How to Answer Interview Questions - Are you willing to relocate?
"Are you willing to move for your job?" is a typical interview question for many companies. For some of those companies, your answer could be the definitive factor in offering you a position. Even if this particular job doesn't require you to move a company will ask the question looking for flexibility in their employees for potential long-term growth.
The knee-jerk response that most people give: "I'd consider it for the right opportunity." is not the best answer- even if it's the truth. This answer puts your motivation for wanting the job into the 'money' category rather than the 'fulfilling work' category. A savvy interviewer will recognize the subtle, yet important distinction, and it will question your ‘fit' with the company.
Here are some suggestions on handling the relocation question:
If your answer is 'No'
If your answer is undeniably 'no,' you have to say so. You will only have problems is they offer you the job, ask you to relocate and you refuse. (Although, let me just say that even if right now is an "absolutely not," remember, life can change in an instant. What looks like "never" right could look like "maybe" a few months from now. If you really want this position, but you couldn't move immediately, say so. But add a consideration with something like: "I'd prefer not move right now, but you never know what tomorrow may bring, and I'm very interested in this position with your company."
If your answer is 'Maybe'
Maybe you feel like there's some wiggle-room. You prefer not to relocate at this time, but you don't want to miss out on this employment opportunity. Everyone's reason for not wanting to move is different: The kids are settled, your family is nearby, whatever the reason, but for the right offer you'd consider moving. Since you can't say that, try something like, "This position would enhance my career goals and if relocating is a necessary part of the job, of course I'd consider it." This response doesn't commit you to moving. It just confirms that your career (and this job) is important.
Another tactic would be to say: "Where I live is not the most important consideration for me. Developing and utilizing my skills and advancing my career are my main motivations, and I've become more and more convinced that this company and this job are a really great fit because of my skills in X, Y, and Z. Do you agree?"
You've stayed on track promoting yourself for the job, and, hopefully, redirected the conversation. If you feel pressured to give a more definitive answer, you can always fall back to the "of course I'd consider it" statement.
None of these answers commit you to actually moving, but they all help you appear more sincere, flexible, tactful and reasonable than if you said, "I'd consider it for the right opportunity."
These options also keep the conversation going in a positive direction, which is a big plus for any job interview.
About the Author: Peggy McKee
Peggy McKee is a career coach and the CEO of Career Confidential, a website dedicated to helping job seekers find a job fast. Learn more here => http://CareerConfidential.com
Find links to 101 job interview questions and answers in the entire How to Answer Interview Questions Series here => http://careerconfidential.com/how-to-answer-interview-questions-series/