in Careers Advice, Interviews

Legal Job Interview Question & Answer – are you prepared to relocate?

Advice

A
fairly straight forward question in most circumstances as it is easy to
give a fairly noncommittal response. Very often the question is asked
of people who live in different areas to the company they have applied
to or alternatively live a fair distance from the company but still
potentially commutable in the short to medium term. If you know that the
company are likely to expect you to relocate closer to their offices,
then it is definitely worth committing to saying that you are prepared
to relocate. If you have a relative or friend in the area who you can
stop with in the short term it maybe be worth mentioning this if it is
required. You do need to think carefully about your response and whether
you are prepared to commit yourself to relocation and how honest you
feel you need to be. Obviously it is fairly easy to give a response that
implies you are prepared to relocate and this may infuriate any company
you join if they then discover you had absolutely no intention of
relocating for whatever reason.

Examples of Answers

“Yes.
If I need to relocate I am quite happy to do so. I already have family
and friends within the area and should the need arise I can arrange
accommodation at fairly short notice. I also know the area very well
from my time working at x or from my days playing rugby for y.”

Or:

“In
the short to medium term I intend to commute to work but obviously in
the longer term if I am settled and committed to working at a particular
law practice such as yours I would be more than happy to relocate to
the area.”

Or:

“Yes
if it is essential in the longer term. I do already have experience of
commuting to work for over 2 hours each day and it is not something that
bothers me and never has done, as you can see from my CV and the
periods of time I have spent working in other practices.”

Or:

“No.
For the time being I propose commuting to work and I have commitments
in the area including my children’s schooling. Obviously if it became
essential to relocate in order to work overseas on secondment or to
spend some time at one of your other offices I would be more than happy
to consider this.”

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 17 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at www.legalcareercoaching.co.uk. You can contact Jonathan at cv@ten-percent.co.uk