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Over the summer I worked in a bank in a city A and at the end of my placement I was offered a permanent job. The issue is that I want to live in a city B with my partner and as a result I've been looking for jobs in city B instead.

I now have an interview at a bank in city B. If they ask why am I wanting to leave the first bank I worked for and join them would an appropriate answer be because of the location?

I know in most cases they want to hear something flattering about why they are better than their competitor but this would be the honest reason. Does this make me look less keen about the bank itself than I should want though? I also don't want it to come across that I am completely inflexible when it comes to location.

Does anyone have any advice about how I should approach such a question and whether I should mention/avoid mentioning that my main reason is because of location?

  • This is sometimes known as the "two-body problem". Interestingly enough, we have very few questions about it (compare Academia.SE, which has an entire tag for this). Maybe it's known under a different name at Workplace.SE? – S. Kolassa - Reinstate Monica Nov 19 '15 at 16:35
  • I did explore the option of staying with the first bank but they told me that the only position they had available to me was in city A and I wouldn't be able to re-locate. If they'd let me re-locate I would 99% have stayed with them. – user44183 Nov 19 '15 at 16:38
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    There is nothing wrong with benig honest. It's the fundamental base of a good working relationship. Probably especially if one is working in a bank. – simbabque Nov 19 '15 at 16:46
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    everyone knows that location, location, location are the three most important things in a transaction. Yes, that's a perfectly usable answer. Considering its the honest one, I'd stick with it. – NotMe Nov 19 '15 at 16:48
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If they ask why am I wanting to leave the first bank I worked for and join them would an appropriate answer be because of the location?

This would be completely appropriate.

You might say something like: "I really like working for company x. I even asked them about relocating to City B. Unfortunately, they don't have any openings here, so that isn't an option. I've heard great things about your company, and I would really like to work in City B."

This way, you aren't saying anything bad about your current company, are demonstrating that you are a loyal employee, and indicating that locating to City B is really important to you. All of these things are perfectly understandable for a hiring manager, in my experience.

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    Agreed! You want to give them a two-part answer - why you wish to leave your current job (geographical need to move to city B), and why you are keen to join them rather than other potential employers in city B (insert reasons here regarding good things about their bank). – Carson63000 Nov 19 '15 at 23:04
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So long as it is not something which can be seen as a pattern, saying that you are looking to relocate for family reasons generally is good enough.

  • Should be noted: many countries specifically forbid follow-up questions surrounding your family. – cwallenpoole Nov 19 '15 at 16:42
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would an appropriate answer be because of the location?

Yes, be honest and tell them the actual reason. The recruiter and/or the company would understand.

Does this make me look less keen about the bank itself than I should want though?

No, it wouldn't. And it also wouldn't make you look anyway less professional.

So, be honest and explain your situation to them, and if you have any negotiations in your mind which might make you stay behind, then go ahead and negotiate with them.

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