How To Answer the Question "Are You Willing To Relocate?"

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 9 October 2022

Published 7 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Since every interview is unique, there is no one set of guidelines that can help you prepare for all interviews. However, there are some common interview questions that an interviewer may ask you whether you are a beginner, a mid-level executive or a senior manager with years of experience. One such question is, “Are you willing to relocate?” In this article, we examine why employers ask this question and how you can answer it.

What Does Relocation Mean?

Relocation is the process of shifting your residence and moving to another geographic location. Relocation may be in relation to job changes, retirement or personal reasons. In the context of a career, a relocation may happen if your company requests you to move to any of its other branches. It may also happen when you decide to shift to a new role in a new company or a new city where there are better prospects for you.

Why Do Employers Ask "Are You Willing To Relocate?"

Companies invest a significant amount of money, time and other resources to develop human resources. If the role involves relocation, it is important that the hiring manager finds a professional who is willing to move. This can help the company continue with its projects seamlessly.

Many companies post "must be willing to relocate" as a condition in their job postings if it is a requirement. If not, asking this question during an interview helps the company pick the right candidate as per their relocation requirements. Hiring managers can also use this question to gauge a candidate's attitude, enthusiasm and flexibility. Your answer to this question may indicate how well you can handle unexpected situations in the future.

What To Consider When Deciding On Relocation?

During an interview, one question that hiring managers could ask you is, "Are you willing to relocate?" Here are a few things to consider when deciding on relocation:

  • Cost of living: Consider whether you can afford the living costs in your new location on your salary after relocation.

  • Accommodation: Consider whether your employer plans to provide accommodation or reimburse you for the cost.

  • Accessibility: It is important to think about the accessibility in the new location and whether it is a major city or a remote place.

  • Education and health infrastructure: You may explore whether the new location has good health and education facilities for you and your family.

  • Logistics: Some employers pay professionals to relocate, while others have the employee pay for the move. The logistics of the move may affect your decision.

How To Answer And Show Your Willingness To Relocate

If you are willing to relocate, you can respond to the interviewer in the following manner:

1. Express enthusiasm

When asked if you are willing to relocate, answer with enthusiasm and without hesitation. This may show that you have given due thought to relocation and have planned for it. Your enthusiasm can assure a hiring manager that you are motivated to pursue the opportunity and endure any changes related to relocation.

Example: “Yes. I am happy to relocate.”

2. Share your relocation plan

If you have already done some research related to relocation, you can talk about your strategies and plans. This can show you are serious about relocating. Sharing your strategies and plans helps you demonstrate proactivity, which is a quality that can impress hiring managers.

Example: “I can move over a weekend to ensure a smooth transition into the new workplace. I was planning to find a place to rent somewhere in NNC Layout, near the office. I can stay at the Coromandel Hotel until the movers transport my things here.”

3. Give an assurance

It is possible that candidates who are willing to relocate have second thoughts after the interview. You can assure a hiring manager you are sure about the decision and have given it due thought. An assurance can show that you made your decision carefully.

Example: “I have given this sufficient thought and am confident about this decision. I look forward to the work.”

Related: How To Crack a Job Interview

Alternative ways to answer

When asked if you are willing to relocate, you can state your preference or request more time to think about relocation. These are three possible scenarios that you may have to convey:

  • You are willing to relocate

  • You do not want to relocate

  • You are unsure at the moment and want to give it more thought

Here are some examples for each scenario:

When you are willing to relocate

If you are a mid-level or senior executive with a family, you could say, "I am willing to relocate. I had already decided at the time of application. My research shows that the city has good transport, educational and health infrastructure. Since it is the middle of the academic year, I may move first and my family may move at the end of the academic year.”

If you are a junior executive at the start of your career, you could say, "Yes. I am willing to relocate. The location is not a constraint, and I am happy to be flexible. These early years are crucial, and it would be a privilege to work and grow in an organisation like yours. The job profile matches my skills and experience perfectly, and I can assure you that I am confident about this decision.”

Related: How To Answer the Question “Why Do You Want To Leave Your Current Job?” (With Sample Answers)

When you are not willing to relocate

If relocation is not a viable option for you, you may phrase your response to indicate that you do not prefer to move but are interested in the job. In some cases, relocation may be a requirement. However, if you express interest in the job, they may remember you for any similar positions in the future in your current city. Hiring managers may track such information and would be more than pleased to mark your profile for any future opportunities.

Consider saying, "I would love to be a part of the team as this is the right opportunity in terms of a career change. However, I cannot relocate at the moment. I would be keen on working with you in my current town and hope you would consider me if there are any opportunities in the future."

Related: Tips for Politely Rejecting a Job Offer (With Examples)

When you need more time to decide

Hesitation while deciding on relocation is common. Relocation is an important change, and it requires you to consider a variety of aspects before you can make a decision. For example, you may consider what implications relocation will have on your career. It is also advisable to do some research on your next location to get a better understanding of its pros and cons. In many cases, individuals have to consider their family before they come to a decision.

Convey your hesitation honestly in an upfront manner. Let the hiring manager know that you may need a few days to decide. Assure them you will get in touch with them within the stipulated time to convey your decision. You may consider saying, "This opportunity allows me to work in my area of expertise. I will, however, have to consider a few things before I can make a final decision. Can I convey my decision in a few business days?”

Example Answers For “Why Do You Want To Relocate?”

Once you have indicated your willingness to relocate, you may expect the question, "Why do you want to relocate?" Your response may show you have thought carefully about the move. If you are a junior executive, the hiring manager may want reasons for a job change to gauge your career aspirations. If you are a mid-level or senior executive, the answer to this question gives them insights into your flexibility, career goals and why you are looking for changes at this stage in your career.

It is important to be upfront and honest about your answer. Some sample responses for "Why do you want to relocate?" are:

  • “These are the early stages of my career. I am open to new challenges and situations and keen to turn them to my advantage.”

  • “I have been looking forward to working in your organisation and the relocation has given me the opportunity."

  • “I have learned and imbibed many skills and am ready to take on more challenging roles in a newer set-up.”

  • “The job sounds perfect for me. I also like the city and have many friends and family members there. Relocating there means stability and a better quality of life.”

  • “I would be closer to my parents.”

  • “I would be closer to my child's university.”


Related:

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  • What Is a Job Advertisement? Everything You Need to Know

  • How To Answer "What Makes You Happy At Work?" Interview Question

  • Q&A: What Are Compensation And Benefits? (Plus Importance)

  • Good Interview Questions To Ask (With Tips On What To Avoid)


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