Interview Number 1

Posted on | August 10, 2011 | 10 Comments

Your Ad Here

Yesterday I had four interviews for paralegal positions in my area.  Interviews are super fun, especially in the Texas heat which has been around 105 everyday and you have to wear a nice suit that you are sweating through the moment you exit your air conditioned car.  Thank goodness for deodorant.

So, my first interview was with a PI firm.  Why?  I don’t know.  I have NO experience with PI work, but my recruiter called and said the attorney wanted to interview me.  The salary was good and it was not downtown, so I figured what the hell and drove down there.

My interview was at 9:30.  I arrived about 10 minutes early (I HATE to be late anywhere) and was told that the attorney was in a staff meeting and that he would be with me shortly.

I sat down, looked for anything other than a law magazine to read (there was none), so I pulled out my Kindle and started reading.  After about 10 minutes I hear someone screaming in the conference room.  I mean at the top of your lungs screaming.  Someone was yelling at the staff at how their lack of detail sucks, that revenue is down and that this needs to change NOW.  I can only assume this would be the attorney I was about to meet, so I decided there is no way in hell I would be working for this man.  I relaxed a bit more, since I didn’t have to “be on my toes” for a good interview and waited.

The screaming went on for about another 10 minutes and then the staff was let out, most of them streaming by me with looks of depression or resignation.  Not  a good sign.  I asked the receptionist if this was normal and she said that it happens every once in a while when the attorney “gets in his moods”.  Okay, strike two.  Once in a while means every week in my book.

I was kept waiting for another 45 minutes and told the receptionist that I had another interview set up, so if I was not seen in the next 5 minutes I would have to leave.  I didn’t tell her I would have to re-schedule because I wasn’t going to waste gas driving there again.

The receptionist called the attorney and three minutes later he blessed me with his presence and walked me to the conference room.

He had a notepad with him, but I noticed he did not have my resume, so I handed him another copy that I brought.  He looked at it and asked if I brought my references with me as well.  I did, but told him that I could email them to him later if he felt he needed them.

First off, this man had no personality.  Zilch.  Nothing.  It was like talking to a wet mop.  I don’t ask for much, but a smile or a sense of some kind of humor would be nice.

He began to ask me a ton of detailed PI questions, which I could not answer.  He seemed to be getting frustrated and I told him that I had NO PI experience, that I never claimed to, that my recruiter sent him my resume and that he wanted to interview me anyway.  He just grunted.  Yes, grunted, like a pig, and then looked back down at my resume.

So- we were off to a fabulous start, wouldn’t you say?

After his questions, he started to get up to end the interview, telling me that I was highly skilled and he would like me to come back and meet the head paralegal.  I thanked him, but told him that I would like to ask some questions as well.  This irritated him, but he sat down and stared at me blankly.

I asked the regular questions, do you have billable hours, will their be overtime and if so is it with pay, do you expect your paralegals to work weekends, how long have your paralegals been with you, etc.    He answered the questions and started to get up to leave when I said I had just one more question.  I told him that I was in the lobby and that I heard every word of his “staff meeting”.  I asked him what if I was a client that just walked in to see if I could make an appointment and had heard that.  His response?  I treat my staff the way I want.  It is my firm and I am the boss.  I honestly don’t care what a client hears.

Wow.  Just wow.

He asked if I had any more questions and I stated that no, he answered everything I needed to know about him and how he runs the firm.  I also thanked him for being honest because it just saved me a lot of time because I would not be a good match for his firm.

He actually looked stunned and asked why not.  Good God!  He was so clueless.  I told him that in no way could I go to staff meetings every week and get yelled at.  I also told him that I work with attorneys who care what their clients needs are and I felt that the treatment of his staff, while I was in the waiting room was very unprofessional, whether they deserved it or not, and they are better ways to handle situations like that.  I told him it was his firm, he could yell all he wanted at his staff, but I would not be part of that abuse.  I thanked him for his time, and walked out the door.

Here is the kicker.  The receptionist called me about three hours later and said that the attorney wanted me to come back and meet with the lead Paralegal.  I asked her if he had specifically told her to call me and ask me this after the interview and she said yes, that when I left he was upset that she didn’t schedule me to come in again.

I thanked her and told her that I did not think the firm and I would be a good match.  I don’t work well with attorneys who yell at their staff every week.  She said she understood and then actually said “Good choice”, then hung up.

I know I can’t be too  picky because I really do need a job, but there is no way I am leaving the Death Star to work for another Death Star.

Interviews are so much fun!


Your Ad Here


10 Responses to “Interview Number 1”

  1. Grumpy Humbug
    August 10th, 2011 @ 4:46 pm

    Good call. 

  2. Ty1220
    August 10th, 2011 @ 5:48 pm

    Better luck on your next one PH. Like most of us I have worked for a version of that man. I haven’t worked in the legal field yet, but just about every field has their share. I am betting that you will really like one of the four interviews, best of luck on the whole process PH.

  3. Aimtx
    August 11th, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

    My mouth is hanging open, although at this point in my life I really shouldn’t be astonished by the general stupidity of people. 

    When I finish school and start interviewing, will you come with me?

  4. Grey
    August 11th, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

    Sounds like an attorney I worked for years ago.  I actually lasted 3 years…

  5. Superlegal
    August 11th, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

    I agree with Grumpy. GOOD CALL!! I’m glad you told them all that you did. I would hope I could be just as honest in the same situation. Kudos.

    Also, don’t take whatever job comes your way. Hold off for the right spot as long as you can.

  6. Rduncan
    August 11th, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

    Sounds like you handled that superbly!  High five!

  7. In House Paralegal
    August 11th, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

    Wow and wow. More than likely he has never had anyone stand up like that before and now he is intrigued by your toughness but stunned that not everyone will put up with his crap. How the staff is treated is how the clients are treated. 

    I recently went through interviews too – I say take control of the interview and ask your questions.  The back and forth meet so and so is ridiculous and a time waste.  Hiring by committee is only so if one person does not like you they have someone else to blame.

    Good Luck  – and love the blog.

  8. Underpaid Paralegal
    August 11th, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

    I think you handled the whole ugly situation with grace and humor.

    I’m still interviewing for a full-time job and I would not work in a firm with that mojo.

    Somewhere you will find the right fit after the “Death Star”.

  9. Momalegal
    August 12th, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

    Holy hell, I would have blazed a trial outta that place!  DEFINITELY good call.   Hope the other interviews were better. 

  10. Ilovebutterflyfish
    August 12th, 2011 @ 9:04 pm

    “I think you handled the whole ugly situation with grace and humor.”

    Ditto that.

  • The Daily Hell Scale

  • Awards

  • Boss Button

  • Search

    Custom Search
  • Recent Comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Subscribe for free

    join the mailing list
    * indicates required
  • New: Paralegal Hell Mousepad!

  • Archive