What’s the most cringeworthy thing you’ve ever said or done during an interview?

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Not me but I remember reading an article by a recruiter at Shearman & Sterling that said the worst he’d seen was an application where they called the firm “Herman & Sherly”

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“I like to work hard and play hard”
- Articling interview circa 2014
Still got the job doe.

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Interviewer: Why do you wanna work here?
Me: Gotta pay the rent and acting isn’t a stable source of income.

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Firm interviewer: “I see you interned at the USAO. Was everyone there in their ivory towers?”
Me, nervous and mishearing the Q: “Yes I believe many of the AUSAs went to Harvard and such.”

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During an on campus interview I was tired of the tag team beat up approach used by the two men interviewing me - found an opportunity in the middle of the interview to call them ignorant, got up and walked out and promptly canceled interviews with the other offices from that firm. Later leaned from the school’s recruitment coordinator that those two were banned by the school from further on campus activities due to questionable activities with the female candidates.

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I still remember it 19 years later. Realized there was no way I’d ever work for that firm.

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Cringeworthy things I’ve done aren’t nearly as bad as some bizarre things I’ve seen. I once had a big law partner consistently doze off during my 1:1 interview with her - i simply said I’m sorry if I’m boring you. She apologized and explained that she is heavily jet lagged. I still got the job. In another interview, I had someone walk in to the room and ask me, ‘So, do you like math?’ and he wouldn’t let that question go until I definitively said yes or no.

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Got to divide by 6 for those timesheets

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Was interviewing during lunch... the partner kept making me wait i said I had to go guy told me to go f myself

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At the very end of an interview, the managing partner asked if I’d ever “worked/been in service” or something like that. I was nervous and I had no idea what he meant. Instead of asking a clarifying question, I just went, “what?” like a slack jawed idiot. He repeated himself as if I hadn’t heard him. I asked him what he meant and he got frustrated and repeated the same question a third time. I didn’t know what to do so I started looking around the room. Someone graciously clarified he was asking if I’d ever worked in the service industry, i.e., worked in customer service. I redeemed myself with my waitressing answer. He offered me the job on the spot, but hell I thought I blew it. So dumb.

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At a 20+ person group interview at Apple for an Apple Store job in my early 20s’. It was on St-Patrick’s day, and i was part of a varsity team which hosted some campus events. Decided to be a good boi and have one drink. One turned in 6. 30 minutes before the group interview i panicked, ate a plate of shawarma with too much garlic, and layered myself in Axe body spray to mask the smell of beer with anything. Didn’t matter if i smelled like a vampire.
Showed up, and what i do remember was i that i blurted out a 3 minute speech about how the inclusion and approachability of user interfaces/experiences and how that should always translate into a company’s general service. It also turned out, i had forgotten to remove my old green striped rugby shirt (the classic ones) before showing up, so i was actually the only one out of 20 people that wore green on st-patrick’s day.

My future manager told me the green made me stand out, and played right into what they were looking for. This was back in the “Think Different” days under Steve Jobs. 🍻🍻🍻🍻

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My torts professor, who has Aspergers, said he stabbed himself with his own pen, bled through his shirt, and exited the wrong door into a closet, and sat in there for 5 minutes because he was too embarrassed to come out right away.

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I showed up 45 minutes late.
It was a Friday afternoon in a neighboring city and I underestimated traffic. Would’ve been a terrible job for me so no regrets

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