Have you ever applied for a position in a faraway city or even state?
If so, you have probably been asked the rather intimidating interview question, “Are you willing to relocate?”
This question is very common on a job application as well as in an interview.
In other words, it is not likely a question that will take you by surprise, because the job description will usually give the required location of said position.
Before you quickly write off this interview question with a resounding no, realize that it is rare for a person to spend their entire career in one location.
This is not just because of their job, but life happens!
Despite your reasoning or factors you can’t control, stay open to all opportunities that come your way, especially the ones you apply for!
Decide If You Are Willing to Relocate
You should already know the answer to this interview question.
But maybe you are on the fence.
Yes, change is scary. We all know friends and loved ones who are terrified of change.
But you don't have to fear; change can actually be an awesome way to find out who you are as a person.
If you are a recent graduate or just seeking a career change, relocating can open up all kinds of opportunities for you.
If you believe this, then the interview question should be a walk in the park.
If you are unsure whether relocating is the right choice for you, ask yourself these questions:
- How long would I be working in this new location?
- Is this company a place I can picture myself working long-term?
- Can I progress or move forward in my career in this position?
- Would the things I gain outweigh what I might lose by relocating?
How Not to Answer This Question
Here are a few things you don't want to do or say when responding to this interview question.
1. Don't make it about yourself.
Whatever you do, don’t bring up selfish reasons as to why you might move.
“If the money was right …” or, “If I become CEO!” are negative answers.
During an interview, always focus on what you can offer rather than what you hope to gain.
In this case, your focus is on the task at hand of finding a job!
2. Don't say yes if you mean no.
You also want to answer honestly.
It's tempting to say yes to this question even if you are not willing to relocate just to get the job.
However, lying can get you into trouble if you end up receiving an offer.
Then you would have to turn down the position and risk offending a recruiter or even gaining a bad reputation in the industry.
You can stretch the truth or avoid the question by using one of the examples below if needed.
3. Don't get too personal.
Also, do not make your answer too personal by mentioning a struggle you are going through or a difficulty that loved one is facing or anything of that nature.
You may earn the interviewer's sympathy, but this is bound to make the conversation awkward and not help you in the job hunt.
(Awkward answers usually mean that you will not receive a callback.)
4. Don't make yourself forgettable.
Keep in mind that it's not so much what you say as it is how you say it.
Despite this being a challenging and sometimes sensitive question, keep a smile on your face and answer with respect and zest.
Sample Answers to This Interview Question
Whether you are willing to move or not, here are a few examples of answers that you can use.
Of course, you'll want to tweak them for your specific situation.
1. How to answer if you ARE willing to relocate
Hopefully, this is the best answer for you.
After all, it is the simplest response to this interview question.
If you are free to relocate, this will demonstrate your willingness to adapt in order to be a part of the team.
If you have recently graduated or are a young adult looking for new opportunities, the chance to relocate might be a thrilling prospect.
If you are willing to relocate, the answer is pretty simple:
Interviewer: Are you willing to relocate?
Applicant: I have no problem with relocating for this company as I believe I am a great fit and this job would be the perfect opportunity to advance my career!
2. How to answer if you are OPEN to relocating
Relocating for a job offer is not always the best option.
Or perhaps this job opportunity seems like the perfect one for you, but relocating still isn't that ideal.
A recruiter might be asking if you are willing to relocate simply to see how interested you really are in getting the job.
Obviously, you need to answer honestly.
But it's also okay to feel hesitant about the idea of moving for a new job.
If you are unsure, you still want to come across as positive and enthusiastic:
Interviewer: Are you open to relocation?
Applicant: I love the area I live in currently, but I would consider relocating for the right opportunity.
3. How to answer if you are NOT willing to relocate
Naturally, there might be instances where moving simply isn't an option.
There are plenty of reasons why this could be the case, but how do you answer when your answer is going to be a no?
If you are not open to relocation, you can still have a positive answer:
Interviewer: Are you open to relocating?
Applicant: I love the area I live in now and it is important to me that I stay near my family. That may change in the future, and at that point, I would consider relocating for this opportunity.
“Are you willing to relocate?” is one of the most delicate questions a hiring manager can ask.
But if you keep the above points in mind, you are bound to nail this question.
Happy job hunting!
For more interview questions, check out the 50 Top Job Interview Questions and Answers.
If you need some extra help preparing for your next job interview, Find My Profession offers a professional career coaching service. This professional service includes interview preparation aimed at helping you land your dream job.