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How to Answer the Interview Question: ‘Are You Willing to Relocate?’

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A common question that applicants encounter during an interview is, ‘Are you willing to relocate?’ Moving for work is a significant decision, so interviewees must know how to answer this question in advance. To answer this question well, you will need to understand why and how it asked. In this article, you can learn how to answer this question and look at some example answers.

Related: Top 16 Interview Questions and Answers

Why employers ask, ‘Are you willing to relocate?’

A hiring manager’s goal is to find out if an applicant would be a good fit for a position within their company. Knowing whether or not applicants are willing to relocate is an important part of a hiring manager’s decision-making process when an applicant’s current location is far away from the new employer’s office location. In many cases, it might not be possible for a job to be done remotely. So, to qualify for the position, applicants must be willing to commute to a particular workplace, which might involve moving across the country or even overseas. 

Related: Interview Question: ‘Tell Me About Yourself’

Surprising ways that employers ask, ‘Are you willing to relocate?’

Some interviewers bring up the subject of moving in a preliminary screening while others wait until the second or third interview. 

Some specific ways an interviewer might ask this question include:

  • Would you be willing to fill a position in one of our other offices?
  • Have you ever considered moving for work?
  • Would relocating be a deal-breaker for you?
  • There are no vacancies in our local office, but would you be interested in a position in New York, Florida, etc.?
  • This position comes with the possibility of an overseas transfer. Does that interest you?

Since this question is asked in different ways, anticipating the various forms can help you prepare an effective answer.

Related: Interview Question: ‘What Skills Would You Bring to the Job?’

How to answer, ‘Are you willing to relocate?’

There are dozens of answers to this question but not all of them are effective. Answering this question depends less on what you say and more on how you say it. 

Here are some steps you can take to answer this question effectively:

1. First, read the job description

Typically, if a job requires relocation, the employer will include this fact in the initial job posting. Before your interview, read the list of job requirements carefully to find out if relocation is necessary or optional. Be sure to read the job description in its entirety to find out if your duties would include regularly traveling or transferring to a new location. Familiarizing yourself with this information in advance will aid you in making your decision and help you seem well-prepared in your interview. 

2. Then, talk to your loved ones

An important element in answering this question is that relocating will usually affect more people than just yourself.  If you have a spouse who has a good job in town or kids who are heavily involved in their schools, relocating might not be feasible for you. Before the date of your interview, sit down with your family or friends, discuss the pro and cons of relocation and use their input to make an informed decision.

3. Next, be honest with the hiring manager

One of the most crucial aspects of answering this question is honesty. If there is a possibility that you might be offered the role, you must present your current circumstances accurately. You will need to tell the hiring manager if you have family responsibilities that make it impossible to move, if you are not financially capable of relocating to a different state, or if you have health issues that would prevent you from moving overseas. These are all factors that will affect the hiring manager’s decision and being honest will help advance the hiring process.

4. Finally, keep an open mind for the opportunity that relocating might offer

When asked to relocate for a job, you might be tempted to respond with a simple ‘No’ as your answer. However, it is important that you remain positive and open-minded throughout the interviewing process. Ask the hiring manager why relocation would be necessary and listen carefully to their reply. If you are willing to remain open to the idea of moving, you might discover that relocating could be an exciting opportunity for your career development.

Example answers

There are several specifics ways you might answer this question, but most will involve saying either ‘Yes,’ ‘No’ or ‘Maybe.’ 

Here are some examples of how to answer the question, ‘Are you willing to relocate?’:

Answering ‘Yes’

If you are willing and able to relocate, your answer to this question will need to show enthusiasm and commitment. You should also make it clear that you understand the ramifications and that you can follow through with your decision. 

Example: ‘I believe that my skills make me well-qualified for this position and that I would be a good fit for this company. I would be happy to relocate in order to pursue a career opportunity with this team.’

Answering ‘Maybe’

In some cases, you might not be able to give a definite answer to this question. If you still have some questions about the relocation process or if you have reservations about moving to a certain location, answering ‘Maybe’ could open a discussion with the hiring manager.

Example: ‘I am intrigued by the opportunity and I think relocating could help me advance my career. If moving is a necessary step to being offered this position, I am willing to consider it. However, I have some questions that I need to ask before I can commit.’

Answering ‘No’

Due to circumstances or personal preferences, sometimes moving is simply not an option. This does not necessarily mean that you will not get the job, but it is an important fact for the hiring manager to be aware of. If you have solid reasons behind your answer, the interviewer should have no trouble understanding your situation. 

Example: ‘Unfortunately, I am unable to relocate at this time. My parents currently live with me, so moving to a different state is not a viable option. I am still interested in the position and if my situation were to change in the future, I would be more than willing to consider relocation then.’