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The Best Responses to “Are You Willing to Relocate?” Depending on Your Situation

Updated: May 9, 2021

Some interview situations catch you off guard, even if you didn’t think they could possibly be all that tricky to navigate.

Take answering the question, “Are you willing to relocate for the job?” Sure, in theory it basically requires a straight yes-or-no response (“yes I will move” or “no I won’t”), but of course things aren’t always that cut-and-dried.

If you really want the job but struggle to commit to relocating, you have to figure out the best way to break that news to the interviewer without hurting your chances. And if you’re OK with moving under certain conditions, you’ll need to express those conditions clearly before signing up for something you can’t follow through on later.

Tackling this question also requires an understanding of why it’s asked—besides the obvious reason: The hiring manager wants someone who can work in a particular location full time, and needs to weed out anyone who can’t or won’t do so.

Sometimes, “they’re trying to get a sense of the candidate’s degree of interest and flexibility, especially when this detail is not even included in the job description they applied for,” explains Muse career coach and HR professional Alina Campos. It’s a way of gauging just how committed a candidate is to the role and the company.

When someone’s willing to move for the job (whether immediately or down the road), that shows a passion and dedication that other candidates may not have. And it shows you’re in it for the long haul.

It’s also “a good way to see how much a candidate understands their brand or company if they are global,” according to Campos. The question, “Are you willing to relocate?” could be feeling out if you’d move now, but the interviewer may also be probing to see if you’d be willing to move in the future should another opportunity come up at another office or in another place.

If you’re joining a company that values its national or international presence—and often promotes its employees through relocation—you have to be open to the possibility of jumping around.

Don’t sweat it if this question comes up—and definitely don’t lie or exaggerate your intentions. But as Campos emphasizes, “it is important to consider this question beforehand so you are prepared to either say ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ or ‘maybe,’ accompanied with solid reasons for each answer.”

Here’s how to craft a compelling and appropriate answer, depending on the circumstances.

If the Answer’s “Yes”

Maybe you just graduated and are open to living in multiple cities. Or don’t consider yourself particularly tied down to your location. Or are so eager to land this job you’d do anything to get it.