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Dumbest thing you've said in an interview

slippy777's picture
Rank: King Kong | banana points 1,163

Curious about the dumbest things you've ever said in an interview that make for a funny story.

I had a coffee meet with associate/vp today (family friend). I have f'd up couliflower ears from wrestling/mma. The associate was a wrestler and commented something along the lines of "I see wrestling did a number on your ear" (or something like that don't really remember). For some retarded reason, I thought it'd be appropriate to joke, "nah my girlfriend just has really strong thighs..."

Associate cracked a smile, vp dead stare. One of the most awkward moments I've had in a long time...

Mod Note (Andy): top 50 posts of 2017, this one ranks #3 (based on # of silver bananas)

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Comments (273)

Jul 24, 2017

.

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Jul 14, 2017

"That's a really cute necklace." She liked it and didn't mind but yeah probably my dumbest or flirty one? Lol

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Jul 17, 2017

~83% sure she took it as a compliment from someone batting for the other team

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Jul 17, 2017

Actually, know a kid who managed to grab a date with his interviewer by flirting with her at the interview. Apparently they hooked up a couple times and it got real awkward when he started working there.

For reference: the guy is a very attractive rower, so not saying all of you kids should try this. Good way to get blacklisted 99% of the time

    • 23
Jul 17, 2017

i cant survive if you dont finish this story

    • 10
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Funniest
Jul 17, 2017

He ended up leaving the firm, broke up with his former interviewer, and founded Wall Street Oasis

@WallStreetOasis.com

    • 31
Jul 18, 2017

Lol - It was a BB firm, he was interviewing at a superday for SA and she was an alum from our school 3 years out. They got dinner and hooked up the night of the superday, and then apparently the entire time he was a SA (they were in different groups so it wasn't like she was his "boss"). He got a FT offer, and when he started the year later, he said he didn't want to do it anymore and she sorta freaked out at him and said he was only doing it to get a FT offer (probably true tbh, she was below his usual). He was back on campus this spring and said they got staffed on a deal together and it was awkward as fuck, said some VP made a joke about them not getting along - something along the lines of "did you guys have a bad break up or something" and they both were like"fuck he knows," and they were really wary since it was unethical af on both of their parts. VP didn't know though. Guy said they hooked up once at work while working on the deal and it got even worse then. Made it through the deal and said he only rarely sees her at coffee shops at work.

    • 18
Jul 18, 2017

lmao i can't tell if this is legit but thanks for writing this anyway

Jul 23, 2017

@TrackBack

I had a terrible, crappy week. This post made me laugh so hard because I can relate. +1 SB!

    • 1
Jul 27, 2017

Over a week later and this is still hilarious. Shooters gotta shoot.

Jul 25, 2017

Confusius say: One must hustle in all aspects of life.

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Jan 1, 2018

haha. sb'd.

Jan 12, 2018
TrackBack:

Actually, know a kid who managed to grab a date with his interviewer by flirting with her at the interview. Apparently they hooked up a couple times and it got real awkward when he started working there.

For reference: the guy is a very attractive rower, so not saying all of you kids should try this. Good way to get blacklisted 99% of the time

Never Happened.

    • 1
Jul 14, 2017

.

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Jul 14, 2017

Had a phone informational, which went smoothly for the most part. At the very end there was a big disconnect between my brain and what came out of my mouth - meant to say "It was nice chatting with you, thanks" or something of the sort and what came out of my mouth was "well, it was nice knowing you, thanks"... to which he replied "..ok.." *hung up. The stupid shit you say sometimes...

    • 53
Jul 14, 2017

It wasn't something I said, but the way I behaved. When I finished answering each question, I stared down at the ground for some time, then looked back up, sorta smiled at the interviewer and then looked back down again.
It made me feel like I was at one of those psychological evaluations as a kid when they ask you to rate from 1 to 10 how comfortable you are in social interactions.

"I'm into, uh, well, murders and executions, mostly."

    • 7
Jul 17, 2017

If you didn't get an offer out of it, at least you got what it takes to land that coveted Adderall script.

    • 28
Jul 17, 2017

It takes 20 bucks and a desire for adderall to get a script tbh. Doctors these days will give you ADD drugs for legit like any reason

Jul 18, 2017

I am going to all the wrong doctors.

    • 2
Jul 19, 2017

They suggested Ritalin.

"I'm into, uh, well, murders and executions, mostly."

Jul 14, 2017

Fuckin love this

Jul 14, 2017

One of my friends asked a director during the last interview of his superday "What keeps you up at night?" and the guy laughed, thanked him for coming, and walked out

    • 22
Jul 19, 2017

Unbelievable! I can imagine the director's face reacting to this. LOL

Jan 11, 2018

I saw this question in a 'what to ask your interviewer' recommendation guide. Good to know it's as awkward as it sounds.

Best Response
Jul 15, 2017

Dumbest thing I said was in response to the dumbest question I ever received.

"What song best describes your work style?"
"Work by Rihanna"
"And why is that?"
"Because of its consistent lyricism. I feel that it represents my work ethic and perseverance."

Interview for Centerview Partners, if you're wondering.

    • 93
Jul 14, 2017

lol wtf

    • 1
Jul 17, 2017

Why's this a dumb answer? They should have bumped you to associate on the spot.

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Jul 17, 2017

In '87, Huey released this, Fore!, their most accomplished album. I think their undisputed masterpiece is "Hip to be Square", a song so catchy, most people probably don't listen to the lyrics. But they should, because it's not just about the pleasures of conformity, and the importance of trends, it's also a personal statement about the band itself.

    • 42
Jul 17, 2017

"What do you do in your free time?"

"I'm usually returning some videotapes."

    • 20
Jul 14, 2017

Any time someone ends a long list of responsibilities with:

"...uhhh and stuff like that."

    • 6
Jul 14, 2017

I can't think of anything that I personally did, but I was once at a superday dinner where some kid spit out food. There was this one kid who embodied every single Asian stereotype who decided to sit in the corner of the dinner table with all the MDs. We get drinks, appetizers, and then the entree comes and the kid loses it. I guess he didn't like his steak because all of a sudden, he spits it out. Not into a napkin or anything, but the middle of his plate. The MD sitting next to him just pauses and stares at the kid. Wish I remember the kid's name so that I could see where he's working now.

Ironically, at the same superday as above, another kid decided to be Mr. Cool and not stand up while the firm's CEO was giving a speech. So, we're getting drinks when and networking before the superday dinner, when the CEO walks in and asks for a moment. As he's thanking us for coming in, I notice two people sitting: the vice chairman of IB and this one kid. I did remember his name and looked him up on LinkedIn a few months ago. Never broke into IB. Ironically, this kid had a 4.0 at HSW and knew (not exaggerating) close to half of the firm's bankers through family connections. Goes to show you can't always get away with being a douche.

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Jul 15, 2017

The spitting out food thing reminds me of a kid I knew in middle school who pulled that. Totally disgusted me. Can't believe this guy did it as an adult at something so formal and crucial to his own career.

    • 2
Jul 17, 2017

Where is that last guy at now?

Jul 17, 2017

Your posts all need a TLDR section, by god man

    • 3
Jul 17, 2017

Fair critique. Thanks.

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Jul 18, 2017

Whoa fck that, I very much enjoy reading Sil's stories. Sil, you're welcome for jerking you off there

    • 8
Jul 18, 2017

yeah honestly, if @Sil 's stories are too long, you have a shit attention span

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Jul 18, 2017

I'm sitting at my desk at work and was wondering why I had this weird feeling...

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Jul 19, 2017

Can you PM me name?

Sep 20, 2017

The steak and ceo giving a speech remind me of Stephens' superday which was awesome even though I did not get the offer right away.

Jul 15, 2017

lmao pulled out my mugshot on my phone during a superday ... question was "what's one of your biggest mistakes?" .. it was a 2v1, with an Analyst and VP. The VP thought I was a savage from his response, but stupid shit like that is what leaves young savages unemployed. gotta minimize the retarded comments during this upcoming recruiting season

    • 36
Jul 15, 2017

pretty badass, but to be fair you didn't say anything stupid

Jul 15, 2017

yeah you're right .. i followed it up by saying what i learned from it, how it helped me develop perspective/character (not take things for granted), and how I'm glad to have been able to overcome it. i've definitely said some retarded shit though haha you get better over time fortunately

    • 1
Jul 15, 2017

hahaha did the VP appreciate the follow up tho? did you end up with the offer?

Jul 15, 2017

no offer, and he just laughed and tried to play it off. we had all gotten pretty hammered at the pre-superday dinner the night before, and he seemed pretty open-minded haha

Jul 15, 2017

haha gotcha. definitely respect how ballsy it was though

Jul 15, 2017

it was retarded of me man haha i've realized that there are super cool people in this line of business and not everyone is a dickhead, but you still gotta stay lowkey in the office

Jul 15, 2017

Yeah absolutely - but probably more important to stay lowkey in the interview hahaha

    • 1
Jul 27, 2017

props

Jul 15, 2017

I use to work at an auto manufacturer and in one of the interviews a manager asked the candidate what he knew about the company, and he replied that a lot of lesbians buy their vehicles. Lol savage.

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Jul 17, 2017

def Subaru

    • 19
Jul 17, 2017

more like volvo

    • 1
Jul 17, 2017

Subaru Legacy: The good ol' Lesbian Limousine

Jul 17, 2017

If it was Subaru he's not wrong, and if I were the interviewer I'd be impressed by that insight.

    • 4
Jul 18, 2017

True. Subaru made a conscious effort in the 90s to basically chase the lesbian market. They've moved away from that a little but there's all kinds of coded shit in those older ads if you pay attention.

    • 2
Jul 18, 2017

Did you happen to learn of this from journalist Malcolm Gladwell's podcast, Revisionist History?

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Nov 30, 2017
Jul 18, 2017

SAVAGE

Jul 15, 2017

Not something that I said, but something that I did. Last year Fall when I was doing OCR for Deloitte Advisory, I made a pretty rookie mistake. I did not have a clear plan of what I wanted to do in the future back then and I was not really familiar with job hunting/interview skills and tips. I remember vaguely that I read from somewhere to "take notes" for your interview.

Everyone knows that it means to take down notes of what your interviewer says while doing your interview, not take some written notes with you and look at it while talking to a team manager/my future boss...

I had two 30-minute interviews back to back with two managers. I spent a pretty good time with one of them. By the end of our interview, she told me that she'd probably hire me based on my qualifications/the interview, but one mistake that I made was to bring written notes. Even if she was okay with that, that would probably not okay with another manager.

    • 3
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Jul 15, 2017

Interview was going pretty well, was from 1:30 to 2:00 or something, I looked up at the clock saw 2:00 and for some stupid reason just sighed really loud and said well okay, and that ended it.

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Jul 24, 2017

This one made me laugh my ass off, just cutting the interview short like that on your own terms

    • 6
Jul 24, 2017

I use a vague version of this when I was doing a ton of informational calls back in the day. IF I was starting to run out of questions or felt bored, "Hey, I just realized it is 1:56, and I don't want to take up too much of your time. Do you have any questions I can quickly answer?" - Worked every time when I couldn't think of something.

...

    • 4
Jul 17, 2017

First internship interview ever - had been preparing the classic technicals and memorizing every day where the S&P, 10 year treasury, oil prices, etc. were at, but for some reason I never looked at the DOW.

In the middle of the interview and the guy goes, "could you tell me where the DOW is right now?" and I just blacked out and responded, "I don't follow the DOW..." I followed up with the S&P price and it went fine from there, but it's absolutely unreal that I told some dude I don't follow the DOW like it was a personal preference of mine.

Weirdly ended up getting the 2nd round, but blew it there. I was not very well prepared early on.

    • 44
Jul 17, 2017

is this for s&t?

Jul 18, 2017

This one is hilarious! Can't believe you made it past that, but I guess you knew enough of the other things!

Jul 18, 2017

Who in their right fucking mind in finance follows the Dow...

    • 13
Jul 18, 2017

My thoughts exactly!!

Jul 17, 2017

if I don't get the job, what're you doing for dinner tonight?

nah, what's YOUR story?

do you always dress this sexy?

what's the office's policy on hygiene?

how soon until I can take a vacation?

was the tuxedo too much?

could you excuse me, I have apocalyptic diarrhea I need to take care of rightfuckingnow

    • 7
Jul 17, 2017
thebrofessor:

was the tuxedo too much?

Sporting goods manager:
...Was that a fart?

Dale:
I don't know.

Sporting Goods manager:
I can taste it. On my tongue.

Dale:
Okay, I'll be honest with you. I did fart.

Sporting Goods manager:
Is that onion? Onion and...onion and ketchup. It stinks. This is a small room...

Brennan:
Shit.

Sporting Goods manager:
Okay, now the tuxedos seem kinda fucked up.

    • 6
Jul 17, 2017

I remember my first beer...

Jul 17, 2017

Thank you for getting this reference

Jul 18, 2017

"Is is Pannnn?"

Jul 17, 2017

That's hilarious haha.

Jul 17, 2017

Interviewer: Why not go work for [Edward Jones type firm] where you can essentially own your business and be your own boss?
Me: Because I don't want to sit around all day trying to sell annuities to old ladies
Interviewer: I used to work for [Edward Jones type firm]

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Jul 17, 2017

Hahaha did you move on to the next round after that?

Jul 17, 2017

They called me back! I declined to talk further - crappy opportunity.

    • 3
Jul 17, 2017

Hahaha gotcha. Shit's still hilarious though

May 1, 2018

It was an interview at Oxford where I...

    • 3
Jul 17, 2017

MD asks me how I would handle conflicting priorities, like getting different instructions from associate, VP, and him. I say in a trailing off kind of voice, "well you're the highest ranking...". He laughs and says "that's the wrong answer". I still made it to the next round.

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Jul 24, 2017

How would you correctly answer this question?

Jul 24, 2017

Bump

Jul 24, 2017

Ask each person who is giving you the different tasks (I assume this is a timing related question) what the deadline is / when they need the work by. Then proceed to tell them that you also have work due to VP/Director by "x" day, so that they're aware of your workload. You don't want to take on too much work and not get stuff done by given deadlines.

    • 7
Jul 17, 2017

Can't think of any particular thing I've said that was dumb. But I'm pretty sure my face says a whole lotta stupid shit, along with my body language. Nontarget swag.

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Jul 17, 2017

Oh god there's so much to choose from.

I had a first round interview at a top PE shop and the interviewer asked me if I would be comfortable traveling. My response was "yeah, I'm single now so it shouldn't be a problem." I should add that the individual interviewing me was female and attractive. Needless to say, no round 2.

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Jul 18, 2017

How is this even inappropriate? LOL

Jul 18, 2017

You shouldn't discuss sexual/relationship status on an interview. Especially if not prompted.

    • 1
Jul 18, 2017

that's why i never wear my wedding ring...anywhere.

Jul 20, 2017

or you just don't have one. :D

Jul 20, 2017

I think it's well documented in off topic that he's married...

Jul 17, 2017

I have quite a few.

One that sticks out is my 2nd year of college I was interviewing for a PWM position to get my foot in the door. The guy is loving me, I tell him my story, we shoot the shit about sports, he says he likes my drive, etc etc. At one point, he asks me: "What is your biggest distraction", I say "women, I can't stop thinking about them" followed by a chuckle. Fam gives me a stoneface and says "Really. You thought that was the best way to answer that?". Did not get this position.

    • 19
Jul 17, 2017

How could someone answer this question and still display minimal weaknesses?

Jul 18, 2017

In that specific situation, I think it was one of those questions where he was okay with me showing a flaw, since I was still in college and he knew he was hiring a young guy with not much experience as an intern. The problem with how I answered it is that I answered it as if he were my friend, not my potential employer. Some acceptable answers off the top of my head: "I'm distracted by the situation in any troubled country, I have family from over there so I'm constantly checking current events even though it may not really be helpful". " I follow politics closely so I sometimes get caught up reading too much about trivial stuff, "I'm part of this group on campus that I'm really passionate about so sometimes I spend more time on that rather than some classes I'm not very interested in".

Just a few, but hopefully you get the idea on how I could've done that better.

    • 2
Jul 23, 2017

What a fake ass response. If you told me that was your concern, I'd fart on your face.

Just be real-- say biggest distraction is that you know you don't have any experience, and the need to feel like you need to be caught up to speed. They'd rationalize with that one.

Distracted by troubled country, follow politics? Fuck off scrub.

    • 14
Jul 24, 2017

That's a terrible response.

Jul 21, 2017

Just because an interviewer asks a question doesn't mean it's a good question. I don't even know how I would answer that and I'm sitting at a desk about to leave for the day reading WSO with zero stress right now.

Jul 17, 2017

At lunch, in between rounds 2 and 3 of an interview for a boutique consulting firm. With a manager and an associate (I was interviewing to be an analyst).

Manager: So how do you like [city we are located in]?

Me: I love it. I actually grew up around here, and I'd like to move back.

Manager: I like it here too. Very pretty, lots to do outside. You're lucky you got to grow up here.

Me: I agree, I'm very fortunate. You don't have those same opportunities if you grow up in ... [racks brain to think up unattractive, non-descript midwestern city] ... say, Duluth.

Associate: I grew up in Duluth.

Me: Oh, shit.

The manager cracked up and the associate didn't give me too hard a time about it. Got the job, worked with both of them a lot over the next year-- both really good dudes. I lucked out on that one.

    • 33
Jul 18, 2017
dmw86:

At lunch, in between rounds 2 and 3 of an interview for a boutique consulting firm. With a manager and an associate (I was interviewing to be an analyst).

Manager: So how do you like [city we are located in]?

Me: I love it. I actually grew up around here, and I'd like to move back.

Manager: I like it here too. Very pretty, lots to do outside. You're lucky you got to grow up here.

Me: I agree, I'm very fortunate. You don't have those same opportunities if you grow up in ... [racks brain to think up unattractive, non-descript midwestern city] ... say, Duluth.

Associate: I grew up in Duluth.

Me: Oh, shit.

The manager cracked up and the associate didn't give me too hard a time about it. Got the job, worked with both of them a lot over the next year-- both really good dudes. I lucked out on that one.

Story would have been better if they really didn't grow up in Duluth. I would have busted balls like that.

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

    • 2
    • 1
Jul 17, 2017

Not necessarily dumb but definitely cringe worthy. My first time interviewing for a legit company which was a major BB in commodities trading.

I was asked what attracted me to finance and this line of work. My response: I enjoyed movies like Wall Street and Boiler Room and that's what ignited a passion for trading and finance.

The woman was not impressed and the next person I interviewed made it seem like I was being interviewed by the FBI and kept saying "Uh huh" like I was lying about every answer.

Never moved on. Turned out the role was a glorified admin assistant disguised as S&T.

    • 3
Jul 17, 2017

My second semester freshman year I had an interview at Draftkings and I go to school in a state where it's illegal. I talked about how I love their platform and playing in contests every week when I'm at school. My account was banned by the time I drove back to my parents house 45 minutes away and a check with my balance was at my door within 2 days.

    • 18
Jul 17, 2017

"My brain just shit itself." It was over a simple happy go lucky question. Mid answer the next word just fell into oblivion with nothing to follow. I ended up with the job.

    • 1
Jul 17, 2017

This one is from a friend of mine.

First interview out of grad school bio-engineering. Mind you, this guy is normal, parties, etc, and is a life-long friend - not an anti-social stereotype of engineers.

Interview is for a big shot consulting firm and he takes the first round remote over video conference. As the interview is wrapping up, most interviewers ask "So do you have any questions for us?". Typically we all have questions prepped and ready to go about the culture, their experience, blah blah.

My friend often blanks when asked point blank questions and the first jumbled words out of his mouth were "So.....how's the weather out there?". Response "[silence]......Well, that wraps things up"

    • 7
Jul 17, 2017

Not what I said, but a kid we were interviewing at my old firm. It was for an analyst position and there were probably ~5 people on our side for the interview. If I remember correctly, myself, one other male associate, and 3 women who were all VP level or above. Kid gets asked why he's leaving his current firm, and proceeds to go on a tirade about how he hates his current team because it's all women and all they do is talk about 'shopping and stuff'. Probably the most difficult it has ever been for me to maintain a poker face. Needless to say, no offer.

    • 15
Jul 18, 2017

Was this over the phone and he had no idea? Or did he stare them down and blurt this out

Jul 18, 2017

It was in person in a very close-quarters conference room. These women were dressed professionally but also all dressed very 'feminine' (long skirts, blouses, long hair, heels, etc) so it wasn't like he didn't know they were women (i.e. it wasn't a Chaz Bono situation). Extremely entertaining all around.

    • 1
Jul 18, 2017

Yeah I'm sure women in PE/IB have nothing but time to talk about 'shopping and stuff'. What a little fuck. Would have kicked him out of the interview.

    • 5
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Jul 19, 2017

Reminds me of Natasha Mitra

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

Jul 19, 2017

Yeah I think everyone wanted to, but they got some pretty good trolling in themselves. After he said that it was obvious no one wanted to move forward with him so there were a few funny questions that were asked. Wish I could remember them but we all got a chuckle out of it after the initial 'WTF' moment.

Jul 17, 2017

Not me but a friend of mine;

BB IB; "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?"
Response: "Hopefully not in Jail for insider trading!"

MD lost it, Got the internship.

    • 53
Jul 18, 2017

Classic!

Nov 6, 2017

This brings up an interview debacle that still makes me cringe today. For those who take joy in other's demise, this is especially for you.

First off, it wasn't necessarily what I said during the interview that was spectacularly stupid, but rather what I actually did / transpired...a convincing testament that action does indeed speak louder than words...

It was my senior year and I had made it to, what I thought at the time, the final round analyst interview for a MM bank. The interview was scheduled for 8am at the bank's HQ in NYC, but the actual analyst position was in the SF office. My school is 4 hours away and I had no car to get to the interview so my brother and mom, who both live 2 hours away from my school the opposite direction, woke up at 1am to pick me up at 3am to drive me to NYC by 7am, giving me a 1 hour buffer before my interview at 8am. Of course, we hit stop and go NYC traffic about 4-5 blocks away from the office and I check my watch and see it's 7:30am, 30 minutes before my interview. I decided the only way I can make my interview on time is to get out of the car and make a run for it. Bare in mind, I barely had any sleep (2-3 hours) the night before because I had just finished all my finals and had to prepare for the interview. I was running full speed in my cheap suit, zigzagging across streets and breaking any and all rules of the road. Miraculously, I make it to the lobby of the building with 10 minutes to spare. I'm sweating profusely so I clean up in the a bathroom and head towards the elevator (office was like 30th floor or something). Perfectly situated at the elevator was a coffee vendor/cart. I figured a coffee made sense since I had almost no sleep and wanted to make it all the way through the 4-5 hour interview. I get into the elevator at 7:55am (5 minutes before my interview) and start chugging the coffee. I figured I'll find a trash can to throw away the coffee when I get to the reception area. Literally, the moment I get off the elevator, the HR person was there to receive me so I had no time to look for a trash can. She escorted me straight to the VP's (first interviewer of the day) office and I was still carrying the F!#@ing half-finished iced coffee in one hand and my interview portfolio folder in the other. The VP was not in his office when we arrived so the HR person told me she will go get the VP. But before she left, she reached out her hand for a handshake and right at that god forsaken moment, I tried to shake her hand by switching my coffee in my right hand to my left hand (which is also holding my portfolio folder) and completely dropped the coffee all over the VP's nice carpeted floor. The HR recruiter ran to the bathroom to get paper towels and the both of us frantically tried to clean up the mess that I created. In comedic fashion, the VP arrives as I'm still performing janitorial services to his carpet on my [email protected]#$ing hands and knees. I apologize ahead of time that I couldn't shake his hand because I just cleaned his floor. It was like staring death in the face...I was so embarrassed I just wanted to die at that very moment.

I survive the day. My mom and brother asked how I did and I said it went pretty well (obviously lied, I hate disappointing my mom and didn't want to make them feel their 8 hour drive was all for naught). To make matters worse (if even possible at this point) I later found a huge coffee stain on my tie. I literally didn't even want the job anymore, not at that bank at least. I never wanted to show my face there again.

Few weeks later, I receive a call that I made it to the (actual) final round, which will be in the SF office. I still don't know how, but I guess I aced the "what makes you special/ what differentiates you from other candidates" question.

    • 7
    • 1
Aug 7, 2017

Cause it's not a big fucking deal. You spilled coffee trying to shake her hands?

So what?

Let's clean it up, get some stain remover in there and proceed. Trust me, at one point in life this almighty VP spilled something too. You think he felt embarassed cleaning up? It's life.

Trust me you could've done something worse like farted or shit yourself or better yet a loud shart.

    • 3
Jul 17, 2017

I was in a 2v1 interview and told one of the business founders that what he asked was a really odd question. That was my stupidest interview mistake - I kind of wish I had a better one

Jul 24, 2017

What was the question?

Jul 17, 2017

Research analyst goes he covers "Gaming & Lodging" . I proceed to ask him about Nintendo.

    • 34
Jul 18, 2017

Doh

    • 1
Jul 17, 2017

"I can't wait to start" to the CEO of a "trade finance" company operating out of a warehouse in a rough part of town.

I got a better offer and ended up not taking it and last I checked the company has ceased to exsist. To this day I can't figure out what their actual hustle was but it makes a great story for interviews.

    • 1
Jul 18, 2017

not in IB, but...

I didn't get the name of my interviewer in advance. When I researched the firm, there were no pictures of the team, so there was no possible way I could research my interviewer's background. I show up the day of the interview, I walk in and the guy is still in his 20s. We connect at a personal level by talking about classic rock, we barely talk about the role, the interview goes great, dude hints towards hiring me, and ends the interview with the classic:

"Hey dude, before we wrap this up, do you have any questions for me?"

"Yeah man, what's your position here and why XYZ firm?"

"I'm the founder. I guess that answers the second part of your question, too."

    • 9
Jul 18, 2017

Oh dear...... This happened AFTER the interview but it still pains me to this day

Freshman year of college, I received notice that I secured an interview at a top CRE brokerage firm (CBRE/JLL/HFF). The office was located in a city about an hour away from my school. Now me, being a homebody, never explored the city much less know where to park. The interview went very very well. Met the MD, VP, Associate, and a few of the other analysts. I walked them through my case study, answered any questions they had, etc etc. Interview is done, I thank them for their time and start to leave the office. I walk back to my car and there's a fucking heavy duty, car boot wheel lock thing on my driver side tire. Apparently, freshman me didn't see the sign above the parking space that read, "Reserved for XXX District Attorney." I ask the parking attending to see how much it would cost to get the car boot removed and she says "50 dollars dumbass." I had $25............

Had to call the associate to see if he can lend me some money. He obliged. I ended up getting the internship. He got his revenge by working me like a dog.

TL;DR Parked in the DA's spot. Had to borrow money from the associate. 4/10 know how to read signs people.

    • 10
Jul 18, 2017

Startup interview.

Q: 'How would you describe Tinder to Julius Caesar?'
A: 'Julius, imagine a single place where you could see all the women of Rome. You could let the ones you like know, and if they like you back you could invite them over to your palace for a bottle of Italian finest and some fun.'
Q: 'Are you saying women on Tinder are prostitutes?'
A: 'Uhm, not necessarily. I am just using terms Julius Caesar would understand....'

This happened after I already introduced myself to the waiter thinking he was the CFO and drank the interviewer's tea, mistaking it for mine.

All in all, did not get 3rd round, but 10/10 would do it again.

    • 5
    • 1
Aug 1, 2017

How is that a bad response? Accurate and hilarious. Let me guess, the interviewer was female?

    • 4
Jul 18, 2017

A friend of mine was interviewing at a shop with a heavy cold calling component, all had gone well and he had had the opportunity to ask them some questions, but just before he was leaving he got asked a final question how he dealt with rejection. Caught slightly off guard, his response was:

"Well I have been single my entire life but not for lack of trying..." Cue some pretty awkward silence, followed by "I have been rejected by loads of women in my personal life but I am very resilient and do not get demotivated"

They didn't see the funny side of this and he did not get made a job offer.

    • 5
Jul 18, 2017

His initial response was money. Would have hired the dude on the spot.

Jul 22, 2017

Agreed; I'm looking for someone who isn't a pain in the ass to be around when our flight's delayed

Jul 24, 2017

That is a great response. Reminds me of a response that I heard of, second hand (incidentally during my last set of interviews for a position with that company), that a guy interviewing for a Sr. VP position there gave when asked, "What is your biggest regret in life?" by the CFO. Answer: "That I made all that money when I was in my 20s instead of my 30s and proceeded to blow it all on cars and women." CFO told me that's when he knew he was going to recommend an offer.

Seriously, who would want to hire someone / who would want to work at a place that doesn't appreciate honesty and a sense of self deprecating humor?

    • 3
Jul 18, 2017

Me at analyst interview at BX PE in 2007 while still in UG...

Interviewer:
"where you staying in NYC while you're here this week?"

Me:
"The Four Seasons"

Interviewer:
"Sounds pretty expensive"

Me:
"Don't I know it... Come up from school for the weekend all the time to party --- practically live in that bitch"

thuglife

Jul 18, 2017

okay that's paraphrased but that was essentially the convo.

Jul 18, 2017

Interviewed with a buy-side fund ($250 billion AUM) in my junior year. Got on the phone with the head of LATAM sales and he said something along the lines of "yeah you come in here and you get on the phones make some sales...blah blah blah". My response "Yeah, I don't really want to be in sales.". Him: "yeah but you need to get some sales under your belt blah blah" Me: "yeah, I really don't want to be in sales". Him: "......everything is sales".

In my defense I got the interview through a connection and didn't grasp the magnitude of it. I had sales experience selling shit computer software and hated it.

Also, fast forward a number of years. When interviewing at a CBRE/JLL/HFF brokerage was asked to explain why I was moving from accounting to CRE and how I ended looking at brokerage "I wanted to be involved in transactions and I think that brokerage has the lowest barrier to entry in the CRE space". Yeah the director and associate just looked at me and nodded. Got a second interview after that but it took some hustle.

    • 3
Jul 18, 2017

Interviewed at a small HF a long time ago, whole interview lasted close to an hour. Towards the end, the managing partner asks me what my plans are over the summer, and if I'm going to work in the porn industry. I chuckled, ignored the temptation to make a joke, and told him the truth - after I was done, he clarified again, asking if I'm sure I won't be working at Pornhub. Stone face, a couple laughs, followed by three months of no responses to my follow up emails.

Yeah. Actually happened.

Jul 18, 2017

Wtf? Did you like accidentally leave that shit up on your phone when you walked in? Accidentally paste a porno link in one of your emails to him?

Jul 18, 2017

That'd explain it better, but no. Also, my phone? What do you take me for? I use this bad boy only.

    • 5
Jul 18, 2017

Yeah I'm gonna need some context on this one

    • 1
Jul 18, 2017

Lol alright - I went through a lot of networking to get to him, guy was maybe 45, 50 years old, managing partner of this HF. Had a teenage daughter, talked a lot about her throughout the interview, drawing parallels between the two of us at the time. Most of it was informational/behavioral, talking about what he does/his history/etc, and when we transitioned to my history/resume, we went through the basics. Started talking about prior jobs as kids (he told me about working at some amusement park) and I joked about how that must've been boring.

He asks me if I've ever had an exciting job as a teen, to which I said that the majority of teens (like around high school time) are working whatever jobs for money or otherwise. He then asks me about the following summer and after I say "so and so, but it's definitely not great," he says something along the lines of "What, are you going to work in the porn industry? That's definitely not great, but exciting." Fast forward and he clarified again about working at Pornhub, and I said something along the lines of "Yeah, that sounds like it would've been more fun than -insert bland job-." A few short laughs and the interview was over within 5-10 minutes.

He came from a S&T background so I figured a bro-type culture was what he was best with, but homie just spent the last 20 minutes talking about his 17 y/o daughter, so.. a bit shocking. He wore a Patek tho, so I had to give him props where props were due.

    • 1
Jul 19, 2017

Sounds like he wanted you to rail his daughter and post it online for him to watch.

    • 34
Jul 19, 2017

Again, appropriate name.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

    • 8
Jul 20, 2017

.

    • 1
Jul 18, 2017

So I was at a big fund in Greenwich, CT, interviewing for college. One of the alum of the college worked there. I didn't know about the firm at that time. But it was fine.

At the end of the interview, the interviewer (MD) worked me around the office showing his floor. I wanted to say how it looks like a real Wall Street place (idiotic remark 1). But somehow I burped out your firm look like a real Wal Mart (the real idiotic remark).

Never get into his school.

    • 4
    • 1
Jul 18, 2017

I was interviewing with Nestle for a finance position. Just wanted as a backup if other things fell through. He asked me a question along the lines of "our motto is 'we want to make the world as healthy as possible'" or something along those lines. It caught me so off guard that i sat there for a solid 30 seconds having no idea what to respond. I finally open my mouth to spew some bullshit and I get a little tickle in my throat. I can't seem to get a single word out without coughing so the interviewer has to go grab me a bottle of water. Throughout the rest of the interview he would sigh and rub his eyes while i was answering questions. Worst interview experience of my life.

Jul 18, 2017

Interviewed for a summer internship with a bank in ER. Hustled for weeks to get into the superday.... Interviewer cuts me off 5 seconds after asking me to walk me through my resume, "Tell me how (insert very obscure and not on WSO guide accounting point here) would flow through the 3 statements. I instantly blank. I knew all my technicals, and in that moment I couldn't think of anything but this dude's stare burning through my soul and crushing my dreams. My response: "Do you mind if I draw it out? I'm more of a visual person." - Interviewer says sure, I proceed to draw 3 columns on a piece of paper and blank completely. Internship hopes and dreams gone.

...

    • 23
Jul 19, 2017

LOL

    • 2
Jul 18, 2017

I had to do a case study where I had to evaluate different markets and I said 'Atlanta is a trashy city.'

I still stand by that statement.

    • 16
Jul 18, 2017

I would disagree, but I like your moxie.

    • 1
Jul 18, 2017

Had the opportunity to interview at a boutique IB shop in a major market after my freshman year of college through a connection, and I - unknowing at the time and a stupid freshman - was asked why I was interested in pursuing investment banking this summer, to which I answered "I love learning about the stock market, and I hope to one day trade stocks and bonds." Suffice to say, I didn't get another phone call from that firm.

Jul 18, 2017

It wasn't an interview but it was back when I first started networking. being the fledgling that I was I did all the best practices as part of cold emailing: setting up an excel spreadsheet of names, contact of the firm, email address, date contacted, etc.

Things were going well and I was getting a pretty good hit rate overall (~30% or so). There was this one time where I had time set up to speak to an analyst at a middle market firm. We exchanged a few emails over a week or so. I had mistakenly thought that he went to my alma mater and then transferred, so I was pivoted my questions around this. The call comes and I'm amped up to ask him about what made him decide to transfer from school x to y.

In my haste I had forgot that there were multiple folks of the same name and they each worked at different firms. This call was with another person by the same name who was analyst at a similar middle market firm. "I'm happy to speak about this, but I didn't go to either of those schools.."

...indeed :). The rest of the call went well. He ultimately took it in stride as a rookie making a mistake and was very helpful in providing constructive feedback. My lesson learned was simply doing diligence ahead of an interview or call. It's still draws out a bit of a chuckle whenever I think about it :D

    • 3
Jul 18, 2017

I will always remember one of the first times I had a phone interview for an internship. Expecting a call at a certain time, I was role playing how the call would go and putting to much thought into how to start the call. The call comes in, VP introduces himself from which I say

"Good afternoon Mr----, how are you?"
"I'm well how about yourself?"
"I'm great!..... How are you?"

After about 5 seconds of silence proceeded by "well okay then..." he starts the interview.

I still cringe to this day.

    • 31
Jul 19, 2017

Studied engineering. Got a phone interview on the investing side at a firm known for their radical transparency. First time interviewing for an investment role and that too at a prestigious firm. Phone interview is going well, recruiter is jovial. Get to the "do you have any questions for me". Asked a few questions, saw I still had some time left, brain farted and asked "How many hours do people typically work." Recruiter goes cold as ice and starts questioning why I would ask that. Honestly wouldn't have affected my decision, but dumb dumb mistake.

Interviewed with a consulting firm and asked the generic "where do you see yourself in 5 years."
"Well, hopefully still with the firm"
Dumb joke, but she smiled, and I got the next round.

Jul 19, 2017

Good ole' BWater...

    • 1
Jul 19, 2017

"What do you do in your spare time?"

"Rec sports, golf, good TV shows, read"

"What are you reading now?"

Blank stare

I really do read too, just complete brain fart and couldn't even think up a lie

    • 4
Jul 19, 2017

Just remembered this. Nothing I said, but in my last internship, I worked for a family member on the managerial/administrative side of his business, (and without giving too much away) I interviewed people who wanted to work in the "main" aspect of the business. If you have had a misdemeanor or above, it could potentially bar you from employment in that line of work. We'd do a phone interview, and during the phone interview we'd say, "Okay, we're gonna do a preliminary background check. Anything gonna come up?" This one lady says "Oh no, of course not. Nothing." So I ran it.

I read the screen and tell her, "Yeah, so 14 things have popped up here." 14 fucking offenses, all misdemeanor and worse (DUI, assault, and the like). She didn't really know what to say, and the interview basically stopped there.

    • 1
Jul 20, 2017

This thread is legendary.

My story here: was one of my first interviews, for entry level role at a consulting firm.

The interviewer (VP level) asked me " where do you see yourself in fifteen years?" Being non-native English speaker, I heard "fifty years" instead and went on to explain that statistically (referring to average expected life in my country) I would be lucky to be alive at all then. At that point I didn't understand why he was looking at me like that. Figured out after the interview (he told me).

Apart from this awkward situation, the rest of the interview (and other interviews) went fine and I got the offer.

    • 5
Jul 20, 2017

had a PWM interview at a BB my sophomore summer. Met with the two senior portfolio managers. First was with a woman who seemed to like me and was giving me softball questions which I answered well. I was probably going to get the job through a connection and only one other person was interviewing, who i idiotically told him I was going to New York for the interview and he used same connection to get interview as well. He was my roommate mind you. Second interview the guy ripped me apart. He asked me who I was voting for in the upcoming election and I just gave some vague answer as I thought this was a trap, turns out hes the head of some republican group in the city. The guy then asks me if I am more a sprinter or marathon runner, and I said sprinter as I had different athletic experiences relating to that. He then spent 20 mins how the person right for the job would have said marathon runner and then I turned around and saw a marathon number or whatever it is you wear on your chest hanging up above me. Another cringe worthy detail is that he looked at me really close like 2 feet away from my face and asked If I shaved that morning. As a yungin I just used an electric razor as I was blonde and had barely any visible facial hair. he said word for word "what is that peach fuzz on your face you're in an interview for god's sake" didn't get the job and roommate said it was a nightmare anyway, he now does marketing for some no name thing.

    • 5
Jul 23, 2017

wtf is up with senior people thinking if you're going down a specific career path, you must prefer x to y hahaha

Jul 28, 2017

the part about the facial hair examination made it form me thanks for the laughs

    • 2
Jul 20, 2017

"What are the top three inventions of all time?" - Them

"Penicillin, the internet and uumm,.....condoms" - Me :/

    • 4
Jul 24, 2017

smh... birth control*

Sep 22, 2017

Had this same exact question and had the same two first answers funny enough

Jul 20, 2017

Two stories from 1 interview for Centerview Partners with a VP and Associate.

VP: Looks like you had an internship in PE. Why investment banking?
Me: PE was too slow, we turned down all the deals we looked at. I like the transactionary nature of IB.
VP: Transactionary is not a word
Me: I mean transactional
VP: Pulls out phone and nods/motions toward Associate

I start sweating profusely.

Associate: What is 57 * 23?
Me: Fumbling math in my head Around 1200, more than that, do you want a specific number?
Associate: That's not what I got looks at VP and laughs
Awkward silence as I can't tell if they're still expecting me to answer the question or not

Me: 1311 / Associate: At the same exact time Have you studied accretion/dilution?

Awkward

    • 8
Jul 20, 2017

Relevant but not an interview.

A client CFO just packed the fattest lip I've seen in a while mid-meeting.

    • 11
Jul 20, 2017

Managed to use the word "bitch" in an interview. Was going really well until that point, was told on the phone lack of professionalism was why I didn't get that job.

    • 2
Jul 20, 2017

It's funny when I interview people, it's completely different. I'm looking for someone with a little bit of character, some fun, doesn't take himself too seriously but knows when to turn it up workwise.

Some of the stuff I read in here, if I heard that an interview there'd be a 2nd one and/or an offer. I think someone mentioned the song Work by Rihanna is the best way to describe him in a song version, I would've laughed my ass off. Asked to you elaborate and let's go do something.

I don't want you being uptight, I want you to be yourself, recognize we all make mistakes, not panic, and just enjoy and trust the process. My industry is nowhere near as formal as IB; it's commodity and trading I appreciate that for what it's worth. I couldn't imagine all standing up to hear someone speak, the hierarchy and self-worth is too damn much.

I want someone that I can joke with it at the office and expect to go to war with me when the peak hits full scale. I don't want any fake bullshit.

    • 15
Jul 21, 2017

My first ib interview ever, the second week of my junior year. MM IB SA role. Spent a few weeks prepping for technical questions. Ended up memorizing the entire guide.
First Question: How do you calculate EBITDA?
I completely blank and start saying what EBITDA stands for, then proceed to say its Operating Income + Net Income. It all went downhill from there.

    • 1
Jul 21, 2017

Interview for Moelis LA. Interview went alright, associate asks "do you have any questions for me?" I respond "...so I heard that your place is like kind of a sweatshop, could you please comment on that?" Guy gives me the most confused look ever and proceeded to respond. Needless to say, never heard from them again.

    • 8
Jul 22, 2017

dude wtf

    • 2
Jul 23, 2017

yep we have a winner

Jun 8, 2018

I asked a very similar question at another bank that also has a reputation as a sweatshop. I had run out of actual questions to ask at that point and was shocked to hear this question coming out of my mouth. I figured I had just shot myself in the foot, but surprisingly enough I got a thoughtful response. The interviewer also sent me a follow up email praising me for having the courage to ask such a tough question.

Definitely a high-risk move, but apparently it can be pulled off!

Jul 21, 2017

Middle Market ECM group.

Interviewer: So why do you want to do ECM? Why not M&A, or Leveraged Finance?
Me: I'm curious about the overall market of... [blah blah blah]
Interviewer: Okay, so it sounds like you have a good understanding of ECM? So do you have any questions for me?
Me: Yes, can you walk me through a day in ECM at your firm?
Interview: I thought you knew what we did here?
Me: I do.. I'd just love to here your take on it.

Didn't get called back.

    • 1
Jul 22, 2017

Your question isn't stupid at all. How are you supposed to know the idiosyncrasies of what a day in the life at their firm is like?

    • 7
Jul 22, 2017

In a BB superday:

"Tell me a joke."
"What did 50 cent say to his grandma when she gave him a sweater? 'G-u-nit?!'"

I didn't get the offer.

Welcome to the jungle.

    • 39
Jul 22, 2017

Then they made a mistake. This joke is gold in my book.

Jul 22, 2017

A couple of months ago I had this extremely weird interview for a very tiny firm with alumni from my school. The first thing that the interviewer said was "You know your school's career services are shit, right?" Tbh they really are but I should've defended my school. Instead I agreed with him and he said that I should do something about it. The firm was in VC and PE with a strong interest in blockchain VC, so when the guy said why I wanted to work there I told him how cryptocurrencies are burgeoning and how I had experience trading BTC through my online store. He then told me that he thought Bitcoin was absolute crap and that cryptocurrencies would never make it in the future, then iterating that he "wasn't a VC guy" and that I should talk to someone else from the firm if I wanted to discuss that. Mind you this firm has like a dozen people and it was impossible to find out individual employee's roles before going into the interview. The guy then said we'll e-mail you back with our decision but I obviously never got an e-mail. That was by far the most weird interview I ever had, but I was desperate at the time for any job that didn't involve audit or compliance like my previous year's SA role.

    • 1
Jul 22, 2017

I interviewed to for an internship and I friend interviewed me. He asked me for my spirit animal (stupid question, but it was for an entry level marketing internship) and I said that my spirit animal was an ass because I work very hard and I don't mind having fun. Although he was my friend, he probably didn't recommend me for the internship after the interview.

Jul 23, 2017

Was a greeter and walking students around for super day interviews at a big4 firm. I guess this one student had a mental breakdown during her case study. Started screaming, then hysterically crying, ran out of the hotel hosting the interviews bawling her eyes out, never to be seen since. Bet she got the job

    • 1
Jul 23, 2017

I was asked: tell me why should we hire you vs. all the other candidates. Some context: I really hate those dumb ass questions. To me 95% of evaluating a candidate is about fit. Are they going to thrive in the firm culture or are they going to be miserable and make everyone around them miserable too? People who have seen this will know what I mean. You hire the wrong fit, I don't care how smart they are, they will fucking kill the team dynamic and things get really messy soon. Anyway, she asked this to me and I wasn't really hot on this company anyway so I decided to unfilter a bit so I said: "If I can be honest, I don't fucking know. I haven't met any of those people so how am I supposed to pass judgment blind? I tell you what though, if they are anything like me then you shouldn't hire any of us. We came here, spent tens of thousands a year so we can party, get drunk and occasionally go to class where 3/4th or more the courses we take are completely unrelated to the work we will be undertaking when we graduate. They don't teach us excel, or PPT or any actually useful skills and I have to pay extra to get those courses online or in person. No wonder we drink so god damn much - we need to forget the irony of paying 100K plus for an education you could have had with a library card. The only redeeming feature was all the drunken sex and free clinic on campus to cure all the VD going around. So at the end of the day, if you hire me or my fellow students you are getting the same thing: deer in the headlights look on our first day while we figure out where the copier and the break room and the bathrooms are and of course you are going to have to spend a lot more money and time to train us to do the actual work you are hiring for. You wanted to know why hire me? Here is a reason as good as any: I bet you $100 none of the other candidates will give you an answer even close to what I just said and I promise you will get the same honesty from me every damn day I work for your company."

The look on her face was priceless. Very surprisingly I actually got the offer but didn't take it. I bet she didnt tell them what I said or they wouldnt have possible offered me the job.

    • 26
    • 1
Jul 23, 2017

Brings back many fond memories haha

Way in my early days when I was still trying to figure out how to function in society (interviewed at a boutique consulting firm):

Interviewer: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Me: Ideally, I think I'd like to work on wall street and pursue my <abbr title="Masters in Business Administration

">MBA as soon as possible

One of my first jobs

Interviewer (walks in, goes to his desk)
Me (shook hand, sits down)

Interviewer: Don't you know you're supposed to remain standing until the interviewer sits down?
Me: Actually never heard that, but now I know (note: did actually know that etiquette, had no idea why I sat down before he did).

Later on...

Interviewer (pauses mid sentence): Are you chewing gum right now?
Me: Yeah, I am. I couldn't find a trash can and didn't want to spit it on the sidewalk outside (another idiot move).

Actually ended up getting the job (interviewers actually told me that this particular guy really liked me). Would not recommend in any other interview lol

Kid we interviewed:

Interviewer- "What do you like to do in your spare time?
Kid- "Well, this past weekend I went to the hamptons and partied with models on a yacht" Pulls out phone and begins showing us pictures

*He did not get the job.

    • 2
Jul 24, 2017

Interviewed at Goldman after my freshmen year for some diversity summer analyst role, this was in my prime years before my GPA went down the toilet. 6 people interviewed me, 2 of them were MD's, 1 of them was a Partner who was a minority and running the diversity recruiting, all men. I had a 15 minute break in between interviews so I went to the bathroom to go take a piss. I walk in and its only a 4 urinal bathroom. By chance 2 of the MD's and the partner are all peeing at the time. I join them quietly as I pissed and the partner turns around and tells the other two MD's: "So I didn't know that our afternoon meeting room got moved to the bathroom." The other two MD's started laughing. Wasn't really a funny joke but they laughed because he's a partner.

Now I'm 18 years old, and If I'm not drunk at some sweaty house party, then I was an awkward fuck at the time. My whole education was based from Wall Street Oasis telling me how important personality and being able to talk to people was. So I start thinking and freaking out that these three studs at Goldman are here pissing and talking and I'm just peeing like a social retard without saying anything. My brain starts to hurt as I think about what to say. Got it... I'll go with a simple 'Whats Up' and be safe.

This is the order in which the urinals were occupied: Me, Partner, MD, MD.

Well the shit that spewed out of my mouth wasn't What's Up, and I ended up looking at these guys straight in their eyes, and with a cheesy smile said, meaning to say how's it going ended up saying: "So... how's it hanging?"

Remember, all four of us literally had our cocks hanging from our pants as we pissed into a urinal. None of them responded and they walked out not saying a word.

Also, I learned that a lot of senior folks who are really sucessful and don't give a shit about others just don't wash their hands after they piss?