I am a new graduate engineer and have applied to a company that provides graduate jobs in locations nationwide in UK.

I have not reached the interview stage yet, but an internal recruiter asked me by email if I would be willing to work in southern UK, and if so, he would forward my application to that office.

Despite the fact that I really want to work for this firm, I prefer another two or three offices in the northern UK because my partner works there.

Is it reasonable to ask that the recruiter forward my application to those offices I prefer? Could I mention that I have a special bond with the location because of my partner?

  • 1
    Sure, tell them you have an interest but would actually prefer offices in the north. I don't know that you need to go into details of why. – paparazzo Mar 18 '16 at 10:55

I think it is perfectly reasonable to express that you'd rather stay in some geographical area. However, you have to be prepared to assume the consequences.

There might be several reasons why they suggest you to move to that place. For example:

  • the offices over there have more problems to find employees, when the Northern ones are full (relative to the amount of work),
  • each offices have their own speciality, and your qualifications fit better with the Southern ones,
  • recruiting process is geographically separated, so you'd have two separate process instead of only one.

In that light, it would be understood that you state that you'd rather stay in one area (and if they don't, you should consider whether you want to be working with them). But they may reject directly your application, or you might have to struggle a bit more.

It is up to you to decide what your priorities are.


Here's a perspective to think about. You'll have to judge its applicability to your situation. And keep in mind that this may be a U.S.-centric opinion.

If, as is often the case, somebody involved in the decision is your senior by 15 or 20 years then be advised that the current cohort of new graduates (millennials) has a reputation for making demands in the workplace for which they are not considered to have earned the privilege. For better or worse, it's a common perception among Gen-X (disclosure: myself included).

If you have many options available take the one that best fits your preferences. But if you're either determined to join this organization or don't have a handful of legit offers be aware that hiring managers often consider new graduates - even talented ones - as interchangeable. We'll usually take the one who represents the least degree of hassle.

That said, I wish you good luck.


It is reasonable to express a preference for a work location before you are given a written offer. It is also reasonable for that company to ask if you would be willing to work at a different location. Your request and/or response may well play a part in your being offered an interview or position or it may not. But if you are unwilling to relocate or commute in a direction away from your partner it does not really matter.

Once an offer is made for a specific position in a specific location then chances are the company will be unwilling to allow a change, unless the position/openings allow for it. If the position is offered with out a specific location, it is acceptable to ask the location, or to communicate your preference for a location. The company may or may not be able to accommodate your preference.

Asking for this accommodation should not cause problems with the company unless you had previously indicated that you were willing to accept a position at a different location, then when offered asked for a change. That could raise red flags with the hiring team.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.