I am currently job hunting and have recently applied for a role in Berlin and I live in the UK, the job advert offered paid relocation.

They have just reached out offering me an interview at their office in Berlin within the next few days. I do currently have a job, so it's not easy for me to just hop on a plane and travel to Berlin for one day, and as it happens I also have another interview arranged for that day but much closer to home.

I'd like to politely ask the company if it would be possible to have a telephone interview and convey that I have no problem with relocating and try and minimise the risk of them thinking that I am not serious about this job opportunity - it would be amazing if I got it! I don't think it would be a good idea to mention the fact that I have another interview arranged for the same day.

  • Have you tried asking this on other boards? It's difficult to imagine this is the best place to ask this, because it seems like workplace related places might be a better fit. I'm going to try and answer this question despite that, but if you do end up asking elsewhere (or this gets closed), add a link to that question to this one if you don't mind. – AHamilton Jul 20 '18 at 9:52
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is more of a phrasing request, rather than an interpersonal relation. Perhaps The Workplace may be able to help. – baldPrussian Jul 20 '18 at 11:18
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    This question would probably be better suited at The Workplace. I know we have a lot of questions on this topic already, like this one and this one. – David K Jul 20 '18 at 12:22
  • I do find it quite odd they are flying you for a first interview. – Rui F Ribeiro Jul 21 '18 at 5:54

My experience comes from Indian culture. The similar situation happened with me before when I was called for a face-to-face interview from a company located at 3k kilometers far from my city.

To be honest, it kind of depends on the person from that company you're interacting with. Since they considered your profile for that job, it's possible that they will agree for an interview on the phone.

You can say like,

Since I live abroad, I'd appreciate it if a telephone interview can be arranged.

When I told them that I live very far and can't come on this short notice, they arranged for the telephone interview and then a face-to-face interview.

So, you can here mention that you're enthusiast about this job but can't go there on short notice.

Now, there are two possibilities here. Either they will agree for the telephone or Skype interview or ask you if you can come for the face-to-face interview on some other day.

If they agree for telephone or Skype interview, then you're good. If they ask you for the date when you can be available, tell them the most suitable when you can go.

You're offering an alternate but satisfactory solution here, which any decent firm would appreciate.

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It sounds like you don't really have a choice in this matter, as you can't attend the interview in Germany and the one at home. If you were to take the leap and fly out there at the cost of missing the interview at home and taking time out from your current job and then be unsuccessful you'd be out of pocket as well as disappointed.

Really then, you have nothing to lose by asking, so you should go about it with a positive mindset.

Interviewing by Skype or similar service will be preferable to telephone, if the employer has the technology to do so. They will want to see you so they know that they are talking to the right person. Some positive things about asking for this are:

  1. It demonstrates initiative.
  2. It is an innovative use of technology, and they might be looking for that in the role.
  3. You will be able to dress up in your best suit and make a visual impression as you would in a real interview.

Perhaps say:

Thank you for the invitation to interview. Because I am living and currently working in the UK can we arrange an interview by video conferencing?

See what they say. I think there is a good chance they have done his before, it really is not all that uncommon these days.

Even though Skype is widely used and fairly well respected, there are more professional enterprise solutions out there, so it might be an idea to ask them which they normally use, and suggest Skype if they don't have a preferred solution.

Let them advise you, but if they are unsure about it or haven't done it before, take the lead and suggest:

We could set up a meeting on Skype, or any other conferencing system that your ICT team advise? Or alternatively we could conduct the interview over the telephone?

This covers all options open to you, including the telephone as a fall-back option if they agree to it.

If they don't go for it then as I already said, you would be taking a risk flying out there at the cost of the other interview, unless of course you want this job so much more that you believe it is worth the effort/risk.

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  • Perhaps I would add that it is just for this first interview and this occasion, due to current job responsibilities. And should that interview go well, you would fly over to Berlin for the next one. – Nat Jul 20 '18 at 11:01

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