I always say that while I still work in a call center, the Marketing department is a totally different world from Customer Care. And never was this made more clear to me than when we had a discussion on questions you CANNOT be asked in an interview.

I was appalled. I had been asked (and had been answering) these questions throughout my career whenever I interviewed anywhere. I found them uncomfortable and invasive but assumed that that was the way it went for all interviews. It wasn’t.

So to save you from the mistakes of my youth, here are 4 questions you cannot be asked in an interview:

Marital Status (Do you have children? Are you single or married?)

This has no bearing on how well you do the job yet interestingly enough this came up in every single one of my interviews. The way it was asked was “Any children?” followed by “Married?”. Looking back I feel like it was a way to judge how available I would be to work extra hours (something that occurs often in call centers)

How old are you?

This question is forbidden since it could lead to discrimination based on age. Say, for example if you are a young person with no family who is expected to work late. It sounds like I am being paranoid but a significant chunk of the first few years in my career was spent in overtime. If I refused to work extra hours, I was questioned as to why and I was told I had “no excuse” because I had no husband or children.

Do you have a car?

This one blows my mind because the question that is relevant is “do you have reliable transport” not “do you have a car”. Unless it’s necessary for the job, a car does not affect your ability to work.

Where do you live?

Honestly I think this is just asked to ensure that there are no issues with you getting to work on time however this can also be seen as a form of discrimination. Also, let us not forget that one time I waited three hours for a job interview (which never took place) simply because I made the mistake of informing the hiring manager that I lived close to the call center.

If you get any of these questions, just be wary. NONE of these questions were asked in any of my Marketing or Journalism interviews (except for that one failed freelancing attempt that I had). These questions are a huge red flag and should be a sign to proceed with caution.

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