How to answer relocation questions in an interview

Whether you’re interviewing for a new position or just talking to your boss about a promotion, one of the most difficult questions to deal with can be “Are you willing to relocate?”

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Being too keen or too cagey can give the interviewer some reasons to be concerned, so here are a few things to think about when preparing for an interview that might involve relocation.

What to consider if you don’t mind moving

First, consider the impact of moving on your personal life and your family and friends. Relocating even a fairly modest distance can seriously impact your ability to interact with people who have been long-term friends as the increased costs and time required to travel have much more of an impact than some people think. Try to be realistic about how much you will be willing to travel and how much it will cost.

Consider the impact on family, too. For your extended family and even parents and siblings, this will likely be very similar to considerations with your friends. Your spouse or partner may need some more consideration. Are they willing to move? Do they have a career that would be impacted? If you have children, they will be moving away from friends and almost certainly changing schools.

Finally, consider the costs of moving and the time it will take to find a new place to live. Some higher-end firms may use services from an employee relocation company such as, but most of us probably wouldn’t be quite so lucky.

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What if you just don’t want to move?

If you aren’t willing to move, your best bet is to be completely honest about it. If you say you are willing when you aren’t, you will be stuck admitting to it later and turning down a job offer or moving, which is not helpful to anyone. If you stick with an honest answer while emphasising how committed you are to the company and role, you can still have a chance at the job.

Moving is a major change, not only for you but also for your family and friends. Consider carefully whether you are willing to relocate, and be entirely honest with your interviewer.