Job Interview: Are You Willing To Travel for Work?
If you’re interviewing for a job that requires you to travel for work, you should prepare commonly asked interview questions about your willingness to travel. The interviewer is interested to hear from you if you are ready to travel as much as the position requires. When you have applied for a job that requires traveling, you need to make sure you have a solid answer ready.
When traveling requirements have not specifically been mentioned before or described in the job description, you should still prepare for this question. This is to make sure that when the interviewers do ask you this question, it won’t catch you off guard.
Related questions to assess your willingness to travel for work are:
- Did you have to travel a lot during your previous positions? Did you enjoy it?
- Do you own a car? Are you willing to use it for business travel purposes?
- How many nights are you willing to spend on the road for work?
In this blog, we explain how you can answer questions about your willingness to travel for work. We also discuss how you can use these questions to your advantage during your job interview. Furthermore, read more about frequently asked job interview questions here and check our job interview preparation checklist.
Why interviewers ask about your willingness to travel for work
The main reason for interviewers to ask you this question is to assess if you’re willing and able to travel as much as the position requires you to do. Also, they want to know the extent to which you are willing to travel for work. For example, some jobs could even require you to relocate for a certain amount of time.
In most cases, the interviewer will explain the requirements in more detail during the interview. However, it’s possible that they ask you the question ‘are you willing to travel for work?‘ first, to see what your answer is.
Usually, the job description already mentions the traveling requirements for the job. If this is the case, the question should catch you off guard during the interview. Furthermore, it should already get you thinking about the fact if you’re willing to do the required travel.
How to prepare for interview questions about your willingness to travel for work
The best way to answer questions about traveling is by giving an honest answer. You want to emphasize specific experiences with traveling that lead you to the conclusion that you’re willing to travel for work. There are several steps that you can take to make sure that you give the interviewer a solid answer to demonstrate your suitability for the job.
Understand the travel requirements for the job
Every preparation for a specific interview question starts with doing your research. In this case, research the company, position, and job description. This way, you make sure that before you apply, you get a good understand of the traveling requirements for the position.
Also, if you already found out that you’re not able to do the required amount of traveling, don’t apply. Either the interviewer will figure out your possible travel limitations, or you will get hired for a job that will not make you happy. Such situations are a waste of time and your career, and should, therefore, be avoided.
Think about your willingness and ability to travel for work
Once you found out the requirements with regard to traveling, you can think about your ability and willingness to travel. It’s important that you’re honest about this. It makes no sense to say that you’re willing to travel when you’re actually not or when you’re not able to for whatever reason.
If you are able and willing to travel, but you have any limitations, state this. For instance, if a personal situation restricts you to travel, make sure you explain this to the interviewer. Try to be as honest as possible in your answers to avoid getting hired for a job you might have to quit in the near future again.
Come up with questions to ask the interviewer for clarification
Asking the interviewer questions back, in general, is a good idea during a job interview. This will make you look interested and engaged. Is this case, when the interviewer asks you if you’re willing to travel for work, you can discuss this and also ask clarifying questions back.
If you are willing and ready to travel, you can still ask follow-up questions to get more information about the required traveling. For example, if the job description only states that traveling is required, you can ask how much traveling is actually involved in the position.
Another question you can ask is how the travel is broken up. In other words, are you away for days, weeks, or months? Other questions that you can ask are:
- Where will I be traveling?
- Are weekend travels included?
- How long do I have to travel on average?
- Are there different purposes for each trip?
Of course, you should tailor your questions to the position that you’re applying to. Doing so will not only make you seem interested and motivated, but it will also keep you from any future surprises about the amount of travel you will have to do later on.
Explain how you have traveled for work in the past
To give your answer more weight, you can explain to the interviewer how you have traveled for work in the past. Furthermore, this shows that you’re comfortable and experienced with traveling for work. If applicable, include details in your answer that align previous travels for work to the position that you’re currently interviewing for.
Focus your answers on how you can add value to the company
Besides the fact that the interviewer is looking for you give a positive answer to the question ‘are you willing to travel for work?’, they also want to hear from you how you can help the company. In other words, don’t only focus on what it can bring to you, but also focus on that you understand why travel is important and needed for the job.
Red flags for the interviewer
There are several elements that interviewers consider warning signs. Below we walk you through a couple of the most commonly made mistakes.
Not providing enough detail
Traveling might be an important part of a specific job that you’re interviewing for. The interviewer wants to know from you what attracted you to this job, why you applied, and how you feel about traveling. It’s important that you can provide the interviewer with a strong answer to all these questions.
For example, if you claim that you do not have trouble with being away for longer periods but you have never experienced this before, this might be considered a warning sign. The interviewer is trying to make the right hiring decision. This means that they are looking for someone who will stay with the company for a longer period.
Failing to respond effectively
Your answers should be short and concise. Avoid rambling and give the interviewer a to-the-point answer to demonstrate your suitability for the job. The same goes for follow-up questions. If you make certain claims about your work experience and you fail to answer follow-up questions the right way, this might come across weak.
Proper preparation will help you avoid such a situation. Thoroughly research the job description and company so that you’re able to explain why you can take on the day to day tasks. In this case, don’t just say that you’re willing to travel but explain why the job suits you and how you successfully traveled for work in the past.
For example, if the interviewer asks you ‘tell him about a time you had to travel for work,’ you can expect follow-up questions such as ‘what was the purposes of your travel?‘ and ‘what was the outcome?‘ Make sure you have answers ready to questions that you expect based on your research.
A positive tone of voice comes a long way. Negativity, on the other hand, is considered a warning sign. If you had negative travel experiences for work, this is not the moment to share them.
Focus your answer on the positive aspects and how you’re motivated to perform the job to the best of your ability.
Sample answers to questions about your willingness to travel
Below we discuss a couple of sample answers to the interview questions ‘are you willing to travel for work?‘. However, these are just ‘general’ examples. Make sure that you tailor your answers to your specific situation and the job that you’re interviewing for.
Example Answer 1:
‘Yes, I’m certainly willing to travel for the job. In my current position, I travel approximately one week per month. For me, this is a perfect balance, and I’m comfortable with traveling.
I’m curious to learn more about the position and travel schedule it includes. This way, we can come up with a solution that works well for the company and my personal responsibilities.’
Example Answer 2:
‘I’m definitely willing to travel for work. As a sales representative, I understand very well that meeting regularly with clients is essential to maintain and develop a professional relationship.
The job description states that traveling is required, and I was wondering if you could give me a bit more detailed information about the type of traveling required. This way, I get a better idea of the traveling schedules.’
Example Answer 3:
‘I have worked in sales for most of my career, and I am accustomed to traveling a lot for work. At the moment I spent anywhere between 1 and 3 weeks per month on the road.
The job description mentioned that, on average, approximately 25% to 50% of travel is required for the position. Is this correct? I would like to learn more about the traveling schedules and further requirements. Could you please explain these in more detail?’
Job Interview Topics – Common Job Interview Questions & Answers
Below you can find a list of common job interview topics. Each link will direct you to an article regarding the specific topics that discuss commonly asked interview questions. Furthermore, each article discusses why the interviewer asks these questions and how you answer them!
- Career Change
- Career Goals
- Conflict Resolution
- Creative Thinking
- Cultural Fit
- Customer Service
- Growth Potential
- Honesty & Integrity
- Job Satisfaction
- Entry-Level & No experience
- Prioritization & Time Management
- Situational & Scenario-based
- Stress Management
- Telephone Interview
- Work Ethic