unfortunately I received a bad reference for an internship at a big consulting firm. I was able to leave it out from my last round of applications, as I have not received it at that time, but for future applications I will probably have to include it. (In Germany all previous references are always expected)
To the interviewers (especially the German ones):
1) Do you read the references when preparing for an interview? Or can I hope that no one will notice? I Am sure if someone does notice the bad reference, he will definitely bring it up during the interview.
2) In case they bring it up, how can I explain the bad evaluation without looking too bad? To tell the truth, I was on a project where the manager treated me as an intern like shit and I sometimes stood up to him (I know, I should not have done this). Therefore, I did not get along with him very well, resulting in this evaluation. However, I don't think it would be clever to say this in an interview, as blaming outside circumstances it never the right answer. Addtionally, they are looking for someone who can deal with these difficult situations.
Some time has passed since this internship and as I got an excellent reference for my last internship, I would probably answer something like "As it was my first internship in such a fast-paced environment, I made a few mistakes in the beginning. Unfortunately, due to this first impression I did not get anlong very well with the project manager, despite my continuous attempts to correct his view. However, I have learned from the mistakes, as you can see from the reference of my last internship." Is this an answer that would satisfy you?