INTERVIEW ADVICE

The firm that is interviewing you will expect you to have knowledge of, and well thought-out answers for, the matters and questions mentioned below (in addition to good answers for any technical legal questions they may ask you, whether relating to your CV, or to a hypothetical situation).

Overall, you have to present yourself as interested and enthusiastic about both the role, the firm and the prospect of going to live and work in the particular jurisdiction where the job will be based. If firms get the impression that offshore is just one of several different locations that you are considering, and that you are half-hearted about moving offshore, this will usually militate against your chances of a successful interview, since they consider, probably rightly, that going to live and work offshore requires a greater amount of focus and interest than other onshore locations, due to the greater isolation of living and working on a small island.

1. The firm and the interviewers.

2. The jurisdiction where the job is based - there are some particularly useful websites with information about Cayman and BVI (see below). The people interviewing you want to be reassured that you have thought carefully about the prospect of uprooting yourself (and possibly spouse and children) thousands of miles to go and live on a small island and that you have researched the island enough to have some sort of considered idea of whether you will be happy to live there for at least 2 or 3 years.

3.  The career implications of moving offshore - because if you move offshore and later decide you want to move back to the City, then the longer you leave it, the harder it will ultimately be to get back onto a career track at a top City firm. However, there are still various options for people who decide to move on, whether sooner or later - this has been covered in the paragraph above titled "What effect will moving offshore have on my career ?".

4. Salary expectations - the safest answer here is  "I would be looking for market rate in Cayman/BVI/Bermuda/Guernsey/Jersey (as applicable) for someone with my level of skill and experience."

5.  Career ambitions - the safest answer here is "I am ambitious to progress my career as far as I can, but I am aware that when an onshore lawyer moves offshore, they are on a learning curve for the first year or two and therefore cannot realistically expect to be promoted in those initial years when they are still getting up to speed."

6. Reasons for moving offshore - can be a combination of any of the following -

(i) better quality of life (eg can live very close to work with minimal commute, better weather, opportunity to live near the beach/ocean, lots of opportunity for sport);

(ii) higher remuneration;

(iii) more amenable place in which to bring up children;

(iv) (often) more client contact and more opportunity for business development;

(v) live in a more exotic environment and a general sense of adventure.

See sections "The Market", "Remuneration" and "Lifestyle".