Ask Lifehacker: How To Handle An Interstate Job Interview

Dear Lifehacker, Can you guys do an article on how to approach a job interview for an interstate job? Any advice from experience would be great too. Thanks, Jacob

Picture by Jimmy Harris

Dear Jacob,

We've run plenty of tips on good interview techniques in the past, so rather than repeat ourselves we'll point you right at them:

In the interstate context, there's some obvious areas to consider:

  • In an unfamiliar city, allow yourself plenty of time to get to the interview site. If you can avoid it, don't fly in for an interview, hunt down the location and fly out on the same day — that greatly increases the odds something will go wrong.
  • You're bound to be asked why you want to move locations and if you're prepared to make the shift. Make sure you've got an answer prepared (and don't use "I'm so desperate for a job I'll move anywhere", even if that's the truth).
  • Some employers will worry that a newly-transferred staff member might have trouble settling. Emphasise any family or personal ties you have to your new location.
  • If you have a current job, answer honestly about any notice period: lying will get you into trouble in the long run.

If any readers have additional tips to pass on, we'd love to hear them in the comments. Good luck!

Cheers Lifehacker


    I got my job going from Melbourne to Sydney, and yeah, the above points are important. I'd just suggest some of the following too:

    - If you're flying in and out the same day, fly in early and fly out late - factor in 4 hours for the door-to-door travel time on each leg.
    - Keep in touch with their HR department to make sure there's no last minute cancellation or shift of the interview.
    - Don't skimp on the flight if you can - a flexible ticket with a large airline means you could be on the next plane out half an hour after the one you missed.
    - I assume going for a face-to-face interview interstate means it is late in the process - ask if they're willing to pay for the flight, or at least the taxi from the airport.
    - Get a local contact to give you directions - don't just rely on Google. if you don't know anyone in your destination, find out if anyone you know used to live there.

    Best of luck!

    Tip: Talk about some of the things that attracts you about the city that you'll be moving to. It gives the employer a sense of security that you want to live there.

    Fly Qantas, fly out the night before, get a hotel near where the interview is.

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