How To Answer Interview Questions About Travel in 6 Steps
Updated July 31, 2023
When searching for jobs, you may notice that some of them require international or domestic travel. It's important to learn about an employer's travel expectations and requirements when pursuing a position within their company. Understanding the amount of travel necessary for a role can allow you to determine if it aligns with your career goals before you accept the position.
In this article, we describe why employers ask interview questions about travel, describe how to answer them and provide example answers to help you prepare to discuss this topic with a hiring manager.
Why employers ask interview questions about travel
Employers ask interview questions about travel to learn more about your willingness to visit new locations, determine whether you're a good fit or learn if interested in professional opportunities abroad. If you're applying for a role that requires a significant amount of travel, employers may want to make sure you can go on last-minute business trips. They may also ask travel-related questions to see if you have previous travel experience. Companies may look for a candidate who feels comfortable traveling on their own and navigating new places.
Related: Travel Jobs: Are They Right For You?
How to answer interview questions about travel
Follow these steps when answering questions about travel:
1. Be honest about your availability
When employers ask about your availability for travel, be honest and give them a realistic answer. This can help you prevent yourself from over-committing and agreeing to an amount of travel that doesn't suit your lifestyle. Instead of making it seem like you can go away all the time, let the employer know how often you're willing to go on business trips. If the employer offers you the position, it's a good idea to reiterate your availability in writing as well.
2. Tell them your limitations
Make sure to set boundaries instead of agreeing to any kind of travel. For instance, if you want to see your family on the weekend, let your employer know you want to avoid traveling on those days. Similarly, if you're only comfortable having a room to yourself, you may want to bring that up with the hiring manager as well. You want to make sure you're only accepting a role that aligns with your expectations and lifestyle. You may want to confirm your expectations in writing if you decide to accept an employer's offer.
3. Ask questions
If you're unsure about any of the employer's travel requirements, use the interview as an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. For instance, you can ask where the employer expects you to travel as part of the role or how often they want you to travel. Get to know what kind of work you might be doing on business trips, whether it be meeting with clients or attending seminars.
You can also ask about opportunities to move abroad with the company. Not everyone who travels is on week-long business trips. They might be looking for info on international temp assignments or expat roles. It's important for you to make a well-informed decision if you receive a job offer and decide to accept it.
4. Discuss your previous travel experience
When discussing your travel experiences, be honest about the challenges you've encountered and how you've overcome them. This shows employers that you're comfortable with travel and can handle unexpected or difficult situations, such as canceled flights or lost baggage. During your interview, you can also provide some details about other work-related trips you have been on. If possible, use examples to show that you're good at adapting to new cultures and getting along with people from different backgrounds.
Related: 30 Best Tips for Business Travel
5. Highlight the value you can add
Prove that you're someone the company can trust to make a good impression. Explain how you enjoy meeting new people and making meaningful connections. You may also want to add how you're a punctual person, which is important when making flights and reservations on time. You may even want to share your planning abilities if you're applying to a role that requires you to book your own accommodations.
Highlight other useful skills, such as speaking another language and familiarity with the business climate in a particular destination. Not all business trips are domestic or to English-speaking destinations, so it's important to show that you're able to adapt to new situations and cultures.
6. Share about your networking abilities
A major part of most business trips is networking. Whether you're meeting with other branches or clients, much of your trip may involve talking to other people. Show that you're a people person by sharing previous networking experiences that you have. Explain how you find networking to be a valuable tool for building better business connections. If possible, provide an example of how your networking skills benefited your previous employer or department.
Example interview answers
Use these example answers as your guide when preparing your own responses about travel:
Example 1: Production manager
Review an example of a production manager answering an interview question about travel:
"As someone with five years of production management experience, I have grown quite accustomed to traveling. For instance, in my previous role, I flew to China twice a year to ensure our factories were operating effectively. During these business trips, I made some meaningful connections with our Chinese employees. I even got the opportunity to attend the Beijing Summer Olympics, which was one of my favorite memories.
Overall, what I'm saying is I am quite comfortable with frequent travel. My only requirement is that I get at least two weeks' notice before having to go on a domestic trip. I would prefer a month's notice if I am flying internationally. This way, my husband and I can make accommodations for our family."
Example 2: Salesperson
Here's an example of someone in sales discussing travel in a job interview:
"When going into sales, I was always hoping that I could go on an occasional business trip. Along with getting the opportunity to see new places, I'm someone who really enjoys getting to know new people and is interested in learning about new cultures and what their business practices entail. I'm an excellent networker and I'm eager to connect with new clients and hopefully build better business partnerships for your brand."
Example 3: Business representative
Consider this example of a business representative answering questions about travel:
"Although much of our world has gone digital, I still think meeting with each other face-to-face can be quite valuable. While e-mail can be an effective tool for communication, I was able to foster meaningful relationships with clients by meeting with them in person and highlighting the unique value of my previous employer's brand.
That's why I feel comfortable going on business trips on behalf of the company. I am a pretty self-sufficient person and can travel well individually, although I am also open to traveling with my colleagues. I see every business trip as an opportunity to learn new things and make better connections."
Related: How To Prepare for 9 Interview Types
Example 4: Intern
Here's an example of someone answering a question about travel in an internship interview:
"I'm open to travel as long as it doesn't interfere with my studies and can make myself available to travel on the occasional weekend or go on trips that only last a day. I see that your next conference is during my winter break, so I can be completely free to attend this important trip. Travel excites me and is a unique learning opportunity, so I'm absolutely open to going on as many trips as my schedule as a student allows."
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