So I got a call from an AM 100 firm asking for a phone screen interview. A few days later I get another call asking me to show up at their office for an interview “because their needs have changed”. I’m still not sure what that means, but I’m always game to show up for interviews – plus a Big Law office interview should be interesting if nothing else. I’m then told I’m going to be video conferencing with a couple attorneys in another state.
I sorta thought that meant that there would be someone in person to also speak with, but that turned out not to be the case here. Anyway, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. I show up at the building and park in possibly the most expensive parking garage in this city (thankfully unlike previous ‘of course we will validate parking‘ interviews, this office actually did validate my parking). I then take a series of elevators to the top floor.
— Sidenote… I recall in other cities taking a single elevator up 100 floors or more, usually on an express elevator, but it was a single elevator. The city I am in now seems to have some sort of requirement that elevators can only go up 50 floors, and then you have to get out and go to a different bank of elevators to continue up any farther. Anyone know why this is? It just seems strange to me.
Anyway, saying it was the top floor wasn’t quite right. For this office, you go to the top floor, then get out of the elevator and walk up another flight to the their office. It almost seemed like they looked at the Realtor and said ‘we want the top floor’ were then told it was occupied, and then asked ‘What if we built something above that…”. That being said, it was beautiful. The decor dripped money, moreso than any other office I have been in. While I was waiting, someone came in whose sole job was to monitor and maintain the wood furniture and replace it if it started to look worn. I am quite confident that the fee charged by the decorator of this office cost more than most law firms spend on filling their office with actual furniture.
After waiting in an empty lobby for a few minutes, someone finally walked by. And actually got halfway down a side hallway before stopping and turning back to ask if anyone had helped me yet. It was a weird disconnect that apparently there are so few people who come into their fabulously decorated lobby, that someone waiting in it will be initially overlooked.
So after a few more minutes, I’m led back to a conference room with a large TV displaying the inside of a much less impressive conference room 1000 miles away, and I’m left there alone staring into another empty conference room. The existential implications were profound.
Finally the other attorney wandered into the frame and started talking with me and conducting the interview. I will say first that this was the most sane interview I’ve had in a very, very long time. The only weird part was that technically for this job, the direct supervisors were the people I was talking to 1000 miles away. I would likely almost never see them in person, but it also explained why I was sitting in an empty room talking to a TV. It also made me wonder why I couldn’t have done this interview over Skype from my apartment.
The whole situation gave a somewhat impersonal feel, but also showed that this was a very technically adept firm. The HR admin in one office setup an interview with several other attorneys across multiple states and it all went off incredibly smoothly. The only irritation was a slight delay of probably 1-2 seconds on the video-link which made me almost want to announce ‘over’ at the end of each of my answers, like some sort of ham radio.
But dear lord… if I was willing to kill to get the job from the prior interview, I can’t even tell you what I would do for these people. Probably something the Hague would want to talk with me about; but I think it might be worth it.