Tricky Interview Question: Do You Have Any Responsibilities That Would Prevent You From Travelling on Behalf of Our Company?
There are a lot of personal questions that may not be asked at a job interview, because they are not legally allowed to affect any hiring decisions. For example, a hiring manager cannot ask you if you or your partner are trying to get pregnant. They cannot ask you if you are married. They cannot ask you about your health. All of these things are illegal at the job interview, because the government has decided that companies are not allowed to discriminate against hiring employees for these reasons.
However, companies are allowed to ask you questions that relate to the company while hoping you supply a personal answer. For example, “do you have any responsibilities that would prevent you from travelling?”
How to Answer
WARNING – When you answer this question, do not talk about your personal life. Obviously if you can travel, say that you can travel. If you cannot, however, make sure you answer without giving any personal details.
“I do have some responsibilities. I would have to check with my nanny to see if she can take care of my children first, and my wife is expecting in June, so I can’t travel around that time. Also, my mother is very sick, so it depends on the status of her diabetes. Also, I have a form of height related dementia, so I cannot be on a plane that goes over 3,000 feet in the air or I completely forget who I am or where I am.”
“I do have a few responsibilities, but in general I should be able to fit in travel with advanced notice.”
Keep the answer brief. If you are unable to travel at all, you may not be right for the job anyway if it requires travel. So assuming you have personal responsibilities but may be able to travel some of the time, simply state that you should be able to plan it with advanced notice, and do not elaborate further.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Do not provide any personal information.
- If you 100% can or cannot travel, be honest, even if it affects the job.
- If you might be able to, state that you have some responsibilities but with planning it should not be a problem. If it ends up being a problem later, so be it.