Interview 54: Back to the familiar

I applied to one of the big insurance companies… Again. I feel as though I have dwindling options of going back if I do. I refuse to ever go near the lizard again. And I told Liberty Mutual to fuck right off in perpetuity after my last interview with them. And I would never work for one of the tiny insurance companies… so the field is definitely shrinking should I actually go back. Anyway, one of the few acceptable candidates called me back for an interview. So I trucked across town to a Regis rent-an-office for the interview.

This was by far the longest interview I’ve had… god… in forever. It may only be beaten in length by the insane interview(s) #14 about a decade ago. It went over two hours. I personally knew some of the attorneys currently working at this place, and pleasantly, one of the interviewers was someone I had done several cases with some years ago.

Anyway, after a few pleasantries, we got into it pretty quickly and pretty deeply. It wasn’t just a ‘tell me about yourself’, it ended up being a back and forth conversation (and at times, disagreement) over case strategy and practice, and generally speaking insurance defense work and corporations. Part of why the interview went so long was actually some of the disagreements over case management and discussion of specific cases and trials. It went into the weeds pretty quickly.

One would think having a high level conversation like this would at least put you in a position where the interviewer might admit you knew wtf you were talking about. During the back and forth regarding some of the trial work I had done, it became obvious that I had done things the senior attorney interviewing me hadn’t even done before. (I’m a lightning rod for the weird so it’s not that horribly unusual truly). There was the usual name dropping to prove you actually know the town and the attorneys and specifically mentioning other attorneys they will know.

Ultimately at the end of the interview, the senior attorney basically said something to the effect that I was one of the smartest attorneys he had met, but that he wanted to make sure whoever he hired, and then he corrected himself and said “if he even hired someone”, would be a good fit for the office. He seemed weirdly reluctant to even admit there was a position open. Which brought up the whole question of why the hell I was possibly interviewing for a position that might just be hypothetical. They then dropped a rather atomic insult and after discussing the past decade or so of work that I had done, they casually said “well I only see 2 years of experience here in what we do” (mind you I worked for a bigger insurance company than this one for 3 years). This was either specifically to try to lowball salary, or was a legitimate insult. Either was I completely ignored the statement and merely filed it away.

To make matters even less desirable… I asked what the average number of trials the office does per attorney, which is a very valid question usually… This however appeared to be a sore point. The senior attorney ended up lamenting that they were not doing more trials and that at one point they had been at the top of the rankings of all the legal offices for the number of trials they did, and now they were near the bottom. There was a long moment, before I finally asked… “And I take it you think that is bad?”

Its never a good sign when the direction the management wants to go is to be difficult and hostile, just because. I’m hoping a different job comes through before this one gets back to me.

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