Cringeworthy OCI Moments

Compiled by Rachel Chan (2L) & SuJung Lee (2L)

Everything about On-Campus Interviews is bizarre. For those who are not familiar with the process, here is a run down:

Nervous, over-caffeinated students wait in a holding area that is too warm. Some are studying cue cards and Excel spreadsheets containing key information about their interviewers and prospective employers. Everyone with an interview queues up and wishes each other luck. Waleska tells us to smile because we are all beautiful diamonds. Then the gates (door) open, and a stream of besuited students march into a larger hall lined with curtain-partitioned “rooms.” Students disappear into their designated booths, hoping to impress and be impressed by their two interviewers. In the midst of this surreal setting, a lot can go awry in seventeen minutes. Here’s a snapshot of some of the most cringeworthy moments.

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“I brought the black folder that we all received in our 1L O-Week packages into every interview. It was emblazoned with ‘Monkhouse Law.’ It was never useful. No one asked me for a résumé. But it made me feel fancy and official. It was not worth itI had to put in an active effort to hide the logo. Several times, I put it on the floor during the interview and subsequently dropped low to pick it up as I left.”

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“I mentioned my indoor garden in my dungeony apartment a couple times and both recruiters started pitching me their cannabis groups.”

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“I walked into the wrong booth. I had to meet with those people later that day. RIP my employment prospects.”

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“Immediately after walking into the booth:

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First interviewer: Hi. Adam, corporate partner, nice to meet you.

Second interviewer: James Brown, litigation partner

Student, interjecting: and godfather of soul.

Mr. Brown did not look amused at all.”

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“At exactly the ten-minute mark of what seems to be a fairly normal interview spent answering questions about my experiences:

Interviewer: Can I just cut you off for one second? You’re obviously an impressive candidate and can speak very eloquently about yourself, but I’m going to give you a piece of advice: pace yourself. Everything you’re saying is great, but there’s just a lot of it. If you don’t pace yourself, you aren’t going to have time to listen to what we have to say, because this process is just as much about you listening to us as it is about you. So, to make sure we have a chance for that, why don’t we turn to questions. Have any questions for us?”

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“Walk into booth. Shake hands. I wait for them to sit. They stare at me. We all stand uncomfortably for what felt like a minute until I clue in that they were waiting for me to sit first.”

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“A partner from New York asked me if Canada has a constitution and whether we write the LSAT.”

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“One of the interviewers asked me, without context, what my parents do for a living.”

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“Interviewer: if you had to go before the landlord tenant board and evict a single mother, how would you deal with that situation?

Response: well, you know, I have a professional duty to my client, etc.

Interviewer: Oh, so I guess you’re just heartless then, LOL.

Same firm later called to tell me that they had decided to go with a more suitable candidate.”

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“While discussing a personal injury claim I’d worked on: ‘I guess a hip injury for a ninety-three-year-old woman is a serious injury. Our firm deals with more important issues though.’”

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“I had an interviewer ask me what I thought about the NFL Anthem Protests.”

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“New York OCI with two men:

Man #1: “Wow, you played rugby? I just can’t imagine women playing that sport.”

Man #1 and Man #2 chuckle and nod.”

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“Interviewer: Yeah, criminal defence is important…unless the person is guilty.

*Note: this firm is (thankfully) not a criminal defence firm.”