I have learned a long time ago that in many cases, you will find the right answer directly in the question of the hiring managers. Just think about it for a moment: Would they ask you about your willingness to relocate, if they did not expect it from you, sooner or later in the job, if the option wasn’t seriously on the cards?
Of course, it’s not as easy as saying that you are willing to relocate–especially if you are not, if you have some commitments that hold you back home. Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to this interview question. Each one demonstrates a different attitude and suits a different situation job seekers can face, while interviewing for the position.
7 sample answers to “Are you willing to relocate?” interview question
- I am definitely willing to relocate. What’s more, I am looking forward to change my place of living. I read your job description carefully and I am aware of the place of work. Honestly, I am a bit tired of my home city. Have been living here for long enough. Now I am looking for seeing new places and meeting new faces. And I do not have a family yet so nothing holds me back here really.
- Let me first tell you that I really want this job, and I am definitely ready to make some sacrifices. But I will have to think about an option to relocate, and discuss it with my family. I can’t be a selfish person. My kids go to schools in our city, they like it there and my wife has a good job. Of course there are alternatives, such as taking my family with me, or letting them stay and flying home each weekend, or perhaps combining home office with regular work, etc. As I already said, this is a great job and I am ready to sacrifice something. But I have other roles in my life, and my decisions have an impact on people I love. That’s why it is crucial to discuss things with them, at least in my opinion.
- I am willing to, but I cannot. At least not at the moment. I am attending the University on weekends, trying to get my degree. It would be just too difficult logistically to work in one place and study in another one, thousands of miles apart. Of course, I won’t study forever. I hope to get my degree in one year time, and then I will definitely be ready to move to another city, to relocate for work. I honestly hope that immediate relocation isn’t one of the job conditions, and that we can make this work without relocating.
- I consider this one in a lifetime opportunity. Of course I’m not youngest anymore, and for people in my age it is not as easy to relocate as for someone in their early twenties. I have created a lot of bounds with people in this city, and I like my life here. At the same time, however, I still feel young enough to start from scratch, to try something new, to face the challenge of a fresh start in a new country. So yes, I am willing to relocate.
- I would love to do so, but at the moment it is not possible. Let me explain. My mother is very ill and needs daily attention. After work I always spend time with her, taking care. I can possibly relocate, but she cannot. And, in my opinion, work isn’t the most important thing in our life, and we should not neglect everything else in order to reach our career goals. I honestly think that I am a great candidate for this position, and can make a lot of things happen in your company. We live in a digital era, and I do not consider my inability to relocate a showstopper. Of course, I am willing to travel to the headquarters of a company once in a while. But I cannot relocate there. It’s just want be the right thing to do. I hope we can find some solution together.
- I am ready to jump on the plane tonight. Nothing really holds me back here. If you need me in Boston, I will move to Boston. If you want me in San Francisco, I am ready to go to the West coast. I believe that once you have a job you love, and try to build good relationship with people around you, it doesn’t matter a lot where you live. Good and interesting people live everywhere in the world.
- I am willing, but I am not sure if I am ready yet. Look, I definitely want this job. But I also want to be responsible, and end my commitments with my current employer, helping to train my successor. I have also some commitments with people here. It can take me a few months to wrap things up, and to leave this place with a clean sheet. Then I will be ready to relocate, and I sincerely hope we can agree on some model of cooperation until then (working from home, regular business trips, etc).
Your attitude is the most important thing for the interviewers
Maybe you cannot relocate at the moment, and have your reasons. Hiring managers will understand it, as long as you explain clearly why you cannot, and show your willingness to do so–when the conditions will be more favorable.
Also it makes a lot of difference whether you refuse to relocate because you are lazy or afraid to start in a new place, or because you want to consult your family, or take care of your ailing mother. Seeing that you do not think only about yourself, and want to discuss important moves with your loved ones, hiring managers will give you some extra points for your answer.
Ensure them that you want the job, and are ready to sacrifice something
Anything you say, you should ensure them that you want the job. Maybe you cannot relocate at the moment, but it doesn’t mean that you give up, and they need to look for someone else.
We do not live in the 19th century anymore. Technology allows us to “be” in a factory in Seattle while we sit in a cafeteria in Singapore. Suggest some options to your interviewers. You may work remotely, you may travel regularly, and so on. Be creative and start a discussion. I am sure the two of you will eventually figure something out.
Ask them for plan B if relocation is out of question
If it is absolutely necessary to relocate, but you cannot, you can ask them for plan B. Maybe they have another job opening in the company, or one is likely coming up soon in your city. Or they can create such a job opening… Perhaps they can offer you another position, and home office is a viable option in such a case.
It is not easy to find great employees today. If the hiring managers like you, if they enjoy what they hear in the interviews, they will be willing to explore more options, trying to get you onboard. Help them to discover an option that will be viable for both parties.
Ready to answer this one? Check also 7 sample answers to other tricky interview questions:
- What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in your career?
- Why did you leave your last job?
- What challenges are you looking for in a position?