How to answer an interview question about ties when you have none?

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acr

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How to answer an interview question about ties when you have none?

Postby acr » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:40 pm

I have a screener with a biglaw firm in a secondary market to which I have absolutely zero connection. What is the best response to the inevitable "Why X firm" and "Why X city" when you have no family and haven't even visited?

Edit: sorry for double post. Don't know why that happened.
Last edited by acr on Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tyroneslothrop1

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Re: How to answer an interview question about ties when you have none?

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:48 pm

Probably be pretty tough without lying.

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2014

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Re: How to answer an interview question about ties when you have none?

Postby 2014 » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:57 pm

I mean you have to have a reason for wanting to be in the city right? To the extent it's a bad reason that's better than no reason at all...

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Re: How to answer an interview question about ties when you have none?

Postby acr » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:59 pm

2014 wrote:I mean you have to have a reason for wanting to be in the city right? To the extent it's a bad reason that's better than no reason at all...


Well, I mean the weather is nice and a job is a job...

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Re: How to answer an interview question about ties when you have none?

Postby 2014 » Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:06 pm

acr wrote:
2014 wrote:I mean you have to have a reason for wanting to be in the city right? To the extent it's a bad reason that's better than no reason at all...


Well, I mean the weather is nice and a job is a job...

"I'm really interested in the type of work your firm does [presumably tech bullshit] and several people in my network who both already work in the area or will have moved there by the time I graduate."

You could also make up a fake s/o but your results may vary on that.

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nealric

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Re: How to answer an interview question about ties when you have none?

Postby nealric » Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:12 pm

acr wrote:I have a screener with a biglaw firm in a secondary market to which I have absolutely zero connection. What is the best response to the inevitable "Why X firm" and "Why X city" when you have no family and haven't even visited?

Edit: sorry for double post. Don't know why that happened.


Come up with a narrative. I like "X" about the city, it's a place I can see myself settling long-term, etc. You don't have to admit you've never been there. Learn some basics about the geography of the place before the interview.

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Re: How to answer an interview question about ties when you have none?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:16 pm

Presumably, you're talking about CA if you would want to be there because of the weather?

You're not outing yourself by saying the name of the market.

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Re: How to answer an interview question about ties when you have none?

Postby acr » Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Presumably, you're talking about CA if you would want to be there because of the weather?

You're not outing yourself by saying the name of the market.


Charlotte

wasn't trying to protect myself, just didn't see the need to specify the market

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Re: How to answer an interview question about ties when you have none?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:35 pm

Not necessarily advocating it....but I lied through my teeth about ties to obtain my most recent/current job in what is considered a very insular yet very desirable location for people from major markets around the country

I would have had zero chance if I had not lied

I will say that I consider myself to be a very good and practiced liar.

Just adding the data point, take it how you will





Additional edit: I think law firms' obsession with ties is retarded. I wouldn't have flown across the country to interview with you if I didn't want the job and I didn't wanna live here. Further, obsessions with ties in extremely desirable places are doubly retarded. Are you really worried that someone is gonna hate SF/Denver/San Diego/wherever extremely desirable place so much that they will want to dip out and go back to fucking shithole suburbia where I grew up?

No other industry I know of would reject an otherwise fantastic candidate for this bs. Maybe this is why it didn't bother me at all to lie in this situation.

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Re: How to answer an interview question about ties when you have none?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:00 pm

acr wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Presumably, you're talking about CA if you would want to be there because of the weather?

You're not outing yourself by saying the name of the market.


Charlotte

wasn't trying to protect myself, just didn't see the need to specify the market


I have some experience with Charlotte. How much ties matter is really going to depend on the firm. If it's a firm like MVA or any of the more southern firms, then ties will be huge. If it's one of the massive national firms, ties are less important. Also if it's one of the massive firms, sell your interest in the practice area of the office. Most Charlotte Vault firms have a pretty niche practice area. For instance, if it's CWT/Dechert talk about how much you love CLOs and the financial crisis. I think it's pretty obvious when someone is lying about ties, especially if the interviewer asks a follow-up question.

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Re: How to answer an interview question about ties when you have none?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:06 pm

I too strongly exaggerated. In one interview (an offer which I ultimately didn't accept) I said my sister had just gotten a job in the market and so I had family ties (but that she hadn't moved there yet, so it was understandable that I didn't know the area super well).

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Re: How to answer an interview question about ties when you have none?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:38 pm

I may have bumped a regular ol' girlfriend to fiancee during my interviews...

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Re: How to answer an interview question about ties when you have none?

Postby acr » Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:04 am

So it sounds like lying/exaggerating is the majority approach.

Great advice though from the anon above who had those insights into the Charlotte market. Really appreciate it!

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Re: How to answer an interview question about ties when you have none?

Postby AZ123 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:59 am

While exaggerating girlfriend to fiancé is probably harmless, you really shouldn't lie about ties. Morality issues aside, that seems like an incredibly dangerous approach if anyone were to call you out on it.

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Re: How to answer an interview question about ties when you have none?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:36 am

acr wrote:So it sounds like lying/exaggerating is the majority approach.

Great advice though from the anon above who had those insights into the Charlotte market. Really appreciate it!


I'm the Charlotte anon from above. I'd strongly recommend against outright lying. If you've actually spent time in the area or have a minor connection, then you are probably not going to be caught embellishing a bit. However, it's pretty easy to get caught in a lie if you have no connection to the area. All it takes it a simple follow-up question and you could be screwed. Also, it's usually obvious when someone with no visible connection to the area is lying/exaggerating, especially in a market like Charlotte. You got the screener from out of market, so I don't think they expect you to be heavily connected to the area. It's much easier to feign interest in a specific practice area, like banking/financing, and much less likely to get you caught in lie.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Jul 19, 2016 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to answer an interview question about ties when you have none?

Postby zot1 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:50 am

Here's a thought:

Research the city extensively and find things you genuinely think you would enjoy about it. Then explain to the interviewer that all of these reasons are why you want to be there so badly.

I interviewed for a job in a city I had never lived in before and had no ties to. But I had over 5 significant reasons why I wanted to be in that city. Got the job. Still love the city.

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Re: How to answer an interview question about ties when you have none?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 19, 2016 1:36 pm

wow just based on the subject line i legit thought you went to an interview without a tie and they were questioning you for it.

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Re: How to answer an interview question about ties when you have none?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:43 am

+1 for lying through your teeth. The person who said lying about ties is dangerous.. how? As long as you don't say your dad is the mayor of the city or something, you'll be fine. Say your parents live 20 minutes away or something.

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Re: How to answer an interview question about ties when you have none?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:+1 for lying through your teeth. The person who said lying about ties is dangerous.. how? As long as you don't say your dad is the mayor of the city or something, you'll be fine. Say your parents live 20 minutes away or something.


I guess it's probably more an ethical hangup for me, but I still think it could backfire depending what you say, especially in smaller offices. For instance, lying about where your parents live could lead to follow ups about the specifics, especially if the interview is from the area. Also, if you say your parents live in the area in an interview, a co-worker might remember that when you start and ask about them, which is more likely in a small satellite office than a massive NYC office. I guess you could say they moved, but then you're just lying more.

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Re: How to answer an interview question about ties when you have none?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:51 pm

Yeah I'm team lying. Only risk I was afraid of in coming back to a place is, at least for 2L SA hiring, you don't start work for 9 months after interviewing. I was afraid I might forget some of my smaller lies, and you never know what the interviewer might remember (if you say your parents live in South Park, and they also live in South Park they're likely to remember something that, but you might not if it's a blatant lie and your parents live in Cleveland).

Anyway, just something to be aware of, but I lied anyway. Firms will lie to you in an interview, so why should I be ethical? At the end of the day, I chose to lie because it felt like it was for a good reason. I really wanted to be in the market I'm in (and had no ties to), but firms don't like believing that story, so I lied about ties to convince the firm that I really wanted to be in the market.

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Re: How to answer an interview question about ties when you have none?

Postby barkschool » Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:37 pm

Jeremy Lin gives you the best shot at a title, and you're looking to be a fan b/c u like the Michael Jordan meme.



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