Interviewer's etiquette - asking about politics

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Anonymous User
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Interviewer's etiquette - asking about politics

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:18 pm

Screener at OCI asked me a ton of questions about politics (e.g., what do you think about _____ Act?, do you think _____ was politically motivated by Obama?), etc. for most of the interview. I was kind of thrown but wanted the firm badly. Recently got a rejection letter - is it truly bad form for me to email the interviewer saying I thought his questioning was inappropriate? I'm guessing that the answer is obviously yes, but want a consensus.

luthersloan
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Re: Interviewer's etiquette - asking about politics

Postby luthersloan » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:37 pm

What would be the point?

sparty99
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Re: Interviewer's etiquette - asking about politics

Postby sparty99 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:38 pm

The questions that he asked you are no different than what a professor would ask you in Con Law.

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Re: Interviewer's etiquette - asking about politics

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Screener at OCI asked me a ton of questions about politics (e.g., what do you think about _____ Act?, do you think _____ was politically motivated by Obama?), etc. for most of the interview. I was kind of thrown but wanted the firm badly. Recently got a rejection letter - is it truly bad form for me to email the interviewer saying I thought his questioning was inappropriate? I'm guessing that the answer is obviously yes, but want a consensus.


Yes it's bad form. Also, it's totally acceptable for a private employer to base hiring decisions off of political opinions, so it wasn't inappropriate for him to ask that. They may want people who actually agree with certain things they do to ensure they are getting a passionate effort.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Interviewer's etiquette - asking about politics

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Screener at OCI asked me a ton of questions about politics (e.g., what do you think about _____ Act?, do you think _____ was politically motivated by Obama?), etc. for most of the interview. I was kind of thrown but wanted the firm badly. Recently got a rejection letter - is it truly bad form for me to email the interviewer saying I thought his questioning was inappropriate? I'm guessing that the answer is obviously yes, but want a consensus.


Yes, that would be bad form. The legal community is relatively small. You don't want to piss of members of it before you even join it.

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Re: Interviewer's etiquette - asking about politics

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:41 pm

Yes it's bad form. It'll make you look like a petulant moron to get rejected and then email the firm all butthurt about political questions.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Interviewer's etiquette - asking about politics

Postby Bildungsroman » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Yes it's bad form. It'll make you look like a petulant moron to get rejected and then email the firm all butthurt about political questions.

Sorry, this was me. Going anon was inadvertent.

RPK34
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Re: Interviewer's etiquette - asking about politics

Postby RPK34 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:25 pm

He might not have been asking you to find out your political leanings, but just to see how intelligently you could discuss current events.

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Re: Interviewer's etiquette - asking about politics

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:35 pm

RPK34 wrote:He might not have been asking you to find out your political leanings, but just to see how intelligently you could discuss current events.


This might be the right answer. I know I had discussions about potentially politically partisan topics like Robert's ACA decision, healthcare reform generally, the role of courts vis-a-vis elected officials, etc. during screening and callback interviews. I agree that it is less to discover your political leanings than to see if (a) you follow politics/current events generally and (b) if you have an opinion on these issues and can defend it cogently.

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Re: Interviewer's etiquette - asking about politics

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:36 pm

Know of more than one person who got a CB --> offer from a firm that they actively argued about politics with the interviewer in a screener. If you know you're stuff, you're not going to get 'dinged' because of it. Most likely you didn't at least express an opinion or flubbed your answer (especially if its something universally talked about in law schools like the ACA and not some random obscure Act).

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Re: Interviewer's etiquette - asking about politics

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:42 pm

I have a lot of partisan political experience on my resume. A lot of screeners asked my opinions on some hot-button topics. As long as you answer these questions in a fair-minded manner (and have some idea of what the hell you're talking about) no reasonable human being will hold it against you if your opinions differ from their own (barring the few firms with a notorious partisan bent).

Incidentally, at a recent CB, one of my interviewers of the opposite political cloth wouldn't make eye contact with me, spoke in a barely-audible voice, and just seemed generally disinterested in my presence. Coincidence? Probably.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Interviewer's etiquette - asking about politics

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Know of more than one person who got a CB --> offer from a firm that they actively argued about politics with the interviewer in a screener. If you know you're stuff, you're not going to get 'dinged' because of it. Most likely you didn't at least express an opinion or flubbed your answer (especially if its something universally talked about in law schools like the ACA and not some random obscure Act).

There's arguing and then there's disagreeing but still being able to exchange viewpoints like sane, rational adults. I assume you're talking about something in line with the latter, as opposed to some Crossfire-style shouting match.




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