So you've landed an interview for your dream job—but there's just one problem. The job is in a city you don't currently live in. Don't worry, we've got you covered. Here are a few tips on how to ace a relocation job interview and increase your chances of landing the job.
Research the Company Ahead of Time
Before you even step foot in the interview room, it's important that you do your research on the company. Learn as much as you can about their culture, their values, and their mission. This will not only help you answer questions about why you want to work for them, but it will also show that you're truly passionate about the company and the role you're interviewing for.
Ways to effectively research the company before your upcoming job interview include:
- Re-read the job description for the position that you will be interviewing for.
- Review the website and the careers page.
- Check out the company's social media accounts.
- Read employee reviews and testimonials on sites like Glassdoor or Indeed.
- Do a Google search and use the tools to filter down to the most recent news about the company, it's leadership and its industry.
Be Honest About Your Timeline
It's important to be upfront about your timeline when relocating for a job. If you're already in the process of moving, be sure to let your interviewer know so they can plan accordingly. On the other hand, if you're not ready to move just yet, let them know what your timeline looks like and ask if they'd be willing to wait for you to start the job. Honesty is always the best policy!
Talk About Your Relocation Plans.
During the interview, be prepared to answer questions about your current living situation and your plans for relocating. Be honest—if you don't have concrete plans yet, that's okay. Just let the interviewer know what your timeline looks like and what your current status is (e.g., "I'm currently in the process of finding a place to live"). Employers understand that relocating can be a stressful process, so they'll likely be sympathetic to your situation. However, it's important that you show them that you're taking concrete steps to make the move happen.
Prepare for Common Interview Questions
In addition to being prepared to answer questions about the company, you'll also want to brush up on your responses to common interview questions. This will help you stay calm and collected during the interview, even if you're feeling nervous.
Common questions to prepare for in your upcoming job interview include:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why do you want to work for this company?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What experience do you have in this field?
- Describe a time you made a mistake.
- Tell me about a time that you dealt with conflict.
- Explain how you deal with a disagreement.
- Why should I hire you?
Ask About Relocation Benefits
Don't wait to ask or make assumptions about the company's benefits. Instead, take the opportunity in an interview to ask. You can do this proactively without putting anyone on the spot.
The easiest way to do this is open the dialogue with the human resources or talent acquisition person in the first interview. You can present an open-ended question about the benefits and openness of the company for candidates outside of the market. This can put the topic out there and help you to better understand the opportunity. The worst case scenario is that you learn quickly that the company isn't going to pay any relocation costs or that they won't consider candidates outside of the market. In that case, you gain the opportunity to focus on companies that will or at least to better assess this particular opportunity. Either way, a proactive approach to the costs of relocation is key to making sure that you don't waste time or money in the interviewing process.
You could also opt to hold off on discussing relocation benefits in the context of a job offer. In that case, you will want to communicate when asked about relocation that you will look at the whole package and stay focused on whether or not the job is actually a good fit for your career goals at this time.
Be Ready to Negotiate
Everyone should be ready to negotiate when it comes to the offer stage. You will want to do this creatively and to look at the details closely. For example, the company may not have a standard relocation package or even pay the costs of relocation, but you could ask for a higher salary or signing bonus. Or, you could propose to start remotely and tie your performance to the payment of a bonus down the road. This creative style enables you to look at the best options for a job you want and to make it work for the company.
Make sure to approach these conversations early in the process and to stay open minded at each step. Doing so will help to plant seeds about what matters to you and to overcome any doubts that people may have about you as a candidate that doesn't live in the area.
In the end, you will want to be sure that the job is worth your time and energy. You also need to be open to compromise and negotiation in order to make it work while still maintaining your value as a candidate. This can be a tricky balance, but if done right, it can result in you getting an amazing opportunity with a great employer. Having the confidence to ask for what you need and deserve will help you land the job, even if it's in a different city or state.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Finally, don't forget to practice before your big day. This includes practicing both common interview questions as well as questions specific to the company. It may also be helpful to role-play with a friend or family member so that you can get used to answering questions out loud. The more prepared you are, the more confident you'll feel going into the interview—and that confidence will show.
Relocating for a job can be a daunting task—but with careful preparation, it doesn't have to be. By following these tips, you'll be able to ace your relocation job interview and increase your chances of landing the gig. Good luck!