Interview Question: "Are You Willing To Relocate?"

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated September 15, 2022 | Published January 3, 2020

Updated September 15, 2022

Published January 3, 2020

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.

A person in a blazer smiles and looks into a computer camera.

One common question you may encounter when interviewing for a position based in a different location involves moving closer to work. If the hiring manager asks if you're willing to relocate, it's important to answer honestly. Regardless of your field, learning how to answer this question can improve your chances of receiving a job offer and may prepare you for relocation. 

In this article, we discuss why employers ask this question, explain how to answer it in six steps and provide examples for different possible answers. 

Why employers ask, "Are you willing to relocate?"

Hiring for a competitive position requires extensive work by the employer, including sorting through hundreds of applications. If they hire a candidate who's unwilling to relocate, it could result in lost time and resources. Having the right answer for such a question is essential when applying for a position requiring relocation.

Your answer to this question can also help interviewers determine the following:

  • Your level of interest in the opportunity

  • Your logistical suitability for the role

  • Your ability to be flexible

  • Your understanding of company policy regarding location flexibility

Related: 12 Tough Interview Questions and Answers

How to answer "Are you willing to relocate?"

Here's what you need to do to craft a solid response to the question and assure the hiring manager you can relocate:

1. Create a relocation plan

To determine if you feel comfortable moving, you can create a potential relocation plan before your interview. Here are some steps you may follow to do so:

  • Examine the cost of living: Compare your current cost of living with the new location and your potential earnings. The more thoroughly you research your potential new area, the more honestly you can answer the question.

  • Research living arrangements: Consider the cost of the home and the work commute to expect. Make sure there are homes within commuting distance of the business in your price range. 

  • Consider the moving process: Your potential employer may offer to cover some or all of your relocation expenses. Otherwise, you may need to calculate the cost of moving and incorporate it into your budget.

Related: How Does a Job Relocation Work? (Plus Steps and Tips)

2. Assess the question honestly

This is a question where it's important to speak truthfully. Before applying for and accepting a job that requires you to move, you must understand that you can manage the job and lifestyle changes. You can answer this question honestly:

  • Acknowledging the difficulty of moving can cause 

  • Expressing your excitement or nervousness for a new step in your career path

  • Asking questions about relocation assistance or policy

Related: Integrity in the Workplace: Definition and Examples

3. Express enthusiasm for the position

When crafting your response about your willingness to relocate, begin by stating your excitement about the role. This shows the hiring manager that you've a powerful motivation to succeed with the position. This can help express your willingness to endure any challenges related to relocation.

Related: 23 of the Best Things To Say During a Job Interview

4. Share your plans for relocation

Although you don't need to share all the details of your relocation plan, offering an outline of your strategy can show the hiring manager you're serious about the role. You could mention conversations you've been having about moving with your family or ask for their opinions on your apartment research. This part of your answer can also show that you're thoughtful and proactive, two valuable qualities for many positions. 

Related: Your Guide To Relocating for a Job

5. Assure the hiring manager you're comfortable moving

After explaining your plans and enthusiasm, reassure the hiring manager about your relocation ability. Offer any other details about the move you're excited about or any long-term plans you can make once you relocate. You can detail your aspirations for the role with the company to show you're ready to contribute. 

Related: 8 Steps to Take When Relocating for a Job

6. Practice your answer aloud

Once you've created a strong response to the question, spend some time before your interview to practice your response. This is a sound decision for all questions you feel you're most likely to encounter. Practice allows you to get comfortable answering the questions so you can sound natural and relaxed during your interview.

Related: Interview Question: "Why Should We Hire You?"

Example answers

Here are some example answers for common interview questions in different life scenarios:

If the answer is "Yes"

Here's an example you can use for guidance if you're willing to relocate:

"I don't have any concerns about moving to accept this position because I believe the opportunity to join your staff as a software developer is too good to decline. I've been looking into the housing market in the area and found a nice town that I would want to live in with good schools, affordable homes and a reasonable commute. While it's certainly a big change, I'm ready to make it."

Related: How To Write a Relocation Resume

If you're willing but would prefer to stay where you are

Here's an example of how to explain that you might move if the job requires it but that otherwise, you'd like to stay in your current location:

"While moving to California from Illinois is a big change, it's one I'm willing to make to accept this position in your marketing department. It may mean leaving behind some great friends and giving up proximity to my family. These are valuable to me, so if I can work remotely or from the Chicago branch, that would be ideal. However, as I said, I'm willing to move if necessary because I believe so strongly that this position is a perfect fit for my talents and career goals."

Related: What Should an Employee Relocation Package Include?

If the answer is "No"

It's perfectly acceptable to assert your boundaries at a job interview. If you're not willing to relocate, you can explain that respectfully to your interviewer, as in the following example:

"While I'm extremely excited about the opportunity to work for your company, unfortunately, I can't currently relocate due to family obligations here in Seattle. I believe that I may have more flexibility in about one year and could certainly see myself moving then."

Related: How To Say Goodbye to a Coworker

Learn how to say goodbye to a coworker whether it's you or a coworker that is moving on to a new role.

Explore more articles