Off Limits

“So...are you married?” No. Just no.

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We get it. It’s an interview. You’re expected to answer questions. But some are just simply off limits. Being asked about your relationship status should raise red flags about the culture of the company.

While it may seem innocent enough, asking about your relationship - whether you’re married, single, dating, gay, or straight - is just not cool. It can put you in an awkward situation and, more importantly, doesn’t have any impact on your ability to operate in a company.

There’s no simple way to respond to a question like this. If you answer directly, you’ve met the interviewer’s ask, but you could find yourself facing even more personal questions. Our suggestion is to be as brief as possible, pivot the question to get a gut check on the company’s culture, and then carefully reflect on whether the company’s culture is the right fit for you. One response could be something like:

“I’m exactly where I’d like to be relationship wise. Is it important to the company that team members are partnered?”

“I’m exactly where I’d like to be relationship wise. Is it important to the company that team members are partnered?”

Finding out how if/how your interviewer responds to your question could help to solidify your concerns. Once the interview is over, carefully reflect on your overall experience. If you or your career services office knows of alumni inside the company, reach out to them to understand if your experience was typical or perhaps a one-off. But, our advice is to critically asses questions that are off-limits. It’s never a good sign.