“Are you willing to relocate” is an extremely common interview question that throws many jobseekers off. It might be a life changing decision you are making and if you give the interviewer the wrong answer, it can ruin your chances of landing the job completely. But it’s not actually that difficult to answer. You just need to be properly prepared.
To make sure you ace the question we have created a guide with a few examples to help you out.
One thing to remember is that just because the question is asked doesn’t mean that you will be relocated. Interviewers often use it to try and see how enthusiastic you are about the job and gauge your adaptability.
So basically the real trick to answering this question is enthusiasm and positivity.
Yes, I can definitely relocate
Your first choice will almost certainly be to say “of course I can relocate”. If you are young, then the prospect of relocating might seem exciting and you will have no problem moving to a different city or even country. Giving this kind of response will also show the interviewer how enthusiastic and excited you are about the job.
A good response of this kind would be “Due to my experience of relocating as a teenager and having to make new friends I would be happy to relocate for the right opportunity with your company.” The great thing about this answer is that it also gives an explanation as to why you would have no problem moving.
But what if you can’t give a definitive yes? You might have a family to think about. Relocating a family, especially children, can be hard. It’s not just a major change for you; it also affects your family. Will you have a future with this company? Will it improve your career prospects? All questions that you need to ask yourself to see if you can justify moving to get a job. And they are not easy to answer straight away. Because of this, it’s ok to say maybe. But you have to say it in the right way.
If you want to say maybe then you can try this: “I love the area that I live and work in at the moment and would really like to continue my career here, but this job is such an incredible opportunity that I would be willing to relocate if that is required.”
You could also say: “This is such an amazing opportunity and I would love to say yes right now, but I can’t give you a definitive answer without talking to my family first.”
Saying no the right way
What if moving is just not an option for you? You shouldn’t be ashamed or scared if this is the case. A lot of people simply can’t relocate for numerous reasons. But don’t worry you can still get the job a lot of the time because as previously mentioned the job often doesn’t involve any relocating it’s just about testing your enthusiasm and adaptability.
You need to say no in a positive way and make sure that you give them the impression that you really want the job and still leave the door open. Honesty is the best policy here because as long as you have valid reasons for not being able to relocate the employer should understand.
A good answer would be: “Sadly I am not able to relocate at the moment, but I think this is an amazing opportunity and would love to work with the team you have here. And if my circumstances change in the future relocation is certainly something I would be willing to consider.”
What not to say
Job interviews are by their very nature stressful; it can feel like the interviewer is making a conscious effort to break your will sometimes. But, luckily this question isn’t that hard to answer as long as you do a little preparation. Unfortunately, it’s also very easy to give the wrong answer if you haven’t done any preparation. A few examples of answers that you should avoid like the plague include:
- “Will you pay me more money if I ”
- “Are you going to cover all the costs of my relocation.”
- “I will only relocate if I get to choose the location.”
- “I will never move no matter ”
Answers that are either about money or are absolute about not moving show that you are not truly excited about the job. Employers don’t want people who are only interested in money or unwilling to go the extra mile; they want people who love the job.
Have you ever been asked this in an interview? What answer did you give? Let me know in the comments section below…
This article was first published in May 2015.