General Question

girlofscience's avatar

Should my boyfriend answer the real reason he is relocating, if he is asked during a job interview?

Asked by girlofscience (7550points) June 11th, 2008

In two weeks, my boyfriend and I will be relocating from Philadelphia, PA, to Durham, NC, because I will be attending graduate school there. My boyfriend is in the process of finding a job in NC, and in his cover letters, he simply mentions that he will be relocating at the end of the month. Obviously, he doesn’t have to answer if they ask “why” in an interview, but sometimes, interviewers take a more casual approach, and that sort of thing could come up. On the one hand, it makes him sound like a committed person because he’s moving for me, and maybe it also sounds good that he scored a smart girlfriend. On the other hand, potential employers could worry that he wouldn’t be living in NC permanently or that he’d go back to Philadelphia if we broke up. How should he handle that question if asked?

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18 Answers

melly6708's avatar

well thats what my brother did.. he moved from CA to NM to be with his gf and when he transfered jobs he just told then that he found other opportunities in NM and that he was going to go to school there as well

marinelife's avatar

First, I think it is unlikely to come up, but it is good to be prepared. Should an interviewer ask him why he is moving to the area, he should say something that is true, but not necessarily the personal stuff. For instance, if he felt comfortable doing so, he could say:

“I like the vibrancy and growth of the area, and the fact that it is a university town.”

“I was looking for a milder climate. The winters in Philadelphia have been getting to me.”

“I am excited by the job opportunities in my field that this area offers.”

One or more of these things or some variation of them cold well be true. That way he will feel sincere saying it even though it is not the primary reason.

That primary reason is private information that the interviewer is not really entitled to.

Good luck to you both. It’s a great town!

cheebdragon's avatar

it could make him appear unreliable if you guys break up

nikipedia's avatar

@girlofscience: I’m always a big fan of the honesty approach, myself…

(and look! our questions are siblings!)

girlofscience's avatar

@Marina: I gave you points for that, thanks! Those are all great ideas. Although, after he begins working somewhere and starts having company events, and he is suddenly bringing his girlfriend of two years, who just so happens to have moved to Durham at the same time, I think it will be obvious why he really moved, haha.

girlofscience's avatar

@cheebdragon: I’m not sure what you mean…

girlofscience's avatar

@nikipedia: What about the drawbacks of being honest that I mentioned?

nikipedia's avatar

@girlofscience: That’s a great question. If I were said employer, and I just happened to be omniscient, I would prefer to hire an honest person who might move back to Philadelphia than someone who sees truth as a flexible thing to be used in the manner most expedient to his own ends.

But of course we don’t live in nikipedia’s fantasy land and I think the practical concerns you cite are valid. That said, I think it’s difficult to predict Future Employer’s reaction, and any Future Employer who thought moving for your long-term, serious girlfriend was a bad idea is probably a douche. So I would take that chance and preserve my moral integrity, if it were me.

gailcalled's avatar

Anyone who has lived in Philly (me) and then seen Durham (also me) would never ask why anyone is relocating. Remember WC Fields allegedly wanted on his tombstone:
On the whole, I’d rather be in Philadelphia.”

Of the old Vaudeville joke: ‘First prize – a week in Phildelphia. Second prize – two weeks in Philadelphia’. ...

I would keep all personal info personal. Your relationship has nothing to do with his professional skills.

If you would like a list of reasons why one would move from Philly to NC, PM me.

scamp's avatar

I’ve moved from state to state several times, and I have never been asked why I moved into a new area. But I think if he should be asked, he should stay as vague as possible. If he tells a possible employer that he moved to be near you, the employer will know that once you finish school he will leave again. It’s difficult to move from the north and get a job in the south, because some northerners find they can’t handle the lifestyle and tuck tail to run back home. Employers look for stability when they hire, and they will want to at least have the illusion that your boyfriend’s move there is somewhat permanently.

marinelife's avatar

I think you can answer the question honestly without giving away all of your personal information in an interview.

By the time company events come down the pike, the whole thing will not be an issue.

wildflower's avatar

I wouldn’t recommend lying about it. If the interviewer is the hiring manager and the real reason comes out in later conversations at work – that’s an instant trust issue that will go against him.

Be honest, but show that it’s a well thought through decision – not a spur of the moment thing. That’s the best thing he can do.
As far as ‘what if we break up’ goes, he’ll just have to show that he’s considered that aspect too, but maybe he’d stay even if that happened.

jballou's avatar

I wouldn’t advocate dishonesty- but your guys’ personal relationship shouldn’t really have any bearing on a job interview. Bringing it up is unnecessary.

I relocated from Philly to San Francisco, and when asked why I just said “I am ready for a change”

gailcalled's avatar

I might add that if a married man interviews for a job, he does not have to confess to his future employer that his (married man’s) marriage is a little rocky. Lots of people take jobs and then have all kinds of changes in their personal lives. No one’s business at work!

@jballou; you left the city of brotherly unlove and MOVE and gangs, garbage and guns for SF? I am shocked, shocked.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

white lie it…..

skizzle's avatar

All the employer should care about is that your boyfriend is available for work. The vast majority of job situations in America are like this… “at will employees.” That means you come and go as you please (with the courtesy two weeks notice).

If you boyfriend breaks up with you two months in and quits his new job, not only will he have a hard time getting back his stuff from you… but he’ll have to explain in his next interview why he quit so soon. Not many potential employers are excited about hiring someone with a track record of dumping jobs quickly. So, that’s his call.

As to what he says in this interview… “I’m just excited to move to the area” should do fine.

galileogirl's avatar

You can be honest without saying everything. The positive statements about the area: better weather, different lifestyle, growth in the area all can be true. As far as introducing the long-time girlfriend afterward, how come she isn’t there because of you instead of vice versa or it was joint decision?

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Answer should relate to the opportunities the company offers.

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