten up to adjust the temperature in the room. So, without hesitation, I told the wilting lawyer standing in front of me: “I think it’s behind the bedroom door.” He stared at me for another moment, then left me standing in the entryway as he wandered over to the bedroom.
Then there were a few moments of silence, during which I could tell that (a) he had found the thermostat, and (b) he was contemplating the deal he had just made me. At this point, I was contemplating whether (a) he was so used to working in a sweatshop that it hadn’t occurred to him to adjust the temperature earlier, or (b) he was just a moron. Neither possibility boded well for the firm.
Finally, he came back and said, “Well, you’re clearly getting a callback, so let’s just make this brief.” He led me to a table, asked me a couple of softball questions, then sent me on my way.
Great story, eh? And here’s the ending:
I got the callback. I didn’t take it.