How to Answer Interview Questions about Relocating

It’s a question that might cause some nervousness in an interview, while others could be excited by the thought: Are you willing to relocate for this job? 

Depending on your life situation at the time, it could be a great opportunity to try on a new city for size, meet new people, and do a little exploring. For those who are married, have a family, or even older relatives that need care, it could be a worrisome prospect: Is this job worth uprooting my life and leaving people behind? 

Here are a few ways to consider answering the question based on your life and interests. 

Be honest.

If you’d be willing to move, whether it’s to another city or another state, say so, but ask follow-up questions. (More on this in a moment). If you’d be uncomfortable or unwilling to move, now is the time to speak up. While it might be possible that your inability to relocate could mean the job opportunity goes to someone else, it’s better to know and decide that now rather than six months into the job when you, and your employer, are invested.

It’s ok to say you’re not sure.

This is a big question, and a big change should the job require relocation. If you’re not sure, say so. It’s ok to say that you’d need to think about it, especially if the job posting didn’t say anything about the position being in another city or state. 

Ask a few questions.

Either during the interview or in follow-up conversations, ask for more details. When would the move happen? Would the company help make the transition, in terms of helping to find housing, sharing moving expenses, etc? Where would you be going and would it be long-term or temporary? 

If it’s a “yes,” use this as an opportunity to boost your candidacy for the job.

Let’s say you’re ready for a change in your life. Not just a new job, but a new job in a new city — this could be the best opportunity you’ve had! You can tell the interviewer that yes, you’d be willing to relocate for this company, and this position, because you’re so interested in the opportunity, and it’s just what you’ve been looking for in your career. If you’d be willing to relocate before starting the job, let them know. If you’d need a little time and would prefer to start onboarding in your current city, ask if that would be possible. Don’t let this question alone overwhelm and take over the interview conversation, but make sure to discuss logistics. 

If it’s a “maybe,” explain in a few details why you’re on the fence.

Be honest about why you’re uncertain. Maybe your children just got settled into school. Maybe you just bought a house in your dream neighborhood, but you understand that a great job opportunity might mean a quick change is in order. Explain that, for the right position — and this might be it — you’d be willing to consider making a move. Ask if there’s a timeline in mind for the move — if it’s right now, that might be a dealbreaker for you, but six months to a year down the road might be better. You need to make an informed decision, and so does the company. 

If it’s a no, explain why but don’t talk yourself out of consideration.

Explain that while this job sounds like a great fit for you, at this point in your life, you’re not able or willing to move. You don’t need to share your whole life history or go into deep detail about your current situation; instead, say that while you’re very much interested in this job and you think you’d be a great fit for the company (and give a few reasons why), but at this point in your life, moving just isn’t an option. If you feel like it’s possible that, a few years down the road, things might be different, say so.

Whatever your answer, be honest and clear: Yes, I’d love to; I’m not sure, but I’m still very interested in this job; I’m flattered and appreciate the opportunity, but I am unable to move right now, but I still feel I’d be a great fit for the company. The details will work themselves out later — and it’s better to be honest, and forthcoming now rather than wind up unhappy later. 

Find a job opportunity today!

If you’re continuing to explore your job opportunities, let Debbie’s Staffing help! We work with great companies who are looking to add talented, skilled people to their teams. Take a look at our job board and see if something sparks your interest, then give Debbie’s Staffing a call!