Interviewing someone who is relocating

As any recruiter or a hiring manager will tell you, interviewing candidates thoroughly is a priority in placing them into a role. You need to understand their experience and expectations equally to avoid wasting anyone’s time. Experience is all about what they can do, what they have learnt – the past. Expectations is all about what they want to do next, their values, their likes & dislikes – the future.

When hiring someone who needs to relocate, this process changes slightly. Here are a few things to consider before you start the recruitment process.

Interviewing candidates who want to relocate has proven to disturb this balance of Experience/Expectations. Unsurprisingly, the future is much more important than the past. Moving to a different country requires a different approach and many more personal things to consider. Knowing peoples’ values, desires and interests has become more important than their background. Ascertaining they have the minimum of experience needed for a job, personal questions become more important.

  • “Have you thought about where you want to relocate and why?”
  • “Did you discuss with your family?”
  • “Have you looked into the taxing system, employment law, expats etc.?”
  • “Will you relocate alone or with your family?”
  • “Have you checked appropriate schools?’’
  • “Do you know anyone in that country?”
  • “Have you ever traveled there?”

These are a few questions to get the conversation going in the direction you want. This direction is that the candidate can convince you they have thought about relocating very well, have a plan in place and actually really want to do it. Even if some questions seem too personal, these are the ones that need answering the most. It helps candidates figure out what they want quicker and us, employers/recruiters, making sure we control the recruitment process and are moving towards filling our role. If we can’t or won’t ask questions likes these, their answers will become a problem in the end, when an offer is on the table. Although you won’t  eliminate the issue completely, as candidates can change their minds anytime, we can make sure to lower the rejection risk by asking personal and maybe uncomfortable questions.

Following a thorough interview process, we need to make sure to constantly check-in with the candidate and provide a lot of extra information about housing, taxes, transport, healthcare etc. Patience is key in avoiding frustration as we can’t expect a quick decision. However, for the right candidate and in this ever changing social/political/economic environment, going for the someone who can bring in a lot of international experience will be worth it.