This next interview story has something for everyone. Both the interviewer and the interviewee can be made fun of. Here you go:
A friend of mine was interviewing at a big law firm. As a 1L who basically went straight through from undergrad, his résumé is not terribly long, though it has some interesting tidbits (working at the British Museum and elsewhere around the world). He also listed the old standby of “excellent oral and written communication skills,” more as a space filler than anything else.
Time for some ATL career advice: Do NOT boast of “excellent oral and written communication skills” in your résumé. It’s total chaff. You’re a law student or lawyer; it goes without saying that your communication skills are strong (or at least you think they are, or wouldn’t admit it if they weren’t).
Back to the story:
The firm utilizes teams of interviewers, so he is sitting across from five attorneys who are peppering him with questions. Of course, one of the interviewers, probably a litigator, decides to be the hardass and asks: “What do you mean on your résumé when you list excellent oral and written communication skills?”
Without missing a beat, my sarcastic and quick-witted friend answers: “Haven’t you understood everything I have said so far?”
The other four interviewers burst out laughing, probably because the hardass was shown to be a fool. Needless to say, no offer.
HA!!! We like this story. The applicant erred by including the empty boast of “excellent oral and written communication skills” on his résumé. But then he redeemed himself beautifully, when one of his interviewers tried to expose its emptiness.
To be sure, the applicant pissed off the prick interviewer, thus torpedoing his chances of getting an offer. But we do love how he turned this job interview into a Beckett play, or a strange work of performance art. He’s our interview hero for the day.
Earlier: Prior Interview Horror Stories (scroll down)