Oct 21
job candidate shrugs at video interview

What Makes for a Bad Law Firm Interview?

Candidates recently turned to Reddit to chronicle their worst experiences as law firm interviewees. From a lawyer who suggested a female candidate be “perkier” to another who “berated” an associate over the phone with a potential new hire sitting in the room, it’s understandable that some might look back on these moments as “bad” interviews.

There are individuals for whom these incidents can trigger past traumas, and that is far beyond what one should tolerate in a job interview. But, for most people, these experiences range from awkward to unpleasant. If that was the extent of the discomfort, were these bad interviews?

Not necessarily. Job interviews are about finding a good fit. And the stories shared on Reddit show that the interviewer is a bad fit. If we look at the value of an interview in terms of how much it reveals about the job and the employer, the examples listed in the thread are illuminating. A bad interviewer can in some cases make for a better interview than one that provides a false sense of what the job actually entails.

From the employer’s perspective, these stories are a teaching experience. They reflect lousy or nonexistent training and, at a minimum, bad judgement. Unless the person being interviewed was slated to work exclusively for the interviewer, it’s possible that these incidents don’t accurately reflect the job as a whole. With further research, the potential employee might find that working with the firm would likely be a totally different experience than what was presented to them. But that probably isn’t going to happen. Once the employer acts badly, the interviewee is instead likely to pass on the firm and share the tale on social media.

Have you had a “bad” interview experience that turned out to be a blessing in disguise?