Biglaw, Interview Stories, Rudeness

Interview Horror Stories: We’re Trying Hard Not To Call Her a Witch

woman with pearls above the law.gifThe Interview Horror Stories just keep on coming — and we love ’em. So if you have one to share, please send it to us, by email.
Our latest tale concerns an interviewer who was, er, less than welcoming:

I had an interview [for a summer associate position] at a large, downtown DC law firm that specializes in financial services…. After my first tepid interview with the hiring partner, who talked a lot about “initiative” and “drive” and “adding value,” I was propelled into the office of one of the senior associates.

The associate let out a big sigh and rolled her eyes when I was introduced. Then, once the door was shut, she proceeded to give me the most hostile interview of my life, sneering at my journal membership and involvement in campus activities.

After shredding my résumé to bits, she gave me a halfhearted pitch for the firm, unenthusiastically listing benefits such as an in-house gym and “humane” billing hour requirements. As proof that the firm supposedly valued “work-life balance,” she mentioned that she was going on vacation the next day.

I didn’t particularly care about her vacation plans. But, trying to be polite, I said, “How nice. Where are you going?”

She reacted as though I had just asked for her Social Security number, credit score, and blood type. She shot me a suspicious glare, and backed her chair away a foot or so.

“Why do you need to know that?”

“I don’t know,” I said, confused. “I was just asking.”

“Well I’m just going with my husband somewhere, OK?”


The rest of the interview was spent in stilted, desultory talk about practice areas. After rotating through two more bland interviews (though thankfully not as bad as that one), I was out on the street, grateful to be free and horrified at what life must be like in that office.

It’s odd that our correspondent was interviewed by such an unpleasant person. The law firms tend to pick their most charming and attractive lawyers to handle recruiting interviews. They shield you from the crazies and the meanies until you arrive as a permanent associate — when there’s no turning back…
Thankfully, our story has a happy ending:

The next day I wrote the firm a letter asking them to remove me from consideration. I’ve since accepted an offer from a firm where the employees react normally to polite questions.

Earlier: Prior Interview Horror Stories (scroll down)

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